Loyalty and Loss: Alabama's Unionists in the Civil War and Reconstruction (Conflicting Worlds)

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9780807129357: Loyalty and Loss: Alabama's Unionists in the Civil War and Reconstruction (Conflicting Worlds)

A previously hidden corner of history reveals that the Palmer family of Alabama named their children after northern Union heroes like Sherman and Grant rather than Confederate favorites such as Jackson and Lee. Margaret M. Storey’s welcome study uncovers and explores those Alabamians who, like the Palmers, maintained allegiance to the Union when their state seceded in 1861—and beyond.

Though slavery was widespread and antislavery sentiment rare in Alabama, there emerged a small loyalist population, mostly in the northern counties, that persisted in the face of overwhelming odds against their cause. Storey’s extensive, groundbreaking research discloses a socioeconomically diverse group that included slaveholders and nonslaveholders, business people, professionals, farmers, and blacks. Narratives of their wartime experiences, culled by Storey from the papers of the Southern Claims Commission—a federal agency established in 1871 to consider the wartime property damage claims of loyal white and black southerners—indicate in astonishingly rich detail the chaos and destruction that occurred on the southern home front.

Storey considers the political, social, and military aspects of unionism in Alabama. And by treating the years 1861–1874 as a whole, she clearly connects loyalists’ sometimes brutal wartime treatment with their postwar behavior. Ties among kin and neighbors as well as between masters and slaves shaped and sustained unionists’ ability to oppose the Confederacy and aid the North. After the war, those same ties fueled loyalists’ resistance to Democratic control and gave rise to their demands that only the "truly loyal" receive authority in the South.

By extending the study of unionism into the Deep South, Storey sheds important light on the internal strife of the Confederacy as well as the nature of resistance itself.

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About the Author:

Margaret Storey is an assistant professor of history at DePaul University in Chicago.

Review:

"Storey vividly demonstrates that divided loyalties and home front conflicts were no less intense in the Deep South than they were in other parts of the Confederacy."

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Storey, Margaret M.
Published by Louisiana State University Press (2004)
ISBN 10: 0807129356 ISBN 13: 9780807129357
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Book Description Louisiana State University Press, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. Loyalty and Loss: Alabama's Unionists in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Groundbreaking research on a previously hidden corner of history discloses a socioeconomically diverse group that included slaveholders and nonslaveholders, business people, professionals, farmers, and blacks who supported the Union effort. Narratives of their wartime experiences present a richly detailed history at the home front. 1st printing. Louisiana State University Press, 2004. Hard cover in dust jacket, spine sunned. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-1509226928224

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