Discussion America’s divides have never been simple. Neither was Pennsylvania’s Civil War history

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Belle Montgomery

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Clement L. Vallandigham’s name is probably not well-known to most Pennsylvanians, but in the 1850s and 1860s, he was a celebrity-politician with close ties to the state. Elected to represent Ohio in Congress, Vallandigham was a Confederate sympathizer who empathized with Southern slave owners. In an 1855 speech, he called abolitionists “zealots” and “traitors.” He led raucous rallies in Northern cities demanding peace with the South, denouncing the U.S. government as a tyrant, and mobilizing what he termed to be patriotic resistance to President Lincoln’s unconstitutional actions. Vallandigham was a son of the North: His father was born in Pennsylvania, and Vallandigham attended Jefferson College — today Washington & Jefferson College in Western Pennsylvania.

With Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Quaker traditions, it is an attractive narrative that Pennsylvania has always been on the “right side of history.” But a fuller accounting of the past always paints a more complicated picture.

Quakers participated in the slave trade. William Penn owned slaves throughout his life. Early Pennsylvania Assemblies rejected the idea of freeing enslaved laborers. Benjamin Franklin disparaged German immigrants, and worried they would degrade the Anglican character of the colony. Anti-Catholic rioters in Philadelphia beat, shot, and stabbed Irish immigrants in 1844......

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Mathew Brady - Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Brady-Handy Photograph Collection.
Clement Laird Vallandigham, a Confederate son of the North.


Rest of Article including links to other relevant articles :

https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/confederate-statues-civil-war-pennsylvania-philadelphia-20191026.html


*Wondering if @Equestriangirl93 saw this article?
 
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Robin Lesjovitch

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Another thing. Revolutionary War soldier Joseph Plumb Martin, who wrote the best known first hand account of that war, referred to Pennsylvanians as "Southerners".
 
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leftyhunter

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On the other hand how many Pennsylvanians fought in the Confederate Army vs the Union Army? What areas of Pennsylvania had a noticeable amount of Confederate guerrillas?
No one has ever argued that all people in Northern states were monolithic in their support of the Union.
Many Southern states were far more divided the any Northern state as measured by how many of their residents joined the Union Army or became Unionist guerrillas.
Leftyhunter
 

Yankee Brooke

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On the other hand how many Pennsylvanians fought in the Confederate Army vs the Union Army? What areas of Pennsylvania had a noticeable amount of Confederate guerrillas?
No one has ever argued that all people in Northern states were monolithic in their support of the Union.
Many Southern states were far more divided the any Northern state as measured by how many of their residents joined the Union Army or became Unionist guerrillas.
Leftyhunter
I do know we supplied a lot to the Union. Second most in number of troops in the Union Army(after New York), as well as a good amount of arms, ammunition, and raw materials.

Not entirely sure on the Confederate side. I know there were a number of transplants who did end up fighting in Confederate units raised in their adoptive states. I'm not aware of any companies, batteries, or cavalry troops raised specifically for the Confederacy, or of the number who may have gone down to enlist in Confederate units from other states, or later defected. I don't believe we had many guerrillas, but don't know, and wouldn't rule it out.
 
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Robin Lesjovitch

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I do know we supplied a lot to the Union. Second most in number of troops in the Union Army(after New York), as well as a good amount of arms, ammunition, and raw materials.

Not entirely sure on the Confederate side. I know there were a number of transplants who did end up fighting in Confederate units raised in their adoptive states. I'm not aware of any companies, batteries, or cavalry troops raised specifically for the Confederacy, or of the number who may have gone down to enlist in Confederate units from other states, or later defected. I don't believe we had many guerrillas, but don't know, and wouldn't rule it out.
Any sympathy for the Confederacy did not include wanting PA in the Confederacy. Some of those sympathizers served in the Union Army as they had allowed politicians to convince them Jeff Davis wanted the whole United States, or they felt PA vulnerable. Among the firmly Northern States during the CW, PA was probably the only one that really felt threatened.
 

Tom Elmore

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The Pennsylvania "Dutch" as a rule seem to have preferred neutrality when it came to choosing sides in the Civil War, and were often disparaged by Union soldiers for that reason. Others can expand on their motivations, but I suppose they were insular mainly because their ancestors had fled Europe to avoid the incessant and destructive internecine warfare of the "Old World."

Incidentally, in the antebellum period a lot of wealthy southerners sent their sons to be educated north of the Mason-Dixon line. I have thus far identified 18 Jefferson College alumni who served at Gettysburg - eleven of them were in the Union army, while seven wore the Confederate gray.
 

leftyhunter

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I do know we supplied a lot to the Union. Second most in number of troops in the Union Army(after New York), as well as a good amount of arms, ammunition, and raw materials.

Not entirely sure on the Confederate side. I know there were a number of transplants who did end up fighting in Confederate units raised in their adoptive states. I'm not aware of any companies, batteries, or cavalry troops raised specifically for the Confederacy, or of the number who may have gone down to enlist in Confederate units from other states, or later defected. I don't believe we had many guerrillas, but don't know, and wouldn't rule it out.
@CSA Today quoted a book that stated 2k men from Pennsylvania enlisted in the Confederate Army which is a reasonable number. I have never read any accounts of Confederate guerrillas in Pennsylvania although a few accounts of deserter gangs .
The most problematic states for the Union in terms of pro Confederate sentiment and in particular guerrilla activity was Missouri, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Not seeing the argument that the loyalty of the state of Pennsylvania was a major Union concern.
Leftyhunter
 
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Yankee Brooke

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@CSA Today quoted a book that stated 2k men from Pennsylvania enlisted in the Confederate Army which is a reasonable number. I have never read any accounts of Confederate guerrillas in Pennsylvania although a few accounts of deserter gangs .
The most problematic states for the Union in terms of pro Confederate sentiment and in particular guerrilla activity was Missouri, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Not seeing the argument that the loyalty of the state of Pennsylvania was a major Union concern.
Leftyhunter
Nobody is making the argument PA's loyalty was a concern. The argument put forth is that it wasn't so black and white as some may think, in PA(or any northern state). Governor Andrew Curtain would never have ratified secession, nor would the majority of residents have desired or voted in favor of it.

like @Robin Lesjovitch said, there was some sympathy, but even they didn't want PA to be IN the Confederacy.
 

Georgia Sixth

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@CSA Today quoted a book that stated 2k men from Pennsylvania enlisted in the Confederate Army which is a reasonable number. I have never read any accounts of Confederate guerrillas in Pennsylvania although a few accounts of deserter gangs .
The most problematic states for the Union in terms of pro Confederate sentiment and in particular guerrilla activity was Missouri, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Not seeing the argument that the loyalty of the state of Pennsylvania was a major Union concern.
Leftyhunter
Lefty, I don't think the point of the article was to suggest Pennsylvanians were disloyal but rather that their motives and interests might not be aligned with waging war or even with opposing secession. This was magnified with the Emancipation Proclamation. For many in the north, dying for union was one thing and dying for emancipation (for black people) was something else altogether. Just look at the enrollment drop off after Jan. 1863.
There is no question a LOT of southerners were not on board with secession and actively resisted the CSA. This was especially the case in areas where Union armies were present or seemed to be poised to move in. It is an interesting question as to how things might have looked along the lower midwest if, say, Bragg's army had remained in Kentucky in 1862, continued as a threat to Cincinnati and confederate cavalry made frequent forays north of the Ohio. That's an enormous hypothetical, but it's interesting. I do know Indiana and Illinois had deserter bands. Had Federal military control not been so absolute, there might well have been more and larger such groups. We'll never know.
 
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leftyhunter

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In past arguments about the state of morale of the Union Army after Lincoln announced the EP I always point out that if the Union Army morale was so bad why didn't the Confederacy win the war? Or put another way the Union Army fought well win or loose in 1863 but more often then not the Union Army won important battles.
Certainly there was anti war sentiment in Pennsylvania and all Union states but not nearly enough to derail the Union war effort.
Leftyhunter
 
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Robin Lesjovitch

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In past arguments about the state of morale of the Union Army after Lincoln announced the EP I always point out that if the Union Army morale was so bad why didn't the Confederacy win the war?
Leftyhunter
The answer has nothing to do with the EP, PA or general army morale. The answer is the Federal Navy. So long as the Union Navy dominated water matters, the Federal war effort was not going to fail short of a collapse of Unionist politics.
 

leftyhunter

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The answer has nothing to do with the EP, PA or general army morale. The answer is the Federal Navy. So long as the Union Navy dominated water matters, the Federal war effort was not going to fail short of a collapse of Unionist politics.
Not so sure of that. Yes the Union Navy played an important role but War's are won by seizing and holding enemy territory. Some on this forum have argued that because of the EP Union Army morale collapsed but they can not explain why then the Confederacy failed to win the ACW in 1863.
Leftyhunter
 
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