History Professor's Talk on "Southern Unionists"
Commemorates 150th Anniversary of Civil War
North versus South.
That, in essence, defines the U.S. Civil War for many Americans. According to this view, the southern slave states seceded from the United States, and then fought with the northern free states to establish the independence of the South’s new government, the Confederate States of America.
CSU, Chico history professor Robert Tinkler argues on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War that such an understanding of North America’s greatest military conflict leaves out the crucial role played by southern Unionists.
That group will be the subject of Tinkler’s free public lecture entitled “Lincoln’s Loyalists: Dissenters in the Confederacy” on Wednesday, March 7, at 7:30 pm in Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall (PAC 134) on the Chico State campus.
Southern Unionism took many forms, notes Tinkler.
“First, not all slave states seceded -- Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri all remained loyal to the Union. Second, within Confederate states, pockets of white southerners opposed secession and often opposed the new Confederate government.”
The Appalachian region, where slaveholders made up a very small part of the population, proved particularly troublesome to Confederate authorities, said Tinkler.
“Indeed, the mountainous western counties of Virginia formed the Union state of West Virginia during the war, and thousands of southern white men from the highlands, and other regions, volunteered to serve in the U.S. military and fight against the Confederates.”
A final example of southern Unionism, one often overlooked even by historians, is the service of individuals from Confederate states in the U.S. Congress, both House and Senate, during the war.
“Eleven men from three Confederate states -- Louisiana, Tennessee, and Virginia -- served in the U.S. House and four from two states -- Tennessee and Virginia -- sat in the U.S. Senate during the conflict.”
Professor Tinkler’s lecture is supported by the History Department, the School of the Arts, and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at CSU, Chico.
For more information, call the Department of History Office at 898-4284.