Bounty jumper

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Bounty jumpers were men who enlisted in the Union or Confederate army during the American Civil War only to collect a bounty and then leave. The draft of 1863 allowed individuals to pay a bounty to someone else to fight in their place rather than be drafted. Bounty jumpers commonly enlisted numerous times in the army, collecting many bounties in the process.


Being a bounty jumper was more profitable in the North. A month after the Battle of Fort Sumter the United State Congress passed a law allowing for bounties up to $300. The Confederate government did likewise, starting at $50 and then later in the war increased the bounty to $100. As the US dollar was worth more than the Confederate dollar ever was, regardless of the $200 disparity, the Northern government had greater luck with bounties, and more likely to have to deal with bounty jumpers.

Typically, the bounty jumper would desert their unit before arriving on the front lines, traveling to a new area to gain another bounty. at least 32...
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