Drugged, Kidnapped and Deluded Foreign Volunteers
After McClellan’s complete defeat on the Peninsula and Burnside’s bloody disaster at Fredericksburg in late 1862, volunteering practically ceased in the North by the spring of 1863. This led to Lincoln’s draft, which in reality was a whip to stimulate volunteers – and the eventual use of captured slaves who counted toward State enlistment quotas which helped white Northern men avoid military service. Creative inducements to serve were also utilized in Canada, a fertile source of those needed to dress in blue.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
Drugged, Kidnapped and Deluded Foreign Volunteers:
“The proximity of Canada to the United States led to violations of Canadian neutrality in various ways by the more vicious of the enrolling officers and bounty brokers. Canadians resident in the United States became victims, and just as there was disguised recruiting in European countries, so recruiting under one guise or another occurred in Canada.
The first cases of coercion and kidnapping of Canadians to come to light occurred in 1862, with the mistreatment of John Roge, who had come from Canada to the United States in 1862. At Portland, Maine, he met a party of men who asked him to enlist and on his refusal forced him to go to their camp. They kept him three days until the arrival of the commanding officer, who tried to swear him in. Upon his flat refusal, he was thrown into the guardhouse; after a month’s confinement he was induced “through cold and misery” to enlist in the regiment, which proved to be the Seventh Maine Infantry.
Stated in the words of Governor General Monck of Canada to Lord Lyons, the enormity of
The greater number of complaints dealt, however, with the luring of Canadians across the border by false premises of work at high wages. Richard Malone was represented as the victim of fraud by parties who engaged him, along with “many other young men of the city” of Montreal, to work as a laborer in the mines of Lake Superior. When the Canadians reached their supposed destination, they were told that there was no work for them in the mines and that their only recourse was to enlist in the United States Army.
In the fall of 1863, Clark E, Lloyd [of Montreal]…was drugged by a recruiting agent and induced to enlist. French Canadians speaking only their own patois were even more helpless. Two Canadians…were hired in Canada to chop wood; but when they reached a point near Concord, New Hampshire, they were enlisted in the army under false names. On the same date that he reported the case of these two youths (April 2, 1864), Lyons reported to [Northern Secretary of State William] Seward that thirteen men, all with French names, had been brought over the border, ostensibly to cut wood but actually to be drugged and put into the Second New Hampshire Volunteers.
[On a visit to the Canadian legislature on September 7, 1863, Lord Lyons]…held in his hand a placard, which he had been told had been widely circulated in Montreal, stating that two hundred men were wanted for government service in the United States, to whom $200 would be paid at once and who would ultimately receive $500 in addition to clothing and pay. Applicants were invited to apply at Ogdensburg, New York, where they would be inspected. Another speaker also reminded the house that Canadians had been offered high wages for work in the States, but, as the road to employment lay through New York, where the deluded workers had often in the past been forced to enlist in the army. Members were reminded that the Foreign Enlistment Act and the Queen’s Proclamation of 1861 made it a misdemeanor to enter another country to enlist.”
(Foreigners in the Union Army and Navy, Ella Lonn, LSU Press, 1951, pp. 458-463)