Olmsted County, Minnesota


Enlistment Districts

The State was divided by the War Department into two enlistment districts, the first district including Olmsted County, and Rochester was made the recruiting station, with Capt. Charles H. Sec, of Caledonia, as provost marshal, and Dr. William W. Mayo, of Le Sueur, as examining surgeon. The office did a large business for several months in examining those who claimed exemption from military service by physical disability. Less than a third of such applicants were exempted from the draft. There was no actual conscription of recruits in Olmsted County, though drafts were ordered at least twice, and the names were drawn for conscription, but the victims were never called upon for service.

The draft for conscripts took place at the provost marshal's office at Rochester, March 14, 1864. The names of persons subject to the draft were placed in a box, shaken up and drawn, one by one, by J. E. Ells, and announced by C. C. Cole, deputy marshal. The names of nine able-bodied men were drawn from: Names are not complete.

Enlistment Districts

New Haven
Pleasant Grove
Rock Dell
Rochester City

Names Associated with Enlistment Districts

Milo White
George Kepney
Peter H. Perry
W. W. Doty
Charles Nye
William E. Buttle
Abraham Pierce
John Atkinson
S. R. Terwilliger
John A. Barker
John Engle
J. L. Rockwell
Eugene Wooldridge
William F. Toogood
William Pierson
George Baihly
I. P. Brewer
Charles C. Jones
A. M. Blakely
Pat Woods
George W. Graves
Otto N. Cook
John C. Enke
John H. Hyatt
Charles H. Hitchcock
Moses Tyler
E. Damon
Browning Nichols

When the name of George Baihly, the well-known Rochester butcher, was announced he took his fate and prospective hardship with the greatest good nature, got a box of cigars and passed them around in the assembled crowd.

There is no reason to believe that the county would have fallen short of the quota of enlistments required of it, but the possibility of a draft led to the offering of bounties by communities, and several of the townships bonded themselves, some very heavily, to borrow money to pay bounties to volunteers. One result of the bounty system was that volunteers, naturally wanting what bounty they could get, would have themselves credited to some other township than their own for the sake of higher bounty; so that the rosters are inaccurate in showing to what township volunteers be longed.

  Olmsted County |Minnesota AHGP 

Source: History of Olmsted County Minnesota, by Hon. Joseph A. Leonard, Chicago, Goodspeed Historical Association, 1910.


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