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Desertion during the Civil War
     

Desertion during the Civil War

by Ella Lonn, William Blair (Introduction), John Beatty
 

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Desertion during the Civil War, originally published in 1928, remains the only book-length treatment of its subject. Ella Lonn examines the causes and consequences of desertion from both the Northern and Southern armies. Drawing on official war records, she notes that one in seven enlisted Union soldiers and one in nine Confederate soldiers deserted.

Lonn

Overview

Desertion during the Civil War, originally published in 1928, remains the only book-length treatment of its subject. Ella Lonn examines the causes and consequences of desertion from both the Northern and Southern armies. Drawing on official war records, she notes that one in seven enlisted Union soldiers and one in nine Confederate soldiers deserted.

Lonn discusses many reasons for desertion common to both armies, among them lack of such necessities as food, clothing, and equipment; weariness and discouragement; noncommitment and resentment of coercion; and worry about loved ones at home. Some Confederate deserters turned outlaw, joining ruffian bands in the South. Peculiar to the North was the evil of bounty-jumping. Captured deserters generally were not shot or hanged because manpower was so precious. Moving beyond means of dealing with absconders, Lonn considers the effects of their action. Absenteeism from the ranks cost the North victories and prolonged the war even as the South was increasingly hurt by defections. This book makes vivid a human phenomenon produced by a tragic time.

Editorial Reviews

American Historical Review
"[The book is] better calculated to convey a sense of the sickening realities of the Civil War than many volumes of military history."—American Historical Review
Journal of Negro History
"An excellent piece of historical research."—Journal of Negro History
Library Journal
Desertion was a fairly common occurrence during the Civil War, as the proximity of soldiers to their homes and families caused many to just walk away when the fighting and the hardship of combat became unbearable. This 1928 volume analyzes the causes and consequences of desertion in both armies, providing one of the most in-depth discussions of the subject.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803279759
Publisher:
UNP - Nebraska Paperback
Publication date:
03/01/1998
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
0.61(w) x 5.00(h) x 8.00(d)
Lexile:
1790L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Ella Lonn (1879–1962) was a professor at Goucher College and the author of six histories of the South and the Civil War. Introducing this first-ever paperback edition is William Blair, an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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