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  • Tags: desertion

Martha Hendley Poteet, Letter to Francis Marion Poteet (Jan. 21, 1864)

Poteet primary source 1.png

My Dear husband I recieved your kind letter last satturday and I was glad to hear that you was well I cant write we are all well we all hav bad colds I hav had a pain in my head three weeks and the baby is sick and I dont think it will live long but…

The Civil War Letters of W.D. Carr of Duplin County, North Carolina

Sunday, Sept. 7th, 1862
Mrs. L. Carr-Dear Mother,
As Mr. Bass is going to start home early in the morning, will write you a few lines and let you know who we are getting along. We are all tolerable well. Sam Evans was taken quite sick day before…

Richard Reid "A Testcase of the 'Crying Evil': Desertion Among North Carolina Troops During the Civil War" (1981)


A major problem that faced both armies during the Civil war was desertion. As the conflict dragged on into a protracted war of attrition, the loss of men through absenteeism struck hardest at the South. Before the end of 1861 it had become a problem…

Photo of Desertion

Photo of a Confederate deserter being discovered.

Drawing of hanging (1970-80)


"They hung my son by the limb of a tree"

Drawing of a Civil War deserter being hanged from a tree.

Younce, W. H. "A civil war at home: Treatment of Unionists" (1901)

Younce, W. H. "A civil war at home: Treatment of Unionists" (1901)

A civil war at home: Treatment of Unionists

W. H. Younce, The Adventures of a Conscript (Cincinnati: The Editor Pub. Co., 1901), pp. 57–62.

At home again.

Our purpose was to try to reach my father’s home that night, but about the middle…

Lt. Col. S. H. Walkup, "A Plea for Supplies" (1862)

A Plea for Supplies

A plea for supplies

Lt. Col. S. H. Walkup to Gov. Zebulon Vance, October 11, 1862, in the Governors Papers, North Carolina State Archives.

Camp Near Winchester Va. Octr 11th, 1862.

Govr. Z. B. Vance,

I lay before you for your…

Peter S Bearman, "Desertion as Localism: Army Unit Solidarity and Group Norms in the U.S. Civil War" (1991)

Desertion as Localism: Army Unit Solidarity and Group Norms in the U.S. Civil War

Drawing from the experiences of 3,126 enlisted men from North Carolina who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, the author focuses on the determinants of desertion. Men deserted because their identity as Southerners was eroded by an emergent…

A letter written from John Futch to his wife Martha


Dear wife,

I recvd a letter from you the 5 of this Inst stating you all was well which I was glad to hear. I can say to you that I am well at to sore feet and cold which I hope theas few lines may com safe to hand and find you all well and harty.…

A Sermon: Preached before Brig.-Gen. Hoke's Brigade, at Kinston, N. C., on the 28th of February, 1864, by Rev. John Paris, Chaplain Fifty-Fourth Regiment N. C. Troops,
upon the Death of Twenty-Two Men, Who Had Been Executed in the Presence of the Brigade for the Crime of Desertion


You are aware, my friends, that I have given public notice that upon this occasion I would preach a funeral discourse upon the death of the twenty-two unfortunate, yet wicked and deluded men, whom you have witnessed hanged upon the gallows within a…