Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CONSCRIPTION, a new old word.

The act of conscription has been around a long long time.  I just read its definition, so it is new to me.

It more or less is the act of drafting the mass of young people in a given country for a single purpose, usually a war.

I discovered Conscription while reading  Sharyn McCrumb's book THE BALLAD OF TOM DOOLEY.

Sharyn also explained what extras of the Conscription concept the North and the South added during the Civil War.  Essentially, large land owners and people that were well off were exemped.  It was the working class who put their life on the line.  The rich man got the benefits but sacraficed little.  What else is new?

I heard another case of the priviledged and under priviledged  under Consription is that in the Revolutionary War it was a rule that officers would not be assaulted.  Of course, it was fine for an officer to kill an enemy enlisted in combat but for an enlisted man kill an officer enemy was a no-no.

I'm sure an officer made up that rule and the enemy officers quickly agreed.  But it officers got shot at just the same.

The Civil War codes of Conscription reminded me of one of my ancestors.  He was a large land owner which made him exemped from fighting.  He didn't have to go, but money is money, so he was paid a sum of money to fight for John B. Tippens.  During the Siege of Vicksburg he went AWOL from his unit and signed an Oath of Allegiance to the U.S.A., a day or two later he was AWOL from the Yankee unit he was assigned to and he appeared back on the roster of his CSA unit.  Then, he was AWOL again.  It appears that he had a hard time deciding which was the winning side.

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