for three years, unless the war shall have sooner ended, all white, men who are residents of the Confederate States, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years at the time the call or calls may be made, who are not legally exempt from military service;" and it further required that " all of the persons aforesaid who are now in the armies of the Confederacy, and whose term of service will expire before the end of the year, shall be continued in service for three years from the date of their original enlistment," &c. The ninth section of this act provided, "That persons not liable for military duty may be received as substitutes for those who are, under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of War."
The method of enrolling and collecting the military force under this act was prescribed in orders from time to time. It was strict from the beginning, and became more summary under subsequent acts as the war progressed. The earlier orders did not require or authorize the enrollment of the persons entitled to exemption by law, but trial seems to have proved the inexpediency of this mode of procedure, and subsequent orders required enrollment of all, and left the question of exemption to be considered only after enrollment.
No exemptions were allowed in the act above referred to. On the 21st of April, 1862, however, an act was passed exempting various classes of persons. This was subsequently repealed by act of October 11, 1862, which greatly enlarged the list of exempts, permitting, among other things, the exemption of one man as agent or overseer on a plantation of twenty negroes, and an additional man for every twenty negroes on two or more plantations within five miles of each other, &c. In addition to the enumerated exemptions "the President" was authorized to exempt such as he thought proper, on the ground of justice, equity, or necessity.
On the 1st of May a further extension on the privileges of exemption was made to owners of plantations, but was coupled with the condition that for every person so exempted and during the period of such exemption the owners should pnum.
On the 17th of February, 1864, all laws granting exemptions were repealed and a new list was enacted which reduced the number of exempted classes, but introduced the system of "details," as it was termed, by granting power to the 'Secretary of War, under the direction of the President, to exempt or detail such other persons as he may be satisfied ought to be exempted on account of public necessity," &c. Exemption was granted by this act to one man on each plantation having over fifteen able-bodied field hands between sixteen and fifty years of age, on condition that the exempt should, within twelve months, under a security and penalty to be fixed by the Secretary of War, deliver to the Government 200 pounds of meat for each slave on the plantation between the specified ages.
Camps of instruction were established in the different States for the persons enrolled for military service and placed under the command of officers specially appointed for that purpose. The enrolled men were first required to assemble at a designated place in their respective counties, parishes, &c., where they were subjected to a mental and physical examination by surgeons detailed by "the President" for that duty. If found fit for military duty they were sent to the camps of instruction.