Pocket sized paperback printing of the 1863 Enrollment Act, printed in New York by James W. Fortune, 102 Center Street. The booklet measures 4 3/8” by 3” and is 32 pages with advertisements scattered throughout. The Enrollment Act of 1863, enacted March 3, 1863, was an Act passed by the United States Congress during the American Civil War to provide fresh manpower for the Union Army. The Act was the first genuine national conscription law. The law required the enrollment of every male citizen and those immigrants (aliens) who had filed for citizenship, between 20 and 45 years of age, unless exempted by the Act. The Act replaced the Militia Act of 1862. It set up under the Union Army an elaborate machine for enrolling and drafting men for conscription. Quotas were assigned in each state, and each congressional district, with deficiencies in volunteers being met by conscription. In some cities, particularly New York City, enforcement of the act sparked civil unrest as the war dragged on, leading to the New York City draft riots on July 13–16, 1863. The policies of substitution and commutation were controversial practices that allowed drafted citizens to opt out of service by either furnishing a suitable substitute to take their place or paying $300. Both provisions were created to soften the effect of the draft on pacifists, the anti-draft movement, and the propertied classes. The result, however, was general public resentment of both policies. The two practices were major points of contention among the general public and led directly to the slogan "rich man's war, poor man's fight."
Comes housed in an 8 x 14 inch display case with black velvet backing and descriptive card.