Stephen F. Austin State University

To Fight and Die: The Civil War, 1861-1865 (September 2012)

To Fight and Die: The Civil War, 1861-1865
By Elaine Bay

The Confederate draft law of April 1862 ordered the induction of able bodied men, 18-35 years of age, for a term of three years. Age limits were later revised for men 17 to 50 years old.

In the South, large plantation owners and slaveholders were exempt from fighting in the war. Often men would avoid the draft by paying another man to serve in his place. During 1863 the peak of Confederate soldiers was 900,000.

The Southern men usually joined a military company that was formed in the area they lived. The local military company was trained at a State training camp and joined up with nine other companies to form a regiment. "Johnny Reb" usually had only a musket, a blanket, a canteen, a knife, and a cartridge box. Privates were paid $11 per month until 1864 when their pay was raised to $18 per month.

Since Rains county did not exist until December 1870, the men in the area enlisted either in Greenville, Hunt County or Quitman, Wood County.

Some of the men who lived in Rains County after its formation and who fought in the Civil War were:

Information taken from 100th Anniversary of Rains County, 1870-1970