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"Changing Sides: Union Prisoners of War Who Joined the" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP23 Nov 2020 9:06 p.m. PST

…Confederate Army Hardcover

"Toward the end of the American Civil War, the Confederacy faced manpower shortages, and the Confederate Army, following practices the Union had already adopted, began to recruit soldiers from their prison ranks. They targeted foreign-born soldiers whom they thought might not have strong allegiances to the North. Key battalions included the Brooks Battalion, a unit composed entirely of Union soldiers who wished to join the Confederacy and were not formally recruited; Tucker's Regiment and the 8th Battalion Confederate Infantry recruited mainly among Irish, German, and French immigrants.

Though the scholarship on the Civil War is vast, Changing Sides represents the first entry to investigate Union POWs who fought for the Confederacy, filling a significant gap in the historiography of Civil War incarceration. To provide context, Patrick Garrow traces the history of the practice of recruiting troops from enemy POWs, noting the influence of the mostly immigrant San Patricios in the Mexican-American War. The author goes on to describe Confederate prisons, where conditions often provided ample incentive to change sides. Garrow's original archival research in an array of archival records, along with his archaeological excavation of the Confederate guard camp at Florence, South Carolina, in 2006, provide a wealth of data on the lives of these POWs, not only as they experienced imprisonment and being "galvanized" to the other side, but also what happened to them after the war was over."


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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian24 Nov 2020 6:21 a.m. PST


John the OFM24 Nov 2020 8:54 a.m. PST

A quibble.
The Americans in the San Patricio Battalion were not recruited from POWs. They were deserters. And they were hardly "Americans" either. Most of the deserters were Irish, just off the boat and recruited. They deserted for a variety of reasons, mainly harsh treatment and being persecuted for being Catholic. I sometimes wonder if they were all that devout, or just resented being denied their Faith.
They have a fascinating story, but were by no means POWs.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2020 11:09 a.m. PST

Glad you like it Bill! (smile)


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