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[372] no longer adequate to supply fresh food for gunpowder to her depleted legions, and she was compelled to resort to stringent conscription. This was believed by very many to be illegal and unconstitutional, and a disposition to forcibly resist the conscription was evinced in New York. Then, indeed, seemed to have dawned at last the day for action, and gladly was it welcomed. The people turned out in the streets in large numbers, overpowered guards, destroyed and burned conscription bureaus, threw up barricades, and hemmed in the police within their station-houses. Very soon, however, this movement degenerated into a mere riot; the mob took possession of the city; professional thieves thronged from neighboring cities for purposes of plunder; property and life were unprotected; anarchy reigned for several days. Finally order was restored by the military, after some loss of life. I soon saw that no good could come out of this movement and of course had no part in the misdeeds of the rioters; my mortification and disgust were only equaled by my disappointment.

The consequence of the enforcement of the conscription was, that I had to take my chances of being drafted into the Northern army, or of buying a substitute. The latter I was pecuniarily able to do, but there was, in my opinion, no difference morally in fighting in one's own person for an unjust and detested cause, or in sending a hireling to fight for you; no more difference morally than there would be between hiring an assassin to commit a murder for you and doing the deed yourself. At all events, that was the view which I took of it, and I determined neither to fight against my principles in person or by proxy. Hitherto I had been permitted by the government, at Washington, to remain neutral in action, and so long as such was the case, it might be my duty to remain at home, as thus I might, by some possibility, be able to be of use to my own State and my own people. But now the alternative was presented to me of either fighting for or against the principles which I held sacred; I choose the former. In making this decision, I believed I was right, and have never since seen reason to doubt it. I determined to leave at once for the Confederacy, turning my back on ambition as well as upon home, as the family influence, which might have pushed me along, was, of course, confined to the North. I was to go by British steamer from New York to Nassau, running the blockade from there into one of the Southern ports. To get across the military land-lines to the South at that time was an equally uncertain undertaking, and moreover, I wished to carry with me a good out-fit for the field. I had not been long in the Confederacy before I became aware that the bringing of an out-fit was not necessary, as one could procure

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