tv The Civil War The Economy Volunteer Union Soldiers CSPAN August 5, 2018 9:00am-10:01am EDT
war, william marvel explains the economic factors driving many poor northerners to volunteer to fight. the author of lincoln's mercenaries economic motivation among union soldiers during the civil war. this talk was part of the annual summer conference hosted by the gettysburg college civil war institute. >> good afternoon. i'm peter carmichael. i director of the civil war am institute and also a member of the history department. it is my pleasure this afternoon to introduce william marvel of new hampshire. bill marvel has published more than 20 books in the field of civil war history and it is truly remarkable, when you consider the fact bill marvel does original research in the archives.
he gets his hands dirty. i don't think you do any research on the internet. maybe just a little bit. un poquito? no? >> [indiscernible] peter: what he just said to me, he does preparatory research before the trips. he goes and it digs into the original resources. many of you have read his books, they are all quite good. his book "andersonville" but won -- the book about won him the lincoln prize. he has written more books on lincoln, appomattox, and he just finished a book called "mercenary soldiers," to be published by lsu. he is currently working on a biography on fitzjohn porter, hopefully to be published by usc -- unc press. one thing we all know about him and his writing, is that he is a contrarian.
he takes something that is a well-established thought within our field, and he often turns it upside down. so you can count on a talk that will crack open a new perspective on an often tired subject. you can also can't but his -- you can also count that his books, as well as his talks are eloquent. his writing, of course, i think is some of the best in our field. it is a real pleasure to introduce bill marvel. [applause] bill: well, good afternoon. i hope you all can hear better than i could. as i think some of you out there may be old enough to remember the last time i was here, a few of you. as pete indicated, it was
because i had written a book about andersonville. this time, i am here because of an editor, really. the worst editor i ever had until i got into the newspaper business, was an assistant editor at the state historical societies quarterly journal in my home state. i had published a number of articles in the journal, and the director of the society, who became a friend of mine, had done all the editing himself. but eventually, the work are to be a little too much for him, and he hired an assistant. the first manuscript he ever gave her, was one of mine. he told her something about me in an introductory way, that he found interesting, he told her,
this fellow is a carpenter, but he writes history. well, i would have reserved the emphasis on those two occupations, but she basically -- she apparently took that as a that perhaps she knew more about literary style than i did or perhaps about my subject matter. she did not know a great deal about editorial etiquette to go nottiquette because she did send the manuscript back to me before she published it. as a consequence, i didn't know anything was wrong until i opened the complimentary copies and began to read. i began to notice some strange punctuation missing here, not , necessarily there, some vocabulary are don't think i would ever have used, and interpretation now and then that i would've had a little difficult time defending, and finally, some factual errors
created by the editing process. i had put a great deal of energy into that particular article. it represented several years worth of research and several weeks of active analysis of the evidence that i drew from that research. so, i was a little agitated, but i handled it in a professional fashion. i went into my closet, got my portable typewriter out, slammed it on the kitchen table and began pounding out a letter to my friend, the director, who i thought had butchered my article. it may give you a slight insight into the degree of my exasperation that at one return of the carriage, the carriage block stock, instead of sending the carriage flying across the
typewriter, i sent the typewriter flying across the kitchen, where it broke the dog dish in the corner. i didn't have another typewriter so i finished it off, cleaned it , off and put the paperwork back in. one of the paper grips had broken so the paper started , skidding sideways out of the carriage with each carriage return. but i finished it, and i had a little space in one corner were i could sign it and i put it in an envelope. my handwriting was still shaking . i sent it off. i keep copy of everything and a few years ago, i ran across the carbon copy of that letter. i recognized it immediately, because all the lines were hanging down like a broken phoenician blind. i read it, and i realized that
this anyone today received a -- that if anyone today received a letter like that, the first step would be to stop at the courthouse and file a petition for a restraining order, but, people did not do things like that in those days, they actually confronted people they had offended. he did, he wrote me a nice letter, as a psychologist would say, he validated my complaint, he explained what it happened, he apologized and said it would never happen again. and, it didn't. we went back to work, and we are still friends to this day. he retired not long ago from the indiana historical society. when i go there to do research , i call ahead, and we have lunch. with the assistant editor did not last much longer however, at the journal. he never really told me who she
was, but i think i deduced who it was. if i googled the right name, it would appear that she dropped out of editing and went into college administration. [laughter] you have to do something, after all. about now, you are probably wondering, what that has to do with what i am here to talk about today. the article that she butchered was the genesis of the book that i have coming out in november. ordinarily, when i get done with a subject, either an article or a book, i put it to the side,and it was onto something else. probably why i seem so uninformed when i'm asked to talk about a book i wrote three years ago and i cannot remember a damn thing about it. but, in this particular case, i was anxious to get this published in a decent form. something that would not embarrass me. and i tried for a row years, and this book ultimately came from that, although somewhat indirectly, as most things do.
the article was an analysis of the economic background and enlistment patterns of union soldiers who enlisted from my hometown in new hampshire. i have been studying those men in particular since i was a child. at the age of 12, i found a register of new hampshire's soldiers in the public library, huge books, a good five inches thick and a couple thousand pages. i went through every page, scrolling down with my fingertips, looking for men who lived in conway. by the age of 13, i had military records of all men from my hometown. quite a few years later, i discovered that after the national archives published the 1860 census in microfilm form, they sent the original ledger
books that the census was recorded in, back to the states from whence they came. so i went to the state library in concorde. i found it down there by accident. i stumbled across it on the stacks by accident, and after a -- after several trips i copied down the names and pertinent information from the 1640 people from my hometown. then i had the military records of all the soldiers, and i had the economic background of all the people. because two of the questions asked on the 1860 census are, how much real estate do you own, and how much personal property to your own? and of course, it is all -- reported by the individual himself, there is possibility
for error. but on those occasions, when i've had to go to the town hall and look at the census records from the 1860's, i have found the tax assessments run a parallel to what they claimed on the census, in most cases they seem to use tax assessments to assess how much they owned. so i put this information on a index cards for each of the soldiers and again arranging them in different formats. first, by neighborhood, then by economic status, then by military unit that they ultimately joined and finally, by the dates on which they enlisted. without any analysis, i noticed fairly steady, gradual progression in the increase of wealth of the groups who enlisted at different periods during the war. the poorest of the recruits enlisted at the very out that.
-- the very outset. not really men in some cases, but they were poor, the all working as from hands with no family in town. one of them was only 15 years old but has been on his own since he was 14 on the census, working as a firm hand and supporting himself. in those days, childhood did not last into the late 20's as it sometimes seem to today. a little later, in 1861, you started to get people who owned farms, but very poor farms, or might be the sons of people who did. at least two men enlisted who were over age, both claimed they were 44 years old. one was 60, the other was 62. , i would not say
prosperous farmers, but they had been comfortable most of their lives until the panic of 1857. the 60-year-old over the course of a few years accumulated so many debts that by 1860 he had to sell off his extensive farm , but i can debts" was left a shack for himself and youngest son. money seemed to be something they were interested in. neither lasted long. they immediately apply pensionsn -- apply for . that was another indication, money meant something to them. the 62-year-old, although he was poorer than the other one, he may have had another motive. he had been a widower for many years but he had just remarried. perhaps he found he had made a mistake and thought perhaps, camping out would be a good
thing for three years. for, perhaps his wife had discovered that she herself had made a mistake and decided to pound a little patriotism into him. but i think, money had something to do with it. in the summer of 1862, the next crop of recruits consisted of sons of prosperous farmers, or young men who had really established themselves. by 1863, he had older farmers, tradesmen, family man in other 30's or 40 years old, who had greater wealth than those who had gone before them, but the bounties were considerable by then, if you put them all together. the richman of conway, of which there were a few, at least they were rich, by local standards, never enlisted at all. neither did their sons.
but the wealthiest group on average to enlist, or those who went in as a gain late september of 1864. and there were several reasons they may have found it inviting been. for one thing, it was an enlistment for one year as opposed to three. another thing, the war was going well. atlanta had just been captured, a look as though things were winding down. there was a major though, which was the bounty. that town bounty was $800 in 1864 for a one-year enlistment. those who enlisted in 1863 for three years, got a $300 bounty. and by the way, all of those men died, those who enlisted in
september of 1864, all of them came one, except one of whom died of typhoid. none of them were thrown into battle. their names are still, not only present in the community, but prominent. they came home with a lot of money, they had the $800 bounty, $50 from the state, a federal bounty, soldiers getting $16 a month, and up to $12 a month of family support from the community, ultimately guaranteed by the state. so in the course of that year which they did not serve, they served nine months, ultimately over the course of that time, you could earn $1300, which is about four years wages in that period, in 1861, a laborer got a
dollar a day. if you worked six days a week 50 weeks a year, you got $300. the poor man from the hill districts who enlisted earlier on in the war, did not fare so well. the village of north conway -- i have to tell you about north conway because i know many of you have heard of that tourist trap, that unfortunately, is in the same municipal township that i am in, so i have to pay the taxes for their exploitation of tourism -- that community provided two soldiers during the entire civil war. one of them was a short timer. both of them came home.
they represent about 4% of the eligible men in the village. out in the hill districts, where people owned nothing were very little, the enlistment rate was about 24%. of those who enlisted, 30% died. their names are no longer on the tax registration rolls or the voter lists in conway. i don't know anybody in the town who has the name of any of those early soldiers, who was at all related to them. so it seems rather clear to me, that there was a connection
between money and enlistment. a, it seemed obvious that the poor had carried the burden of the war, at least, in my hometown. b, it seemed that money had something to do with their enlistment. because, the poorer they were, the more the compensation appealed to them. i had read -- jim mcpherson had written about civil war soldier motivation about this time and he concluded that union soldiers enlisted primarily for patriotic motives and partially, for all -- altruistic motives. patriotic meaning, they enlisted to save the union. all to a stick, and a few other motives that he deduced from reading a lot of manuscripts. i wrote to him, i sent him the results of my local study. those of you who know jim mcpherson must know, he is probably the most kindhearted person working in this field. although i was just a wood chuck the north country, he engaged in a little exchange, postal exchange with me on this subject. he suggested that people make life choices for a variety of reasons. but that maybe patriotism wasn't the sole reason some enlisted, that maybe altruism wasn't, maybe money was not. he discounted the money issue. he said for instance, i am going off to speak in a couple of weeks, and i am getting paid for it, but i am not going because of money.
and my response to that, at least internally, was, well that is the difference between you and me, because if i don't get paid, i am not going anywhere. [laughter] but there are many differences between me and jim mcpherson. for instance, i mentioned how kindhearted he is. but for many years, i supposed that perhaps, he was right. that maybe money was not the that maybe money was not the overriding issue, maybe it wasn't that much of an issue. but then, i started writing what i thought was going to be a book about the opening phases of the civil war, but as usual, i don't know when to stop what i'm doing, and before i knew it, i had a four volume history of the civil war from the union perspective.
but that first volume involved the battle of balls bluff. and with any topic that i look into, i dive into the details. some people say, into two great an extent, but i don't think so. one thing i did was look at the rosters of all the people that fought in that battle. the first thing i noticed among the massachusetts regiments, which were numerous, was how many shoemakers there were on the rosters. one regiment was composed of 24, 25% shoemakers. another one had 30% of its roster consisting of shoemakers, another had 33%. about the same time, i ran across a labor journal article about the shoemakers' strike of
1860. it was the largest single labor action in u.s. history before the civil war. it started in lynn, massachusetts, and ultimately spread around eastern massachusetts. the author estimated that about half of what he supposed were 40,000 shoemakers, went out on strike. shoemaking at that time -- over 30 or 40 years -- had been transformed from a cottage industry, where craftsman made custom shoes for individuals to basically sweatshop labor. as with any industrialized labor, the emphasis was on more production, but certainly not more compensation. shoemakers in 1860 were making as little as $3.50 or more per week. the rent for a
house for a family was three dollars a week. room and board was $2.75 per week. so whole families a lot of times, had to go into the shops to make a living. the problem was, they didn't have enough money to save any in for the strike so, the strike only lasted a few weeks and eventually, they went back to work. so they went back to work, and they lost all those wages. the shoemaking trade in those days used to have a slump toward the early autumn, then it would pick up late in the year, i suppose, when southerners would start buying shoes after going barefoot all summer. when westerners used to buy boots for the winter.
but it didn't happen that year. had been an election -- there had been an election in a large percentage of the country, was this really upset by the person elected -- was it viscerally upset by the person elected. if that was not their president, they were pulling out of the game. any imagine anybody being that upset about an election? one of the things they did was stop doing business with northerners. they stopped buying goods from them. they stop sending cotton up there. the shoemakers were sort of the canary in the coal mine doing the little recession, they were the first to suffer when it nobody hired them back in the fall, but it was a fairly widespread recession. the textile industry in new england was impacted as well, manufacturing in new york and philadelphia was heavily affected. out in the west, you had a currency crisis. in those days, of course, individual banks issued all the
money that you used. if you were living here in gettysburg, you might have your pocket full of bills from the adams county trust, if there is such a bank, and perhaps, there is. in the east, those banks used to keep gold on hand to back their bills, usually about 10% of whatever you had issued. out in the west, a lot of banks are into eudora secured their issues on southern bonds -- guaranteed or secured the money they issued on southern bonds and suddenly, those bonds did not look very good. they were worthless. as a result, nobody had an money to buy anything and if you have
something to tell, you couldn't get rid of it. and believe me, people had plenty to sell after the harvest of 1860. then, there was the simple issue of uncertainty. even today, we hear that uncertainty is the worst thing that can happen to business. and it happened, then. people stopped investing, nobody wanted to put any money out, even if they had good money. it seems to be quite a recession, that as long as i have been interested in the civil war, -- and i can tell you a story that i have been, recognizably interested since i was five years old, -- i have never read about this recession. so i started looking back through the classic histories that i had on the shelf. i looked at allan nevins, he had the eight volume history of the
civil war period, two volumes of which were devoted to the emergence of lincoln the surrounded this time period. in those 4000 pages, he spent one short our graph talking about what he called "the premonitory signs of a financial crisis." " premonitory." it hadn't happened. another historian what a look on the civil war in 1950, and he spent quite a bit of time on economics, a couple dozen pages i think, and he was focusing on the tariff issues. he also was concerned about what people feared what happened in the economy. he did say that there were some business slowdowns, but that turns out to have been a considerable understatement. as recently as 10 years ago, harold holster wrote a book about the period between the
election and of lincoln. although i did find a sentence in which he talked about the fear of a recession, there was no talk of a recession itself. so, i started looking back to the newspapers, from just before the start of the war, which frankly i hadn't pored overmuch before. the war began in april 12, 1861, and before that, nothing really seems to matter. but when i started looking at newspapers from 1860-1861, looking specifically, at evidence of economic turmoil, it was pretty hard to miss, it was
all over the place. the new york journal of commerce, i have a couple of quotes here. three weeks after the election, the newspaper said that 12,000 factory workers in new york city alone, had lost their jobs as a result of the crisis. they said the complaint is general that the times are hard and growing worse. it is probable that before the winter closes most of the manufacturing establishments in new england will suspend operations and thousands of the laboring people will be thrown out of employment. another newspaper on the other side of the state two days later, in a town that was both a textile town and a shoe making town reported that the workmen in the shoe towns are generally without employment. this is january 4. and there seems for them a gloomy prospect for the remainder of the winter. the "philadelphia inquirer," 1861 said 40% of the factory workers in that city were either out of work or were not working enough to support themselves. in february. and that continued, you would
expect the material production for the war would kind of jump-start the economy but that didn't happen immediately. there was a so much backlog of inventory that it didn't happen for quite some time. in rhode island, which was the most proportionately heavily industrialized state in the country, they were hit particularly hard. that was a state where 55% of the people were so poor they claimed no income. the median income for rhode island in 1860 was zero. the median wealth. the providence post in rhode island said on august 3, three fourths of our laboring classes out of steady work. every day, we meet sober, industrious men with large
families who say that for three months past, they have not been able to learn -- earn but two dollars or three dollars. most have earned but little for the last eight months. count back eight months, that's the election. so there is your evidence that there was a recession. so when the shooting starts and they start asking for troops who is going to an list. what are all of these unemployed people going to do? they are going off to war, and sure enough, the randolph county journal and winchester, indiana, on may 16, 1861 reports, the army furnishes employment for many, and the indianapolis daily journal on july 6 says that men without property, business, or employment are ready to make war their permanent calling. beards town, illinois, was a river town. it was on the illinois river, and river traffic had been dead for a long time. as of the end of april, there was an effective blockade, before that, there was a
voluntary blockade. there were no goods going down river because there was no one buying them, no passengers coming up river. there was no reason to travel, and the editor of the beards town paper, who obviously wrote exactly as he spoke, apprised his readers that a local fellow was recruiting for the war and he said there is a great many men out of employment who might as well take a little trip as not. the pay of volunteers has been increased and there is now more clear money in that business than any other that we know of. that certainly was true. communities were adding to the money that you could get from the army. the status of vermont agreed on, i think april 26, 1861, to pay every vermont soldier, everyone who enlisted in a vermont regiment, wherever they were from, an additional seven dollars a month on their $11 a
month pay which is raised to $13 in august. in september of 1861, the vermont herald reported that aside from all considerations of duty and patriotism, no business pays so well as soldiering nowadays. $20 per month from the date of enlistment and all expenses paid is not to be despised in these hard times. indeed, it wasn't. you couldn't get $20 a month and keep as a farmhand. so there is your evidence that the pool of unemployed people were being targeted for enlistment. now, you need some evidence that people were either enlisting or not enlisting because of the money. out in indiana, a young fellow writing to a woman named miriam
green said, on july 11, 1861, as long as i have work to do, i shall not go, but if i run out of work and they want more men, then maybe he would enlist. one of the most interesting collections in this regard that i have come across is that of hugh carlyle. it gives you an idea of the different views that veterans had of their service years later, as opposed to what they thought at the time. both anlyle left original journal and a handwritten memoir in his papers. he was an 18-year-old compositeor in the newspaper business in 1861. out of work and he walked all across ohio looking for jobs. from springfield to mount
vernon, stopping at every newspaper to ask, do you have any work? the best he could get was maybe a meal and an offer to sleep for the night on the couch in the office. he walked all the way into northeastern ohio. finally he found a job for five weeks but it was a five-week job, probably until some fellow in the 90-day service returned, and when it was up he had to leave. again there was nothing to be , had. finally, he enlisted. that is what you get from his journal. from the memoir, he wrote probably four decades later, he explained that he didn't enlist at the very outset. he almost apologized for it because he said he was afraid his father would not allow him to enlist, give him permission. well, it's true that young men were basically the property of their fathers until they were 21, but you really think his father wouldn't have given him permission? he let him walk all over ohio with no money looking for work. and for that matter, do you think he really needed his
permission? i think of that 15-year-old kid i tell you about my hometown. here is another one? alford wheeler, from connecticut, originally, left home at the age of 15 looking for work in hartford, couldn't find it. wrote back to his brother and said, is there anything back in town yet? there wasn't. went to new york, nothing there. went to philadelphia, nothing there. august of 1861, he writes to his mother, still 15 years old. you asked why he enlisted, he said, when i left home i had not the least idea of it. i thought i would try to get employment. not finding any, i decided to enlist. there was a young carpenter named fernando davis in new hampshire, who enlisted and then tried to sell his brother on it. privates here have $13 a month
and found, they get their keep as well, food, clothing, housing as well as pay. the state gives $10 when you're mustard into service and at the end of the war the government gives $100 a, so the pay is inducement enough without any other. plenty of people thought that way. there is a fellow from central new york who went out to iowa to try to make his fortune. co., his name was. he went out to council bluffs, and he stayed there a month, he his mother. -- he told his mother. -- councilso bluffs bluffs very much. i stayed a month intending to get into some kind of business but everything was dull and promised to remain so until after the war was over and i concluded to enlisted. so there is your evidence that
people were enlisting for the money. and it was appealing to them. now, as was mentioned, i like to base my research on original resources, contemporary resources, not memoirs. i don't really trust memoirs. i'll use them if there is nothing else, but i think they should be taken with several quarts of salt. but the manuscript material that we have, although there are thousands of collections across the country are not that representative of the union army as a whole. i mean, let's say there were 20,000 collections of union manuscripts, letters and diaries, not counting memoirs. that's quite a few, and, as all of us who do this research find, there is always more to be found. but it's still only reflective of, at most, 2% of the union army, and in my estimate, more who 1% of all those people
enlisted from my hometown, over the course of more than half a century, i have never found a single letter or diary from any of them. so how representative is that manuscript trove? probably not very much. so you need something else, and i think that something else is statistical information, and i have that too. i will go into that very briefly, and more if someone should happen to want to know about it afterwards. thanks to a project at the university of minnesota, i think it's called, i hope i get it right, integrated public use microdata series, which did acer -- a survey of the 1860 census. i was finally able to come up with median wealth for every state in the union. it's a very difficult calculation to make for an individual.
with that survey of that 1860 census, it was possible. in the article i wrote back in the 1980s about my hometown, i was only able to view average wealth and that's not very revealing. median wealth divides any population exactly in half into a poorer half, if it's economic, and a richer half. it doesn't necessarily mean you were poor or rich on either side of it, but it certainly is a line of demarcation. and then i started surveying the first companies that enlisted from each state during each of seven recruiting periods during the war and i started chasing down all of the people on each of those companies. there were close to 9,000 people involved, and i was able to find, i didn't find quite 2/3 of them but it was about 2/3, i was able to find, and i discovered that on average, union soldiers in those groups, which were
supposedly the most patriotic soldiers, they were the first to defend the flag, 66% of them throughout the war came from the poorer half of the population. and at the very outset some of the figures were significantly higher. in many states, 80% of the men who enlisted in the first company were from the poorer half of the population. new jersey was 89%. the figure is somewhat ameliorated by the nine-month troops and the hundred day soldiers, if you've heard of those. there was a hundred-day drive in 1864 that was filled mainly with rich people who wanted the guaranteed rear echelon duty of short term, and the majority of those regiments were composed of the richer half of the population. but the fighting regiments were about 70% from
the poorer half of the population. now, i didn't notice what time pete started me here, it was supposed to be a quarter to 4:00, and that's sort of what i'm working on. i was asked to speak for about 45 minutes, and i want to tell you, i brought a watch to be sure that i followed that request. i haven't had a watch for years because i work at home. i don't care what time it is. i never know what day it is. every day is the same to me, but i didn't want, you know, to abuse the hospitality here, so i went out to my local hardware store and bought a watch last tuesday and i came home and my wife saw it and said, where did you get a and how much was it? and i told her, and she reminded me that i had only recently said that we really need to cut back on expenses. well, i have lived with her long
enough now that i know how to defend myself and i said, this was a business expense. i need that for gettysburg so i know when to shut up and she said, well, then, it was a complete waste of money because there isn't a wristwatch made with an alarm loud enough that will tell you that. so i think with that, i'll ask if there are any questions. see pete gesticulating. is this on? >> one question. mike from boston, massachusetts, do you have any sense of what was going on in the confederacy related this kind of subject? >> i do, thanks -- you mean in relation to the economics? >> yes, sir. i do, thanks to joe. he did a similar study of
confederate soldiers. confederate enlisted for many different reasons and much different from union soldiers. from my own perspective, my guess is, and was before i knew about joe's work, that confederate money was worth so little and the bounties were so small that it wouldn't have been much of an inducement anyway. besides which, they had much , and thosecription people were, like it or not, were defending their homeland, which had some impact on people's enlistment, in the north, it didn't seem to have that much impact until they invaded pennsylvania. you got a few short-term troops coming in. but they didn't have that threat quite so much. but this is, as i say it's , simply an analysis of union motivation.
when i was working on that four volume history of the war, for instance, a lot of reviewers, there are some reviewers i would like to get my hands on, but there are some reviewers who have complained that i didn't point out what the problems were in the confederacy, but i wasn't writing about the confederacy and i'm not here either but joe -- has concluded as well that economics did not -- money didn't have much of a pull amongst the confederates. ok. i was looking for raised hands, but now i'll go over here and ask this fellow what he would like to ask. >> john -- from charlestown, west virginia. to the extent that the federal government was like kind of pitching joining the army as a way to earn money, in what ways did they sort of get that
message across? you mentioned that it came out of newspapers, this is a good way to earn money, but was that reflected in recruitment posters? >> oh, yes. >> when i think of recruitment posters, early ones are very flashy and bright. >> yes. did y'all hear that? all right. i had a hard time hearing it myself, but i think i have it. as the war progressed, the pica size of the type on the dollar value of the bounty group. as the war became more unpopular and bloodier, the dollar sign group. that is the visual aspect of it. value was the dollar increased as -- it became -- enlisting became less appealing, you know, they had saturated the poor, and enlisted as many of them as who were you going to go, and then they had to bump
the bounty up to get men in the next economic strata. >> i was just wondering if perhaps you have data about the difference between native born industrial labor as opposed to immigrant soldiers who enlisted in the army, who, many of them would have been in that lower half of the economic -- >> the short answer is no, i did not divide that way. but you could, you know, some regiments, you can look at, like, i think it was the 42nd new york, was heavily -- i'm 3/4 irish, so i could say infested with irish, but if i had done a study of their economic background, if it were possible. one thing i did find was that companies that were made up
heavily of immigrants, irish and german immigrants, tended to -- i had less success finding them on the senses. i think in many cases it was because they were either transient during the census or they had come subsequently. i do know, though, that the city of boston, the cradle of abolition sent to germany, to lure people as laborers, to massachusetts, and they had agreed to work for anyone who employed them and they sent them straight into the army to keep the boston bra mans from having to go. go. that's as far as i've gone with that. although my survey was kind of extensive in numbers, it was really very rudimentary. the only people in my house who have had a course in statistics are my wife and my daughter. i relied on them for a lot of
the nomenclature involved, but i expect others and hope others will look at the statistics a little more closely. so-called, is supposed to go on the harvard data website, and i just discovered that the form i have it in is not acceptable, it didn't work. and so i'm going to have to translate it somehow to get it on. >> thank you. >> sure. >> jon huber from sarasota, florida. what happened to the bounties and what happened to all the emoluments once the draft started? >> they rose considerably because the draft was not meant to drag people into service. the draft was meant to encourage volunteering. and the draft deadline kept moving ahead. one of the slipperiest people in the lincoln administration kept
-- the first thing he did when he issued the nine-month draft levy of 1862 was put an 11-day deadline on it and then he started extending it, because the idea was the local communities would pick up the money to get these people in so that those people in the community who didn't want to serve, which was, frankly, a majority of the people, would not have to be forced into service. >> i'm wondering if you could comment on age as a factor and household wealth, because it seems to me that if the majority of these volunteers are young men in their late teens and early 20s, they are not going to have had time to accumulate a lot of wealth in their lives. they might not have inherited their parent's estate or purchase land in an agricultural society so it makes sense that they would not be all that well to do. >> that's true, and that's why i chose family wealth as opposed
to individual wealth. if a soldier was 18 years old or less, and lived at home, i counted his father's wealth. -- there were, in most cases, the head of the household indicated the family wealth. sometimes, people in the family added wealth to that. i did not count that while i was looking for the median figure for each state deliberately, so as to bring the media lower. but when i was calculating whether someone was below median income, if there was someone in the household who had extra monday i added that in. again, to make a conservative estimate of it. but, an 18-year-old whose father owned, say, $2,000 in real estate was above the median, as far as i was concerned. >> al from pennsylvania.
did the initiation of u.s. color troops in 1863 have any effect on any of your survey? >> i did not calculate black soldiers, partly because, they had obvious reasons, for going that might have been mistaken for economic, or probably not, and it was impossible to tell what their wealth had been, in most cases, in 1860. the effect that they had mostly was in dropping the substitute cost because they would take less money, but that didn't really factor into whether they enlisted for that, that reason. mostly it was the substitute brokers who were taking advantage of them. bill, mainville ohio. this subject of surrogates or proxies, in my home state, the buckeye state, john d. rockefeller, i think, was
cleveland. i've heard that he had as many as 34 surrogates are proxies. two questions. who had the record for proxies in the civil war, secondly, how much would a proxy or surrogate, how much would that be? i don't know of any who hired more than one, so i wouldn't know what the maximum is. if the so-called proxies you're talking about are either substitutes or the infamous representative recruit, a representative recruit was for someone who was not eligible for the draft but one of to contribute. abraham lincoln had one. he was too old to serve. women often hired representative recruits and these were people who were vetted for honesty and sometimes they were veterans themselves. the substitutes, most people hired substitutes so they would be ineligible for the draft, at least for the three years that
that substitute and listed. so i don't know. as for the money, that rose at the very end of the war, skyrocketed. in fact, the major piece of evidence that the civil war was a poor man's fight was the commutation cause. the $300 commutation clause that kept substitute prices down, because substitutes had to compete with that commutation clause. if you are drafted, you could pay $300 band out -- and be out of that particular draft. if you hired a substitute you good for us -- you were good for three years. substitutes were $500 to begin with, $600. once the commutation clause was removed in i think june of 1964, substitutes started charging a
$1000 $1,100, $1,200, $1,500. georgia templeton strong said, i think it was in june 1964, when rich people suddenly realized, we may not be able to get a substitute and they got authorization to hire a substitute ahead of the draft, as sort of prophylactic protection from the draft and george templeton strong said he had paid $1,100 for a big dutch boy to take his place, which would make sure that every time strong complained about why don't they draft more men, they wouldn't draft him. man? -- ma'am? >> was there any point when -- california.
was there any point when the economy began to improve and desertions would go up higher? >> what was the last of that? >> was there kind of the reverse of what you're saying, if the economy improved? >> yes. in fact, that is another reason that the bounties had to start going up, because when war production finally kicked in and people started finding jobs, they didn't want to enlist anymore. she makers -- someone in, i think it was december of 1862 said, shoe makers in eastern massachusetts are making more than they ever have before, so they weren't enlisting anymore and the bounties had to go up. that's why you had more exploitation of immigrant volunteers. >> erwin from st. louis, missouri. and going through some records, genealogical records in st. louis, i came across an ancestor of mine who had come over from germany in -- before the war.
and some prominent citizens that also enlisted at the same time, and i was wondering, was there a citizenship incentive for people to enlist in the union army at that time? >> was there a citizenship incentive? >> yeah, you could become a citizen and bypass the process or anything like that, in order to become a citizen? >> no -- well, not that i know of offhand. were anhat if you immigrant, you are ineligible for the draft unless you applied for citizenship. the mere application for citizenship made you eligible for the draft. i don't know of any specific offer, but it certainly wouldn't hurt, but the main thing was money. you got money to enlist. and if you're an immigrant, with nothing, then maybe you want
that. i don't know if i understand your question entirely. >> for example, going through the list of enlistments, in st. louis, i came across august bush, who was a recent immigrant, and money would not have been an incentive for him, so i don't know why he would have enlisted at that point and that's why i thought perhaps, perhaps he could avoid the citizenship process and just become directly a citizen. it was towards the end of the war, though, it was not early on. i was late in the war. >> lay in the war. ok. well, i know in missouri, early in the war, there was a great, a lot of economic disruption, and i actually -- i don't know if i have them here but i have some quotes from germans who enlisted in st. louis early in the war. why he would have enlisted later, i don't know, i don't know enough about august bush to tell you. i didt drink beer, but if --
>> you said you were irish didn't you? ,>> gin. i like gin. i don't know of any, no. i see somebody creeping up on me. my watch isn't telling me. are we out of questions? good, because i'm out of answers. thank you very much. [applause] >> you are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming of american history every weekend on c-span3. follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with latest history news. >> pat schroeder served in the u.s. house of representatives 1977 as a democrat
from colorado. she was one of only 14 congresswomen. she talks about balancing work with raising a family. and her experience is one of the founding members of the women's caucus. historian of the conducted this interview which is about an hour and 40 minutes. >> my name is kathleen johnson. today we are happy to be interviewing former congresswoman pat schroeder from colorado. this interview is for the jeannette rankin oral history 105tht to commemorate the election andf her swearing-in to congress. thank you for coming. >> i'm delighted to be here. >> we wanted to