March 29, 1865
For the last few weeks there has been quite a brisk demand for substitutes for military service, and a pretty round sum is being paid by those who prefer to be represented in the army. In those counties which have failed to fill their quota by volunteers, the draft is being enforced, and as the cord begins to tighten the anxious individuals who have a constitutional antipathy against carrying a musket, begin to seek for representatives who are not possessed of any scruples or physical infirmities, and who will meet the requirements of the military authorities. The recent act of Congress requires that the substitute shall be a resident of the subdistrict [sic] to which he is to be credited. This provision however, does not apply to those persons not liable to military duty. The average price paid for substitutes for one year is about one thousand dollars. A good many veterans who have served three years, are availing themselves of this opportunity to re-enter the service on terms that make it more remunerative than heretofore. We have been told by officers that it pays better now to enlist as a private than to hold a commission. Owing to the high prices paid for every thing, an officer’s pay does not more than meet his necessary expenses, while the private, who receives the present high bounties and premiums, is able to lay by a handsome little sum for future contingencies.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: March 1865