Was Delaware considered a Southern state?

major bill

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When the Mason-Dixon Line was completed in 1767, Delaware was north of Mason-Dixon Line. by the Civil War the Mason-Dixon Line was informally known as the boundary between the free (Northern) states and the slave (southern) states. At the start of the Civil War Delaware was a slave state but it was north of the Mason-Dixon Line, so should we consider Delaware a Sothern or Northern state? Perhaps border state would be a better term.
 

John S. Carter

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Yes Delaware was considered a Border State, however most Border States were south of what was called the Mason-Dixon Line, while Delaware was north of the line. However, location is not the only consideration. I wonder if the citizens of Delaware considered themselves as "southern"?
Were there any regiments from Delaware which fought on either Union or Confederate side? I have not read of were there was any military engagements. Was there a star on the Confederate flag for Delaware? Did the Union flag have one are did it have stars for only those states which were in the Union, excluding those that had succeeded ?As with border states there was patrician warfare but not Delaware ? I would appreciate if you could answer these inquires?
 

rpkennedy

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Were there any regiments from Delaware which fought on either Union or Confederate side? I have not read of were there was any military engagements. Was there a star on the Confederate flag for Delaware? Did the Union flag have one are did it have stars for only those states which were in the Union, excluding those that had succeeded ?As with border states there was patrician warfare but not Delaware ? I would appreciate if you could answer these inquires?
There were 9 Union infantry regiments and 1 cavalry regiment that were mustered into service. In addition, there was 1 light artillery battery, 1 heavy artillery company, and 1 independent cavalry company, all United States units.

Ryan
 

NH Civil War Gal

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I can only repeat what my classmates from the Carolinas and Georgia said. They didn't consider Virginia to be truly southern.
Very interesting thread because I've always wondered about Delaware myself, being a slave state yet contributing Union troops. But getting back to Virginia being a Southern state or not. I can only say that in Mary Chesnut's Diary, she did not consider Maryland as a Southern state at all. She considered it as a "sister state" in their struggle for the Confederacy but she clearly said it was never going to be included as a Southern state in the Confederacy. She didn't elaborate on what this fine definition of difference was, except I can only conclude geographical. I think if Richmond hadn't been the Capital, and Lee with the Army of Northern Virginia there, they might have the same feeling about Virginia.
 

rpkennedy

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I believe the last General officer killed in the war, (at Farmville, Va.), General Alfred Smyth, was from Delaware, and had commanded the 2nd. Delaware Regiment previously.

John

Thomas A. Smyth was born in Cork, Ireland and emigrated first to Pennsylvania before settling in Delaware in the late 1850s. He was commissioned as major of the 1st Delaware, working his way up to colonel, eventually commanding the brigade in which his regiment was assigned. He later commanded Colonel Samuel Carroll's brigade when Carroll was wounded and was promoted to brigadier general in October 1864. Smyth was the last Union general to be killed during the war.

Ryan
 

John S. Carter

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Very interesting thread because I've always wondered about Delaware myself, being a slave state yet contributing Union troops. But getting back to Virginia being a Southern state or not. I can only say that in Mary Chesnut's Diary, she did not consider Maryland as a Southern state at all. She considered it as a "sister state" in their struggle for the Confederacy but she clearly said it was never going to be included as a Southern state in the Confederacy. She didn't elaborate on what this fine definition of difference was, except I can only conclude geographical. I think if Richmond hadn't been the Capital, and Lee with the Army of Northern Virginia there, they might have the same feeling about Virginia.
The fact that Va. was the first slave state/colony ,that the first leaders of states rights ,Patrick Henry, Jefferson and Madison {some question this as relating to their Va. and Kentucky bills {some term}} and other key anti federalist came from Va.,does that not place this state as a Southern state, may be not as radical .As to Lee ,he stated that he left to defend his country {Va.}.As to Richmond it was location ,location. Now there may be some who says it was moved from Alabama as a lure to suede Va, convention delegates to carry the state out of the Union,
 

Rhea Cole

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I was born in Delaware (although I was raised in Alabama) and I now live in Maryland but teach in Delaware (including Delaware History). The input here has been excellent with lots of valid points being made.

Slavery was very weak in Delaware by 1860 with only 1,798 slaves in the entire state (less than 3% of the population). Only 2% of Delaware families owned slaves and they tended to be located in the southern part of the state.

Delaware was solidly pro-Union but generally anti-Republican during the war. Delaware voted for Breckenridge in the 1860 (45%) and McClellan in the 1864 election (52%) and local government was solidly controlled by the Democratic party in most areas.

The best sources within the State archives indicate that there were 11,236 white soldiers, 94 sailors and marines and a total of 954 black soldiers from the First State. A total of 12,284 Delawareans fought for the Union out of total state population (male and female) of slightly more than 110,000.

This number includes all branches of service: artillery, infantry, cavalry, as well as marines and sailors. Delaware contributed 9 regiments and 4 companies of infantry, 8 companies of cavalry, and 1 company and 1 battery of artillery to the Union army.

As a result of the Civil War, Delaware suffered nearly 1,000 in killed and hundreds more returned home wounded.
Per capita, Delaware provided more soldiers to the Union than any other state.

It is undetermined exactly how many Delawareans fought for the Confederacy. I have heard it claimed that as many as 2,000 Delawareans fought for the Confederacy, but I have never seen any evidence to back up such a claim.

It would appear that a more realistic number would be as few as 200 or so Delawareans fought for the Confederacy. As stated there were no “Delaware” units in the Confederate Army.

Geographically, Delaware would seem to be a "southern state" (i.e. part of the Delmarva peninsula) although is it also referred to as a "mid-Atlantic" state (along with Pennsylvania and New Jersey).
Am I right in remembering that one family owned most of the slaves in Delaware? That would help explain the lack of support for secession.
 

Fairfield

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The fact that Va. was the first slave state/colony ,that the first leaders of states rights ,Patrick Henry, Jefferson and Madison {some question this as relating to their Va. and Kentucky bills {some term}} and other key anti federalist came from Va.,does that not place this state as a Southern state, may be not as radical .As to Lee ,he stated that he left to defend his country {Va.}.As to Richmond it was location ,location. Now there may be some who says it was moved from Alabama as a lure to suede Va, convention delegates to carry the state out of the Union,
Perhaps the people with whom I spoke were not speaking politically but culturally.
 

16thVA

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Delaware was one of the 17 states affected by Brown v Board of Education in 1954.

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MarylandLine

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I researched Delaware Confederates for quite sometime. I was going to produce a monograph on the list but heard about the statue that was being erected in Georgetown, DE and gave them my research for their project. The belief that New Castle County was strongly pro union and that Kent and Sussex Counties were the supporters is suspect. The famous Copperhead Clement Vallandigham’s brother was a preacher at a church in New Castle, DE that sent several men South including his two sons. There also was a picnic in New Castle that was a fundraiser for the Confederate Prisoners being held in Ft Delaware that was raided by Union Soldiers.
Most Delaware Confederates served in Maryland and Virginia commands. Two ex Delaware Governor’s sons served. The afore mentioned son of ex Governor William Ross was Caleb Ross who joined the 9th Virginia Cavalry along with his brother in law and a few other members of the Seaford (Delaware) Cavalry (pre war militia unit). Unfortunate Caleb died from illness in 1861. Another Delaware Confederate who was in the 1st Maryland Cavalry CSA was captured along with two others by a Union Ship trying to cross the Chesapeake Bay and were charged as spies.
While Delaware was not going to leave the Union, there was enough support for the Confederacy early on that Union soldiers were stationed at polling stations in the 1862 Election and reportedly chased away known or possible secessionists not allowing them to vote. ( I have a rare book printed by the State of Delaware that describes the interference in the elections by Union Soldier).
I could go and bore you to tears but Delawareans played a small and interesting part in the Civil War.
 

American87

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Delaware was a border state, which is not exactly the answer you're looking for, but it's the best I got. It was part of Pennsylvania for a time, but was so different that it had its own legislature, although it shared the same governor as PA. It was a slave colony like Pennsylvania, and many or all colonies, but it abolished slavery in 1865, whereas PA did it in 1780, after splitting with Delaware.

Today, northern Delaware around Wilimgton is very much like Philadelphia. Whereas Southern Delaware, on the Delmarva Peninsula, is much more relaxed and southern-like, like Eastern Maryland.

This makes it hard to pigeon-hole Delaware as a strictly Northern or Strictly Southern State.
 

MarylandLine

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Delaware was a border state, which is not exactly the answer you're looking for, but it's the best I got. It was part of Pennsylvania for a time, but was so different that it had its own legislature, although it shared the same governor as PA. It was a slave colony like Pennsylvania, and many or all colonies, but it abolished slavery in 1865, whereas PA did it in 1780, after splitting with Delaware.

Today, northern Delaware around Wilimgton is very much like Philadelphia. Whereas Southern Delaware, on the Delmarva Peninsula, is much more relaxed and southern-like, like Eastern Maryland.

This makes it hard to pigeon-hole Delaware as a strictly Northern or Strictly Southern State.
Actually Delaware didn’t officially abolish slavery till 1901, one of the last states to do so.
 

John S. Carter

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Actually Delaware didn’t officially abolish slavery till 1901, one of the last states to do so.
I do not think that this state has a represented star on the Confederate flag neither the battle or national flag. What importance was Delaware to the Confederacy? I could not clam this state as a member of the Confedercery. I would claim southern Illinois as part of the Confederacy ,
 
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