Robert M. Buie's Deposition

Robert M. Buie's Deposition Filed in the Southern Claims Case of Maria C.McLean Buie
November 18, 1889
Jefferson County, Mississippi
Transcribed by Linda Durr Rudd

Robert M. Buie was the husband of Maria C. McLean Buie. He was the son of Gilbert M. Buie and Lovedy Caroline Buie. Robert was born January 29, 1833

Testimony of Robert M. Buie

I reside in Jefferson County, Miss near Union Church- age 56 - occupation merchant and farmer. Mrs. McLean resided in Jefferson County about one mile from me. She had four children 3 sons and a daughter - the latter Maria C. Buie my wife. All are dead but my wife - 2 of the sons died during the war, the other one soon after. Mrs. McLean had a niece living with her during the war and her 3 sons were living with her at the commencement of the was - all of them grown - her sons were in the Confederate army - the oldest one, I think, went in early in the war - the others went in afterwards but not voluntarily. They did not go until they were compelled to go - their mother furnished them with nothing that I know of. I heard her say that she would much rather they would take her slaves than her sons - she was bitterly opposed to secession all the time. I heard her say so time and again as the war went on and all through the war. She gave no voluntary aid to the rebellion - she was very peaceable and quite - stayed at home. My wife filed the petition in her name because she was the only heir of her motherís estate and there was no administrator or other person to represent her. Mrs. McLean was generally looked upon by all the neighbors as opposed to secession and the war and in favor of the preservation of the Union - that is the way she expressed herself.

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.


NARA - Record Group 123 - United States Court of Claims - Congressional Jurisdiction - Southern Claim File of Mary Buie - Case # 2723

Southern Claims Case of Maria C. McLean Buie

Remembering Their Names