Dear Mr. Feavearyear,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
According to the American Battlefield Trust’s article Children of the Civil War: On the Battlefield, the minimum enlistment age for the U.S. Army was legally held at 18 for soldiers and 16 for musicians, although younger men could enlist at the permission of their parents until 1862. However, many recruiters were willing to ignore these limits. The abstract of the article No Minor Matter: Underage Soldiers, Parents, and the Nationalization of Habeas Corpus in Civil War America states that many parents used habeas corpus petitions in state and federal courts to retrieve minor children who had enlisted without their consent. The National Archives at Chicago may have U.S. district court records relating to this matter. Please contact them via email at email@example.com.
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