In addition to the foregoing, the following bounties were authorized, but were only paid in exceptional cases:
The act of July 17, 1862, authorized the payment of $25 bounty to men enlisting for nine months under that act upon muster in. The same act authorized the payment of $50 to men enlisting for twelve months under that act, one-half to be paid the recruit upon joining his regiment, and the other half at the expiration of service.
The act of March 3, 1863, authorized the payment of a bounty of $50, one-half to be paid upon re-enlistment, and the balance at the expiration of the term of service, to such of the volunteers and militia then in the service of the United States as should re-enlist for one year.
Under the operation of the enrollment law, localities which had recruited the least number had, in addition to their proportion of future quotas, to make good their former deficiencies, and it became necessary for them to adopt some plan that would stimulate recruiting to that extent, or submit to the enforcement of the draft.
The law a regulating Government bounty provided "that every volunteer accepted and mustered into the service for a term of one year, unless sooner discharged," should "receive and be paid by the United States a bounty of $100; and if for a term of two years, unless sooner discharged, a bounty of $200; and if for a term of three years, unless sooner discharged, a bounty of $300; one-third of which bounty" was to be "paid to the soldier at the time of his being mustered into the service, one-third at the expiration of one-half of his term of service, and one-third at the expiration of his term of service. And in case of his death while in service, the residue of his bounty unpaid" was to be "paid to his widow, if he shall have left a widow; if not, to his children; or if there be none, to his mother, is she be a widow."
A recruit enlisting for one year receives the one-third of $100 on being mustered in, another third in six months, and the remainder at the expiration of his term of service.
If we compare this with the exorbitant bounties paid in advance by local authorities as hereafter explained, its comparative insignificance will readily demonstrate how little the Government bounty effected in raising volunteers.
It should be remarked that while the Government always paid bounty by installments, the local authorities almost uniformly paid in advance, the tendency of the former system being to obtain men and keep them, of the latter, mainly to obtain men to fill the quotas. Experience had taught that men would more readily enlist for a moderate bounty paid in advance than for a much greater one payable in installments.
Under the pressure of the draft the local authorities did not stop to consider the encouragement large cash bounties offered to desertion. They saw that bounty paid in hand would secure recruits, and they relied upon the Government to arrest deserters, forgetting that for the sake of exorbitant bounty one man might enlist and desert a dozen different times, or as often as opportunity occurred, and the more money he received the greater the facility for desertion. If, on the other hand the inducement to desert was removed by paying the bounty in installments, the inducement to enlist was also diminished, because, to be attractive, bounty must be paid in advance; but if paid in advance, then the objections above stated will attach.
a See Appendix, Doc.35.
43 R R-SERIES III, VOL V