Feeling a Draft
Faced with severe manpower shortages during the Civil War, the Union government ordered a draft to begin in the summer of 1863.This would be the nations first use of a national conscription. The names of males between 20 and 35 were placed on paper and drawn from wheels like this. The draft was unpopular in New Jersey, the only free state that voted against Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and 1864. But more than 88,000 men from New Jersey fought in the Civil War. Unfortunately, more than six thousand died. The United States government continued to use the draft for every major conflict until 1973. Over 560,000 New Jerseyans have served in the six branches of the military.