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A Late-War Draft in New Orleans
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[NOTICE OF DRAFT]. Partially Printed Document Signed by G. W. Richardson as assistant commissary of musters. Notice of Draft to William S. G. Green. New Orleans, Louisiana, April 12, 1865. 1 p.; with envelope addressed to Green at 467 Tchoupitoulas Street.

Inventory #21264.11       Price: $175

Excerpt:

You are hereby notified that you were on the 12th day of April 1865, legally drafted into the service of the United States, for the period of One year....

Historical Background

In October 1864, General Edward R. S. Canby, commander of the Military Division of West Mississippi, which included the Department of the Gulf, stopped all conscription in Louisiana and Arkansas. On January 8, 1865, Canby ordered a new draft in the Departments of Arkansas, Mississippi, and the Gulf, unless quotas had been fulfilled by enlistments. On January 17, General Stephen A. Hurlbut, in charge of the Department of the Gulf, issued General Orders No. 2 to carry out the draft on February 15, 1865, to obtain the services of more than 5,100 men.

Subject to the draft were all able-bodied men, “white or colored,” between the ages of 20 and 45. Those exempt included veterans of two years or more of service in the United States army or navy, aliens who had not voted, and physically disqualified persons.

On May 1, 1865, Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas halted recruitment of black troops, but many had been conscripted in the New Orleans draft.

William Lloyd Garrison Green (1834-1867) was born in Reading, Massachusetts, and in 1856, he was a boot and shoe dealer in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He married Sarah F. Orne in October 1858, in Newburyport. In 1860, he was a reporter in Chelsea. He was a local special agent of some type in New Orleans in April 1865, when he was drafted. He served in the 2nd Louisiana Infantry. With the initials of a staunch New England abolitionist, Green may have found it more expedient to use the initial of “S,” from his father’s first name, while travelling in the South and Mid-Atlantic.

George W. Richardson (1835-1877) was born in Massachusetts and was a 1st lieutenant in Company I of the 24th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and in Company C of the 67th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. Appointed assistant commissary of musters for the Department of the Gulf in August 1864, a position he held until March 1865, and then again for the draft in April 1865.


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