November 18, 1889
Jefferson County, Mississippi
Transcribed by Linda Durr Rudd
The sons were conscripted and forced in this way to go into the army - I do not know of any opposition that their mother made except that she told me how such she regretted their going - her sons frequently came home on visits - I do not know that any Confederate soldiers came with them - I know of no organization to which Mrs. McLean belonged - she was not molested or distrubed - I do not know whether she wished the success of the Confederate cause after her sons went in the army.
Robert M. Buie enlisted May 04, 1862 with Company K, 1st Regiment, Mississippi Light Artillery. Robert hired a subsititute, Theodore Smith, Decemebr 12, 1862. Robert did not return to the war.
Compiled Service Records of 1st Mississippi Light Artillery
Microfilm Number: 4520
Microfilm found at Mississippi Department of Archives and History
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.
Southern Claims Case of Maria C. McLean Buie
Remembering Their Names