THE CONSCRIPT LAW IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE
The attention of our Middle Tennessee readers is directed to the proclamation of Gov. Harris in our paper of to-day, in reference to the conscript law in that portion of the State. The law will be strictly enforced, and none who are subject to it need think of escaping even if they have the desire to do so. Congress, it is true, has passed a law saying that the president may accept all companies, battalions and regiments organized in Middle and West Tennessee before the 1st of December, but whether it will be done rests alone in the discretion of the President , and we learn that he is not disposed to accept any regiments until he old ones are filled. But whether he does or not, that does not authorize men subject to the law to stay out of the army refusing to join either old or new regiments under the expectation that the law is not to be enforced until the first of December. Really there is nothing in the worked conscript to which so many seem to object. By the provisions of the law all men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five are conscripts, that is they have considered in the military service of the country, liable to be put in the field whenever the exigencies of the service require it to be done.. The twelve months men who organized under the conscript law, the men who have since joined old or new regiments, and the men who are enrolled are all alike in the military service of the country by operation of laws. There is no such thing as volunteering now in the true sense of the word, although we have been in the habit of using it to distinguish those who go into the army now without being enrolled and required to report themselves to an officer at a camp of instruction. All attempts at evasion of the law will be strictly watched and guarded against. We have heard of some attempts of this sorts which are alluded in a communication signed "A Tennessee Volunteer," and similar ones will be made, but they will be of no avail. The law must and will be impartially enforced, and especially will it not be allowed to screen such enemies of our cause as are mentioned by "A Tennessee Volunteer." We hope that all men liable to military duty will join either an old or new regiment and thus preserve the high character of Tennessee for gallantry and devotion to the cause of our country.
Chattanooga Daily Rebel, October 29, 1862
29, "'As the conscript is now upon us, and there will no doubt be a good deal of management in certain localities, and by certain men to evade it....' A TENNESSEE VOLUNTEER"
"Look for Tartans Under Contract."
As the conscript is now upon us, and there will no doubt be a good deal of management in certain localities, and by certain men to evade it, I wish through your columns to put the proper authorities upon their guard, as to one trick that may possibly be played off upon them, unless they keep their eyes open.
From certain movements I believe there are men- who have voluntarily taken the oath of allegiance to the United States, and have had the address and meanness, notwithstanding their oath, to procure large contracts, at enormous prices, under the government of the Confederate States, and then employ several able bodied young men to do work that old men, or crippled soldiers could do, as well as anybody. A nice scheme indeed to weaken the southern forces, and fill their pockets with southern money at outrageous prices for their work. And now I ask: is it right is it good sense, is it prudent to suffer men to escape conscription under a government contract, who apart from such contracts area as clearly embraced in the conscript law as any man, and who as voluntarily sworn to support the government of our enemies, now a at war with us, and then under that contract employ and screen from service in the army such able bodied men as would otherwise be conscripted, when those not subject to the conscript law could do the work just as well.
Chattanooga Daily Rebel, October 29, 1862.
29, A religious revival in the Cherry Creek community
....There is a big meeting going on not far from Mr. Hampton's and his little son went one night and someone stole his mule bridle and saddle. Mr. Hampton does not believe in the way they carry on their big meetings, and I agree with him. I do not think I am an enemy to religion. I do not want to be, but I do not think if anything in the world requires calmness and deliberation, that is that thing. I think there are hundreds, especially the young, that are carried away by the excitement and understand nothing at all of the doctrines of religion.
Fiddles in the Cumberlands, p. 251.