Wisconsin Allotment Fund Receipt – Soldier in 31st Wisconsin
Offered for your consideration is aninteresting document allotting a portion of a soldier’s pay to anotherindividual. Throughout the Civil War, severalstates set up a form of payroll deduction so that soldiers could set aside aportion of their pay to support those that they had left behind. These fundswere usually paid into the state’s treasury for later disbursement and weregenerally known as the Allotment Fund. One of these states was Wisconsin, andthe presently offered document is physical proof of this system. It isheadlined “STATE OF WISCONSIN, STATE TREASURER’S OFFICE” and was issuedfrom “Madison” on “Aug 6 1864”. The financial obligationstates that there was “RECEIVED from SAMUEL D. HASTINGS, State Treasurer, SixtyFour Dollars, it being the amount of money allotted to me by ThomasDavis of Company E, 31 Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteers Inf forthe months To June 30 1864”, followed by the signature of “JohnC. Davis”. Below this, in smaller type, is a printed statement reading “Iam personally acquainted with Jno. C. Davis who signs the above receipt,and know the signature to be genuine”, guaranteed by the signature of “R.H. Tronsdale” in his capacity as “Justice of the Peace”.A notation, printed just above the lower border, states that “The aboveCertificate must be signed by a Justice of the Peace or a Notary Public”, astipulation that was obviously followed on this particular document. Outsidethe lower border is a handwritten notation reading “Fayette”, thecounty that Davis was from. A rectangular box, with floral designs at eachcorner, appears along the left hand edge, inside of which is printed “ALLOTMENTFUND”. A dark blue two cent internal revenue stamp is affixed at the topcenter of the piece, with the notation “JCD” and the date “8/6/64”written across the face. One handwritten checkmark at the upper right ismentioned for accuracy. No printing was ever done on the verso, and, since thispiece was signed on the front, there was no need to endorse the back.
Thefirst six companies of the 31st Wisconsin Infantry were mustered in October 9,1862, with the remaining companies being mustered in December 24, 1862. Theregiment performed guard duty at various posts until mid-July, 1864, afterwhich it was transferred to the army in the field outside of Atlanta, Georgia.They participated in the siege and subsequent occupation of Atlanta. FromNovember 15th through December 10th they formed part of William T. Sherman’sMarch to the Sea, culminating in the siege of Savannah from December 10th tothe 21st. They subsequently joined in the campaign in the Carolinas fromJanuary through April, 1865, participating in the battle of Bentonville, theoccupation of Goldsboro, the advance on and occupation of Raleigh, and thesurrender of Johnson’s army at the Bennett Place. They marched to Washington,D. C. via Richmond, Virginia, arriving in time for the Grand Review on May 24,1865. Since they were mustered in earlier, the first six companies weremustered out on June 20th, with the remaining men being released on July 8,1865. During its term of service, the 31st Wisconsin had 23 enlisted men killedor mortally wounded, while 3 officers and 86 enlisted men died of disease.
ThomasDavis, the soldier mentioned on the document, enlisted as a private in CompanyE on August 20, 1862 and was mustered out on June 20, 1865. As noted on thedocument, Davis was credited to Fayette, a small town in Lafayette County.
Thepresently offered piece exhibits two harsh vertical folds, more or lessdividing the document into thirds, with several lighter ones emanating from thelower part of each. A third fold, not quite as hard as the others, appears nearthe left end of the piece (in the wide blank area). A small punch-outcancellation can be seen just to the right of center indicating that the statepaid this certificate. Light toning is visible across the entire surface, withsome slightly darker areas near the edges. A small tear, neatly repaired withmending tape, is present in the lower left corner. Overall dimensions areapproximately 3.5 x 8.5 inches. An interesting crossover between the men at thefront and those left waiting at home.
A $5.95 charge will beadded to the winning offer for postage and insurance.
If you have any questionsregarding this item, please ask before purchasing.
Buy or offer withConfidence – American Coins & Collectibles President Richie Self has worked6 years as a paper money grader/authenticator. He has contributed to numerousreference books within the industry, as well as being a co-author of “TheComprehensive Catalog and History of Confederate Bonds, 2nd Edition”with Douglas B. Ball, Ph.D., Henry F. Simmons, M.D., Ph.D. and James R.Desabaye. Mr. Self is a life member of the American Numismatic Association, theSociety of Paper Money Collectors, as well as numerous regional numismaticassociations. He is an authorized submitter to NGC, PCGS, and PMG, a diamondfounding member of Coin Dealers Helping Coin Dealers and a supporter of theIndustry Council for Tangible Assets. American Coins and Collectibles can befound at many of the state and local coin shows.
American Coins and Collectibles
Titles of Distinction