For something other than home and hearth: Border state Confederates

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#1
http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/songsheets.bsvg501691/pg.1/

Though due to circumstances the regiment was never fully formed, they still serve as an example (typical or not, I don't know) of Confederates from the border states.

And judging by the song, they were going off to war for something other than home and hearth.

Adventure may have been a motivation, but why did they join the Confederate army if they merely wanted adventure?

Hoping this doesn't disappear from apathy, since there were enough Missouri and Kentucky (if not so many Maryland) Confederates going south that their views should not be overlooked.
 

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16thVA

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#2
Hi Elennsar, I was waiting to see what response others had to the thread, but since no one else has jumped in I will. I think, as possibly you do, that this issue of the border states and the Confederacy has never been properly addressed. As an occasional editor at Wikipedia I have had a sore spot for this phrase at the beginning of the "American Civil War" page-

Led by Jefferson Davis, they fought against the United States (the Union), which was supported by all the free states and the five border slave states.
I think you will probably agree that some qualification should be made to the latter part of that sentence. While the free states mostly gave support to the war, no one can really say the same for the border states. If my reading of troop numbers is correct, the states of Maryland, Missouri and Kentucky each gave about 30-35,000 troops each to the Confederacy, and contemporary estimates for West Virginia are about 20-22,000. This translates to 110-127,000, or 110 to 127 regiments. That is a tremendous number and how much that support from just 4 border states extended the war I don't think has been adequately investigated. While we have "Lincoln's Loyalists" by Richard Current, we should also have "Davis' Loyalists" to balance the equation, but the present state of scholarship I think precludes the issue of such a volume.

As for motivation, I cannot speak for the other border states, but my belief is that many West Virginians were conditional Unionists, though their conditions were different than east Virginia, i.e., that they would remain in the Union as long as they were left alone. McClellan's invasion was what motivated many west Virginians to support the Confederacy who would otherwise have stayed at home.
 
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#3
Hi Elennsar, I was waiting to see what response others had to the thread, but since no one else has jumped in I will. I think, as possibly you do, that this issue of the border states and the Confederacy has never been properly addressed. As an occasional editor at Wikipedia I have had a sore spot for this phrase at the beginning of the "American Civil War" page-
Indeed. The issue tends to be treated as a matter of "Lincoln kept them in the Union". Kentucky at least gets somewhat better treatment thanks to writing on the Orphan Brigade, but the rest seems to be overlooked.

I think you will probably agree that some qualification should be made to the latter part of that sentence. While the free states mostly gave support to the war, no one can really say the same for the border states. If my reading of troop numbers is correct, the states of Maryland, Missouri and Kentucky each gave about 30-35,000 troops each to the Confederacy, and contemporary estimates for West Virginia are about 20-22,000. This translates to 110-127,000, or 110 to 127 regiments.
I believe the number is high for Maryland (though I have no evidence to give a better figure, the dearth of units made up of Marylanders seems to indicate a lower figure), but that still leaves over a hundred thousand - out of a Confederate army that was not over a million and could have been as low as three quarters of a million.

Kentucky did send far more men to serve the Union (I don't know on Missouri), but this still leaves the state decidedly torn - not unambiguously pro-Union.

That is a tremendous number and how much that support from just 4 border states extended the war I don't think has been adequately investigated. While we have "Lincoln's Loyalists" by Richard Current, we should also have "Davis' Loyalists" to balance the equation, but the present state of scholarship I think precludes the issue of such a volume.

As for motivation, I cannot speak for the other border states, but my belief is that many West Virginians were conditional Unionists, though their conditions were different than east Virginia, i.e., that they would remain in the Union as long as they were left alone. McClellan's invasion was what motivated many west Virginians to support the Confederacy who would otherwise have stayed at home.
It seems to be a viable theory. It certainly stirred up men who would otherwise have let the war go on without them.
 

16thVA

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#4
I don't really want this to be about West Virginia, but that is all I really know. I hope some who are familiar with MO, KY, and MD will kick in here. Anway-

In 1959 Richard Curry wrote about problems of West Virginia history in WV History, Vol. XX, No. 4, July 1959-
The approach of these writers to the history is valid in-so-far as it goes. The difficulty lies more in the area of omission than comission
This is still true a half-century later. An example of this is the sometimes quoted statement of George W. Summers to Gen. Lee that eastern troops would be resented in west Virginia. George W. Summers was perhaps the most prominent west Virginian in Virginia. He had run unsuccessfully for Governor in 1851. He was sought out by both Union and Confederate supporters, but since he refused to take a stand was considered a traitor by both sides. What is usually left out of West Virginia history is his warning to Gen. McClellan that Union troops would be treated as enemies in the Kanawha Valley.

I have been preparing a new map for my website, which I guess I will preview here. This is a map of Virginia, the dark green are the counties voting for secession from the United States in May 23, 1861. The light green counties are those that had voted 3 or 4/1 against secession, yet gave 44%-80% of their soldiers to the Confederacy.

VA1860.jpg
 
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#5
http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/songsheets.bsvg501691/pg.1/

Though due to circumstances the regiment was never fully formed, they still serve as an example (typical or not, I don't know) of Confederates from the border states.

And judging by the song, they were going off to war for something other than home and hearth.

Adventure may have been a motivation, but why did they join the Confederate army if they merely wanted adventure?

Hoping this doesn't disappear from apathy, since there were enough Missouri and Kentucky (if not so many Maryland) Confederates going south that their views should not be overlooked.
They were going to fight for their "rats".
 

16thVA

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#7
We went to wo-wuh to faht fuh ar rahts.

Considering the success of "The State of Jones" lately, I wonder why historians haven't picked up on the "Independent State of Webster"? Webster County, WV, was described by the Ohio newspapers as "the heart of Africa" because of the many rebel bushwhackers there. This is from the history of Lewis County.

Webster, Braxton, Gilmer, Clay and most of the other so called "back counties" sent more soldiers into the Confederate than into the Union forces. The Webster County court protested against paying taxes to West Virginia, declaring that county still a part of Virginia. Some Union men pointed out the fact that the territory of Webster was separated from the remainder of Virginia by a part of West Virginia; and if they did not want to be in the new state the only course would be to form an independent state. It has been called the "Independent State" ever since.

pgs. 294-95 "A History of Lewis County, West Virginia" by Edward Conrad Smith
 

ole

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#8
Interesting thread, gentlemen. Thought-provoking. (Cue the groans.)

If we are to buy into the "home and hearth" argument, then we'll have to assume that those torn between two wooers had differing views of who was the bigger threat.

Were those from the deep south who wore blue uniforms fighting for hearth and home? Were those from the north who donned butternut or gray fighting for hearth and home?

They were all thinking men and boys and, in my opinion, mainly fought for Union or disUnion.

The universe is too large to write in every book why any one enlisted, but it does look very much like most fought on either side of the main issue.
 

Borderruffian

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#9
Missouri sent far more men to the Union cause than to the Confederate cause is the common knowledge , but the books are generally cooked on the numbers, alot of authors and other educated personages tend to lump in the MSM, Home Guard, State Militia (61-62) EMM and PEMM in those numbers as they were "Union" the EMM is the chestnut. Enrolled Missouri Militia (EMM) and the act that established it required every able bodied male citizen to enroll for service with the state and defense of the state when called upon unless you declared to the Provost Marshal that you were a secessionist and thus disloyal, which would pretty much certainly get a train or wagon ride to lovely Alton Prison or the Garroit Street bed and breakfast in St. Louis. Hence alot of southern sympathizers enrolled in the EMM, to the point that some of these units were in fact filled with Secessionist's especially in the Little Dixie Region. In fact the EMM in 63 was so unrealible that it was replaced by the Provisonal EMM made up of certified 'Loyal' men . They disbanded after their units became over eager in the "punishment" of disloyal persons and the EMM was reinstated.

The MSM, Missouri State Militia, mostly Cavalry Regiments were also State Troops that never left the state but instead "combated" Confederate Partisans in the state and also were good at stealing horses, valuables, and confiscating "Contraband" i.e. slaves for resale. The 9th MSM Cavalry especially Co. C has the distinction of being referred to as, as bad as Red Legs by General O. Guitar their former commander while they were assigned to NE Missouri.

All these units EMM, PEMM, MSM, Home Guard (61) and State Militia (61-62) were state troops and not actual Union volunteers.
 

16thVA

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#10
Hence alot of southern sympathizers enrolled in the EMM, to the point that some of these units were in fact filled with Secessionist's especially in the Little Dixie Region.
I think we have the basis for a new book, "Reluctant Unionists", but I doubt if it will ever get written. The following quotes are from James C. McGregor's "Disruption of Virginia", pgs. 246-47, footnotes.

Letter from C.F. Ritchie, to General Samuels: "The largest company in the Regiment are all Secesch save three. I made it elect a good Union Captain, but few of them turned out."

Letter to General Samuels, Kanawha Court House, April 14, 1862: "Almost all the old officers are rebels...How are we to deal with Secessionists?...Please understand we are just as though the Regiment had never been organized."

Letter to Governor Pierpoint from Colonel Harris, 10th Regiment, located at Harrisville, March 27, 1862: "The election of officers in the Gilmer County Company was a farce. The men elected were rebels and bush-whackers. The election of these men was intended, no doubt, as a burlesque on the reorganization of the militia."

Letter to General Samuels from Glenville, Gilmer County, March 19, 1862, from Captain Hall: "The election of officers resulted in a perfect burlesque. They were all secession leaders of guerrilla parties."

Note.-All the above letters were found by the author of this monograph in the Department of Archives and History, Charleston, W.Va.
 

Borderruffian

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#11
To give you an idea of how divided the EMM was throughout the war, in 1864 a Lt. Haas or Hoss the name varies had command of an EMM company of the 67th EMM garrisoning the town of Middletown. A concerned and "loyal" citizen made an affidavit to the Provost Marshal of Montgomery County at Wellsville that the Lt. and the majority of his men were disloyal and "rabid" southern secessionists. In response the Provost Marshal called up another company of the 67th EMM from the Hermann/Rhineland area of Gasconade and Montgomery Counties to act as a strong provost guard.

To give you an idea, Middletown was a typical Little Dixie community settled by Kentuckians, Virginians and Tennesseians in the 1820's and 30's. Hermann and Rhineland were settled by almost totally German immigrants and both provided companies to the same EMM Regt.

Word reached Middletown soon enough that the provostwas planning to march the Hermann Company on Middletown and disarm the EMM company there and place the officers under arrest. The Lt commandings response was as follows.

"Tell him (the Provost) that if those ****ed lopp earred Dutch Abolishionists march on Middletown they will get all my bullets, from the barrels of all my guns."

Life in the EMM.

Middletown was never marched upon.
 

Nathanb1

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#13
Just goes to show that Texas was luckier than Missouri. We had Comanches and Mexican bandits left to "entertain" our less-committed troops, rather than having them fritter around in North and East Texas. Just send 'em out to the frontier where they REALLY had something to keep them occupied.
 
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#14
In his book "Battle Cry of Freedom" James McPherson wrote the following:

"In the four border states the proportion of slaves and slaveowners was less than half what it was in the eleven states that seceded. But the triumph of unionism in these states was not easy and the outcome (except in Delaware) by no means certain. Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri contained large and resolute secessionist minorities. A slight twist in the chain of events might have enable this faction to prevail in any of these states. Much was at stake in this contest. The three states would have added 45 percent to the white population and military manpower of the Confederacy, 80 percent to its manufacturing capacity, and nearly 40 percent to its supply of horses and mules. For almost five hundred miles the Ohio river flows along the northern border of Kentucky, providing a defensive barrier or an avenue of invasion, depending on which side could control and fortify it. Two of the Ohio's navigable tributaries, the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers, penetrate through Kentucky into the heat of Tennessee and Northern Alabama. Little wonder that Lincoln was report to have said that while he hoped to have God on his side, he must have Kentucky.
Control of Maryland was even more immediately crucial, for the state enclosed Washington on three sides (with Virginia on the fourth) and it allegiance could determine the capital's fate, at the outset of the war. Like the lower South, Maryland had voted for Breckinridge in the presidential election. Southern-Rights Democrats controlled the legislature; only the stubborn refusal of unionist Governor Thomas hicks to call legislature into session forestalled action by that body. The tobacco counties of southern Maryland and the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay were secessionist. The grain-growing counties of northern and western Maryland, containing few slaves, were safe for the Union. But the loyalty of Baltimore, with a third of the state's population, was suspect. The mayor's unionism was barely tepid, and the police chief sympathized with the South. Confederate flags appeared on many city homes and buildings during the tense days after Sumter. The traditional role of mobs in Baltimore politics created a volatile situation. Only a spark was needed to ignite the states secessionists, such a spark hit the streets of Baltimore on April 19.
On that day the 6th Massachusetts Regiment--the first fully equipped unit to respond to Lincoln's call for troops--entered Baltimore on its way to Washington. No rail line passed through Baltimore, so the troops had to detrain at the east-side station and cross the city to board a train to the capital. A mob gathered in the path of the soldiers and grew increasingly violent. Rioters attacked the rear companies of the regiment with bricks, paving stones, and pistols. Angry and afraid, a few soldiers opened fire. That unleashed the mob. By the time the Massachusetts men had fought their way to the station and entrained for Washington, four soldiers and twelve Baltimoreans lay dead and several score groaned with wounds. They were the first of more than 700,000 combat casualties during the next four years. . . "

The action described in McPherson's book was to set into motion Maryland's role in the Civil War. Maryland would prove the adage that it was a war of brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. The eastern part of Maryland was clearly pro Confederate while the western part of the state was clearly pro Union. Few know the role that Maryland played in its support of the Confederacy because most history books barely touch on this subject and many think that Maryland was just another Union state. But was it?
 

brass napoleon

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#15
The action described in McPherson's book was to set into motion Maryland's role in the Civil War. Maryland would prove the adage that it was a war of brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor. The eastern part of Maryland was clearly pro Confederate while the western part of the state was clearly pro Union. Few know the role that Maryland played in its support of the Confederacy because most history books barely touch on this subject and many think that Maryland was just another Union state. But was it?
That was Bobby Lee's question too when he invaded. Part of the plan was to free Maryland from her "cruel oppressors" and get new recruits for Lee's army. Instead they were sorely disappointed at all the pro-Union sentiment they ran into. They were singing "Maryland, O Maryland" on the way in but they sure weren't singing it on the way out. Of course they invaded the western half of the state. As you mentioned, things could have been a lot different if they had invaded the eastern half.

I took an interesting tour of the Antietam battlefield once with GPS coordinates of some of the Maryland monuments. It was interesting to see the placement of both Confederate and Union Maryland regiments on the battlefield. Brother against brother, for sure.
 
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#17
And of course Culp's Hill at Gettysburg was the only place that Maryland Confederate units fought Maryland Union units during that battle
not to be disrespectful but that is untrue, the 1st Maryland Infantry CSA captured the 1st Maryland Infantry USA en masse at the battle of Front Royal on May 23rd, 1862. Also as far as Maryland's involvement in the Confederacy, try Daniel Hartzler's book "Marylanders in the Confederacy". Hartzler documents around 11,000 Maryland Confederates. Another estimate that is unsubstantiated is Isaac Trimbles claim of 20,000 Maryland Confederates serving in the Confederate War Machine. One can't judge the particiaption by Marylanders by their amount of commands in the field. Numerous Marylanders are found in various units in other states of the Confederacy.

recommended reading:

Maryland and the Confederacy by Harry Wright Newman privately published 1976
Marylanders in the Confederacy by Daniel Hartzler has been reprinted several times
The Maryland Line in the Confederate States Army by Goldsborough also reprinted several times ( Captain Goldsborough of the 1st Md Infantry CSA captured his brother of the 1st Md Infantry USA at the aforementioned Battle of Front Royal)
 

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