Exemption in the Civil War
A newspaper's tongue-in-cheek advice on how to get out of war service in 1862. From the St. Joseph, Mo. Morning Herald September 10, 1862, page 3.
"Who are exempt. In these days, every man is eager to be pronounced exempt from military duty. We confess it surprises us to see patriotism thus exhibited by our Union men; but such is life. Every expedient has been resorted to by the shirks, and we now offer them the benefit of our reading. –If a Sergeant calls on you to enroll or enlist and you be a married man, please draw the Bible on him; turn to Deuteronomy, 24th chap. 5th verse and read these words to the ungodly man of war:
'When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business; but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he has taken.'
Here, certainly, is high authority for an exemption on the part of all young married men. If your marriage license is more than a year old, like the thoughtful swain, you can have it 'Dated back to cover accidents'. We are really anxious to learn if Governor Gamble ignores this 'higher law' and compels our newly blessed ducky-dilvers [perhaps meant to be ducky-divers?] to endure the heat and burden of the day of wrath which rebels have forced upon us. What saith Gen. Hall to this knotty theological question?"
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