Vineland's Civil War Record

The Civil War was under way when on August 8, 1861, Vineland came into being. In 1862 there were many sales of land to newcomers, but at the close of the year the actual settlers numbered less than one hundred. The following year, however, showed a large increase in population, and when the first draft was ordered Vineland's quota was twenty-one. In this first draft no great difficulty was experienced in securing volunteers who were promised a substantial bounty.

In the summer of 1864 the President called for additional men. Vineland's quota was for seventy-two.

A. G. Warner, author of the first history of Vineland, published in 1868, says in this connection: "The citizens of that day were mostly men of families and with small means, or being engaged in opening new farms, felt it almost like ruin to be compelled to leave their work and families to go to the field of war. A meeting was called to be held at the schoolhouse, to devise means to evade a draft. At this meeting the citizens turned out en masse, and it was unanimously resolved to buy the quota at any price; a committee being appointed with full power to borrow money on the credit of the town for that purpose. The committee were: John Kandle, Wm. A. House, Henry E. Thayer, W. O. H. Gwynneth." The cost of securing the quota was for the first call, 21 men, $500, $10,500. Second call, 72 men, $700, $50,400; total, $61,900.

Individuals who were drafted and sent substitutes were not wholly reimbursed by the town, as in the case of the late Pardon Gifford, who told the writer in an interview July 18, 1911, that he escaped the first draft, but his name was among the number on the second draft. He sought a substitute and thought he had secured one but on taking him to Camden he skipped. He spent about three weeks in trying to find a man and finally paid an agent $150 to obtain one for him. The agent produced an Englishman who had recently arrived in this country. He passed the examination and put on the uniform of the United States soldiers and that was the last he saw of him. Mr. Gifford said it cost him $800 besides his time. The town paid him $400 of the amount.