The Story of Thomas Jefferson Goforth's Civil War Hymn Book
In 1948, George Henry Goforth presented the Civil War Hymn Book belonging to his father, Thomas Jefferson Goforth, to his daughter Vida May, as a keepsake. On May 11, 1954, she asked him to write some information concerning the book. This is that letter:
To Vida May, My father's Civil War Hymn Book in 1861 AD A keepsake.
This the 11th day of May, 1954, Mothers Day. This is a true story of this my father's song book in the war of the rebellion of 1861 to 1865. My father was a Ky. By birth at Owensboro, Ky. He went in the Northern Army at 15 years of age as a substitute for the other man. He wore the Blue, as they called them a Yankee Soldier. He never received one dollar for his services the 4 straight years he was in service. They have his record in Washington, D.C. He belonged to the 13 Extreme Iowa Regiment, and so lawyer Baker and Senator Caraway at Jonesboro, Ark. worked on it for years and worked it up to finding just one witness of that Regiment to swear he was the one that fought that war. There was $30,000 in Washington, D.C. for back pay, a government pension for him for the rest of his life, but failed in it all, and died without one dollar of it. And this war song book he carried all through the war, and his sister covered the book with homemade Linsey cloth over 80 years ago. A true autobiography of this my father's song book. Thomas Jefferson Goforth.
By George H. Goforth
From A History of Iowa by Leland L. Sage,
The Enrollment Act of 1863 was invoked only once in Iowa. The draftee had two options by law:
1. commutation by payment of $300.00, or
2. furnishing a substitute at his own expense.
7,548 names were drawn; 5,572 were examined; 2,446 were exempted; 3,126 were held to service;
67 paid the legal commutation fee of $300.00 and 1,197 furnished substitutes; a total of 1,862 men were actually drafted.
Thomas Jefferson GOFORTH served as a substitute soldier for the other man.