This chapter describes how the politics of war changed the course of the winter campaign. By the fall of 1862 the combined effects of disease, battles, expiring enlistments, and desertions had created a manpower crisis in the North. The conscription and bounty system yielded notoriously unreliable soldiers who sometimes deserted their regiments while still in training. Recruitment inevitably became entangled in state politics as public officials treaded carefully for fear of provoking armed resistance.
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