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Who joined the confederate army? soldiers, civilians, and communities in Mississippi.

There is no shortage of testimony explaining southerners' decision to join the Confederate army. Civil War soldiers were as voluble about their reasons for enlisting as they were about their wartime experiences, and historians have found central themes in soldiers' reasons for going to war. Soldiers on both sides often simply echoed their leaders' justifications for the war, but beneath Confederate soldiers' political rhetoric lay a deeper, more personal concern for their society's racial equilibrium: the fear of life with the bottom rail on top echoes through southerners' explanations of why they were in the army. (1)

This motivation for southerners' enlistment is a considerable aid in understanding their later experiences. The fear of racial chaos turned against the Confederacy as it became clear that the government could not preserve white supremacy; massive desertion was one tangible result. (2) The double-edged nature of racist fears also helps us to understand what some historians see as the South's failure of will during the war: southern whites' commitment to some form of white supremacy may have remained unshaken even as they withdrew support from the government they had trusted with the preservation of slavery. (3)

Soldiers' stated reasons for going to war are therefore instructive, but there is still more that we can learn from the act of joining the Confederate army. It is impossible to ignore, for example, the importance of sheer numbers as a measure of the Confederacy's commitment to the war. To be sure, there is disagreement about the total number of men who joined the Confederate army and about the number of casualties, but even the low estimates demonstrate an impressive initial devotion to the cause. The majority of southern military-age males joined the army, a much larger proportion than served in the North, and more than a quarter-million died, or one in five of the South's entire military-age population. (4) These figures say nothing about why southerners fought, but the enlistment rates clearly show broad early support, and the casualty figures suggest a considerable willingness to sacrifice for the Confederacy.

Data on enlistments can answer other questions as well. Since the war began less than a year after the federal census of 1860, it is possible to identify the characteristics of many Confederate soldiers by linking the census to military records. Perhaps more important, it is also possible to find the characteristics of those who did not serve, and to compare soldiers with noncombatants. Historians have already made a few of these comparisons: one sample of military records shows a higher percentage of farmers in Confederate units than in the census; a study of three Georgia counties indicates that wealthy planters avoided service, whereas an examination of a North Carolina county shows equal enlistments among planters and others; a comparison of Union and Confederate soldiers in a Virginia county finds class differences in enlistments, as poor farmers joined planters' sons to fight against middle-class Union soldiers; and a study of another North Carolina county reveals considerable variation in enlistments from community to community. (5)

These studies suggest the complexity of the enlistment decision and the importance of local circumstances in making the decision, but their comparisons of individual soldiers and non-soldiers do not extend beyond localities. This essay focuses on enlistments throughout a southern state, using enlistees' testimony as well as the characteristics of potential soldiers to shed more light on the nature of local circumstance and on the reasons some individuals fought and others did not. Mississippi's characteristics and wartime experience make it an especially promising subject, since it embodied many of the forces that generated both support for and disaffection from the South's cause.

Support for secession was overwhelming in Mississippi, and it was the second state to leave the Union. Yet there was also a substantial undercurrent of anti-Confederate sentiment, visible in the northeastern "disloyal country" early in the war and later among bands of deserters in some of the state's south-central counties. (6) Mississippi also underwent nearly the full variety of wartime experience: some areas sustained lengthy Union occupation, others saw major battles, and still others encountered few Union soldiers before 1865.

Moreover, when they referred to their reasons for enlisting, Mississippi soldiers voiced fears similar to those described above. Few soldiers were as forthright about their racial motivations as was Will Crutcher, a planter's son in his early twenties who joined the army with one of his father's slaves as a servant. Crutcher warned that "the time for action on the part of our entire race is swiftly passing, and unless they all awake and get up on their feet like men, they may be compelled to forever crawl upon the ground like worms." (7) But even soldiers who were less explicit about their motivations usually shared Crutcher's conviction that society is necessarily ordered; they also shared his certainty that Union invaders meant to reverse the southern order, with former masters forced to exist somewhere beneath nor therners and one-time slaves. The usual reference to this threatened topsy-turvy society was "subjugation." Newspapers warned of "subjugation, confiscation, and emancipation"; sendoff ceremonies for Confederate troops pointed to the "fanatical mercenaries who are now attempting to subjugate us to a worse than Russian despotism"; and the enlistees themselves were convinced that the Union's "cry is still for blood-conquest: Subjugation," even if it "cost[s] the Federal government more to subjugate us than it has cost up to this time." (8) Insofar as the tides of political support, the fortunes of war, and the perceived threat of racial chaos influenced enlistment, Mississippi is an ideal place for investigating the decision to join the Confederate army.

The obvious problems of scale involved in investigating enlistments in an entire state have been addressed here by sampling. The individuals studied here are 1,010 Mississippi males who were between thirteen and forty-five in 1860 (in the war's later years seventeen to forty-nine would be considered eligible military age). The men were chosen at random from the schedules of the 1860 census; they are obviously a tiny fraction of the roughly ninety thousand eligible males in Mississippi, but they are enough to be reasonably representanve of the state military-age population. (9) The principles of sampling indicate that if a hundred more samples of this size were taken, ninety-five would have characteristics that would closely approximate those of the sample used here.

The next step was to trace these 1,010 men in the records of Confederate soldiers collected by the War Department early in this century. (10) These files are a state-by-state compilation of every extant reference to Civil War soldiers in any military record; for Confederate soldiers, the records include all descriptive information that was available from regular army units, home-defense companies, and other military units that left wartime information. The records for Mississippi were searched for each individual in the sample, and he was thus identified as either a soldier or a non-soldier. (11) This process obviously risked misclassifying men who served in units from other states, but a sampling of records from neighboring states suggested that such cases were infrequent. (12)

No matter how reliable the sample, however, census data explicitly tell us nothing about motivations for enlistment. The data can indicate whether soldiers were richer or poorer than noncombatants, for example, but considerations other than economic or occupational classes may have actually influenced the decision to enlist. The soldiers' own testimony is the best evidence of such other influences, and it serves here to shape the investigation of census data.

The method is simple, as long as the questions asked are appropriate both to the testimony and to the census data. (13) Knowledge gained from soldiers' stated motives for enlisting can be the basis for predicting the characteristics of the men who left no records other than the census and, perhaps, their entry into the Confederate army. That is, if fears for white supremacy impelled men to enlist, we should see, first, a high rate of enlistment throughout the Mississippi sample, because the testimony discussed above conveys a shared stake in a racially ordered society.

It is also reasonable to expect, at the same time, an even greater likelihood of enlistment among those with a more tangible stake in white supremacy--those who owned slaves (or whose fathers owned them, in the case of dependent sons), or those who lived in communities where slaves were a large proportion of the population. If the census data confirm the predictions, then we can assert with greater confidence that fears of a topsy-turvy society brought men into the Confederate army, with all that this motivation implies for the nation's fate. If, on the other hand, slave owners were less likely to enlist, for example, or if areas within Mississippi had widely varying enlistment rates, the question of enlistees' motivation will be more difficult to answer. No one has yet claimed that racist fears motivated the entire southern population, but unexpected findings from the census data could underscore the limits of such fears among southerners.

The enlistment rate was indeed high in the Mississippi sample. Sixty-five percent of the 1,010 individuals joined the Confederate army, a remarkable response among a sample that includes 13-year-old boys and 45-year-old men. Enlistments were, of course, more frequent among men in their late teens and early twenties. Seventy-three percent of young men aged 18 to 24 joined Mississippi units; by contrast, only forty percent of men the same ages in Newburyport, Massachusetts, joined the Union army. (14) Because the sequence of each soldier's enlistments and transfers is more difficult to establish than is the fact of his joining the army, reliable dates of enlistment are available for slightly fewer than half of the soldiers in the sample. Of these, 57 percent enlisted in 1861, when Mississippians were "in a fever to get to the field"; another one-third joined in 1862, the year the Confederacy adopted its military draft, leaving eleven percent to join in the war's final years. (15) There is evidence of a sense of alarm in this enlistment-timing: by contrast, in Ashe County, North Carolina, the majority of enlistments occurred in 1862, under the threat of conscription. (16)

Table 1 profiles the soldiers and the noncombatants in the Mississippi sample. Age and the amounts of real and personal wealth owned (or owned by the individual's father, for military-age sons) are reported as listed in the census. Personal wealth serves a dual purpose here, since it includes slaves. Census slave schedules, the other source for statistics on slave ownership, do not include hired slaves or slaves owned in other counties, so the use of a single measure of personal wealth fully reflects slave owners' assets and avoids double-counting slaves. (17)
Table 1
Profile of the Sample of Mississippi Males, Ages 13 to 45

 Soldiers Noncombatants

Average age 25.6 28.0
Average real estate owned $2,704 $ 4,921
Average personal property $5,724 $10,425
% Farmers 77.8 69.3
% Born in slave states 95.1 85.8
% Living in river counties 10.2 18.8
% Household heads 61.2 71.9
Average number of
 co-residing relatives 4.3 3.9
Average proportion of slaves
 in county of residence 47.0 50.0
Number of individuals 658 352

Other characteristics in the table were derived from the federal census. The military-age males in the sample represent 58 occupations, but there is little actual occupational diversity. Nearly sixty percent of the men in the sample were farmers (or their sons); another fifteen percent were farm laborers or overseers, leaving only 25 percent in nonfarm occupations. The most useful occupational classification is one that recognizes this agricultural dominance, and so Table 1 splits occupations between farmers plus their employees, on the one hand, and those not engaged in farming on the other hand. (18)

To examine the origins of soldiers and non-soldiers, the table divides places of birth according to the expected division of loyalties: those who were born in slave states are contrasted with those born elsewhere. (19) Two family characteristics are also profiled in Table 1--the proportion of household heads and, as a measure of an individual's "expendability," the number of co-residing relatives (estimated by those sharing a last name).

Finally, two characteristics of each man's community are included as potential influences on his enlistment. The concentration of slaves in his county may have swayed his decision even if he or his family owned no slaves, so each individual in the sample has been assigned the proportion of slaves in his county's population. Second, Mississippi had distinct sections that crossed county borders: using the crucial standard of soil quality as a measure, it is possible to identify ten such sections in the state. (20) This essay cannot do full justice to all of these sections, because excessive subdivision would cripple the sample's reliability. There is, however, one way of dividing Mississippi that appears especially useful. The counties along the Mississippi River contained most of the state's planter aristocracy, who had plantations along both sides of the river. These planters and their wealth were crucial to the Confederacy, and their cooperation would be eagerly sought by Union officials later in the war. (21) The riverfront counties are thus treated as a separate section of Mississippi in this essay, a section uniquely committed to and dependent on the slave-based cotton economy.

The rest of Mississippi was hardly uninvolved in plantation agriculture, nor was it otherwise uniform, but there were clear differences between it and the riverfront. Over 70 percent of the population of the river counties were slaves, versus 44 percent in the rest of the state. Average wealth, real and personal property combined, was under $7,600 for the men in the sample who lived outside the river counties; for those on the riverfront, the average wealth was $33,750. If any single division of the state is feasible, it is one that marks off this community dominated by the planter elite.

Table 1 calls into question the expected shared willingness to defend the racial order. To be sure, some of the soldiers' characteristics are predictable: they were, for example, younger than noncombatants, they were more likely to have been born in the slave states, and they were more likely to have been dependent sons than to be household heads. But soldiers typically had just over half the real estate and personal wealth of the average noncombatant, which seems to indicate that large planters and their sons were avoiding military service instead of rallying to the cause. On the other hand, as was the case in the analysis of military records cited above, the soldiers included more farmers and their sons than did the non-soldiers; this, together with the slightly lower proportion of slaves in the soldiers' counties, suggests that the priority among soldiers was defense of their (or their employers') farms rather than defense of slavery.

Table 1, however, must be seen as a preliminary profile rather than conclusive. Simple averages mask the wide variation in wealth that occurs in any population, and none of the characteristics shown in the table is truly independent of the others. In other words, the apparently greater wealth of noncombatants may be a function of their age, and so might the higher percentage of household heads among non-soldiers--the older the individual, the more likely he would have been to have a family of his own.

With these problems in mind, Table 2 shows Confederate service in a different light. The table is the result of a logistic regression, which produces estimates of enlistment probabilities for each variable with all others held constant. (22) The table's first column shows these "adjusted" probabilities themselves, and the second column shows the difference between pairs of characteristics (in other words, the difference each characteristic makes in the likelihood of enlistment). For example, the table shows that, all measurable things being equal, farmers' probability of enlistment was .666 (that is, 67 out of 100 farmers would join the army), whereas nonfarmers' likelihood of joining was .629; the difference between farmers and nonfarmers was thus less than .04 (four more farmers than nonfarmers would join out of each hundred). The parentheses around the difference indicate that, in this sample, a difference this small could have been due simply to chance and is thus negligible; we cannot be certain that occupation makes any difference whatever in the likelihood of enlistment.
Table 2
Probabilities of Joining a Mississippi Unit, with Other
Variables Controlled, Mississippi Sample

 Probability of Difference
 17 .719
 35 .596

Real estate owned:
 None .679
 log ($4,000) * .624

Personal wealth:
 None .559
 log ($11,000)(*) .706

 Farmer .666
 Other .629

Place of Birth:
 Slave states .670
 Free states .492

Place of residence:
 River counties .528
 Elsewhere .675

Household head:
 Yes .662
 No .647

Number of co-residing
 0 .657
 7 .657

Slaves as % of
 county's population:
 30 .656
 70 .659

(*) The logarithm of wealth has been used to reduce variation; see
text. Note: differences in parentheses are not significant at .05.

Age, wealth, slave concentration, and the number of relatives are handled slightly differently in the table. The two categories shown for each variable are set at roughly one standard deviation above and below the average; the probabilities shown are thus the effects of the variables over their typical range. Finally, real and personal wealth have been made more tractable by using their logarithms; otherwise, the enormous variations in wealth in the sample could hide genuine patterns in enlistment.

Table 2 shows results that are quite different from those in Table 1. Many of the apparent influences on joining the Confederate army are statistically insignificant. We cannot be sure that occupation, the value of real estate holdings, the number of co-residing relatives, the proportion of slaves in the county, or being a dependent son had any effect on enlistment. It is thus likely that the apparent landed wealth of noncombatants shown in Table 1, for example, was indeed a function of age and the unreliability of averages. On the other hand, age itself remains an important predictor of enlistment, as does birthplace: only half of those born outside the slave states, with all other characteristics equal, were likely to join the Confederate army. The remaining significant variables present a contradictory picture. With all else held constant, personal wealth, much of which consisted of slaves, was positively related to enlistment: only 56 of 100 men without any personal property were likely to enlist, but 71 of 100 who owned $11,000 in personal property would join the army. Our expectation is thus far confirmed: enlistments were relatively constant across occupations, landholding, and family size, but they rose as the personal stake in white supremacy increased.

But one other influence on enlistment confounds our prediction. Men living in the river counties, regardless of their investment in slaves or any other observable characteristic, were less likely to join the army than were those living elsewhere in Mississippi. The odds of a riverfront resident enlisting were only about fifty-fifty, whereas the odds of enlistment for an individual living elsewhere were over two to one. The river counties, as we have seen above, rested more squarely on slavery than did the remainder of Mississippi; all ten river counties (an eleventh county has no census returns) contained more slaves than whites, and in one county slaves were more than ninety percent of the population. Yet rich or poor, farmers or nonfarmers, household heads or dependent sons, riverfront residents showed only about the same willingness to fight for the Confederacy as did men born outside the slave states. Do shared racial fears finally fail to explain enlistment in the Confederate army?

The 1860 census can give us little further help, but other sources can shed some light on circumstances in the river counties. We might begin by modifying our expectations regarding the residents of river counties. It is perfectly plausible that people in the strongholds of slavery had the same devotion to their society as did those living elsewhere, but that they responded differently when it was endangered. Edmund and Louisa Henry, for example, owned a plantation along the Mississippi during the war. They feared the worst as the Union began its campaign for the river: early in 1862, Louisa expected that the enemy "may spare our lives, but as to our property, God only knows, for I think that the Yankees are utterly devoid of honor and humanity." Fighting, however, seemed impossible: the Henrys had no overseer, "and [Edmund's] presence is absolutely necessary on the place." A neighbor had likewise drawn straws with his overseer to determine who would enlist, and the owner stayed at home. Yet the Henrys supported the war effort: Edmund, who was a physician, treated wounded soldiers, and Louisa made bandages for them. (23)

These planters' reluctance to enlist early in the war was not atypical. Enlistment dates, it should be repeated, must be used with caution because of the large number of uncertain cases, but the dates can be suggestive. The dates indicate that residents of river counties were significantly less likely to enlist in 1861 than were military-age males elsewhere in Mississippi, suggesting a desire on the part of riverfront residents to stand watch over their communities. Military-age males who lived on or in the shadow of the great plantations may thus have sought to defend the racial order by staying at home to guard their holdings against the danger, real or imagined, of slave uprisings and Union invasion.

But it is not clear that large numbers of river-county residents did indeed stay home as guardians of their society. Since their enlistment rates were lower in 1861, we would expect any enumeration made in that year to have found an especially large number of river-county residents still at home. Several counties did such enumerations in late 1861, and three of the lists are extant. (24) The lists are rolls of males eighteen to fifty who were not yet in the army in October and November of the war's first year; one of these military censuses is from Bolivar County, on the Mississippi River, and the others are from Simpson and Winston counties, both of which are in central Mississippi and neither of which had a large population of slaves or produced much cotton. (25) There should have been considerably more military-age males remaining in Bolivar County, but the reverse is true. Of the three counties, Bolivar actually had the smallest proportion of military-age males still at home: the male population from 18 to 50 was 47 percent of what it had been in 1860, versus 59 percent in Winston County and 49 percent in Simpson County.

Three counties are limited evidence indeed, but two more counties that surveyed their military-age population later in the war provide similar results. (26) De Soto County is the northernmost river county in Mississippi, and attala County lies near the center of the state. Each county had a population of about nine thousand whites in 1860, but their similarities ended there. De Soto County included nearly fourteen thousand slaves and produced over forty thousand bales of cotton in 1869, whereas Attala County had just over five thousand slaves and produced fewer than fifteen thousand bales. Each county took a military census in 1864, when most of the men who would join the Confederate army had already done so: as the enlistment dates discussed above suggest, conscription had produced diminishing returns since 1862, and the Confederacy's worsening military prospects were scant incentive for joining. Only 367 military-age men were left in De Soto County and 407 remained in Attala, out of eligible populations of approximately 2,700 and 2,300 in 1860; approximately 50 men in each county had been exempted from service through the various occupational provisions of the draft. Once again, the river county had the lower proportion of eligible men still at home, 11.6 percent versus 14.6 percent in the central-Mississippi county. The difference between the counties was similar for young and older men alike.

What can we make of these county military censuses? They tell us nothing directly about the decisions of individuals in and outside of the river counties, but they do show that it was unlikely that males in the river counties stayed at home rather than joining the army. Again, since proportionally fewer men enlisted in the river counties, we would expect proportionally more to have been present when local officials tabulated their county's potential soldiers. Instead, the evidence available shows fewer river-county men at home in 1861 and in 1864. The relatively small numbers who enlisted and the similarly small number who still resided in river counties point to a relatively large number who moved elsewhere rather than join the army, putting them among the substantial body of emigrants whose services were lost to the Confederacy.

Historians have often focused on emigrants who were refugees--fleeing from Union invasion toward Confederate strongholds or heading toward the Union lines driven by Confederate oppression--or those who were draft evaders. (27) The behavior of riverfront residents, on the other hand, hints at a different kind of migration. The county military censuses indicate that military-age men were leaving river counties long before Union gunboats appeared on the Mississippi and well before the Confederacy adopted conscription. Indeed, it is likely that the river had an influence of its own on out-migration, in that it provided both motivation and means for leaving the Confederacy.

The Mississippi was the "great thoroughfare" to those who lived along its banks, a lifeline but also an obvious invasion route. (28) Even before the Union's 1862 offensives, it was common knowledge that the river would be a centerpiece of the North's strategy, Confederate fortifications notwithstanding. In September of 1861, James George wrote to his wife that "an attempt will ... probably be made to invade us by way of the Mississippi." (29) When the invasion began in earnest, riverftont residents felt still more vulnerable. Evangeline Crutcher reported that "[Vicksburg] is fermenting again, about the advance of the Federals down the Tennessee river .... Some of the old ladies think that they are going to eat us up right away, but I defy the Yankees to scare me." Cmtcher declared that "everybody is going to war right off, and three companies are being raised," but the military censuses suggest that a second surge of enlistments was not the only result of the northern threat. (30) Crutcher did not report an exodus from Vicksburg at this time, but out-migrants were a concern elsewhere along the river. At about the same time as Crutcher was writing to her husband, newspapers in New Orleans were denouncing men who had "packed their bags and gone kiting," and one editor called for martial law to prevent out-migration. (31) The Mississippi brought the war's dangers to the doorsteps of those who lived along it, and both Table 2 and the military censuses suggest that packing one's bags was a common reaction.

Racial alarm remains a useful explanation for enlistment, but this essay indicates that the explanation should be qualified: put simply, it depends on where one looks. Just as we would expect, if a personal stake in a racially ordered society motivated enlistment, Mississippians born in slave states or with an investment in slaves were especially likely to join the army. These indications of a personal stake in white supremacy cut across occupations and across many communities, but there was one area in Mississippi whose circumstances overrode the importance of slavery. (32) With all else equal, a river-county resident who owned (or whose father owned) $11,000 in personal property was no more likely to enlist than was an individual living elsewhere who owned no personal property whatever. The available evidence suggests that military-age males on the riverfront began leaving their counties, and possibly the Confederacy, early in the war.

These findings have two implications for our understanding of the Confederacy's fate. First, the enlistment rates from Mississippi's interior accord with soldiers' testimony: whites saw the war as an attack on their position of privilege and authority, and they feared being made subjects of, rather than masters of, a racial hierarchy. The greater their investment in the present form of hierarchy, the more likely they were to fight for its preservation. This finding underscores what is known about developments later in the war. The initial allegiance in the hinterland, that is, was conditional: fighting for the Confederacy was fighting against "subjugation" only so long as the Confederacy appeared able to protect white supremacy. When the Confederacy could no longer do so, southerners withdrew their allegiance and resolved to defend white supremacy as best they could.

But decision making appears to have worked differently in the river counties of Mississippi. The Confederacy evidently inspired less confidence among river-county residents, no matter what their background or stake in slavery; enlistment data and military censuses suggest that riverfront residents' reluctance to join the army began early in the war. Insofar as they emigrated before the war turned decisively against the South, the behavior of river-county residents works against the failure-of-will theory of Confederate defeat. If the riverfront's vulnerability impelled residents to leave the South early in the war, the Confederacy's strength would have been diminished long before there was any widespread loss of morale; even if residents simply moved to safety elsewhere in the South, their ability to contribute to the Confederacy was disrupted at best and eliminated at worst.

There were undoubtedly other areas in the Deep South where vulnerability was as important in deciding one's attitude toward the Confederacy as was preserving the racial order. Coastlines and other areas along navigable rivers may well have resembled river counties in Mississippi in their low rates of enlistment and higher rates of out-migration. (33) If so, the Confederacy faced one more problem in addition to its well-known handicaps of smaller population, lack of industries, and Unionist opposition. The Confederacy could ill afford to do without the allegiance of any part of its population, and the findings here suggest that Unionism was not the only source of disaffection from the Confederate cause.

This essay supports the view that southerners saw the coming of war in highly personal terms, but it reveals variation in what the personal terms were. In Mississippi's interior, the dominant response to the threat of "subjugation, confiscation, and emancipation" was to take up arms. Along the river, the thoroughfare that made invasion more tangible and immediate, there was less apparent faith in armed resistance, and a common response was out-migration. Knowing these reactions, we can predict patterns in enlistments elsewhere; when we know more about enlistments in other states as well as in Mississippi, we will be better able to assess individual southerners' wartime decision making and will better understand the Confederacy's fate.

Department of History Jackson, MS 39210


(1.) Reid Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers (New York, 1988), 6; James I. Robertson, Jr., Soldiers Blue and Gray (Columbia, S.C., 1988), 3-11.

(2.) Mitchell, Civil War Soldiers, 168-71; Robert C. Kenzer, Kinship and Neighborhood in a Southern Community: Orange County, North Carolina, 1849-1881 (Knoxville, Tenn., 1987), 81-82, points out that most deserters had enlisted early in the war, when expectations would have been high for the Confederacy's ability to preserve southern society.

(3.) Kenneth M. Stampp, The Imperiled Union: Essays on the Background of the Civil War (New York, 1980), chap. 8; Richard E. Beringer, Herman Hattaway, Archer Jones and W lliam N. Still, Jr., Why the South Lost the Civil War (Athens, Ga., 1986), chaps. 16-17.

(4.) For a recent effort to reconcile estimates of the number of Civil War soldiers, see James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (New York, 1988), 306- 307. On the eligible population and the implications of the number of enlistments and casualties, see Maris A. Vinovskis, "Have Social Historians Lost the Civil War? Some Preliminary Demographic Speculations," Journal of American History 76 (1989): 34-58; Beringer et al., Why the South Lost, 11.

(5.) McPherson, Battle Cry, 614-15; J. William Harris, Plain Folk and Gentry in a Slave Society: White Liberty and Black Slavery in Georgia's Hinterlands (Middletown, Conn., 1985), 152-53; Kenzer, Kinship and Neighborhood, 88; Wayne K. Durrill, War of Another Kind: A Southern Community in the Great Rebellion (New York, 1990), 235-41; Martin Crawford, "Confederate Volunteering and Enlistment in Ashe County, North Carolina, 1861-1862," Civil War History 37 (1991): 29-50.

(6.) On the "disloyal country," see John K. Bettersworth, Confederate Mississippi: The People and Politics of a Cotton State in Wartime (Baton Rouge, 1943), chap. 11. On later unrest, see Rudy H. Leverett, Legend of the Free State of Jones (Jackson, Miss., 1984).

(7.) William Crutcher to Evangeline Crutcher, April 10, 1862, Crutcher-Shannon Papers, Box 5, Folder 53, Mississippi Department of Archives and History (hereafter cited as MDAH).

(8.) Canton [Miss.] American Citizen, March 15, 1862; Works Progress Administration for Mississippi, Source Material for Mississippi History (82 vols., 1936-38), XXX (Jones County), Assignment No. 18, 140; James Z. George to Elizabeth George, Oct. 10, 1861, James Z. George Papers, Folder 1, MDAH; Joseph M. Jayne, Sr. to Joseph M. Jayne, Jr., June 6, 1862, Lowry-Jayne Family Papers, Box 1, Folder 1, MDAH.

(9.) Designing and constructing a sample that is to be representative of a large population requires several steps. Determining the number sf cases needed demands some knowledge of the population's variability. A preliminary sample of 400 randomly chosen Mississippi males aged 13 to 45 showed that real estate (actually the logarithm of real estate, to control excessive variability) had the largest variation among the census characteristics of interest here, and thus would require the largest sample to achieve reliable results. Real estate was then used in standard formulas for sample size, selecting a 95 percent confidence level and a 5 percent standard error; this produced a required sample size of 1,010 cases. Military-age males were then selected by taking random lines from the 1860 census schedules. Since the other variables would not have required this large a sample, each is well within the confidence and standard error limits specified above. This essay, of course, uses the variables jointly rather than singly, and each subdivision of cases, Such as when those born outside the slave states are classified by where they lived in 1860, reduces the effective sample size. There are no clear rules for balancing the time constraints of data-gathering against this "small-cell" problem involved in multivariate analysis; the most practical strategy is to minimize the number of variables. This has been done here, especially with occupation and geographic areas, which are discussed below.

(10.) Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Mississippi, Microcopy No. 269, National Archives.

(11.) This identification is not a foolproof process: the surviving Confederate records are variable in their detail, and some are without the soldier's age or other important information. Deciding on a match between an individual from the census and one in the military records in such cases is a judgment call based primarily on exact name agreement.

(12.) The same conclusion is reached in Harris, Plain Folk and Gentry, 198.

(13.) See Adrian Wilson, "Inferring Attitudes from Behavior," Historical Methods 14 (1981): 143-44.

(14.) Vinovskis, "Social Historians," 46.

(15.) Governor John J. Pettus, quoted in Bell Irvin Wiley, The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (Indianapolis, 1943), 123.

(16.) Crawford, "Confederate Volunteering," 41, 43.

(17.) See Frederick A. Bode and Donald E. Ginter, Farm Tenancy and the Census in Antebellum Georgia (Baton Rouge, 1986), 67-72.

(18.) This two-way split in occupations is made in part to minimize the small-cell problem discussed in note 9 above; other trial classifications of occupations produce no significantly different results.

(19.) This classification is used for consistency with the focus on slavery and white supremacy in this essay, and because it makes a difference in findings. If place of birth is divided between Union and Confederate states instead of slave and free states, the effect on enlistment shrinks (to insignificance, in terms of Table 2 below). Enlistments in the border slave states thus resemble those in the South more than those in the North.

(20.) For an illustration, see Bettersworth, Confederate Mississippi, map facing p. 136.

(21.) Lawrence N. Powell and Michael S. Wayne, "Self-Interest and the Decline of Con- federate Nationalism," in Harry P. Owens and James J. Cooke, eds., The Old South in the Crucible of War (Jackson, Miss., 1983), 29-46.

(22.) For a technical introduction to logistic regression, see John H. Aldrich and Forrest T. Nelson, Linear Probability, Logit, and Probit Models (Beverly Hills, 1984). For an introduction to its usefulness in historical research, see J. Morgan Kousser, Making Separate Equal: Integration of Black and White School Funds in Kentucky," Journal of Interdisciplinary History 10 (1980): 399-428.

(23.) Louisa Henry to Louisa Clark Boddie, April 28, 1862, Boddie Family Papers, Folder 1, MDAH (emphasis in original). Edmund Henry did join a home-defense company in 1863; the neighbor, Byron Willard, did not enlist.

(24.) (Bolivar County) Military List, 1861;Military Roll of Simpson County; Military Roll of Winston County (Record Group 9, Vol. 50), MDAH.

(25.) Slaves made up 87 percent of Bolivar County's population and the county's planters raised more than 33,00,0 bales of cotton in 1860; slaves were 38 and 43 percent of Simpson's and Winston's population, and these counties produced fewer than 5,000 and 10,000 bales of cotton.

(26.) Report of Persons Liable to Military Duty in [Attala County]; Report of Persons Liable to Military Duty in De Soto County (Record Group 9, Vol. 50), MDAH.

(27.) Steven V. Ash, "Poor Whites in the Occupied South, 1861-1865," Journal of Southern History 57 (1991): 39-62; Mary Elizabeth Massey, Refugee Life in the Confederacy (Baton Rouge, 1964); Daniel E. Sutherland, Looking for a Home: Louisiana Emigrants during the Civil War and Reconstruction, Louisiana History 21 (1980): 341-59; Albert B. Moore, Conscription and Conflict in the Confederacy (New York, 1924), 47-48, 61.

(28.) Louisa Henry to Louisa Clark Boddie, April 28, 1862, Boddie Family Papers, Folder 1, MDAH.

(29.) James Z. George to Elizabeth George, Sept. 16, 1861, James Z. George Papers, Folder 1, MDAH.

(30.) Evangeline Crutcher to William Crutcher, Feb. 9, 1862, Crotchet-Shannon Papers, Box 5, Folder 53, MDAH.

(31.) Quoted in Massey, Refugee Life, 21. The Confederacy's efforts to regulate out-migration through the Provost Guard are described in Kenneth Radley, Rebel Watchdog: The Confederate States Army Provost Guard (Baton Rouge, 1989), chap. 7.

(32.) It should be noted that the results here do not mean that there were no county-to- county or neighborhood-by-neighborhood differences in enlistment in Mississippi, but rather that there were no enlistment patterns across counties except for the river-county pattern discussed above; enlistments by neighborhoods within counties are beyond the scope of this essay.

(33.) There are too few Gulf-Coast residents in the Mississippi sample to allow a separate analysis. However, if residents of coastal counties are added to river-county residents in the division of the state used in Tables 1 and 2, the difference in enlistments compared to the rest of the state becomes more pronounced; this suggests that the response to the war was indeed similar in the river counties and the coast.
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Author:Logue, Larry M.
Publication:Journal of Social History
Date:Mar 22, 1993
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