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Re: Were African Americans drafted under the 1863 Militia Act?

I really appreciate the contributions so far and will dig into the references that are coming in.

I'm grateful to Prof. Oakes for his clarification about the discussion of "drafting" blacks into the Union Army.  But I fear he misunderstands me, so I'll try to be a little clearer, if possible.

Re: Were African Americans drafted under the 1863 Militia Act?

I have done a little research on this in Kansas. To my knowledge, no, there were no black draftees in 1863.

Though, in Kansas and Missouri, some who served in USCI regiments had been impressed into service and many in the 1st and 2nd Kansas Colored had previously served in Lane's Brigade. James Lane recruited black regiments under the Militia Act of 1862 (despite protests from higher ups that this was illegal). They were not formally mustered into service until 1863. This was not a draft, however.

Re: Were African Americans drafted under the 1863 Militia Act?

This legislative language looks like the Enrollment Act of March, 1863. This addressed federal conscription and was passed after the problems of the Militia Act of 1862, which passed around June or so. This earlier act specified a state operated draft for militia units to meet any call-ups by the President. In August, 1862, Lincoln called up 300,000 nine month state militia. Partly this call up was to goad more men to volunteer for the previous call for 300,000 3-year service men for the volunteer regiments.

Re: Were African Americans drafted under the 1863 Militia Act?

Peter,
I did a close study of an area in western Kentucky on the Ohio River and the slave population there was not entered into the Union draft until early 1864. I suspect that was the same scenario for the rest of the Bluegrass State. Local whites were irate that their names were literally mixed in the same box with their slave's names.
Mike Crane, UAFS

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