Lumbees rebelled against slavery to Confederates

“The Lumbees of eastern North Carolina at first declared neutrality but became solidly pro-Union after Confederates  began conscripting them to do forced labor, essentially enslaving them. Lumbee guerrilla bands took revenge by raiding plantations, attacking Confederate supply depots, tearing up rail lines and doing whatever else they could to disrupt Rebel operations.”

— From “Bitterly Divided: “The South’s Inner Civil War” by David Williams (2010)


When women wanted husbands who deserted

“In February 1864, a North Carolina government official wrote: ‘Desertion takes place because desertion is encouraged…. And though the ladies may not be willing to concede the fact, they are nevertheless responsible’….

“One woman not only conceded her encouragement of desertion, she made it publicly clear. At the rail depot in Charlotte, she called to her deserter husband, who was being dragged back to the army: ‘Take it easy, Jake — you desert agin, quick as you kin — come back to your wife and children.’ As the distance between them grew, she yelled even louder. ‘Desert, Jake! Desert agin, Jake!’ ”

— From “Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War” by David Williams (2008)

Cherokees had to fight Raleigh to wear gray

“In western North Carolina, some members of the Eastern Cherokee band expressed a willingness to serve with the Confederacy, but racism nearly kept them out of the ranks. William Thomas, an influential friend of the Cherokees, tried to get a state bill passed authorizing him to raise a Cherokee battalion. The legislature voted it down, citing fears [it] might confer citizenship on the Cherokees.

“In fact, the Cherokees were already citizens of North Carolina, though rarely treated as such, by virtue of previous treaty agreements. One of the bill’s leading opponents quipped that he would as soon be seen alongside free blacks in a voting booth as to associate with Cherokees.

“Undeterred, Thomas sought Jefferson Davis’s permission to enlist Cherokees. Davis readily agreed, giving Thomas a colonel’s commission…. From early 1862 through the war’s end, Thomas’s Legion of Cherokee Indians and Highlanders ranged through the mountains of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee, enforcing conscription, impressing supplies and rooting out Union sympathizers.”

— From “Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War” by David Williams (2008)

Confederate draft: Did gain justify pain?

“Many draft officials themselves were hardly enthusiastic about having to force men into service…. Some suspected that dragging unwilling men from their dependent families did the Confederate cause more harm than good…. A North Carolina lieutenant assigned to enforce the draft wrote of the recruiting forays he made:

” ‘I witnessed scenes & compelled compliance with orders which God grant  I may never do again. To ride up to a man’s door, whose hospitable kindness makes you feel welcome & tell him, in the presence of his faithful & loving wife & sunny-faced children, that he must be ready in 10 minutes to go with you, and see…  their imploring looks and glances — the tears of sorrow — the Solemn silence — the affectionate clasping of hands — the fervent kisses — the sad & bitter Goodbye — the longing glance at the place most dear to him on earth, as he slowly moves out of sight — this is indeed a sad & unpleasant task….

“What have we gained by this trip?’ ”

— From “Bitterly Divided:  The South’s Inner Civil War” by David Williams (2008)