When we think of the American Civil War, we usually think of "Southerners" as people who sympathized with the plight of the South, and "Northerners" as people who were all loyal to the Union, but that was not the case. This is one of the things that made the war hard for many to understand, and for many to decide which stance to take.
When the Southern States began seceding from the union in 1861, there were many in the south who remained loyal to the Union. They were labeled Southern Unionist, and there were others in the north that felt the plight of the Confederacy, and were labeled Copperheads, but there were definitely more Southern men that went north to fight for the Union than vice versa. As a matter of fact, each of the Confederates States, except South Carolina, raised at least a battalion to fight for the Union. A battalion is anywhere from 300 to 1,200 soldiers.
A compilation of the approximate numbers of southerners that fought for the Union is as follows: Alabama 3,000, Arkansas 10,000, Florida 3,500, Georgia 400, Louisiana 7,000, Mississippi 545, North Carolina 25,000, Tennessee 42,000, Texas 2,200, Virginia and West Virginia 22,000. Also, almost half of the officers from Virginia who were in the Union Army when the war began, stayed with the Union.
In addition to the southern men that went north to fight for the Union, there were many who changed their loyalties back to the United States when their Southern towns were taken by the Union Army.
Many of the northern men who came south to fight for the Confederacy, came due to family ties, and other personal loyalties, while some fought with the south due to concern that if the slaves were freed, they would take white mens' jobs in the North.
A very interesting fact about Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary. She was born to a very prominent slave holder in Kentucky, and even had her own personal slave as a child. Also, most of her other family members lived in the South and believed in the Southern Cause. This caused much tension in both the north and south. The Southern people pretty much branded Mary as a traitor because she married and stood by her husband on abolishing slavery, and many Northern people did not trust her because she had ties in the South, and they believed she was in the perfect place to pass information to the Confederacy.
As with many other aspects of the civil conflict, there were many variables that could not just be explained away then, or even now. It is sad to say that some people are still angered over the war that divided our great country a century and a half ago.
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Each time a new article is published for the "The Civil War History Examiner," a trivia question will be asked. The answers will come from as many reliable sources as I can find; however, I do not consider myself to be an expert, and my answers and articles are taken from research, but I can only list it as conjecture on my part, because I was not there. Please feel free to state your opinion about the articles and trivia, and please send me your own observations on the information I present. Your comments can be sent to me by clicking on the first box to the right of the headline at the top of this page.
What term refers to Confederate States of America Soldiers that deserted the Confederate cause, and joined the Union Army to fight Indians?
The answer to the last article's trivia question: Was President Abraham Lincoln narrowly elected in 1860 and did he carry his home county. True or False? The answer is yes he was narrowly elected, but no he did not carry his own home county