actually you concluded your post with "Mountain folk plainly understood that the stated reason for secession was to guarantee the rights of slaveholders & cement their social pretensions into law forever. They weren’t about to fight & die for that."\n\nBut your saying now that wasnt their motivation to not fight and die, but to desert instead?\n\nMy point is that the people living in the border states & non-slaveholding, mostly mountainous areas of slave states fought against secession & either, out of principle or de facto, the abolition of slavery. After the first blush, a remarkable number of border state & mountain men left the Confederate Army & returned home where they defied all attempts to bring them back into the ranks. The situation in North Carolina became so critical that Gen. Lee had to send several regiments of NC troops back home to reestablish control of the mountains. Of course, as soon as they returned to the front, folks came out of hiding & the status quo ante returned. The number of Lee's men who took the opportunity to stay home was surpassed, so it is unknowable. Border State men really, really did not want to fight for slavery.