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Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis (Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies) Paperback – August 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0807844304 ISBN-10: 0807844306 Edition: Reprint
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Editorial Reviews

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Presents the views of all parties to the sectional conflict and offers a vivid portrait of the interaction between them."American Historical Review"

Review

Crofts's study focuses on Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee, but it includes analyses of the North and Deep South as well. As a result, his volume presents the views of all parties to the sectional conflict and offers a vivid portrait of the interaction between them.--American Historical Review|Refocuses our attention on an important but surprisingly neglected group--the Unionists of the upper South during the secession crisis, who have been too readily ignored by other historians.--Journal of Southern History Daniel Crofts examines Unionists in three pivotal southern states--Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee--and shows why the outbreak of the war enabled the Confederacy to gain the allegiance of these essential, if ambivalent, governments.
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Product Details

  • Series: Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies
  • Paperback: 531 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; Reprint edition (August 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807844306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807844304
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,430,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. Martin on April 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
It is a commonplace to speak of how quickly event move in our age, but I doubt events have ever so overwhelmed the nation the way the did between Oct 1859 and April 1861. In the beginning the sectional crisis seemed to have subsided and "Black Republicanism" was a tendency, easily overcome by the democratic party (or "the Democracy" as it was called). At the end, the war had begun and the battle was about to be joined.
Crofts book, focuses on the weeks between the election of Lincoln on Nov 6, 1860 and the proclamation calling up an army to subdue the rebel states on April 16, 1861. Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee initially and decisively defeated the drive towards secession only to be undone by being forced to choose between making war on fellow americans (and fellow southerners) or secession.
Crofts focuses on southern unionists, old Whigs for the most part, who participated in last minute negiations for a peaceful resolution of the crisis as well as William Seward and Stephen A. Douglas who were the chief go betweens. Previously historian like Kenneth Stampp have been dismissive of the efforts of the peace camp but Crofts build a compelling case for the legitimacy and viability of their negotiations and poses some difficult "what if" questions in the epilogue.
Like all good Civil War history, it will displease ideologues on both sides. It does not sanctify Lincoln or his course taken in rearming Fort Sumter and raising the army. While the militant "southern rights" prosecession camp seem like so many demagogic hotheads (at least that is how they appeared to the Southern Unionists).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simko on July 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
I give this book the highest rating for several reasons: The author presents the material in a well paced, engaging manner; he conveys the intense passions of the moment, framed as they were by truly revolutionary circumstances.
So much was at stake, and everyone knew it.
Also, he clarifies what can seem to us to be merely a mass of confused, unfocused efforts by the men of the moment in the south. There were three successive stages after Lincoln's election: The initial wave of secession, the mustering of the Unionist forces in Virginia, N. Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas and the final push for secession after Lincoln's call for volunteers.
Note that it was not the firing on the fort that triggered that last wave, but Lincoln's response.
What is also clear from the statements of those same men is that slavery is THE issue, co-equal with preserving the Union. Many of these 'northern' southern politicians were not as evangelical as Jefferson Davis about expanding slavery into the rest of the hemisphere, but were nonetheless determined to keep its place secure in American society.
To read the account of a 'for-real' Virginia Whig-Unionist, read John Minor Botts' 'The Great Rebellion.'
There may be other, top notch social-political works that cover the southern Unionist movement, but 'Reluctant Confederates' is certainly one of the best, partly because of its somewhat narrow focus; Fall 1860 to April 1861.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent history of the Union crisis that the Border States had to face before the start of the Civil War.
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