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  • Tags: desertion

Judith Lee Hallock, "The Role of the Community in Civil War Desertion" (1983)

Judith Lee Hallock
Communities, like individuals, have personalities, and their response to
crises reflect their peculiar characteristics. During the Civil War,
Northern communities played an…


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…

Conditional Confederates: Absenteeism Among Western North Carolina Soldiers 1861-1865

This document describes numerous situations that Western North Carolina Confederate soldiers were put through, which lead to their decision to desert from the army. Questions such as "Is my loyalty worth it if my family is starving?" and "What good…


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.

First in Flight: Desertion as Politics in the North Carolina Confederate Army

In this chapter from Social Science History, the author discusses the personal and political reasons for desertion in the Confederate Army of North Carolina. Giuffre's main thesis states that desertion was used as a form of resistance by small…

Francis Marion Poteet, Letter to Martha Hendley Poteet (Jan. 12, 1864)

Poteet Primary source 4.png

My Dear Wife and Children I take the pleasure to drop you a few lines to let you now that I am well at this time hoping these lines may Reach your kind hands and find you injoying the same blessing I want you to Rite to me as soon as this comes to…

Job R. Redmond, Letter to Malinda Redmond (Nov. 2, 1864)

Redmond primary source 1.png

My Dier wife and children I seete my self this morning with A Troub beled harte and a de strest Mind to try to rite a few lines to Let you no that I hierd my sentens Red yesterday and hit was very Bad I am very sory to let you no for I that you A…

Katherine Giuffre, "First in Flight: Desertion as Politics in the North Carolina Confederate Army" (1997)


"In place of open mutiny, [powerless groups] prefer desertion...They make use of implicit understandings and informal networks...When such stratagems are abandoned in favor of more quixotic action, it is usually a sign of great desperation." Scott…

Layers of Loyalty: Confederate Nationalism and Amnesty Letters from Western North Carolina

Discussions between governor Zeb Vance, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis on the impact that desertion made on the Confederate effort during the Civil War. This article points out that popular support for the Confederacy was never "robust" in the…