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Back Eakins and the Civil War
Photograph of the Confederate Dead by a Fence on the Hagertown Road
CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
THE NEIGHBORHOOD
EAKINS AND THE CIVIL WAR
Eakins graduated fifth in his class of fourteen. Many of his classmates enlisted to serve in the Union Army, but Benjamin Eakins, endorsing his son's wish to become an artist, paid for a substitute.  
Eakins lived in a neighborhood surrounded by Quaker families. Quaker culture was part of the normal life of Philadelphia. It's likely Eakins knew many Quakers that were exempt from service in the Civil War because of their religious faith. AMY B. WERBEL, Ph.D.
Art Historian, St. Michael's College
The fact that an exemption was secured for him not to join the Union Army -- I think would have been the obvious choice -- was not so unusual. It probably strikes the modern mind as maybe cowardice or maybe special treatment. But it was done frequently and the usual sort of exchange was 300 dollars. And sometimes a replacement, a specific replacement often was secured. He indeed was paid and he went in place of the individual. THOMAS J. SCHLERETH, Ph.D Historian, University of Notre Dame
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