Recently, Civil War Trust has been featuring Civil War states – their history, units, and commanders. Do you have a favorite Civil War era state? Why?
Florida, because nearly all of my ancestors were in Florida by the war and because, on the ground, it was more complicated than just being a Confederate state. I just finished writing a book on the 1st Florida Cavalry Union Volunteers. They were southern men, primarily from FL and AL who fought for the Union during the last two years of the war. I was able to identify large pockets of “Unionists” in the Florida panhandle and in south central Alabama. For me the war is more than battles and generals; it is about people’s lives, the disruptions and how they coped.
Kentucky…birthplace of both wartime Presidents. The farce of neutrality…”a state of metaphysicians” they were termed by Fletcher Pratt. A state of confusion, more ambivalent although just loyal enough to the Union in the beginning and more Confederate as the war went on. Fine regiments served on each side although the ‘orphans’ had the best publicist. Think of a Confederate boundary along the Ohio, and wonder if Bishop Polk lost his cause as he marched on Columbus. 1862, Grant earns a nickname as Buckner earns respect; Nelson dies in a hotel lobby; Buell and Bragg spare like lame, blindfolded boxers. 1863, Morgan rides off after knucklehead glory. 1864, the heavy Federal hand is more and more resented. 1865, Quantrell dies under a hail of militia gunfire. Only in 1866 does the legislature free her enslaved Americans, last state to do so.
New Mexico!! I live here — and near the actions of Mesilla and Valverde, and I grew up near the “Gettysburg of the West” — Glorieta!!
Ohio, because of its key role in the Union’s victory (and because I live here). The North’s three dominant generals – Ulysses Grant, William Sherman and Phil Sheridan – were all from the Buckeye state. (Little Phil was born in New York but grew up in Somerset, Ohio). Also, I believe Ohio supplied more troops per capita to Union armies than any other state.
As a Fredericksburg resident I have to say Ol’ Virginia. Most of the battles in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War took place in Virginia. The first and last significant battles of the war were held in Virginia. Virgina witnessed the Battle of First Bull Run – Battle of Hampton Roads – Peninsula Campaign – Seven Days Battles – Battle of Malvern Hill – Northern Virginia Campaign – Battle of Second Bull Run – Battle of Fredericksburg – Battle of Chancellorsville – Bristoe Campaign – Mine Run Campaign – Overland Campaign – Bermuda Hundred Campaign – Battle of Cold Harbor – Richmond-Petersburg Campaign – Valley Campaigns of 1864 – Appomattox Campaign (I think that’s all of them) – Michael Aubrecht
Oops I forgot Spotsylvania and The Wilderness
New Mexico-because I have a strong interest in Chivington, and Colorado for the same reasons.
Good when you visit LMK!!!
California! Even with one of the worst floods in history in 1861, our gold kept the war on a firm financial foothig.
Virginia. My home state and my ACW ancestors served in Virginia units. Plus all the great battlefields and historic places within driving distance.
Pennsylvania (where I grew up) and Vermont (where I now live). Both saw military action during the war (Gettysburg; St. Albans Raid), and both provided major contributions to the war effort (Vermont way beyond its size).
Missouri in the first year of the War is about as interesting as it gets. Divided loyalties, state convention rejecting secession, Camp Jackson, Lyon’s campaign, a State Army taking the field (under the Governor at Boonville!), and the importance of St. Louis to Union logistics in the West. Granted, it becomes less important as 1862 comes and goes, and less interesting perhaps, but that first year of the War in Missouri is fascinating.
WEST VIRGINIA HOME OF MY BE LOVED 36 VA INF. REG . REAL ORPHAN BRIGADE A STATE CREATED FROM A STATE AND SUCCESSION ,WHICH WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LEGAL IS THAT NOT WHY WE ARE FIGHTING ? I’M CONFUSED . HOME OF THE FIRST BATTLE OF CIVIL WAR .
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