Research Northerners who travelled South to enlist in the Confederacy?

NedBaldwin

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Feb 19, 2011
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California
The previous governor of Maine claimed that some 7600 Mainers fought for the Confederacy. A representative of the Maine Historical Society commented, "There's no way to say he's right or wrong, but it's not a number I'd go with." Maine State Archivist David Cheever said that approximately 30 people are confirmed to have gone from Maine to the Confederacy, including students who left Bowdoin College in Brunswick and Colby College in Waterville to fight (but they could have been from other parts of the country).

The Bangor Daily News adds Zebulon York (Avon, Maine) and Josiah Gorges (Augusta, Maine).
Josiah gorges was born in PA but spent the years before the war in Alabama and married the daughter of the governor of Alabama
 

NedBaldwin

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I've been wondering if there are any examples of this for a while.
I learned of two individuals from my State who at the very least opposed the Union's role in the war verbally; Lysander Spooner, an abolitionist who compared the Union's effort to stop Southern secession to a master's effort to stop the freeing of his slaves, and Ambrose L. Kimball, an Essex County journalist who openly voiced that he felt the Lincoln administration's policies and efforts were contradictory to the ideals of the Founding Fathers, which resulting in him getting tarred, feathered and essentially chased to Iowa.
These two made me wonder if any Northerners, particularly from New England, opposed the Union with arms rather than rhetoric and attempted to or succeeding in enlisting in the Confederacy.

I'm aware of at least John Clifford Pemberton from Pennsylvania doing as such, however he was a General and I'm more interested in lower ranks, particularly those who would enlist as Privates.
Northerners who were caught attempting to join or aid the Confederacy would also be of interest.
Pemberton had married a Virginia woman who seemed to have a significant influence on him
 

Fairfield

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Dec 5, 2019
Josiah gorges was born in PA but spent the years before the war in Alabama and married the daughter of the governor of Alabama
Perhaps he was living in Maine when he left--which led to be his being included. Or perhaps there was a mix-up between Augusta, Maine and Augusta, Georgia. ☺️ I guess this brings the count down to 29!
😂
 

ErnieMac

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By June 1863, as the Army of Northern Virginia prepared for what would become the Gettysburg Campaign, the red-haired stepchild of its cavalry command otherwise known as the 15th Virginia Cavalry prepared to remain behind keep an eye on Federal activities in Virginia. The regiment had been formed by the merger of the 14th and 15th Virginia Cavalry Battalions and a couple of independent companies. Its commander, Colonel William Ball was capable, but frequently absent because of medical issues. The second in command, Lieutenant Colonel John Critcher was inept at the logistics, being unable to keep his men well fed or supplied. He could not discipline his command or himself, being captured in May 1863 during an authorized visit to his home on the Northern Neck of Virginia.

One of Colonel Ball's last acts during active command was to request the assignment of Captain Charles Read Collins to the vacant position of Major of the 15th Cavalry. Collins was a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; appointed to the U.S. Military Academy from which he graduated 3rd in the Class of 1859. He took a Virginian as his wife which probably influenced his decision to resign from the U.S. Army in June, 1861, to seek a commission in the Confederate Army. Collins served capably as an artilleryman and engineer for the next two years.

While relatively unengaged for the next three months, Collins completely turned the unit around in terms of morale and discipline. The unit rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia and served creditably during the autumn of 1863 campaigns. Collins was strongly recommended for promotion to Colonel of the 15th Virginia Cavalry during the winter months, but the presence of Lieutenant Colonel Critcher on the rolls proved an impediment. In a bureaucratic sidestepping of the issue, Collins was approved as the temporary colonel and commander of the 15th Virginia. He served in the capacity until killed in action near Todd's Tavern on May 7, 1864, during the opening phases of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.
 

Joshism

2nd Lieutenant
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Jupiter, FL
The percentage of US Navy officers who "went South" was significantly higher than in the US Army.

I was pretty sure it was just the opposite. Reason being that in the Army northern-born officers often served in the South, marrying (literally or figuratively) into the region. In contrast, Navy officers were mostly at sea and didn't have the opportunity to establish such ties.

However, one source I found claims 25% of Army officers and 24% of Navy officers resigned.

I think some discrepancies arise because counts of Army officers only have commissioned officers while some Navy statistics include Midshipmen and Warrant Officers. (To my knowledge, the Army had no real equivalent to those ranks at that time.)

Numbers also vary depending if you only count accepted resignations or also include dismissals.
 

Joshism

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A curious case I came across was Bushrod Johnson. He was not just born in Ohio. His parents were abolitionist Quakers. Given that he went to West Point (Quakers are a pacifist sect), I imagine he wasn't particularly committed to the religion of his upbringing.

I get the distinct impression that if you count Confederates who resided in the North as of 1860 you get a vastly smaller number than if you count everyone born in a northern state. In contrast, I'm pretty sure Southern Unionists were almost entirely native Southerners, not transplants.

And because of migration patterns you have very few Southern-born residents of Northern states in 1860. Those that did exist were almost entirely in southern OH, IN, and IL.
 

Lubliner

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A curious case I came across was Bushrod Johnson. He was not just born in Ohio. His parents were abolitionist Quakers. Given that he went to West Point (Quakers are a pacifist sect), I imagine he wasn't particularly committed to the religion of his upbringing.

I get the distinct impression that if you count Confederates who resided in the North as of 1860 you get a vastly smaller number than if you count everyone born in a northern state. In contrast, I'm pretty sure Southern Unionists were almost entirely native Southerners, not transplants.

And because of migration patterns you have very few Southern-born residents of Northern states in 1860. Those that did exist were almost entirely in southern OH, IN, and IL.
Hello. I believe Bushrod was implicated in some dirty doings up north, and as far as I know he was innocent. But it left such a skewed view of Yankeedom, he went south to fight for the confederacy.
Lubliner.
 

NedBaldwin

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Hello. I believe Bushrod was implicated in some dirty doings up north, and as far as I know he was innocent. But it left such a skewed view of Yankeedom, he went south to fight for the confederacy.
Lubliner.
He was implicated in dirty dealings while in the US Army in Mexico after the war there.

He lived Nashville TN from 1849-1861. So he went South and later fought for the Confederacy; not to fight for the confederacy.
 

NedBaldwin

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Samuel Cooper, Adjutant-General was Born in New Jersey.
Daniel Ruggles - came from Massachusetts.
Col. Charles Read Collins, 15th Virginia Cavalry Was born in Pennsylvania.
Maj. Jedediah Hotchkiss, Topographical Engineer was Born in New York.
Brig.Gen. Albert Pike came from Boston.
Pike had moved to arkansas in the early 1830s so by the time of the civil war he had been living in the south for over 25 years and had not travelled south to enlist in the confederacy

Hotchkiss moved to Virgnia as a teenager in the late 1840s, so by the time of the civil war he had been living in the Virginia for over a decade and had not travelled south to enlist in the confederacy

cooper had been living in the DC area for over 20 years by the time of the civil wars so had not travelled south to enlist in the confederacy

in the 1830s Ruggles married a Virginia woman and as far as I can tell when he was on leave from the army he lived with his father in law in Virginia while his wife was birthing their kids so he hadnt really travelled south to enlist in the confederacy either
 

NedBaldwin

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Thanks. Do you know of if he was involved in those dealings in Mexico, or what they were about?
Lubliner.
Its hard to tell. The reference I have seen is that there was a scheme to use government ships and wagons to bring in private stuff like tobacco to sell to the troops. He was assigned to command of the supply depot and was thought to be involved. He resigned before there was a hearing.
 

Lubliner

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Its hard to tell. The reference I have seen is that there was a scheme to use government ships and wagons to bring in private stuff like tobacco to sell to the troops. He was assigned to command of the supply depot and was thought to be involved. He resigned before there was a hearing.
Didn't he move his family back up into Ohio at the beginning of the war?
Lubliner.
 

leftyhunter

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los angeles ca
By the numbers the amount of Norththners who joined the Confedracy was rather small vs well over two hundred thousand Southeners black and white who enlisted in the Union Army. Yes there were Northern born officers in the Confedrate Army and Navy as well as Southern born officers in the Union military. Overall for every Northener who joined the Confedrate military most likely twenty Southeners joined the Union miltary.
Leftyhunter
 

KianGaf

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By the numbers the amount of Norththners who joined the Confedracy was rather small vs well over two hundred thousand Southeners black and white who enlisted in the Union Army. Yes there were Northern born officers in the Confedrate Army and Navy as well as Southern born officers in the Union military. Overall for every Northener who joined the Confedrate military most likely twenty Southeners joined the Union miltary.
Leftyhunter

Wasn’t Louisiana one of the biggest southern states for Union enlistments.
 

leftyhunter

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los angeles ca
By the numbers the amount of Norththners who joined the Confedracy was rather small vs well over two hundred thousand Southeners black and white who enlisted in the Union Army. Yes there were Northern born officers in the Confedrate Army and Navy as well as Southern born officers in the Union military. Overall for every Northener who joined the Confedrate military most likely twenty Southeners joined the Union miltary.
Leftyhunter
Wasn’t Louisiana one of the biggest southern states for Union enlistments.
Tenessee by far at 42k men per " Lincoln's Loyalists Union soldiers from the Confedracy" Richard Current North East University Press. Arkansas was second with 10k men. These figures are for white troops.
USCT trooper's of course come from areas under Union occupation and ate listed in Dyers Compendium.
Certainly Louisiana did contribute Union volounteers but more so USCT. Current does list a few Unionist Regiments and they are also listed in Dyers Compendium which is on line.
Leftyhunter
 

ErnieMac

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Hello. I believe Bushrod was implicated in some dirty doings up north, and as far as I know he was innocent. But it left such a skewed view of Yankeedom, he went south to fight for the confederacy.
Lubliner.
Johnson was accused of trying to misappropriate government property during the Mexican War and allowed to resign. A 2008 article in the Murphreesboro Post stated "He was then transferred to Gen. Winfield Scotts army for the Vera Cruz campaign. Instead of being given a combat role, Johnson was appointed acting assistant commissary. At this point in his career, Johnson made a serious mistake in judgment and approached his commanding officer in New Orleans with a scheme to make money by misappropriating government property. That officer turned him in. A government inquiry followed and the decision was appealed to then President James K. Polk. Johnson was allowed to resign his commission in October 1847 without prosecution."

https://www.murfreesboropost.com/co...cle_5e1cb433-0b2d-502d-a8c9-5f864f61d1c6.html
 

19thGeorgia

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Apr 4, 2017
There were a lot of northerners living in places like Mobile and New Orleans when the war broke out and had to serve in the local militia. Some may have been conscripted by the CSA.
 
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