The 72nd Regiment, New York Infantry was also called the Excelsior Brigrade or Sickles Brigade. It was organized under authority of the war department at Camp Scott, Staten Island, New York, as Third Regiment, Sickles Brigade. Eight companies were mustered out of this Regiment. The designation of each company was determined by the city the men were taken from.
The city of Dunkirk claimed the title E company (Echo Company). Other local cities that were designated companies under the 72nd would be company B (Bravo Company) from Jamestown and G Company (Golf Company) from Westfield. The city of Dunkirk in 1863 was designated District 31. It would be there if one wanted to view the guidelines that were used in the Drafting of Dunkirk's men into the Civil War.
The draft date was set as Aug. 17, 1863.
Throughout the city and towns in the county of Chautauqua, signs and posters were nailed on most trees and telegraph poles stating that the Draft was to be held at Dunkirk's District 31. On each poster, it was written clearly:
TO ALL CITIZENS
The draft will commence sharply at 1 p.m. today August 17, 1863. It will be a fair and public draft. The person selected to draw official draft from the wheel will be Mr. David Mahon, a respected citizen and he is also a blind person. We believe there will be no disturbance. Our citizens have too high a sense of duty to their country and have much respect for the law to commit any rashness. An order has been issued amending the clause directing that $300 could not be paid or a substitute procured by a man. After presenting himself to the board for the exemption by reason of physical inability, a man may have an examination and upheld $300 or have a substitute.
City of Dunkirk will present in this draft a total number of 565 eligible men.
City of Dunkirk will be required to present the names of 166 men to be drafted in the Union Army.
ARTICLE PRINTED IN ALL NEWSPAPERS FOLLOWING THE DRAFT
It is the responsibility of all publishers to publish the names of all men drafted, along with the names of those gaining an exemption.
Total men from Dunkirk available for the draft 565 (these 565 names were listed in the paper)
Total men that were drafted 166. (These 166 names were listed in the paper)
Total men that procured the exemption 19. (These 19 names were listed in the paper)
NOVEMBER 1, 1863 ON POSTERS PLACED ON POLES AND TREES THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY
Listed on this sheet are the names of 19 area men who were drafted and procured an exemption on account of being aliens. (The actual names of those 19 men were listed.)
These 19 men are not entitled to vote. If they attempt to vote, they will be arrested. They may try to vote in another town or district. Please look for them and please report them.