Proclamation Calling for 500,000 Volunteers

July 18, 1864

By the President of the United States of America:

A Proclamation

Whereas, by the act approved July 4, 1864, entitled “an act further to regulate and provide for the enrolling and calling out the National forces and for other purposes,” it is provided that the President of the United States may, “at his discretion, at any time hereafter, call for any number of men as volunteers, for the respective terms of one, two and three years for military service,” and “that in case the quota of [or] any part thereof, of any town, township, ward of a city, precinct, or election district, or of a county not so subdivided, shall not be filled within the space of fifty days after such call, then the President shall immediately order a draft for one year to fill such quota or any part thereof which may be unfilled.”

And whereas, the new enrolment, heretofore ordered, is so far completed as that the aforementioned act of Congress may now be put in operation for recruiting and keeping up the strength of the armies in the field for garrisons, and such military operations as may be required for the purpose of suppressing the rebellion, and restoring the authority of the United States Government in the insurgent States:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do issue this my call for five hundred thousand volunteers for the military service, Provided, nevertheless, that this call shall be reduced by all credits which may be established under section 8 of the aforesaid act on account of persons who have entered the naval service during the present rebellion, and by credits for men furnished to the military service in excess of calls heretofore made. Volunteers will be accepted under this call for one, two, or three years, as they may elect, and will be entitled to the bounty provided by the law, for the period of service for which they enlist.

And I hereby proclaim, order and direct, that immediately after the fifth day of September, 1864, being fifty days from the date of this call, a draft for troops to serve for one year shall be had in every town, township, ward of a city, precinct or election district or county not so subdivided to fill the quota which shall be assigned to it under this call, or any part thereof, which may be unfilled, by volunteers on the said fifth day of September 1864.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.


Done at the city of Washington, this eighteenth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty four, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth. ABRAHAM LINCOLN

By the President:

WILLIAM H. SEWARD Secretary of State.


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