Another aspect of the Civil War that I think we over emphasize is the idea of brother versus brother. We give this so much attention that I think many students believe that most families were divided, which is just not true. In fact, there were actually few families that were divided. I prefer the saying brother with brother. Companies and regiments were created geographically, so your town would create a unit made up of people from your town. Your unit would have your brothers, fathers, uncles, sons, and best friends. If one company got hit partially hard in a battle, it could be devastating to a family or town. It was also a good reason not to turn and run, if you did you were running out on your family. So yes, there were a few families, mostly along the border where they divided, but the majority of the War was fought with brothers standing side by side.
Published by James Finck
Dr. James W. Finck was raised in the shadows of history in the great state of Virginia. Growing up it was difficult to travel too far without running into a monument or battlefield from the Revolutionary or Civil War. In this environment, Finck developed a love for studying the past and from his youth knew that he wanted to make it his life’s work. Finck received a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He then studied under James I. Robertson and William C. Davis at Virginia Tech, while earning a Master’s degree. Finally, he received his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, under the direction of Daniel Sutherland. For five years, Finck taught at the University of Texas-Pan American before accepting his current position as American Historian at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2011. At a small liberal arts institution, Finck considers himself a generalist in history, but his specialties are the Civil War and American Politics. Finck has established himself in Oklahoma with the creation of the Oklahoma Civil War Symposium, which has brought in leading Civil War scholars for the past eight years, and he has spoken at many venues around Oklahoma, especially working with the Honey Spring Battlefield. Finck is the author of Divided Loyalties: Kentucky’s Struggle for Armed Neutrality in the Civil War, as well as Images of America: Chickasha. Finck is also the author of the syndicated newspaper column “Historically Speaking.” View all posts by James Finck