The Non-Celtic Confederacy

18thVirginia

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Is it reality that the south was "largely" populated with Scots-Irish? And how many "viewed themselves" as descendants of the cavaliers? I have read one contemporary author describing southern gentlemen as descended from English or Hugenot aristocrats(aka "cavaliers") but nothing about Irish or "celtic" identity, romantic or not.
I think Pat Young had some previous threads which demonstrated that the South had far less people of Scots-Irish descent than other regions.
 

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Is it reality that the south was "largely" populated with Scots-Irish? And how many "viewed themselves" as descendants of the cavaliers? I have read one contemporary author describing southern gentlemen as descended from English or Hugenot aristocrats(aka "cavaliers") but nothing about Irish or "celtic" identity, romantic or not.
Everything I've read on the subject (The Irish in the South by David Gleeson is a good one) seems to agree that the Scots-Irish were the primary or at least one of the main sources of immigrant to the American south.
I haven't read anything about "celtic" feeling among southerners in that time either. I have read quotes and old newspaper editorials and the like from that time describing themselves as the descendents of the Normans who were decidedly not "celtic", and that the south was fighting another conflict pitting their more high-born gentility against saxon "vulgarity" personified by the northern states.

Which is why I feel there may be a dissonance at work. If the reality is that a majority of the south is Scottish by way of Ireland but the romance says they are gentlemen by way of Normandy then there is a disconnect somewhere, or at least propaganda doing what propaganda does: make people feel like they're special.

I mean, it's all nonsense.
 

18thVirginia

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Here's the thread, Pat Young mentioned it earlier.

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/celticness-of-the-south-split-from-celtic-and-other-influences-on-secession.106980/

Was reading a book on the antebellum southwest and its fiction recently. The author noted that those who settled the old southwest were more frontier people and far less cavalier-like than the eastern seaboard folks, but that they came to identify with the whole cavalier mentality, even if they were living in Arkansas or Alabama. I'll have to find the link--was only reading the ebook online.
 

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I'm sure this has been discussed fully here before, but my simple understanding is that of the original pioneers in the colonial era, the first-comers who settled along the eastern seaboard tended to come from traditional England (that is, NOT Scotland, Ireland, or even Wales); that included large landowners like the Washingtons as well as indentured servants. It was during the later colonial period that the Scotch-Irish famously migrated into the region using the Shenandoah Valley as a corridor into the hinterlands of Western Virginia, the Carolinas, and even Georgia. This created a notable difference between the "English" of the Tidewater regions and the Scotch-Irish "mountaineers" typified by the Regulator movement in Western North Carolina and the slightly-later Overmountain settlers of what would become Tennessee and Kentucky. At the time of the Revolution this was a real and marked difference which seems - from the writings here at least - to have largely been obscured or forgotten altogether by these post-Civil War writers who strove to portray the Solid South from a slightly different perspective.
 
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Here's the thread, Pat Young mentioned it earlier.

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/celticness-of-the-south-split-from-celtic-and-other-influences-on-secession.106980/

Was reading a book on the antebellum southwest and its fiction recently. The author noted that those who settled the old southwest were more frontier people and far less cavalier-like than the eastern seaboard folks, but that they came to identify with the whole cavalier mentality, even if they were living in Arkansas or Alabama. I'll have to find the link--was only reading the ebook online.

Thank you. That was really interesting. I guess it would make sense for the relatively poor Scots-Irish immigrants to end up in the more hilly interior regions, the fertile lowlands being filled with the initial English immigrants.
 

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Thank you. That was really interesting. I guess it would make sense for the relatively poor Scots-Irish immigrants to end up in the more hilly interior regions, the fertile lowlands being filled with the initial English immigrants.
These areas were also less densely settled. So while Appalachia is a big region and there were many "Scots Irish" there, it was a relatively small part of the South demographically.

These Scots-Irish areas were also the most likely places for anti-Confederate activities. East Tennessee is just one example.
 

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but they (romantically) viewed themselves as being the descendants of Norman cavalier aristocracy fighting a second English Civil War against the uncouth roundheads.
Yep. Glatthaar discusses this in General Lee's Army:

Southerners also claimed superior breeding. They argued that they descended from Virginia cavaliers who themselves were descended from Normans. Yankee ancestors descended from Saxons and after them the Puritans. In fact, few Southerners had cavalier lineage, and intermixture among Normans, Saxons and other peoples over dozens of generations had diluted any Norman blood that pulsed through their veins. Nonetheless, they believed it so. No one should have been surprised, they asserted, that their superior breeding and superior culture and upbringing would produce superior soldiers who could overcome Yankee advantages in manpower and material.

It was a self-deception based on an imagined "heritage." My own view is that the Celtic roots of the South are today being overstated in a similar way. (And I say that as a descendant of at least one group of Scots-Irish Confederates.) All things Scots, especially, are going through a resurgence in popular culture, so there's lots of tendency to hitch onto that, and make any and every connection more significant than it probably was, especially when many of the Celtic-descended southerners of 150 years ago were themselves several generations removed from the wind-swept moors and lochs of Auld Caledonia.

I personally blame this mess on James Doohan, Mel Gibson, Jim Webb, and Groundskeeper Willie.
 
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DanF

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These Scots-Irish areas were also the most likely places for anti-Confederate activities. East Tennessee is just one example.
It's worth noting that many of the earlier settlers of what later became east Tennessee were revolutionary war veterans who received their 600 acre section as rewards for their revolutionary war service. When originally settleed the area was still part of North Carolina before the formation of the State of Tennessee..
 

18thVirginia

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Yep. Glatthaar discusses this in General Lee's Army:

Southerners also claimed superior breeding. They argued that they descended from Virginia cavaliers who themselves were descended from Normans. Yankee ancestors descended from Saxons and after them the Puritans. In fact, few Southerners had cavalier lineage, and intermixture among Normans, Saxons and other peoples over dozens of generations had diluted any Norman blood that pulsed through their veins. Nonetheless, they believed it so. No one should have been surprised, they asserted, that their superior breeding and superior culture and upbringing would produce superior soldiers who could overcome Yankee advantages in manpower and material.

It was a self-deception based on an imagined "heritage." My own view is that the Celtic roots of the South are today being overstated in a similar way. (And I say that as a descendant of at least one group of Scots-Irish Confederates.) All things Scots, especially, are going through a resurgence in popular culture, so there's lots of tendency to hitch onto that, and make any and every connection more significant than it probably was, especially when many of the Celtic-descended southerners of 150 years ago were themselves several generations removed from the wind-swept moors and lochs of old Caledonia.

I personally blame this mess on James Doohan, Mel Gibson, Jim Webb, and Groundskeeper Willie.
I've noticed in looking at my family, which is mostly English--but not in the slightest cavaliers--that they settled in areas of the South where the Scots-Irish are supposed to have settled. Perhaps that's the result of the bounty lands which DanF mentions from the Wars of the Revolution or 1812, so one could think one's ancestors were Scots-Irish when they were just plain poor English folks who lived in the same place as the S-I's--because they all fought in the same war.

An interesting note from looking for one branch of my family which has the name "Montgomery," but we have no idea where in the South they came from. Found a distant male family member and we joined the Montgomery database, but don't match up with other Montgomery's--turns out that's not unusual. One historical type explained that when the Scottish leaders went to Ireland, his group of followers joined him and they all took the name "Montgomery." So, one's Scottish forebears may be as pedestrian as my English ones, not the stuff of Mel Gibson characters.

Edited: We know our Montgomery's came from KY and TN, but we don't know where, who they're related to or how they got to TN.
 
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Waterloo50

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There seems to be a conflict between romance and reality here in that the southern states were in reality largely populated by people of Scots-Irish descent, but they (romantically) viewed themselves as being the descendants of Norman cavalier aristocracy fighting a second English Civil War against the uncouth roundheads. It's a strange kind of dissonance at work.

Of course, I don't know quite how widespread such feeling was, but quite a lot of evidence for it has come down to us. It's a strange aspect of the war: this feeling that they were just fighting an age-old conflict between irreconcilable "races".
The only people here in England other than historians to use the term 'Anglo Saxon' to describe white heritage are the far right-wing extremist groups. With regards to using 'Norman' to describe anyone in England is pretty much never used, none of us would ever admit to having anything even remotely close to French blood in our veins, that would be like saying that most of us are Roman. I was born in London, I have a Scottish mother an English father and Irish Grandparents, I'm a complete mix of races from the British isles, when we use the term Celtic we tend to think of Celtic Art and language, when we hear the phrase Cavalier we think only of Alexandre Dumas, back then you were either Royalist or Parliamentarian (Roundhead). My Scottish ancestors didn't see themselves as Gaelic, Celtic or Scot, they only identified with their clan, they were either Highland or Lowland, Protestant or Catholic. If anyone looked into English origins we would have Roman, Anglo Saxon, Norman, German, pretty much anyone who invaded our Island has a blood line here, even the Vikings.
 

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The English – descended from the Engle Jutes Friesians and Saxons - gave their name to England. An ancient peoples related back 6000 years to many of the Welsh and Picts who arrived a while before them. A Scythian Germanic Race who have travelled a tortuous route over the millennia to give their name to England. They have created a truly global phenomena. There is no one in the world who has claim to England but them. Those before them are either gone or absorbed. Homogenous, resourceful, successful, the ethnic English have as much right to give their name to England as the Franks to France, the Allemandes to Germany, The Dutch to Holland, or the Austro-Goths to Austria.

Any who claim to be ‘Celtic’ or not English within borders of England who have ancestry in England are deluded. Regional separatists for example. They are English as anyone – if they claim not to be so, then it is because they do not know their true history or ethnicity. Even the Normans (Norsemen,) who invaded in 1066 AD are a Germanic Scythian people by origin. They like the Vikings before them were of one origin. And were absorbed.

England and the ethnic English nation are one inseparable being.
Anyone claiming that they are of Anglo Saxon decent have lost their argument before they even begin.
 

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Genetically, even the English have a minority of "Anglo-Saxon" dna. According to this article, only 38% of the typical Englishman's dna is "Anglo-Saxon." In Scotland and Wales, it's 30%. The majority everywhere in Great Britain is the same as that found among what are usually termed "Celts" (and, indeed, most of the population of Western Europe, going back to the Mesolithic).

"Celt," and "Anglo-Saxon" are linguistic and cultural terms applied to peoples who are genetically not all that different from one another. The discussion is one of cultural and political traditions.
 

Waterloo50

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Genetically, even the English have a minority of "Anglo-Saxon" dna. According to this article, only 38% of the typical Englishman's dna is "Anglo-Saxon." In Scotland and Wales, it's 30%. The majority everywhere in Great Britain is the same as that found among what are usually termed "Celts" (and, indeed, most of the population of Western Europe, going back to the Mesolithic).

"Celt," and "Anglo-Saxon" are linguistic and cultural terms applied to peoples who are genetically not all that different from one another. The discussion is one of cultural and political traditions.
The point that I wanted to make was that any argument either cultural or political that uses Anglo-Saxon to promote White Supremacy is a lost cause. Sorry for going of track.
 

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Personally I think it would be difficult to overestimate the effect that race and racisim played in the conflict. The slave states did not practice generic slavery. It was "african slavery" that they promoted and defended.

They devised all kinds of racial based defenses for their "peculiar institution".

Race was very much at the heart of the secessionist thinking.

William J. Grayson with having first used the phrase master race, in his poem The Hireling and the Slave (1855):
“ For these great ends hath Heaven’s supreme command
Brought the black savage from his native land,
Trains for each purpose his barbarian mind,
By slavery tamed, enlightened, and refined;
Instructs him, from a master-race, to draw
Wise modes of polity and forms of law,
Imbues his soul with faith, his heart with love,
Shapes all his life by dictates from above


In 1861 the Southern press bragged that Northern soldiers would "encounter a master race" and knowledge of this fact would cause Northern soldiers' "knees to tremble". The Richmond Whig in 1862 proclaimed that "the master race of this continent is found in the southern states", and in 1863 the Richmond Examiner stated that "there are slave races born to serve, master races born to govern"


Conkling, Henry An Inside View of the Rebellion: An American Citizen's Textbook (1864) p7
 

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Every so often a thread pops up claiming that the Civil War had its origins in a deep racial divide between an Anglo-Saxon North and a Celtic South. In one thread I posted evidence that there were more Celts (Irish and Scottish) in the North than in the South.

In my readings of primary sources from the white South, I rarely encounter the idea of a Celtic South. Typically, Southern whites refer to themselves as Anglo-Saxon.

I was prompted to post this thread because I read yet another piece by Southern whites echoing the claim of being Anglo-Saxons.

http://www.confederatepastpresent.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=188:anglo-saxon-supremacy-over-other-european-whites-asian-americans-and-african-americans-promoted-by-the-sons-of-confederate-veterans&catid=37:the-nadir-of-race-relations&back=yes
We had a thread a while back by my good friend Harvey Johnson about some kind of racial superiority of Southerners because they are Normans vs Anglo Saxons.
Every so often a thread pops up claiming that the Civil War had its origins in a deep racial divide between an Anglo-Saxon North and a Celtic South. In one thread I posted evidence that there were more Celts (Irish and Scottish) in the North than in the South.

In my readings of primary sources from the white South, I rarely encounter the idea of a Celtic South. Typically, Southern whites refer to themselves as Anglo-Saxon.

I was prompted to post this thread because I read yet another piece by Southern whites echoing the claim of being Anglo-Saxons.

http://www.confederatepastpres

I am not understanding a major difference between the Anglo Saxons vs the Irish. If Anglo Saxons treat say Irish Catholics has more or less equals then eventually both groups assimilate into each other. If not as in the recent conflict
in Northern Ireland things can get real ugly.
In a Civil War context the Irish fought for both sides regardless of their religion . I don't know how one (not you of course) can argue that one group of people is better or worse than the other or superior or inferior to the other.
Leftyhunter
 


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