The Civil War in Missouri

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The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.

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Receipt for Bounty Paid to William Byer, 41st Missouri Infantry (Union)

MHM Archives

As the war progressed, monetary incentives were offered in order to make enlistment quotas. The $200 bonus—equivalent to about $2,800 today—that Byer, a saddler, received to enlist for a year’s service was a substantial sum, and he would still receive his monthly pay—$13 for a private. Byer may have used the money to help support his family; at 17 years old he had to have his father’s consent to join.