Massachusetts Women's Home Front letters 1863-1864
Though most of the fighting during the Civil War took place on Confederate soil, residents throughout both the Union and the Confederacy were touched by the conflict. Women saw brothers and other male acquaintances go off to war, most notably after the introduction of conscription in the North in 1862. Renewed calls for a draft appeared in 1863 and 1864, though service could often be evaded by purchasing a substitute or by paying a $300 commutation fee. Despite facing hardships and the absence of many men of fighting age, women continued their social engagements and lived their daily lives with as much normalcy as possible in the circumstances.