Great account. Mr. Magill neglected to list a few other options that other Southern men did take. One was to desert to the enemy which occurred quite a bit at Petersburg and other places. A risky business to be sure. Elisha Hunt "all for the Union go's into detail about that.Here's a personal account of the conscription problem in the South:
"At the beginning of 1862 the victories had about equalled,
but the Southern army had been slowly pushed back on almost all sides, and the Southern ports were blockaded. Governor Joe Brown, of Georgia, called on the State for twelve regiments. Catoosa County had to furnish one large company. A draft was ordered to be taken March 4th; if quQta was not made up. On the 4th of March the militia was called together and formed in line, and a call made, and the men informed that if the quota was not made up a draft would be made at once. Rather than be forced to go by draft, enough
volunteered to make out the number wanted. Brother I. L. Magill joined that company. I thought I would stay at home and risk the consequences.
I began making a crop, but soon the news came that the Conscript Act had passed the Confederate Congress, which forced every man between the ages of eighteen and forty-five, (except such as were exempted by the Governor), into the Southern Army or take the consequences. This conscript law was to take effect about May 1, 1862. Brother Thomas and myself were subject to conscription. Here was a dilemma that had to be met; there were three horns tp the dilemma: Volunteer, be conscripted and placed in a company not of your own choosing and bear the odious name of conscript, or attempt to go North, turning our backs on the home of our childhood and a widowed mother, and run a risk of ten to one of being captured and shot as a traitor to the Southern cause. We chose the first, and joined the same company in which Brother I. L. Magill was, so that we might all be together."
Robert M. Magill: PERSONAL REMINISCENCES OF A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER BOY.
Volunteered at Chattanooga, Tenn., in Company F, 39th Georgia Regiment of Infantry.
The other option is to fight the Confederacy on home ground again a most risky option but many did anyway. For example in a letter written by George Lay a Confederate Conscription officer to his boss in Sept 1863 Lay go's into detail about approx 500 deserters taking their arms and waging war against the Confederacy in Wilkes County Nc. p.170 Junius and Alberts adventures in the Confederacy Peter Carlson puplicaffairsbooks.com.