Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
This Northern political cartoon depicts unsavory Confederate soldiers forcibly recruiting Southern gentlemen into the military. One young man with a rope around his neck is being urged on by the lead officer: "Come along you rascal! and fight for our King Cotton." The reluctant recruit protests, "Let me go, I tell you I'm a Union Man, and don't believe in your Southern Confederacy." A second soldier, who wields a bayonet, counters, "Blast your Union! Them as won't go in for the war must be made to do it. Go ahead, or we'll hang you on the next tree." This cartoon by Currier & Ives in New York probably appeared in response to the First Conscription Act, passed by the Confederate Congress on April 16, 1862. It was the first draft in American history.