From Civilian to SoldierGo Back
Recruitment notices in Missouri often appealed to men's sense of public duty and allegiance. As the war continued, monetary incentives were offered in order to make enlistment quotas. When the draft was enacted, a drafted man could avoid enlisting by hiring a substitute.
Farmers, millers, slaves, merchants, and refugees all made their way to the nearest post to join. Both the Union and Confederate armies prohibited women from enlisting, yet dozens of them did so by changing their names and disguising themselves as men. Many young people answered the call and served as messengers, hospital orderlies, and drummers. In 1863, black men, whether enslaved or free, were deemed eligible for the Union army, although the black soldier faced two enemies: the opposing army and the prejudice within his own ranks.
Even those who didn't go into battle saw their lives change as they were forced to take on additional roles and responsibilities back on the home front.