Discussion College Students in Arms - Duke University and the Trinity Guard

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Greensboro, North Carolina
#1
For background information: Trinity College was the predecessor to Duke University from 1856-1892 before the college was moved from Greensboro to Durham and later renamed to Duke University. Trinity College itself had previously been called Normal Callege from 1851-1856, Union Institute Academy from 1839-1851, and began as a simple schoolhouse called Brown's Schoolhouse for an undetermined amount of time before 1839. The students that attended Trinity College around the time of the American Civil War can be assumed to be between the ages of 16 and 25 years old, "But, boys, you ought to have seen some of our games of bandy. Imagine thirty or forty athletes, from sixteen to twenty-five years of age..." (1). Notably the president of the college was displeased with the South being reliant on the North (2) despite never supporting the Confederacy much like the community around him (3).

Before the close of the 1860-1861 school year about forty students had left college and volunteered themselves to the Confederacy with the remainder planning to follow the example of the original forty students, or not returning to school at all (4). To remedy this and prevent further drop outs, Trinity's President organised a company among the remaining students and called them the Trinity Guard. In addition to this he organised a military department within the college and planned for Trinity to become a military school over the coming summer. The Guard was made up of current students, graduated students and faculty.

The chief purpose of the Guard was to quell local disturbances as residents nearby resisted both the secession of North Carolina that May alongside the military requirements of the Confederacy. However, in late 1861 the Guard was stationed at Salisbury, North Carolina to assist with the overflow of federal prisoners and the reluctance of North Carolinians to take up jobs related to caring for those inmates (5). Following relative success in Salisbury the Secretary of War asserted that the Guard be put to use for the Confederate Army (6), and regrettably following a change in draft laws in 1862, the students and faculty between the ages of 18 and 35 were subject to abide. Though some resistance from Trinity's President followed, it is unclear how many members of the Guard were drafted into the Confederate Army while the remaining members of the Guard were able to continue their peace keeping activity (7).

I am curious to know what others think of this idea and how it was executed.

For further reading on the activities of the Trinity Guard or the history of Duke University since it's inception I direct you to Trinity College 1839-1892 The Beginnings of Duke University by Nora C. Chaffin.

(1) Cole, Miscellany, p. 253.
(2) [Braxton Craven, Lectures, 1842-1882],Trinity College (Randolph County, N.C.) Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
(3) [Braxton Craven, Lecture on Slavery], Trinity College (Randolph County, N.C.) Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
(4) [Report of the President of the Faculty to the Board of Trustees for the Year Ending June 20, 1861], Office of the Treasurer, Duke University.
(5) [Braxton Craven to Governor Henry T. Clark, Aug. 5, 1861, and I. L. Wright to Governor Henry T. Clark, March 10, 1862], Governor's Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
(6) Brooks, "Captain Craven and the Trinity Guard," p.182.
(7) Brooks, "Captain Craven and the Trinity Guard," p. 184-185.

EDIT: Minor grammatical errors.
 
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