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Wed October 10, 2012
This Week in the Civil War - 415
By mid-October 1862 there was growing opposition within the Confederate nation on conscription. Common folks complained that the draft exempted planters who owned 20 or more slaves, as were certain overseers and skilled laborers such as druggists, school teachers, miners, and those deemed by the government to be in crucial industries. In addition, the law allowed affluent citizens the privilege of buying "substitutes" or paying $300 to avoid the draft.
Poor folks could not purchase substitutes and fully understood that they were fighting a war for slavery and slaves whom poor whites could never afford to own. Increasingly, the southern common masses greatly resented the privileges given their socio-economic superiors through the southern conscription laws.