Were there any Southerners who fought for Union during Civil War ?

Jun 2017
2,388
Connecticut
#21
Whenever I look at US Civil War history it appears like Confederacy was one solid block of South and Union was complately from North. Was it like tht or were there individuals/communities who fought for North/South vice versa despite their ancestral origins do not belong there ? Were there any white abolishment supporters in South for example or any Southerners who fought at Union army ?
Yes of course. Some Southerners were naturally going to disagree with the choice to leave the country they had spent their lives as citizens for. Of course if a Southerner in the military was stationed in the South this was going to be tough because all the federal property was ceased early and they'd be a lot of peer pressure to change sides but barring that of course not everyone was on board with the rebellion especially in the upper states. Same goes for people living in the South, to fight for the Union you'd have to make the conscious effort to leave the South, and go North, not simply disagree with the CSA and be a Union sympathizer. West Virginia exists solely because one part of Virginia didn't want to secede and the secession happened due to modern day Virginia managing to out vote this area, so if this sentiment was large enough people were willing to do something about it, but in the deep south I'd imagine people would be more likely to keep those feelings to themselves. For Southern people in Washington who weren't living in the South it would be easier(just don't leave and keep doing your job) but even then most Southerners in Congress did leave along with their states(hence Lincoln passing a huge economic agenda the South had opposed for decades), Andrew Johnson was the only Senator from a Confederate state who remained in the US Senate(which is a decision that is responsible for him being in the situation where he could become President) and while I'm not knowledgeable on his peers in the remainder of the government and military, I'd be shocked if there weren't numerous other examples.

It would also be far easier for Union supporters to come out in places the Union retook primarily Tennessee where the Union took back control of the region relatively quickly(after this they began deferring to the Anaconda plan more strictly and focused on working there way down the Mississippi and capturing major coastal cities like New Orleans). This military government was naturally going to be staffed preferably by people who didn't want the state(or city in the case of places like New Orleans)to secede. In Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina they'd be more of these sort of people(as per the George Thomas example Triceratops cites above) because these states didn't join the CSA due to Lincoln's election but due to the impending war and not being willing to fight the seceding states, so naturally in the upper south and border states(much of which had supported pro compromise Bell and Douglas versus pro slavery Breckenridge in the 1860 election) it would be seen considerably more and feeling were a lot more divided than in the places willing to secede over the election.
 
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Jun 2017
2,388
Connecticut
#22
Lincoln's Loyalists is a source for the number of white men from Confederate states who served in the Union Army. That's roughly 10% of the draft age men. Estimates are that from 1/4 to 1/3 of the white population of Confederate states were Unionists.

The 150,000 black men from Confederate states who served in the Union Army would be about 35-40% of the draft age black men. That must have really hurt the Confederate economy.

About 40% of US Army officers from Confederate States served in the Union Army. The most notable were probably Winfield Scott, George Thomas, and Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs. Here's a list of generals from Confederate states who served in the Union Army.

About 60% of US Navy officers from Confederate States served in the Union Navy. Admiral David Farragut was one of them. Another was Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee, a cousin of Robert E Lee, who said "When I find the word Virginia in my commission I will join the Confederacy."

There were also men from Union states who served in the Confederate Army, but they were a much smaller percentage. Wesley Culp was the only man from Gettysburg who fought at Gettysburg. He was serving with the 2nd Virginia when he was killed on July 2, 1863. Here is a list of generals from Union states who served in the Confederate Army. The most notable were probably John Pemberton, the Confederate commander at Vicksburg, Josiah Gorgas, their brilliant Chief of Ordinance, and Samuel Cooper, the most senior officer in the Confederate Army.
This is fascinating. Makes the numerical disadvantage the CSA faced(almost 4/1 without this factor thrown in), even more immense.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,504
#23
The 150,000 black men from Confederate states who served in the Union Army would be about 35-40% of the draft age black men.
Seems like an overestimate. Draft age for the Confederacy was 17-50 for white men. You must be using a small draft age range to get those percentages.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,504
#24
I think the Union was recruiting men 18-40. So maybe 20-25% of those available joined. This is still a high percentage. In some areas it was probably difficult to run away and join the Union Army. However, a free blacks and slaves from border states were likely represented at higher rates in the Union Army than slaves from Confederate states.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,392
#25
I think the Union was recruiting men 18-40. So maybe 20-25% of those available joined. This is still a high percentage. In some areas it was probably difficult to run away and join the Union Army. However, a free blacks and slaves from border states were likely represented at higher rates in the Union Army than slaves from Confederate states.
Near the entirety of the men of fighting age from the city of Philadelphia served in the military in some capacity during the war.

Almost 100,000 Philadelphians served in the Union Army between 1861 and 1865, which was about three quarters of the city’s male population.
Philadelphia during the Civil War

New York City sent over 150,000 into the Army as well as tens of thousands of additional men into the Navy or militia that were called up. I'm not sure what percentage of the male population that was, but the city had a total population of
813,669 in 1860.
 
Feb 2013
2,051
portland maine
#26
Whenever I look at US Civil War history it appears like Confederacy was one solid block of South and Union was complately from North. Was it like tht or were there individuals/communities who fought for North/South vice versa despite their ancestral origins do not belong there ? Were there any white abolishment supporters in South for example or any Southerners who fought at Union army ?
A number from the border states fraught for the north. This might be interesting Gen. Oliver Otis Howard had a brother who joined the confederate army.
 
Jul 2011
5,504
#27
Almost 100,000 Philadelphians served in the Union Army between 1861 and 1865, which was about three quarters of the city’s male population.
There were 565,000 in Philadelphia in 1860. The city had greatly expanded to about its current borders due to the incorporation of the rest of Philadelphia County. 100,000 might be close to 3/4 of the men military age, but was nowhere near 3/4 of the mail population. 3/4 of the male population would be impossible.

I any case this is a way higher percentage than 150,000 black soldiers out of 4,000,000 slaves and 300,000 free blacks. Obviously, part of the reason is that many slaves could not easily escape to Union lines. Also, by the time blacks were accepted, there were few new enlistments, once people found out how bad the war was. Most of the soldiers on both sides joined at the beginning of the war. However motivated free blacks in the north and border states and slaves in border states were, they may have been reluctant to join such a bloody war.
 
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