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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

18TH PROVOST MARSHAL DISTRICT OF OHIO

18TH PROVOST MARSHAL DISTRICT OF OHIO

The 18TH PROVOST MARSHAL DISTRICT OF OHIO (1863-65), headquartered in Cleveland, was created by the Enrollment Act of 3 Mar. 1863, passed by the U.S. Congress, to coordinate recruitment of federal troops to serve in the CIVIL WAR. The 18th District supplanted the 11TH MILITARY DISTRICT. Its administration extended to Cuyahoga, Lake, and Summit counties. The district was administered through the federally appointed enrollment board, consisting of the district provost marshal, a licensed physician, and a commissioner. The board enrolled eligible men, conscripted and drafted troops, determined draft exemptions, mustered draftees into service, located and apprehended draft evaders, and arrested deserters and spies. During 1864 the district administered 3 federal drafts (Feb.-Mar., July, and Dec.). Only 4,250 Ohio men were drafted in this period, however, and because of exemptions, only 54 men actually saw service. The 18th District was considered one of the most poorly administered of the 19 established in Ohio. Frederick Nash, district administrator from 1863-Feb. 1865, was tried several times and charged with extorting money from draftees and accepting bribes in return for exemptions. Nash, a captain in federal service, was eventually acquitted and honorably discharged.


Murdock, Eugene C. Ohio's Bounty System in the Civil War (1963).