Disloyalty in the Confederacy

Disloyalty in the Confederacy

Disloyalty in the Confederacy

Disloyalty in the Confederacy

Excerpt

This study, prepared as a doctoral dissertation at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, is an attempt to portray the widespread disaffection in the Confederate States and the attempts, during the War between the States, to bring about peace. Until recently, many historians, as well as people in general, have commonly accepted the idea that every man, woman, and child in the South stood loyally behind Jefferson Davis and the Stars and Bars in support of the Confederacy. Despite the fact that out of a population of about eight million whites, six hundred thousand offered their services to the Confederacy in 1861, and also the fact that the staunch, unswerving loyalty of Southerners during the war will continue to rouse admiration, there was, in 1861, a small number, which by 1865 had increased to a potent minority, that did nothing to aid the Confederacy and much to injure it. While many showed their disaffection only by refusing to fight, many others organized not only for self- protection but also for the destruction of the Confederacy. Before the end of the war, there was much disaffection in every state, and many of the disloyal had formed into bands --in some states into well organized, active societies, with signs, oaths, grips, and passwords. In the present study, an attempt has been made to discover the causes for this movement, the classes that participated in it, and the purpose and work of the organizations.

The writer realizes the difficulties involved in the use of the words "disloyal" and "disloyalty." She is fully aware of the fact that what one section of the country execrated as disloyalty, another section of the country praised as loyalty. She found in her sources, both primary and secondary, innumerable instances of warring points of view; of diametric-

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