How a McClellan Democrat Fooled
The Cincinnati Commercial gives the following account of a sell practiced by a blooded gentleman of Kentucky:
An incident worth narrating, recently occurred in Boone county, Kentucky. A wealthy planter, the owner of valuable “chattels [ie. slaves],” and well known as a rebel conservative, who intends to vote for McClellan and Pendleton, had a fat and muscular negro who was conscripted. His owner determined to provide a substitute for him, mounted his horse, rode into Covington. and for $560 engaged as Irishman to go as a substitute. but without informing him for whom.
Taken to the Provost Marshall's office, sworn in provided with a uniform and paid off, the Irishman them for the first time, ascertained whom it was he was to represent in the army. It is said his wrath and profanity exceeded all bounds, but it was too late to back out, and he was sent to quarters.
The Kentucky conservatives who oppose the conscription of negroes on this side of the Ohio, who object to arming the negroes, evidently value a negro higher than an Irishman. Rather than see a negro free they would drive the whole Irish population into “slaughter pens.”
Weekly Vinc ennes (Indiana) Democrat. October 15, 1864. The practice of paying cash to hire someone else to serve for you, and thus get you out of duty, in the army what they call here “to provide a substitute,” was common in the Civil War era.