Discussion Who caused the most problems, Unionist in the South or Confederate supporters in the North?


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

matthew mckeon

Colonel
Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
13,764
When you say "Unionist" you have to consider the border states, and you have to consider black slaves. They were both significant to the Union war effort, geographically and militarily. They wanted the Confederacy to fail. I can't think there was an equivalent Northern group that was "proConfederate", as much as anti Republican or anti emancipation.

You also have to consider that criticism of the government doesn't mean a lack of belief in the Cause. Jefferson Davis faced a barrage of criticism, yet the white south was firmly pro Confederate, they were just critical of a Davis action or policy. They wanted to win the war, and believed in the Confederate cause.

Northern Democrats wanted to preserve the Union They didn't want to free the slaves and they didn't like Lincoln, but they wanted to win the war. McClellan was derided as the "peace candidate" in 1864, but was he? I think he would have continued the war, but walked back on slavery, as his supporters wanted.
 

major bill

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
15,815
When you say "Unionist" you have to consider the border states, and you have to consider black slaves. They were both significant to the Union war effort, geographically and militarily. They wanted the Confederacy to fail. I can't think there was an equivalent Northern group that was "proConfederate", as much as anti Republican or anti emancipation.

You also have to consider that criticism of the government doesn't mean a lack of belief in the Cause. Jefferson Davis faced a barrage of criticism, yet the white south was firmly pro Confederate, they were just critical of a Davis action or policy. They wanted to win the war, and believed in the Confederate cause.

Northern Democrats wanted to preserve the Union They didn't want to free the slaves and they didn't like Lincoln, but they wanted to win the war. McClellan was derided as the "peace candidate" in 1864, but was he? I think he would have continued the war, but walked back on slavery, as his supporters wanted.
I do believe that there were some pro Confederates in some Northern states, admittedly most were in the border states. There were also some people in the Northern states that did not support the war effort but probably could not be considered pro Confederates. The same probably holds true for the Confederate states.
 

leftyhunter

Colonel
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,820
Location
los angeles ca
Confederaye supports in the North were a real issue, but so were Unionists in the South. From a miltary point of view both were a real issue and both were security risks.
The eleven Confederate States provided 110 Union white enlisted (Lincoln's Loyalists Union Soldiers from the Confederacy " Richard Current North East University Press) and somewhere around approximately 150 k black enlisted soldiers so that's,a lit of man power.
Yes of course there were Confederate soldiers from the border states but they were more then offset by Union enlistments I.e. 30k Confederate for Missouri vs 110 k for the Union per the Missouri Historical .
Stephen Feeling quoted 25k Confederate vs 50k Union. I couldn't find any figures for Maryland.
West Virginia is estimated to have sent 20k enlisted to both sides
Of course there is the issue of insurgency but it appears there were far more Unionist counterinsurgency forces the Confederate insurgents.
Did men from the Northern states enlist in the Confederate Army. Most certainly I even have a book "Yankee Rebel written by a Confederate soldier from Ohio. Even he admits it was rare for Northern men to enlist in the Confederate Army.
Yes there was significant Confederate insurgency in Missouri,Kentucky and West Virginia.
However that is more then offset by significant Unionist insurgency in the Confederate States although very little in Virginia and South Carolina.
So I would argue the Unionists were much more of an issue for the Confederacy then say the Copperheads . Copperheads don't shoot
Unionists do.
Leftyhunter
 

major bill

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
15,815
The eleven Confederate States provided 110 Union white enlisted (Lincoln's Loyalists Union Soldiers from the Confederacy " Richard Current North East University Press) and somewhere around approximately 150 k black enlisted soldiers so that's,a lit of man power.
Yes of course there were Confederate soldiers from the border states but they were more then offset by Union enlistments I.e. 30k Confederate for Missouri vs 110 k for the Union per the Missouri Historical .
Stephen Feeling quoted 25k Confederate vs 50k Union. I couldn't find any figures for Maryland.
West Virginia is estimated to have sent 20k enlisted to both sides
Of course there is the issue of insurgency but it appears there were far more Unionist counterinsurgency forces the Confederate insurgents.
Did men from the Northern states enlist in the Confederate Army. Most certainly I even have a book "Yankee Rebel written by a Confederate soldier from Ohio. Even he admits it was rare for Northern men to enlist in the Confederate Army.
Yes there was significant Confederate insurgency in Missouri,Kentucky and West Virginia.
However that is more then offset by significant Unionist insurgency in the Confederate States although very little in Virginia and South Carolina.
So I would argue the Unionists were much more of an issue for the Confederacy then say the Copperheads . Copperheads don't shoot
Unionists do.
Leftyhunter
Excellent reply.
 

MarylandLine

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
770
Location
Northern California
I would say the Union had to use a lot of soldiers to keep Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri in the Union. This manpower could have been used in the field. Maryland had twice as many serve in the Union Army but many were in Home Brigades and were not trusted by the military. JMHO
 

MikeyB

Corporal
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
Messages
293
The eleven Confederate States provided 110 Union white enlisted (Lincoln's Loyalists Union Soldiers from the Confederacy " Richard Current North East University Press) and somewhere around approximately 150 k black enlisted soldiers so that's,a lit of man power.
Yes of course there were Confederate soldiers from the border states but they were more then offset by Union enlistments I.e. 30k Confederate for Missouri vs 110 k for the Union per the Missouri Historical .
Stephen Feeling quoted 25k Confederate vs 50k Union. I couldn't find any figures for Maryland.
West Virginia is estimated to have sent 20k enlisted to both sides
Of course there is the issue of insurgency but it appears there were far more Unionist counterinsurgency forces the Confederate insurgents.
Did men from the Northern states enlist in the Confederate Army. Most certainly I even have a book "Yankee Rebel written by a Confederate soldier from Ohio. Even he admits it was rare for Northern men to enlist in the Confederate Army.
Yes there was significant Confederate insurgency in Missouri,Kentucky and West Virginia.
However that is more then offset by significant Unionist insurgency in the Confederate States although very little in Virginia and South Carolina.
So I would argue the Unionists were much more of an issue for the Confederacy then say the Copperheads . Copperheads don't shoot
Unionists do.
Leftyhunter
Would you recommend "Lincoln's Loyalists Union Soldiers" as a good read? Is there any type of narrative or does it read more like a textbook with a lot of facts and numbers?
 

leftyhunter

Colonel
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,820
Location
los angeles ca
Firmly might be giving more credit than is warranted. Strongly perhaps.

Western NC, eastern TN, northern AL, Ozarks AR, and parts of FL were especially not pro-Confederate.
Plus the Wiregrass area of Alabama further South had had a lot of Unionist guerrilla activity. Southern Mississippi had various Unionist guerrilla bands including Newt Knight's. There were certainly major pockets of resistance in Texas. Basically the less slave's per capita the less enthusiastic were young Southern white men willing to die to protect slave owners who in peace time treated them with contempt.
My thread Unionist vs CSA guerrillas" has documented sources on Unionist guerrillas throughout the South . Least as I forget Northern Georgia had Unionist guerrillas.
Leftyhunter
 
Last edited:

jackt62

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
3,402
Location
New York City
Confederate supporters in the north posed a greater problem for the Union than did Unionist supporters in the south damage the southern cause. The reason being is that the best hope for confederate independence would have been the eventual lack of support for the war among the northern population, a real possibility that could have been exploited by Copperheads and other supporters living in the north. At various times, in 1862 and 1864, had northern congressional and presidential elections gone in a different direction, a war weary north might have been willing to give up the struggle and let the southern states go. This was always the hope of Jeff Davis and the Confederate administration.
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
2,672
Location
Midwest
...You also have to consider that criticism of the government doesn't mean a lack of belief in the Cause. Jefferson Davis faced a barrage of criticism, yet the white south was firmly pro Confederate, they were just critical of a Davis action or policy. They wanted to win the war, and believed in the Confederate cause...
That's all fine, but at what point can we stop using the euphemism "the cause" in place of what the cause was: chattel slavery (i.e."They wanted to win the war, and believed in chattel slavery" seems clearer and more honest). Do we owe someone protection from polite society or something?
 
Last edited:

leftyhunter

Colonel
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
16,820
Location
los angeles ca
Confederate supporters in the north posed a greater problem for the Union than did Unionist supporters in the south damage the southern cause. The reason being is that the best hope for confederate independence would have been the eventual lack of support for the war among the northern population, a real possibility that could have been exploited by Copperheads and other supporters living in the north. At various times, in 1862 and 1864, had northern congressional and presidential elections gone in a different direction, a war weary north might have been willing to give up the struggle and let the southern states go. This was always the hope of Jeff Davis and the Confederate administration.
Not really. Did had least 110 k Northeners enlist in the Confederate Army? Certainly a few did but interestingly enough so far no one has cited a book similar to "Lincoln's Loyalists Union Soldiers from the Confederacy" that addresses the issue of how many Northeners joined the Confederate .
Did 159k plus people of color in the Northern states join the Confederate Army? Was there widespread Confederate guerrilla warfare out side the border states of Missouri,Kentucky and West Virginia?
Were there large deserter gangs in all Northern states?
Yes there were Copperheads but the war was successfully prosecuted anyways.
Leftyhunter
 

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Top