Discussion Why no galvanized Confederates?

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major bill

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The Union recruited volunteers from Confederates held at Prisoner of War camps. With the man power shortages the Confederacy suffered from, was there any movement to recruit Confederate volunteers from Union prisoners they held?
 

NedBaldwin

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The Union recruited volunteers from Confederates held at Prisoner of War camps. With the man power shortages the Confederacy suffered from, was there any movement to recruit Confederate volunteers from Union prisoners they held?
Yes. The US government reported that about 3,170 US prisoners joined the enemy. Most of them had come from Salisbury prison in NC. Many of them were Irish immigrants. Several battalions were formed including the 1st and 2nd Foreign Battalions.
 

TerryB

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Some of the men of the 11th Ky Cav (US), joined the CS cavalry after they were captured near Maryville, TN by Wheeler in Nov 1863. One reason why they didn't want to surrender to Wheeler when he had a large body of Union cavalry surrounded near Atlanta in the summer of 1864 was because many had deserted and changed sides again. To be caught was to face execution. Many did manage to break out of Wheeler's trap.
 
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John Hartwell

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There were some Federal pows recruited by the Confederates. But, since the great majority of Federals were volunteers, while a much larger proportion of Confederates were conscripts, the difference in numbers is not surprising. Besides, most 'Galvanized Yankees,' I understand, were assigned to frontier duty, where they would be facing Indians, not their former comrades, thus running less risk of capture ad execution as deserters ... the Confederates did not have that option.
 

TerryB

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Almost every prison had men who could be turned into snitches, or become guards, doing no other service. Tennessee, being something of a border state had lots of these. The CS forces of Beauregard executed one Tennessean named Rowland (variously spelled) because he and some friends deserted and went over to the federals just before Shiloh. Sam Watkins describes his execution, and I found all sorts of details to back it up, in Roland's CSRs and newspaper accounts. There is even a book out where his buddies talk about all this. Seems he was the only one singled out for the firing squad.
 

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The Union recruited volunteers from Confederates held at Prisoner of War camps. With the man power shortages the Confederacy suffered from, was there any movement to recruit Confederate volunteers from Union prisoners they held?
There is a NY times article about Union desertion written about 1891 that CSA Today pulls out when we debate desertion. In that article the CSA did recruit some Union POWS but many went back to the Union Army or where recaptured. There where some Union deserters that did join the CSA but they are outnumbered by CSA deserters joining the Union Army.
It seems that most Union soldiers simply had not motivation to fight on behalf of the CSA. CSA deserters that joined the Union Army of guerrillas tended to be from the poor who lived in the mountains.
Leftyhunter
 
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Elennsar

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There were some Federal pows recruited by the Confederates. But, since the great majority of Federals were volunteers, while a much larger proportion of Confederates were conscripts, the difference in numbers is not surprising. Besides, most 'Galvanized Yankees,' I understand, were assigned to frontier duty, where they would be facing Indians, not their former comrades, thus running less risk of capture ad execution as deserters ... the Confederates did not have that option.
Although I imagine that if any had been willing the Trans-Mississippi Confederates could have used them - that frontier did, if I remember what Nate has said right, get pushed east during the war.
 
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major bill

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One way or another over 115,000 Southern whites joined the Union Army. When this number is added to the number of escaped slaves who joined the USCT, then the role of southern born men was a major man power source for the Union Army. Without the Union Southerners, both black and white, the war would have been much more difficult for the Union to have won.
 

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At Egypt Station Mississippi, the Tenth Tennessee (CS) had several "Galvanized Rebs" from Andersonville fighting there December 28, 1864.
A handful slinked away to the Union lines prior to the skirmish and gave information to aid the Federal troops. Many took advantage of the fight to make there escape, but many stood to the fight and were captured. Here is what a Federal Judge Advocate said about this in may 1865. From thE OR, Series II, volume 8, page 554. Cornell University, Making of America

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redbob

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There were some Federal pows recruited by the Confederates. But, since the great majority of Federals were volunteers, while a much larger proportion of Confederates were conscripts, the difference in numbers is not surprising. Besides, most 'Galvanized Yankees,' I understand, were assigned to frontier duty, where they would be facing Indians, not their former comrades, thus running less risk of capture ad execution as deserters ... the Confederates did not have that option.
I had an ancestor that was a "Galvanized Yankee" and he was recruited out of Camp Douglas. They wanted cavalrymen, but turned them into infantry and they joined with the understanding that they would not have to fight the South; so they were sent to the frontier (Minnesota and points West). These regiments had some of the lowest desertion rates in the Union Army and they served for several years after the war ended when they were relieved by the "Buffalo Soldiers". Many of these Southerners continued West as there were probably real questions if they would be accepted back in the South.
 
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“YANKEE PRISONERS TAKING THE OATH.

On Sunday morning last, two hundred native Irishmen who have been Federal prisoners in our hands for over twelve months past, reached Augusta, from Florence, (S.C.) and passed through on their way to join Hood’s army. The above mentioned prisoners were refused an exchange by the Yankee Government, in consequence of their time having run our and feeling that they had not been treated right by the said Government, and with a view to revenge, took the oath of allegiance to the Confederate States, and were duly sworn into our army by a Catholic priest, at Florence, (S.C.). They are all strong, hearty, and robust looking men, and are now on their way to join the Army of Tennessee. They have expressed a wish that they may be allowed to join the gallant Gen. Pat. Cleburne’s corps, that General being a native of their own dear Ireland. They all swear vengeance against the enemy if they are ever lucky enough to meet him in the tented field. The above parties represent that a large number of native-born Yankees, whose time was out, desired to take the same oath and join the Confederate States army, but the authorities at Richmond refused them this privilege.”
 
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If you were native-born Yankee, it was probably already clear to C. S. authorities that you would likely end up leaving the ranks even if you joined for a short time. The C. S. was having a hard time keeping native-born Southerners in their ranks. They at least extended galvanization to foreign born Yankees.
 
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Kenneth Almquist

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“YANKEE PRISONERS TAKING THE OATH.

On Sunday morning last, two hundred native Irishmen who have been Federal prisoners in our hands for over twelve months past, reached Augusta, from Florence, (S.C.) and passed through on their way to join Hood’s army....”
This is from the Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Georgia), Nov. 10, 1864, reprinted in the New York Times, Nov 27, 1864, page 2. I have no particular reason to doubt this account, but southern newspapers tended to act a cheerleaders for the Confederate cause (a Unionist paper in the South would be shut down), and there were not a lot of actual Confederate military successes to report on in late 1864.
 

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Galvanized Yankees or Galvanized Confederates, were mainly men who tried to avoid the suffering of imprisonment or have a chance to escape. This is demonstrated by the mutinies and desertions, only few would actually fought against the former comrades
The North solved the problem by sending the unit away from the main front.
The South solved the problem disbanding units (Brooks Battalion.) or converting them into Pioneers.
 

leftyhunter

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The Union recruited volunteers from Confederates held at Prisoner of War camps. With the man power shortages the Confederacy suffered from, was there any movement to recruit Confederate volunteers from Union prisoners they held?
Hi Major Bill,
Actually the CSA recruited 3k plus galvanized Yankees. From the great and well sourced book "Lincoln's Loyalists Union soldiers from the Confederacy Richard Current Oxford University Press p-128-132 there is a through discussion of this. Long story short the CSA found when the bullets flew so did the galvanized Yankees. The CSA would for the most part just recruit foreign prisoners from the Union Army but they where not motivated to fight just get out of the POW camps.
Leftyhunter
 
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ole

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Reality check. You're a Confederate in a Yankee prison. Some guy comes around and offers you a way out. Go west. Get fed and paid or sit and rot here. What do you do?
 

CSA Today

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One such interesting case was that of a local fellow Michael Scott, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland. Scott enlisted in Co. D. 23rd North Carolina on May 30, 1861. He was captured at Chester Gap Virginia in July 21-28, 1863 and sent first to Old Capitol prison in Washington, DC and then to Point Lookout. Released on February 5th, 1864 after taking oath of allegiance and joining Co. D. 1st Regiment US Volunteers. Escaped on an unspecified date and returned to duty with Co. D 23rd North Carolina on July 20, 1864.
 

leftyhunter

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One such interesting case was that of a local fellow Michael Scott, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland. Scott enlisted in Co. D. 23rd North Carolina on May 30, 1861. He was captured at Chester Gap Virginia in July 21-28, 1863 and sent first to Old Capitol prison in Washington, DC and then to Point Lookout. Released on February 5th, 1864 after taking oath of allegiance and joining Co. D. 1st Regiment US Volunteers. Escaped on an unspecified date and returned to duty with Co. D 23rd North Carolina on July 20, 1864.
Interesting but Scot was an exception to the rule. Far more Confederate deserters fought loyally for the Union.
Leftyhunter
 
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leftyhunter

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Reality check. You're a Confederate in a Yankee prison. Some guy comes around and offers you a way out. Go west. Get fed and paid or sit and rot here. What do you do?
True but the OP thread is about Yankee POW's being recruited by the CSA. Interestingly enough the US and other nations recruited soldiers from POW camps at least a hundred years later i.e. the"Kit Carson" program of Vietnam.
Leftyhunter
 

CSA Today

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Interesting but Scot was an exception to the rule. Far more Confederate deserters fought loyally for the Union.
Leftyhunter
Unfortunately, most were sent west to fight in the union's indian eradication
Interesting but Scot was an exception to the rule. Far more Confederate deserters fought loyally for the Union.
Leftyhunter
Unfortunately, the union sent most west to fight that government’s Indian eradication wars.
 
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