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  • The Confederate Heartland: Military and Civilian Morale in the Western Confederacy;
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Bahrain Change Country. Shop By Category. My Orders. Track Orders. Change Language. English Arabic. Important Links. Most residents North and South presumed that Sherman had more ambitious plans, in particular a thrust toward Mobile or at least Montgomery.

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Therefore, when he turned back at Meridian, many disgusted northern observers judged the campaign as a failure or at best a waste of time and resources. More important, they never seriously threatened Mobile though Sherman never intended to do so or anything else of foremost strategic importance besides the easily repaired railroads. The year did not begin with such optimism for most men in the Army of Tennessee.

Here, too, mixed feelings of hope and despair predominated. During that harsh and discouraging winter many soldiers, such as Private Thomas Warrick of the 34th Alabama Infantry, thought primarily of receiving a short furlough so that they could visit wives and families.

Submission has been made impossible by the conduct of our insolent foe; and the only tolerable alternative left us is resistance to the bitter end. Many soldiers lacked shoes and adequate weapons, while rations were scant, inconsistent, and often inedible. Organization and discipline were all but nonexistent, and predictably, morale plummeted. Even ever-optimistic Tennessean Flavel Barber, a thirty-year-old teacher before the war began, admitted as much.

On December 27, , Joseph E. William J. Later, deserters would receive harsh punishment, including death in some cases. In early January he issued General Orders No. The order instituted a daily routine for the army, including regular inspections, roll calls, and three hours of drill. Brown was not as immediately enthused about Johnston as most of his comrades were, but warmed to him by February.

By early February, 25 the confederate heartland however, Brown considered the ration problem corrected and deemed the troops in better spirits than he had seen in six months. He looks great. I think that the command of this army could not have fallen into abler hands. Certainly some men took the step, at least in part, because extra furloughs were granted to units that reenlisted.


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  7. This explanation is of limited value, however, at least among those whose enlistments were soon to expire, because even the most homesick soldier was not likely to volunteer for potentially years of additional duty if he was homeward bound in a matter of weeks anyway. Others reenlisted because they saw it as the honorable thing to do, regardless of their feelings about the war or the Confederacy. For example, one soldier noted that a comrade signed on for more service, out of respect for his wife and children, to avoid the prospective embarrassment of conscription later.

    In fact, most diarists and correspondents examined here had little to say regarding the new conscription legislation and certainly exhibited no resentment toward their government or the planter class, despite the commonplace interpretation that conscription caused a plunge in morale among the soldiers and public. The sudden involuntary extension of enlistments and the addition of men who had evaded service for more than a year and clearly wanted no part of the army disheartened many of the already-veteran soldiers.

    In the Lions Mouth Hoods Tragic Retreat from Nashville 1864 Stackpole Military History Series

    Many people still did not 26 january—february hope and despair embrace conscription, but they reconciled themselves to the situation. Moreover, by most of the soldiers examined here, and some of their family members, clearly supported the law. They were again beginning to believe that they could win the war. Thus, the reenlistments were both a result of improving morale and a factor in improving it. I think, I hope at least, that we will be able to hurl back the yankey hordes. He considered the size of the Union forces that would be used to invade Georgia and the problems of feeding, clothing, and supplying such a force in that part of the country.

    What is more important to note, however, is that most soldiers clearly did both. Improved rations, increased discipline, furloughs, and a strict policy of punishment for deserters stabilized the army quickly. Most soldiers in the Army of Tennessee by early were battle-hardened veterans who could easily appreciate the importance of discipline and could recognize how much it had improved their army.

    The winter of had closed a disastrous year in the West, particularly with the fresh memory of the loss of Chattanooga. Indeed, most of Tennessee had been lost by that point in the war, yet beleaguered Confederates there remained committed to the cause. North Alabama contained pockets of unionist sentiment, deserters, and general lawlessness, but most of the state clearly maintained high morale and dedication to the cause, particularly in its central and southern areas still relatively distant from Union armies.

    Soon those spirits would reach new heights, the likes of which that army had not seen since the beginning of the war. Floyd, a common soldier in the 17th Tennessee Infantry, assured his wife of his rising spirits and refusal to surrender the cause and restore ties to the union: Of this one thing rest assured that never—no never—will I ever return to that country unless with the victorious army of the south, driving the invaders before it or after the southern confederacy is established and peace restored.

    Were I to forsake the cause of my country in this hour of her deepest peril; when the enemy is bringing to bear his many resources. John Floyd and his comrades had not yielded, and they faced the impending campaigns with mounting optimism.

    Civilians and soldiers alike recognized the importance of both, but realized that their goal of independence depended more than anything else on the results of battles and campaigns. In the short term they would not be disappointed. The coming months brought news of military victories for Confederate forces in all theaters of the war, a trend that would continue into the summer months.

    Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia enjoyed in the eastern theater. This theme would only grow more powerful in the summer months. The currency bill passed by Congress in Richmond in February was said to be improving the value of Confederate notes.

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    By spring , morale around the Confederate heartland was again on the rise, and most Confederates examined here would accept no terms of peace other than independence. Confederates even came to believe that their position might actually be as strong as ever by late spring In truth, some even believed that they were not only holding on but were in fact winning the war.

    Looking east, most practically assumed that Lee would handle the Federals in Virginia. Phillips Fitzpatrick, an Alabama soldier stationed at Mobile, even joked, perhaps worried, that his wife, Mary, had become so self-reliant in his absence that she might no longer need a husband. I feel that I have been endued with strength for this trial, indeed Phillips it is wonderful sometimes to me, how cheerful and contented I am generally.

    God therefore challenged the South to abandon race mixing and return slavery to a more Christianlike standard. In her diary entry for April 8, for example, she described a letter she received from a wealthy family friend who had remained a Union supporter. Meanwhile, Ellen House, among the most dedicated of Confederates, grew frustrated with the Union martial presence in her East Tennessee hometown, and wrote about military news and expectations more than anything else in her March diary entries.

    In the Lion's Mouth - Hood's Tragic Retreat from Nashville, 1864 (Electronic book text)

    As March turned to April, apparently unable to resist, she teased a local Confederate soldier she suspected of turning traitor with a lengthy and pointed April Fool poem. You used to say you had no use For this same Yankee nation But now after the shoulder straps You run like all creation And you were always wont to say You loved the Rebels dearly. So a man may change his politics As he does his dress coat—yearly.

    The cold months of uncertainty had passed, and all signs pointed to brighter prospects ahead. When the spring campaigns began, these western Confederate civilians absolutely expected victories. All expected major campaigns in Virginia and northern Georgia by early summer. Fort, like other war34 march—april a new beginning hardened Confederates by , knew better than to put too much stock in rumors. Grant could not possibly defeat Robert E.

    On April 17—20, , Confederates under R. Hoke captured Plymouth, North Carolina. Lincoln again had reconstruction in mind, in addition to discouraging the French imperial presence in Mexico by placing Federal troops in Texas. Among these secondary events, the defeat of the Red River campaign in particular raised the spirits of Confederates around the West.

    Once again, western Con35 the confederate heartland federates took pride in the exploits of a western general and his soldiers and pinned their hopes upon the success of those men. His presence threw a considerable scare into the Federals and unionists in those areas and excited Confederate sympathizers there. In later months, Federal general William T. There will never be peace in Tennessee till Forrest is dead. By April 1, , most people in the western Confederacy, whatever their sentiments with regard to the war overall, likely would have agreed with Mississippian Robert W.

    In the process they killed approximately half of its six-hundred-man garrison of white and black Federal soldiers, including white unionists from Tennessee. At least some of those killed had attempted to surrender.