December 23, 1864-Dated Civil War, Partially-Printed Document, “Substitute Volunteer” Union Soldier Receipt for Hosea Q. Veasey, who was paid a $300 Bounty to go to war in place of David H. Brown, of New Hampton, NH, Choice Extremely Fine.An official Civil War Issued Receipt form, measuring 4" x 7.25" being boldly printed in black on white wove period paper, detailing a “Substitute Bounty” Payment and Receipt of those funds. It details that James W. Bates, who Enlisted into the Union army to the credit of the quota of the small Central New Hampshire town of New Hampton. He was a “Substitute Volunteer” who was paid a $300 Bounty to go to war in place of Hosea Q. Veasey, of New Hampton, NH, who apparently paid that $300 Federal fee to remove himself and avoid his military service. There is also an official, vivid bold green Seal being fully attached at the lower right. There is a Signed Manuscript notation on the blank reverse which reads, in full:
“Dec 22, 1864 - Received of the town of New Hampton Three hundred dollars by the hand of B F Perkins in full payment of ( - ) county from me for a Substitute on the quota of Service ( - ). - (Signed) Hosea Q. Veasey”.
The Following is from a history of the town of New Hampton: "New Hampton responded to each of the president's calls for volunteers by increasing the amount of the bounties being offered to each man who enlisted. By October, 1863, each New Hampton volunteer received a bounty of three hundred dollars...”
The subject of this receipt was a substitute volunteer as described above. We also found the volunteer represented by the present receipt in the Civil War personnel American Civil War Research Database: James W. Bates (Residence was not listed); 22 years old. Enlisted on 12/23/1864 at New Hampton, NH as a Union Private. On 12/23/1864 he mustered into "C" Co. NH 3rd Infantry. He was Mustered Out on 7/20/1865 at Goldsboro, NC. Promotions: Made Corpl. 3/20/1865 (Reduced to ranks).
It would seem these generous bounties not only attracted many American men but also a large number of foreigners, the majority of whom were intent on playing a con game that consisted of accepting the bounties and absconding to neighboring towns where they would again engage in their game of deceit.
As the Civil War wore on it became increasingly more difficult for the towns to persuade their able-bodied men to enlist in the army; as a result, conscription was instituted. During the Civil War the practice of "Substitution" was ubiquitous. Substitution was the legal means by which a wealthy man could avoid military service by paying a fixed amount of money to a person who would act in his place."