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Soldiering in the Army of Northern VirginiaA Statistical Portrait of the Troops Who Served under Robert E. Lee$
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Joseph T. Glatthaar

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834923

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877869_glatthaar

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(p.154) Chapter Twelve Slaveholding
Soldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia

Joseph T. Glatthaar

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows how the percentage of personal and family slaveowners tells us much about their background and little of their motivations. However, if we accept the idea that individuals owned slaves because they believed in the merits and legitimacy of the institution, and that individuals seceded and fought at least in part to protect family, friends, property, and a way of life that they believed was threatened, then Confederate soldiers' personal attachment to slavery was a powerful motivation in their military service. It was a building block upon which they forged a sense of mission and a spirit of camaraderie. Among those who came from slaveholding families, larger slaveowners were overrepresented, and soldiers who did not own slaves tended to be older than their slaveholding comrades.

Keywords:   family slaveowners, slaves, property, way of life, Confederate soldiers, military service

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