Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

The 1863 Draft for Upper Dauphin County

Posted By on May 1, 2011

In July of 1863, President Lincoln issued a proclamation ordering a draft to raise five hundred thousand men for the Union army. It was the first compulsory draft in American history.  The draft was intended to encourage enlistment, but in many cases it had the opposite effect.  Federal troops had to be called out in several states to enforce it – including in Pennsylvania – and opposition was particularly strong to a provision where a drafted man could pay $300 to a substitute who would take his place in the army.  Unskilled workers barely made $300 in a year and could not afford to pay to get out of the war.  This led to the statement that this was a “rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.”

Two previous posts focused on the draft conducted in 1862:  Pennsylvania Drafted Militia and the Draft of 1862; and Opposition to the Draft of 1862.

This post focuses on the draft held in August of 1863 in Dauphin County to fill the requirements of the federal draft.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer of 11 August 1863 (picture above):

The Draft at Harrisburg

Special to the Inquirer

Harrisburg – August 10 – The drawing in this city, commenced this morning, at seven o’clock, and passed off with entire good feeling.  The draft in Conewego and Derry townships and the first four wards of Harrisburg, in which four hundred and fifty names were drawn, was completed this afternoon.  Quite a number of negroes were among the victims.

A blind man who was also blind-folded, drew the names from the wheel.

Your correspondent was among the drafted.

From a story in The Evening Telegraph, of Harrisburg, 10-12 August 1863:

The conscription for Dauphin County was commenced this morning, by Marshal Clement, assisted by his associates in the board of enrollment.  An immense staging had been erected immediately in front of the Court House, where “the wheel of fortune” was put into operation, and as name after name of those drafted was drawn from the “box,” the crowd assembled gave vent to cheers, while such of the drafted as were present received the congratulation with a grace which showed at least the acquiescence the law receives at the hands of orderly and loyal men.  Indeed the good humor and decorum which prevailed during the entire proceeding of the draft today, is as much due to the decency, patriotism and intelligence of the people of Dauphin county, as it is to any vigor, efficiency or preparation on the part of those engaged in this delicate business….

Philip Ensminger, esq., a blind man, was blindfolded and drew the names from the wheel.  Mesrs. George J. Shoemaker and William Bergstresser, Democrats, and John J. Shoemaker, and Aaron Bombaugh, Republicans, occupied seats on the platform, by invitation, to see that everything was conducted fairly.

The results were reported by townships:

Halifax Township & Halifax Borough

Christian Shott — Samuel Hoke —- Amos Clenson —- Samuel Reisch —- Peter Chubb —- Henry Forman —- George Masoner —- William Hershberger —- Henry Nace —- Jacob H. Dunkle —- Jacob Zimmerman —- Jacob S. Wombough —- Jacob Mier —- James M. Parsons —- John Ferren —- Joseph Ziegler —- George N. Spiece —- George W. Lodge —- Simon Novinger —- Samuel Folckler —- Benjamin B. Brubaker —- John Proudfoot —- Philip Fitting —- Jacob Tyson —- Samuel Steel —- Josiah Jury —- David Shultz — John Bowes —- Henry Corsnits —- Philip Saultzbaugh —- Silas Lontz —- James Snyder —- Solomon File —- George Whitman —- Hiram Chubb —- John Barfield —- Samuel Greiner —- William H. Snyder

Jackson Township

Philip Zimmerman —- James Miller —- George Greiner —- Edward Shoap —- Henry Hoover —- Michael Miller —- Anrew D. Straw —- John E. Nace —- Charles E. Reigel —- Samuel Miller —- Samuel Fitting —- Joseph Keiter —- Samuel B. Miller —- Daniel Miller —- Josiah Hope —- Daniel Grim —- Daniel Witmer —- Michael Warfel —- John P. Miller —- John W. Bordner —- Moses Fender —- Joseph McLally

Jefferson Township

Samuel Sheetz —- Jacob Minnich —- Joseph Fauber —- Josiah Wilker —- Anthony Long —- John Bowerman —- Josiah Daupsey —- John Yerdes —- Joseph Paul —- Samuel Minnich —- Isaac Shiley —- John Hawk —- Jacob Rice —- Samuel Hoover —- John C. McCallain —- William Shoop —- William Miller —- John Sheetz —- George Scholander —- George Buffington —- Levi B. Frees —- Henry Buffington —- Samuel Lebo —- James Hoffman

Lykens Township and Gratz Borough

Andrew Riegel —- Emanuel Schoffstall —- Jacob Smiths —- Jonas Umholtz —- Daniel Tobias —- John D. Baum —- Henry Biery —- Henry Rickert —- Josiah R. Riegel —- George Knorr —- Henry B. Williard —- William Schockstrow —- John Willard —- Josiah Huber —- William Unger —- Jonas Keiser —- Solomon Gottshall —- Cornelius Hawk —- Aaron Raber —- Charles Coleman —- Joseph Reisinger —- Isaac Hoffman —- Thomas Huber —- Joel Daniel —- Samuel Buffington —- elias Kissinger —- Samuel Shell —- Jacob Romberger —- Zachariah Laudenslager —- Franklin Laudenslager —- Franklin Fidler — Samuel Klinger —- Jonas Hoffman —- Daniel Coleman —- Joseph Sallady

Mifflin Township

William Welker —- John W. Deibler —- George H. Rumbarger —- Jeremiah Harman —- Daniel Bardner —- Jeremiah H. Enterline —- John B. Disher —- Martin Straub —- John readel —- John Fuller —- Josiah Schoffstall —- Jacob Moyer —- Bostian Hensinger —- Henry W. Bishoff —- George D. Moyer —- Jacob Krutzer —- Jonathan Bonawitz —- Josiah Yeager —- Zachariah Badman —- Josiah A. Miller —- John W. Whitcomb —- Franklin Sarge —- Daniel Snyder —- Isaah Keel —- D. F. Swingle —- Henry Harman —- John Hoffman —- John Mace —- Joseph Stesler —- John Koppenhoffer —- Jeremiah Carl —- Dresden Miller —- John Andre —- Hiram F. Groff —- Isaac Weaver —- Balser Rumberger —- Frederick Harman —- Jacob enkert —- John Metz —- Daniel Wiest —- Emanuel Erdman —- John Klinger —- Elias Byerly —- William S. Dollinger —- John D. Deibler

Upper Paxton Township

Andrew Ossman —- Joseph Cramer —- David Ficklinger —- George W. Fralick —- Uriah Martz —- Isaac Negley —- Michael Hollabaugh —- Samuel Snyder —- John D. Radell —- Henry Poticher —- Daniel Spotts —- A. H. Overholtzer —- James Richardson —- Andrew Kieffer —- Jacob Snyder —- Thomas Heit —- Samuel E. Gilbert —- Emanuel Lenkart —- John F. Fiskinger —- Levi Leber —- John Martin —- Samuel Peters —- Solomon Hoover —- Nathaniel Feidt —- John P. Woland

Millersburg Borough

John C. Beiler —- Andrew J. Williams —- Jonas Wert —- Jacob F. Saltzbach —- William T. Jacoby —- William A. Smith

Reed Township

James F. Pearson —- Henry Frank —- Jacob Chubb —- Richard Derr —- Cyrus Glace —- Robert Porter —- Ashel Lukens —- Henry Hauss —- Jacquete Rouch —- John R. Rouch —- Melchior Miller —- William D. Miller

Rush Township

Randall McAllister —- Adam Carver

Washington Township

Emanuel Wetzel —- John Longaback —- John K. Harman —- Thomas Diener —- Henry D. Miller —- Jacob Runk —- John Klinger —- Henry Lenker —- William Strawbecker —- Josiah Boyer —- D. K. Holtman —- George Carl —- John Deitrich —- Washington Matter —- William Brittain —- Joel Shoop —- Daniel Messner —- Henry Shoop —- Henry Kennerer —- John Bretz —- Emanuel T. Motter —- Henry Schrefler —- George Hawk —- Assane Polk —- William Wingert —- Samuel Bechtol —- Silas Cooper —- Jonas Pottorff —- John W. Messner —- George Lenker —- John B. Stroub

Wiconisco Township & Lykens Borough

Samuel Vaun —- George Wall —- Thomas Perkins —- Joseph Durbin —- Thomas Bateman —- Richard Knight —- Isaac Burd —- Emanuel Zerbe —- Israel Lukes —- Anthony Hawk —- David Budesil —- William Gilbert —- William Trout —- Barnhart Blatzer —- Josiah Row —- John Shell —- Benjamin Waters —- Jonathan Hoffman —- Samuel Matter —- John Row —- Edward Matter —- Lewis Shoener —- Cornelius Row —- Samuel Durbin —- Enoch Stetzell —- Michael Walchaskey —- George W. Buffington —- John Shaffstall —- Isaac Shomper —- Jacob Miller —- William Harper —- Joseph Rumbarger —- Charles Walcott —- William Row —- George Wagner —- Thomas Mailey —- Joseph Shupp —- Alfred Foster —- John Bridkley —- Thomas Fegley —- Robert Beatel —- Augustus Walborn —- William Price —- Cyrus Marke —- James Fegley —- William Rosener —- Timothy Carner —- Jacob Wagner —- Daniel Nailer —- Moses Betz —- James L. Groover —- William Zimmerman —- David Splan —- Lewis Smeltzer —- William Bleistone —- Mathias Tollman —- Patrick Carner

News item from the Philadelphia Inquirer is from the on-line resources of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  Some of the names from the Harrisburg Evening Telegraph article have been modified to conform to known or most common spellings as they are found in other records.



Leave a Reply

Please note: Comment moderation is currently enabled so there will be a delay between when you post your comment and when it shows up. Patience is a virtue; there is no need to re-submit your comment.