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In Their Own Words

October 16, 1862

Notice from Conscription Officer

In Atlanta, D.C. Smith, Confederate Enrolling Officer for the 8th Congressional District, issued the following notice:

“ATTENTION CONSCRIPTS! I hereby give notice to all persons between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five in Fulton County, Ga., not in the actual service of the Confederate States, and properly subject to the provisions of the existing conscript law, that they must report to me, the enrolling officer, at the city hall, by two o’clock next Monday, the 20th inst. All persons exempted here-to-fore by the enrolling officer are included in this order and must report. All persons properly exempt by the present law must report their names, as well as the names of those acting under them, or the office or complaint by reason of which the exemption is claimed. I hereby, in most solemn and emphatic manner, warn all delinquents and skulkers of their peril in attempting to evade the high and overruling obligation of coming up to their duty on this occasion. Such vast and holy interests as you are now called upon to defend and pluck from danger, must not be trifled with. The government expects that every man will do his duty, and his whole duty, and every power is lodged in my hands to compel compliance if any should be so derelict as to withhold it. If any man should be so misguided as to attempt to escape from the operation of the law, a military force is at hand fully organized for the apprehension and bringing back of such persons in irons. I feel confident, however, that it will not be necessary that such extreme measures shall be resorted to, but that all will promptly respond to the call of duty and patriotism.”

Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of original 1954 volume), p. 530.