I’ve started my Civil War year by listening to Gary Gallagher’s excellent Teaching Company lectures (more about these later). One of the themes he emphasizes is how the border states were dragged into the Confederacy by their richer, more extremist Deep South cousins. Every Confederate state would have at least some Unionist supporters, and some had significant pockets of disgruntled residents.
The History Channel deviates from its new mission of pawn shops and storage container auctions to give us this excellent primer to those who were in rebellion to the rebellion.
It wasn’t unusual for Americans to have conflicting loyalties during the Civil War. Northerners were often sympathetic to the Confederate cause, and many poor, non-slaveholding regions of the South were equally reluctant to join the rebellion against the United States. These “Southern Yankee” hotbeds supplied thousands of troops to the North, and some even went so far as to declare neutrality or secede from the Confederacy altogether. Below, learn the unusual stories behind six Civil War-era Southern territories where Unionist sentiment was most widespread.