The Civil War in Missouri

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Certificate of Exemption Issued to John Richardson for Hiring a Substitute, December 23, 1864

MHM Archives

Drafts were first enacted by the Confederate Congress in April 1862, and then by the U.S. Congress in July 1863, to counter manpower shortages in their armies. John Richardson’s name was drawn from the pool of eligible men—all male citizens between 20 and 35 years old and unmarried men 35 to 45—in the Union’s last draft lottery held in December 1864. He avoided enlistment by hiring a substitute to serve for him, a common practice for those who could afford it. One St. Louisan, August Habloch, paid $700 for a substitute.