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Contested LoyaltyDebates over Patriotism in the Civil War North$
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Robert M. Sandow

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279753

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279753.001.0001

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Loyal to the Union

Loyal to the Union

College-Educated Soldiers, Military Leadership, Politics, and the Question of Loyalty

(p.137) Loyal to the Union
Contested Loyalty

Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai

Fordham University Press

Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai explores perceptions of national loyalty held by college-educated northern men during the war. His work draws on the writings of a group of New England graduates, whom he labels the New Brahmins. He highlights how their sense of moral duty as educated elites, along with their commitment to the Union, compelled them to enlist into the army. Focusing on McClellan’s leadership, the controversy of emancipation, and the election of 1864, Wongsrichanalai shows how these men viewed military and political issues through nonpartisan lenses. Holding military success and union victory as the priority, these soldiers were quite critical of partisan devotionand unquestioned support of the government. According to the author, the New Brahmins reflect an understudied northern honor or nationalism, in which elite young officers pursued the greater good of society without fear of individual consequences.

Keywords:   College-educated men, Emancipation, George McClellan, Honor, Loyalty, New Brahmins

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