Ipswich, Massachusetts, Civil War Original Enrollment and Instruction Books
Two 8 x 10 in. notebooks, one with paper cover, one with soft cloth cover and leather spine. The first seems to be a "scratch" or draft notebook and the second a "clean" copy. Inside the first is a loose sheet with later notes: "Former Property of Abraham I. Wait / Enrolling Officer of Ipswich, Mass." (The Abraham Wait house still stands at 12 Market Street in Ipswich, built in 1832. Abraham and his brother operated a shoe store on Market St.)
The instructions indicate that Wait was to list all men who would be between 20 and 45 years of age on July 1, 1863 and aliens with the intention of becoming citizens. This was to comply with the Conscription Act passed by Congress in March, the first wartime draft in American history. The Act included provisions for exemption that could be purchased for $300, meaning only the wealthy could get out of military service. This led to draft riots in New York City and other places. There had been a conscription act passed during the War of 1812, but the war ended before it could be implemented. There have been requirements at various times since the Revolution that all adult men arm themselves and join militia units, but this was not a draft per se.
The first notebook contains one page of instructions plus a loose sheet (not from either notebook) with additional instructions ("For Foreigners, use the terms Naturalized, has taken out his first papers, Not Naturalized." And "Be particular in spelling every name correctly, and write plainly and distinctly.") The following pages have lists of names, ages, some have occupations, and remarks, such as the individual was serving in a unit, or insane, or the only son of a "Widder." (so much for spelling...) Each name was then crossed out, presumably as they were transferred to the clean copy. A random check of a handful of names in each notebook indicates that the names were in both books.
The second notebook has cut indexing on the pages. Each group has a letter glued to the tab ("A," "B," etc.) and the headers from military forms glued to the first page. Columns include town of "Residence," Name, "Age July 1st, 1863," "White or Colored," occupation, married or single, "Place of Birth," "Former Military Service" and "Remarks." On the front pastedown is a printed instruction sheet from the Board of Enrollment, Salem, [MA], May 23, 1863. This gives specific exemptions, also. For example, No. 1 is mentally or physically unfit. No. 5 is The father of motherless children under twelve years of age, dependent on his labor for support. Most of the others also have to do with the man being the only support for dependent family members - aging parents, widows, children, etc. One interesting example is No. 3: When there are two or more sons of aged or infirm parents, subject to draft, the father, or, if he be dead, the mother, may elect which son shall be exempt. On the ffep is a newspaper clipping of men who are exempt from service with reasons for exemptions for the towns of Hamilton and Ipswich. Fortunately, for them they list only "disability," not what exact type. The notebooks are not quite as kind. There are a couple clearly marked "insane" or, "injury in the head has affected his intellect." The "scratch" notebook has a few details, such as the nature of disabilities. Other than mental problems, there is one man who lost the ends of both thumbs, others with broken bones. When these were copied into the "clean" book, they often note only the exemption number, such as "Exempt No. 1," or Exempt No. 5" - two fairly common ones.
A quick scan through these pages indicates that many men who were already enlisted were serving in the 14th or 48th Mass. Vols., with a few more in the 23rd. There are also a number in the Heavy Artillery unit at Fort Warren. A few men who were sailors before the draft were serving in the navy; Moses Henderson was a Master's Mate, for example. The 14th MA Vols. was a 6-month unit and the 48th was 9-months. The 23rd was a 3-year unit that also veteranized. Most of these men served from September 1861 until June 1865 (M.O. at New Berne, NC).
An extensive listing of service-aged men in Ipswich in 1863 with information not in the census records.
Overall very good. Bindings are holding and all pages present. Expected toning and foxing, much associated with areas of adhesive. The "white out" of the day was to glue a piece of paper over the error and enter the data correctly. That glue has since darkened.