Because Seventh-day Adventists were particularly anxious to avoid the threatened draft, which would involve Sabbathkeepers, James White heartily participated in the matter of raising funds to pay attractive bonuses to volunteers. Seventh-day Adventists as a rule were conscientiously opposed to the bearing of arms, yet they felt it to be their duty to raise money for the payment of the bonuses offered to volunteers who had no religious scruples against bearing arms.

James White, J. P. Kellogg, and other leading Adventists attended and took part in a number of mass meetings of Battle Creek citizens. In these meetings there was free discussion of the activities of the war, but particularly the problem of furnishing the quota of men, if possible, without the necessity of the draft. White made it clear that Sabbathkeeping young men had not refrained from volunteering because they were cowards or ease-loving. Though they were generally poor, they would willingly contribute as freely as the well-to-do.