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Deserter CountryCivil War Opposition in the Pennsylvania Appalachians$
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Robert M. Sandow

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230518

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823230518.001.0001

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“Collisions With the People”: Federal Intervention in Deserter Country

“Collisions With the People”: Federal Intervention in Deserter Country

(p.117) 6 “Collisions With the People”: Federal Intervention in Deserter Country
Deserter Country

Robert M. Sandow

Fordham University Press

Since its enactment, the conscription policy was the primary cause for resistance throughout the North. While spread across the free states, draft resistance became concentrated in pockets of “deserter country,” most acute in the “butternut” region of the lower-Midwest, Wisconsin, and the mountains of Pennsylvania. The published regulations for the Provost Marshal General's Bureau authorized marshals to make use of the nearest military force or even call upon citizens as a posse comitatus. In Columbia County, military authorities could not prove a widespread civilian conspiracy to resist the draft. Fear coupled with a desire for lenience induced several key fugitives to divulge information about the Democratic Castle. Military leaders were given copies of the organization's constitution and bylaws, descriptions of secret passwords and signs, and partial lists of members for several regional chapters.

Keywords:   deserter country, Wisconsin, conscription, resistance, Columbia County, Democratic Castle, military leaders, Pennsylvania

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