The ‘three months volunteer’ at home
Soldier saying to Boy “No, Bubby, take that away. I won’t take off my boots, but jest have a cup of tea and be off again!” – Illus. in: Harper’s weekly, v. 6, no. 299 (1862 Sept. 20), p. 608.
It is notable that the cartoon ran in Sept. 1862, more than a year after the war began.
In April 1861, at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln, called for a “75,000-man” volunteer militia to augment the tiny regular Army and serve for three months following the bombardment and surrender of Fort Sumter. This was in-line with the Militia Act of 1795 for both the maximum number that could be called to the colors and the longest time periods.
The men were soon quartered in every federal space in Washington as seen by this woodblock of the barracks sleeping bunks of the 1st Rhode Island Infantry regiment inside the U.S. Patent Office at Washington DC in the spring and summer of 1861.
In May 1861, with the consent of Congress, he authorized 500,000 men for three years. In all, the Union Army fielded more than 2 million during the conflict and most for far longer than 90 days.