Honored Carpetbagger

Civil War Chat

(April 28, 2017) After the Civil War some Republican Yankees moved South to exploit the political and economic opportunities provided by Washington-mandated enfranchisement of Republican-loyal black voters and congress’s simultaneous disfranchisement of many anti-Republican former Confederates. Southerners derisively labeled the newcomers as Carpetbaggers because they typically arrived with all of their belongings stuffed in cheap carpetbag luggage. One example was Illinois-born Henry Warmoth who became Louisiana’s first Carpetbag governor in 1868. During his four-year term he accumulated a $500,000 fortune on an $8,000 annual salary and admitted, “Corruption is the fashion and I do not pretend to be honest, but only as honest as anybody in politics.”

Nonetheless, most modern historians erroneously dismiss “Carpetbagger” as a pejorative term created by Southerners to project a false tyrannical narrative of Reconstruction. Contemporary Southerners, they suggest, were too blinded by hatred of Yankees to admit that even the most honest and industrious among the imported Yankees accomplished…

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Marsena Patrick: Provost Marshal General of the Army of the Potomac

A well-considered article about an officer who often is disparaged by the unthinking historian.

Civil War Stories of Inspiration

By John E. Carey

Generally unknown, unnoticed and little honored, the provost marshal general of the Army of the Potomac proved his worth as an invaluable right-hand man to the commanding general.

During a myriad of sometimes messy, often ugly and usually distasteful assignments, one man acted aggressively, diligently and with integrity, plus a dash of God-fearing, Bible-thumping religion: Marsena Rudolph Patrick (1811-1888).

MRPatrick.jpg

Before the war, Patrick worked on the Erie Canal, taught school and attended the U.S. Military Academy. He served in both the Seminole War and the Mexican War. During the 1850s, he became an expert farmer, intrigued by the science of agriculture. Ultimately, he became president of the New York State Agricultural College.

When the Civil War began, Patrick offered his services to New York, and the governor appointed him brigadier general and inspector general of the state militia. By March 1862, he was in command of…

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