Texas in the Confederacy: An Experiment in Nation Building

By Clayton E. Jewett | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
Defending the State Texas Military Enlistment

Looking back upon the Civil War crisis, A. W. Sparks, who served in Ross's Brigade, Texas Cavalry, commented that he had no choice but to fight for Texas. Texas was “the home of my mother, the pride of my father, the guardian of my sister and the home of my boyhood.” Therefore, “right or wrong, I fought for Texas, and could see no honorable course for Texas men but to stake their lives, their liberty, their all for Texas.” Sparks represented the general sentiment of many Texans who went off to fight during the Civil War crisis. 1.

On April 12, 1861, the American Civil War began with the firing on Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Three days later, Union president Abraham Lincoln called for seventy-five thousand militiamen to enter federal service. Confederate president Jefferson Davis followed by calling for one hundred thousand volunteers. The initial frenzy and excitement of war led many Northern and Southern men to enlist in the Union and Confederate armies. Historians examining military enlistment during the American Civil War generally focus on the actual numbers of men who fought. One century ago, Thomas L. Livermore published the most comprehensive study on the number of men who fought and died in the American Civil War. Livermore estimates that 1,082,119 men were mobilized for Confederate service. Subsequent studies generally rely on or refute to an extent this finding. For example, James McPherson posits that approximately 900,000 men enrolled in Confederate service, and Joseph Harsh has recently argued that the Confederate manpower pool consisted of approximately 1,200,000 men of which 950,000 were mobilized for service. The problem with Livermore's study and subsequent studies, however, is that they do not take into account the numbers of Southern men who often fought for the same “cause” but served instead in state militias. Furthermore, this emphasis on the numbers is rooted

____________________
1.
Sparks, The War between the States, as I Saw It: Reminiscent, Historical, and Personal, 11.

-113-

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