“Many draft officials themselves were hardly enthusiastic about having to force men into service…. Some suspected that dragging unwilling men from their dependent families did the Confederate cause more harm than good…. A North Carolina lieutenant assigned to enforce the draft wrote of the recruiting forays he made:
” ‘I witnessed scenes & compelled compliance with orders which God grant I may never do again. To ride up to a man’s door, whose hospitable kindness makes you feel welcome & tell him, in the presence of his faithful & loving wife & sunny-faced children, that he must be ready in 10 minutes to go with you, and see… their imploring looks and glances — the tears of sorrow — the Solemn silence — the affectionate clasping of hands — the fervent kisses — the sad & bitter Goodbye — the longing glance at the place most dear to him on earth, as he slowly moves out of sight — this is indeed a sad & unpleasant task….
“What have we gained by this trip?’ ”
— From “Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War” by David Williams (2008)