James Ford Rhodes (18481927). History of the Civil War, 18611865 1917.
and $777 for service which would not exceed three years, was likely to be less, and turned out to be an active duty of little more than one year; in addition there was the private soldiers pay of $16 per month with clothing and rations. The bounty in New York County was more than that generally paid throughout the country, although in some districts it was even higher. The system was bad, for it fostered a class of substitute brokers whose business was to get recruits, and whose aim was to earn their brokerage without any regard to the physical or moral quality of the men they supplied. It brought into existence the crime of bounty jumping. Thieves, pickpockets and vagabonds would enlist, take whatever bounty was paid in cash, desert when opportunity offered, change their names, go to another district or State, reënlist, collect another bounty, desert again and go on playing the same trick until they were caught, or until such chances of gain were no longer available. The Provost-Marshal-General stated in his final report that, A man now in the Albany penitentiary, undergoing an imprisonment of four years, confessed to having jumped the bounty thirty-two times. It was stated that out of a detachment of 625 recruits sent to reënforce a New Hampshire regiment in the Army of the Potomac, 137 deserted on the passage, 82 to the enemys picket line and 36 to the rear, leaving but 370 men.
The vast area of the country, the feverish anxiety in each town and municipal ward to fill its quota, together with a certain lack of administrative system, made it difficult to detect the bounty-jumpers. The mischief promoted by substitute brokers and bounty jumping was seen at its worst in the large cities of the East where it brought into the ranks a number of criminals, bullies and vagrants; and as these came to be guarded as prisoners, many of them