Monday, December 7, 2009

Social Class and Confederate desertions

Defeats and deprivations contributed to significant attrition among Tennessee soldiers. At the war's end thousands were removed from active service by wounds, by imprisonments, or by desertions. Only a handful of the veterans confessed to military infidelity. In 1865, however, many were absent from their units on furlough, searching for horses, or, in what was probably a euphemism for desertion, "cut off from their companies."

... Among those who filled out the questionnaire only about 50% of the poor, the non-slaveholding yeoman, and the slave owning yeoman, surrendered with an active command. In the war's last Spring, 70% of the wealthy remained faithful to the Rebel crusade.

Fred A Bailey, “Class and Tennessee's Confederate Generation,” The Journal Of Southern History Volume LI, No.1 (February 1985): 52, 53.

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