From a Seneca County, New York newspaper in February 1864:
What it Costs New York to Raise Men for the Army.
From the report of LOCKWOOD L.DOTY, Chief of Military Statistics, recently sent into the Assembly, may be obtained some very important information relative to the recruiting service in this State. According to the record, New York furnished 292,982 men between April 15, 1861, and December 13, 1863. Of this number, 230,442 were mustered for three years; 30,131 for two years; 2,516 for nine months; 29,893 for three months. Reduced to a common term, the State has furnished the equivalent of 252,648 three years’ men. This ratio applied to the loyal States, should produce an army of 1,439,500, or one soldier for every thirteen persons in the loyal States.
The appropriations made by Boards of Supervisors, and by and by common Councils of cities, for bounties, support of soldiers’ families, &c., and by the Legislature for raising men, care of sick and wounded soldiers, and other objects incident to the war, are given.
The Boards of Supervisors for ten counties made no appropriations, bounties being paid by towns entirely. In several counties bounties were paid by towns, in addition to that by the county.
The Boards of Supervisors, exclusive of action by towns, have appropriated for war purposes, during the three years of the war, no less than $14,363,862,91; Common Councils, $6,710,948,95; the Legislature, $13,562,494.00, making a total of $34,637,390,86!
These statistics are not complete. and do not, therefore, give the full amount of debt and taxes incurred. They are sufficient, however, to give the people some idea of the enormous State debt this war is rolling up, independent of what is created by the Federal Government. Let the people ponder these facts, and consider for a moment where we are being led by the terrible sacrifice of life and treasure.
I found a book written a few years before the Civil War Centennial that summarized some of New York’s war costs. I was relieved to see that the state wasn’t a laggard – it had the most, and it paid the most:
The contributions of the Empire State to the war effort were massive and impressive. New York State was the leading state in population and wealth, and New York provided the greatest number of soldiers, the greatest quantity of supplies, and the largest amount of money. In addition, New York’s citizens paid the most taxes, bought the greatest number of war bonds, and gave the most to relief organizations. Enlistment bounties alone cost the state over $43,000,000.
I was also relieved that Lockwood Doty didn’t have to spend all his time in a musty old office crunching numbers. An article published 150 years ago today reviewed the opening of a Military Bazaar in Albany, New York State’s capital. Colonel Doty contributed “relics of the battle-fields” from his bureau’s collection. The Bazaar reminded me of the Brooklyn Sanitary Fair, which also opened on Washington’s birthday. Both events apparently contributed the proceeds to alleviate suffering. From The New-York Times February 26, 1864:
AFFAIRS AT ALBANY.; The Opening of the Military Bazaar–Gov., Seymour’s Address–Street’s Poem–What is to be Seen–A Democratic Convention– What it was Called for, and what it will Do.
ALBANY, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 1864.
The opening of the great Military Bazaar, which occurred last night, will prove in the hereafter to be a memorable event in the annals of Albany.
Memorable for the causes out of which have grown the necessity for such a display — memorable for the associations of the present which will cling around it-but above all, I trust it will be memorable for the alleviations it shall work of the want, the suffering and bereavements which call to us from the past and threaten us from the future.
The building stands on ground that is classic. It covers almost the entire area where a multitude of the elite of the nation listened to EDWARD EVEREST as he dedicated the Dudley Observatory to the service of the exploration of the celestial sphere. Do you recollect that inspired portraiture of the rising sun with which the orator on that occasion opened his address? I could but recall it last night. It seemed to flash on the audience — its crimson rays penetrating the recesses of the booths, covering as with a halo the lattered banners, and sparkling on the steel bayonets and brass howitzers that stand guard over the room wherein have been clustered the sad mementoes of the battle-fields whereon the sons of New-York have fought and fallen.
The address of Gov. SEYMOUR you will have in print. Like all the many others of the same paternity, It is full of original thoughts, clothed in a vesture of chaste words. It may not, in the estimation of many, be as redolent of the fiery field as the occasion would have justified, but it must be remembered that the Governor was ever more of the scholar than the soldier, and that all his life has been more an aspiration for the quiet of the closet than the tumultuous crowdings of the forum. …
It would be idle to attempt a description of the Bazaar building and its varied contents. The structure covers nearly the entire surface of the Academy Park, and must have a floor surface of nearly or quite an acre of ground. It is so framed as to embrace numbers of the forest trees and shrubbery. The hall thus formed is subdivided into booths, which are appropriated to the exhibition of various articles. Many of the rooms represent in their exterior the prevailing architecture of England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, France, Japan, China and the Orient. “The Yankee” conglomerate is there, too, with all its ramifications, redolent of pop-corn, lemonade, stewed oysters, notions and gingerbread. An Indian wigwam and a Shaker village appropriately flank Jonathan’s department on the right and left.
The most interesting of all I saw were the relics of the battle-fields — mementoes of the heroism of the State — contributed by Col. LOCKWOOD L. DOTY, from the collection in the Bureau of Military Statistics. It is a sad and touching, but yet a noble and prouu picture of what the State has done and suffered in the cause of freedom — score-marks, as it were, telling of the thousands of her sons who have died, and the millions of treasure she has expended. …
If vou come to Albany, go and see these things. Go to contribute your mite toward mitigating the sufferings of the poor and the afflicted. You will come away with a “value received” that would satisfy the avariciousness of a money-lender.
The Democratic party meet here tomorrow …
The weather is mild, the ice giving way, the sky clear, and the Legislature on a long recess. What more can the people of Albany or the State ask?