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Judkin Browning, Shifting Loyalties (2011)


Judkin Browning, Shifting Loyalties (2011)


Union forces marched into Craven and Carteret counties in North Carolina in the spring of 1862, which would spark an occupation that would last until the end of the war. Judkin Browning focuses on the social, political, and cultural identities found in a divergent area of the state. Eastern North Carolinians were more susceptible to pro-union tendencies than their inland brethren. However, Browning's book offers new insight into the sense of southern nationalism felt by many of these same people towards the end of the war. Browning looks into the livelihood of African Americans in the region, providing the notion that the union occupation provided added security benefits and allowed African Americans to assert themselves socially. Overall, Browning sheds light on a region filled with people who were searching for an identity in a rapidly changing country.


Browning, Judkin


Browning, Judkin. Shifting Loyalties: The Union Occupation of Eastern North Carolina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2011.






Craven County, North Carolina
Carteret County, North Carolina

Original Format



Union forces marched into New Bern on March 14, 1862, and Beaufort on the twenty-fifth, marking the beginning of a military occupation that would last the rest of the war. With Union occupation came thousands of Federal soldiers, government officials, and northern missionaries and teachers. For the next three years, residents of Beaufort and New Bern would question their own loyalties and negotiate with their occupiers and each other in an effort to carve out social, cultural, and political identities. African Americans utilized the northern agents to change the circumstances of their lives despite passionate white resistance. A study like this invites many questions: How did the lives of these whites and blacks change? How did they adapt to new stresses? how did they negotiate with their occupiers to create their own space? How did the occupiers react to the local population, whose values were so foreign to their own?


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Browning, Judkin, Judkin Browning, Shifting Loyalties (2011), Civil War Era NC, accessed July 17, 2024,