Lincoln County, Mississippi
Transcribed by Linda Durr Rudd
I was never required to take any oath. The only oath that I took that I am now aware of was one that I took previous to becoming a registered voter in the year of 1867 or 1868.
I was a soldier in the Confederate army about two weeks in the year of 1863 at Caseyville - in the county. I left the service at the expiration of two weeks. I was conscripted in the years of 1863 as stated was required to report at Caseyville - I done so - I was determined not to go into the Confederate service nor fight against the Union. I bought my discharge at that time. I had the pecuniary means to keep out.
The drafted (conscripted) man could always hire a substitute if he could afford it. Starting in 1862, the U.S. government allowed this escape from military service on the theory that, so long as each name drawn from the wheel produced a man, it made no difference whether the drafted person or one hired to take his place appeared for muster. The Conscription Act of 3 March 1863 legalized this method of draft evasion. Until the act of 24 February 1864, the conscript could choose between hiring a substitute or paying the government $300 as commutation of service. Thereafter, the government only permitted substitution, except for conscientious objectors. Furthermore, exemption by furnishing a substitute extended only until the next succeeding draft, at which point the principal again became liable. Immediately, the prices of substitutes rose far above the $300 to which the commutation clause had held them. For this reason, legal draft evasion became the prerogative of only the unusually well-to-do.
I was arrested by the Confederate government or by its conscripting officer, at the time I was conscripted and taken under arrest to the camp where I was kept two weeks. I have said I was a soldier. Caseyville was simply a camp of instruction and I was drilled daily without being mustered in. At the end of two weeks I purchased a furlough for six days when I cam home, after which I stopped there. Did not intend to go back once I got away.
The Confederate authorities took five horses and mules, a lot of corn, can’t tell how much. I suppose they took it for the use of their army. They took probably four or five hundred bushels. Never paid me a cent for it.
I had two brothers in the Confederate army. One is now dead, both were conscripted. One was named Neal H. and the other Daniel. Neal H. is dead. Furnished them with no military equipments and did not contribute in any way to aid or support them.
Did not receive a pass, except the pass I once received in the shape of a furlough good for six days. At the beginning of the rebellion I sympathized with the Union cause. I voted against secession. Always adhered to the cause of the Union, and never for one moment supported or sympathized with the Confederate government. Solemnly declared from the beginning of the rebellion against the U. S. to the end...and never of my own free will or accord did anything to injure said cause. Had the circumstances permitted I would have helped it by all means in my power. Our whole family, and connections as far as I know were Union people and opposed to secession. My brothers, sister, father and mother never counter secession and never aided it in any way.
Southern Claims Case of Mary Buie
Remembering Their Names