Featured Book Reviewer
- Feb 23, 2013
- East Texas
It depends what you mean by that gross generality - According to the militia system then universal throughout the States (remember the bit about "... a well-regulated militia") EACH state was supposed to provide for the common defense with their militia. Of course, by the time of the war a great deal of it lay in a moribund shambles with several notable exceptions. Kentucky for example had not only the Southern-leaning Kentucky State Guard led by future Confederate General Simon Buckner, but also a newer Unionist Kentucky Home Guard. But it was that decidedly non-Southern state New York that boasted the largest number of militia units and militiamen, termed the New York National Guard. Famous units with long pedigrees included the Seventh Regiment from NYC itself and included members like then-Private Robert Gould Shaw of later 54th Massachusetts fame. Recent Irish immigrants led by Michael Corcoran had already formed the 69th NYSM, upon which the Irish Brigade was later built. However, hands down, the most popular militia unit in the entire U.S. was what was known as (Elmer) Ellsworth's Chicago Zouave Cadets a militia drill team wearing fancy French-inspired uniforms that toured the country in months before the war. (Of course Ellsworth became posthumously famous as the first Northern officer killed in the war prior to Bull Run.) Likely these Northern militiamen far outnumbered their Southern counterparts when the war began, though both sides saw a rush to the colors once the shooting started.The US had not even raised militias when the Confederates started shelling US troops.
The South could have seceded legally, but that would have required negotiation, and that negotiation would no doubt include assuming their portion of the national debt.
They wanted the best of both worlds, and they were willing to start a war, and they made that evident in their actions.
They were men completely without honor.
Considering the facts, I assume you're willing then to extend to Shaw, Corcoran, and Ellsworth the same status of being without honor?