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Civil War Recruitment Posters

Updated on May 1, 2015

Recruiting Soldiers for the Civil War with Posters and Rallies

Many of the troops serving in the Civil War were volunteers who joined to fight for a cause that was important to them. My great-great grandfather joined the 93rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry in Company G.

As the war dragged on, it became more difficult to raise the needed manpower and the recruitment posters offered more enticements in the form of bounties. Eventually both sides resorted to drafts.

Zazzle graphic: Cavalry! by Dividenda

Bounty Pay Was Added on Recruitment Posters as the War Needed More Soldiers

When I received my great-great grandfather's pension record, it shows he received $25 bounty for volunteering and was to be paid $75 later. He enlisted in September 1862 in Indiana.

1861 Recruiting Poster - Men of Virginia to the Rescue!

Men of Virginia, to the Rescue! 1861
Men of Virginia, to the Rescue! 1861

This broadside appealed to southerners to join up and repel the invaders from the north. Dated 1861 - Staunton, Virginia

 

Band Members Recruited for the War

The recruitment poster for the Manhattan Rifles gave the names of the commanding officers, Lieut. Col. George Watson and Major JNO M Freeman. I'm assuming JNO is short for Jonathan.

There was an interesting line at the bottom of the poster. The unit wanted some musicians also.

Recruiting for Captain Alfred Driver's Company

Photo taken at the museum in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Photo taken at the museum in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. | Source

Civil War Recruiting Poster - Available from Amazon

Recruitment, Bounty Pay, Draft and Substitutions in the Civil War

I recently talked with someone who's great-great grandfather enlisted under an assumed name. When he researched further, he found that he had deserted from another company. Was this a way of collecting two recruitment bounties or was there some other reason for the double enlistment?

Samples of Recruiting Posters

Source

This Poster Shows the Bounty Offered to New Recruits

Recruitment poster on display in Pamplin, Virginia
Recruitment poster on display in Pamplin, Virginia | Source
Civil War: Recruiting Poster - Reproduction Classroom Poster
Civil War: Recruiting Poster - Reproduction Classroom Poster

Here's an example of a cavalry recruitment poster.

 

Wording from a Cavalry Recruiting Poster

The poster for the Lincoln Cavalry stated that it was commanded by Col. Andrew McReynold. It wants recruits who will provide their own horses and equipment. Particularly wanted are blacksmiths and farriers who will be paid extra. On the poster, it said, "50 cents a day is allowed for use of horse." That's almost better pay than the men got.

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New York Heavy Artillary Recruitment Poster from the Civil War

Source

Poster from Zazzle: 1st New York Heavy Artillery by Dividenda

This poster recruits for the Heavy Artillery, First Regiment New York. The names given on the poster will draw in recruits who know and trust these leaders. There is Col. T.D. Doubleday, Lieutenant Col. S. Graham, First Major H.H. Hall, Second Major Thos Allcock (Thomas).

It advertises that it will give preference to experienced soldiers, saying "good position to soldiers who have seen service." The recruiting officer is Jas B. Gran (Jason).

More Civil War Recruitment Posters from Amazon

Recruiting posters are available (framed and unframed) from Amazon.

An 1862 Washington Cavalry Recruiting Flyer

To Horse! To Horse--My All for a Horse! 1862
To Horse! To Horse--My All for a Horse! 1862

The poster offers a bounty and tells what the monthly pay will be.

 

© 2011 Virginia Allain

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    • profile image

      cookiedog123 3 years ago

      nicely done

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I hadn't seen most of these before, very nicely done. It's so sad that the posters read "a few good men needed" when they knew they were almost certainly going to be used as rifle fodder.

    • waldenthreenet profile image

      waldenthreenet 5 years ago

      Appreciating your specialized knoweldge of Civil War and enjoyed visiting your lens. I now know more about the Civil War . Thanks so much.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Another great addition to your challenge. You're going to make it just fine...but I knew you would!

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