When the War of Rebellion started in 1861, plenty of men volunteered to save the Union. However as news came north of the horrors of battle, of the diseases, of the heat and humidity, of the amputations, the thirst for running off to war dissipated. Then the Union needed soldiers, and needed them desperately.

The Enrollment Act of 1863 was to solve that problem by setting up a military draft. This Act did not work for two reasons. First was the provision whereby a drafted man could sent a substitute. Simple enough, if one were drafted, find someone or pay someone to go in one’s place. The price: “not exceeding $300.00.” That was the law

The other provision which caused more trouble was paying “commutation” or pay the Secretary of War “not exceeding $300.00” for the procuration of a substitute. This was much easier than finding a relative or neighbor to go to war for you. With this provision all one had to do was send the money to Washington.

The Enrollment Act enriched the coffers of the national government, but did not supply men to fight the War. In 1863 only about 2500 Maine men entered military service, only a third were drafted. During the other three years of the War, Maine sent nearly 70,000 men. Of course, then as now, a few skedaddled to Aroostook or Canada. [from John Pullen’s The Twentieth Maine]



The [Maine] Adjutant General’s Report for 1863 lists the following:

Total drafted 15,718

Exempted under the Act 11,601

Paid commutation 1937

Supplied substitutes 1373

Drafted & entered service 807

For the 35th Maine Sub-district: Alexander – Baileyville north to southern Aroostook –

Drafted & paid Commutation:

Robert C. Brown of Alexander

George W. Hill

Benjamin J. Hailey

Freeman R. Dakin

Wesley J. Perkins of Alexander: see his sad story

Eben C. Doyne

Henry A. Fitch

John T. Crabtree

Emerson Getchell

William Webber

Drafted & furnished Substitute:

Isaac Crowell sub was John S. Bridgham

Henry A. Sprague sub was Thomas A. Baker

Drafted and served:

John Courey of Princeton


Draft of October 3 & 4, 1864 - ALEXANDER: Drafted, reported & served

William H. Brown

Jeremiah Spearing, JR

Joseph Perkins

Reuben Keen

Asa Bohanon

Isaiah Bailey



This material was copied from microfilm at Maine State Archives. It likely is not complete, may be inaccurate. No record of earlier calls. Regiment is infantry unless otherwise stated. Enrollment Credits from MAR 1865 – 66 Volume 1 page 13

ALEXANDER - Enrollment Credits 45; 24 listed here

July 2, 1862 for 3 years

Thistlewood, Robert K. 6th

Tracy, William H. 6th

Robb, Hugh JR 6th

August 4, 1862 for 9 months

Crafts, William H. 22nd

Lyons, Greenwood 22nd

Munson, John 22nd

Spearing, Jefferson 22nd

Seamans, Samuel 22nd

October 17, 1863 to June 1, 1864 for 3 years

Clark, William D. 6th re-enlisted

Gillespie, Michael 9th re-enlisted

Foley, Michael 9th re-enlisted

Perkins, Jasper H. 6th battery re-enlisted?

Godfrey, Charles H. 6th battery

Huff, John R. 6th battery

Card, Charles 6th battery

Spearin, Leonard Coast Guard Inf

June 1, 1864

Crafts, Hiram A. 3 years October 24, 1864

Frost, Stephen D. do ?

Bohanon, Asa drafted 1 year 20th October 3, 1864

Brown, William H. drafted 1 year 20th October 3, 1864

Bailey, Isaiah drafted 1 year 16th October 3, 1864

Keene, Reuben drafted 1 year 20th October 3, 1864

Spearin, Jeremiah drafted 1 year 16th October 3, 1864

Perkins, Joseph drafted 1 year 20th October 3, 1864



Nine Canadian born men entered the service with Alexander connections. Charles Card, Hiram Crafts, Joseph Ellsworth, Joseph Perkins, Michael Gillespie and Edward Jamison all were living in town when they went off to war. Amos Cole grew up here but had moved before going to fight. John Sears moved here after the war. Henry M. Adams was credited to Alexander, but we find no other connection.

Joseph L. Reed was born in New Brunswick as were all the men above. He was credited to Cooper when he entered the service, but we find no other connection.

Soldiers James P. Jeffery, Daniel A. Smith and Robert Wallace were all Nova Scotia born residents of Crawford. Their neighbor Andrew Wheaton was born in New Brunswick. William Francis of Nova Scotia was a substitute and credited to Crawford, but likely never resided there.


As dead from a disease as from a battle, and Civil War history tells us that many more died of disease than the bullet. But, let’s look at some specific Maine regiments. In the 22nd, a nine-month unit, 160 died of disease and 9 were killed. Of the 15 men from Alexander, Crawford and Cooper in the 22nd, 7 died of disease, none were killed. This regiment spent its time along the lower Mississippi River. For the Maine 25th, another nine-month unit, its had just 20 die of disease, none killed. They were defending Washington, DC.

Of the three-year regiments, the 20th Maine is often best known because it was involved in battles in Virginia and at Gettysburg. The 20th lost 146 from disease and 147 killed. The Maine 17th that also fought in Virginia had 163 die of disease and 207 killed.

The 18th Maine Infantry was converted into the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery and as such they spent a couple of years defending Washington. Grant needed men so converted them back to infantry and with little training they faced veteran Confederates and lost 476 killed and wounded in their first battle. Not long after they charged a heavily defended Confederate position at Petersburg and suffered 632 more casualties. Their losses were the highest of any Union regiment in the Civil War. This information is from Ned Smith’s The 22nd Maine Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War.