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View Full Version : After the Civil War what happened if you refused to swear allegiance to the Union?


astro
10-07-2006, 07:41 PM
I was reading this article (http://www.escapeartist.com/efam/59/Taxes_OffshoreHaven.html) by ex-politician Robert Bauman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bauman) (now lawyer) that contained this statement

In the bitter aftermath of the War Between the States (1860-65), Congress hotly debated the status of people in the southern states that formed the Confederacy. Ultimately, Congress decided “rebels” who swore allegiance could again become U.S. citizens. The “Expatriation Act of 1868” formally recognized that all Americans do have a right to give up their citizenship, if they so choose.

What happened to those who refused to swear fealty to the new US union? Did they die in some stateless limbo?

carnivorousplant
10-07-2006, 08:01 PM
One couldn't vote, and I believe a certain number of citizens had to swear loyalty before a state could rejoin the union.

How could they be "States in Rebellion" and have to join the Union again? Arkansas became a state in 1836 and 1868, despite 20% of its citizens fighting for the Union.

Walloon
10-07-2006, 11:46 PM
In Afroyim v. Rusk, the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the background of the passage of the Expatriation Act of 1868:This undeniable purpose of the Fourteenth Amendment to make citizenship of Negroes permanent and secure would be frustrated by holding that the Government can rob a citizen of his citizenship without his consent by simply proceeding to act under an implied general power to regulate foreign affairs or some other power generally granted. Though the framers of the Amendment were not particularly concerned with the problem of expatriation, it seems undeniable from the language they used that they wanted to put citizenship beyond the power of any governmental unit to destroy. In 1868, two years after the Fourteenth Amendment had been proposed, Congress specifically considered the subject of expatriation.It appears that the act had nothing to do with ex-Confederates.

Walloon
10-08-2006, 12:06 AM
Text of the Expatriation Act of 1868 (http://www.wealth4freedom.com/truth/expatriationAct.htm). The interpretive text at the bottom is from the political looney fringe, but this is the only website I could find with the text.

Zoe
10-08-2006, 01:43 AM
My paternal grandfather, a Confederate soldier, was a prisoner at Camp Douglas in Chicago. He was sick and very weak, as were probably most in the camp. He was fairly certain that he would have died if he had remained in the camp. Like others, he was offered his freedom if he signed an oath of allegiance to the Union. He did and was released. He often said later in his life that it would never have done for the South to have won the war anyway.

David Simmons
10-08-2006, 10:18 AM
My paternal grandfather, a Confederate soldier, was a prisoner at Camp Douglas in Chicago. He was sick and very weak, as were probably most in the camp. He was fairly certain that he would have died if he had remained in the camp. Like others, he was offered his freedom if he signed an oath of allegiance to the Union. He did and was released. He often said later in his life that it would never have done for the South to have won the war anyway.I've debabted with myself over asking this, but here goes.

I will be 84 in December and my paternal grandfather was born in 1861`making him a little young to have served in the Civil War.

So how is it possible that yours did? Are you sure it wasn't your great-grandfather?

Not that it makes any great difference, but I'm curious.

yabob
10-08-2006, 10:37 AM
I've debabted with myself over asking this, but here goes.

I will be 84 in December and my paternal grandfather was born in 1861`making him a little young to have served in the Civil War.

So how is it possible that yours did? Are you sure it wasn't your great-grandfather?

Not that it makes any great difference, but I'm curious.
It is possible, but requires a few older parents along the way. My great grandfather fought in the Civil War, but my father is about your age, so his grandfather fought in it. The great grandfather in question was reputedly a boy soldier at 14. So put his birthdate sometime in the 1840s. I know my paternal grandfather was born in 1890, which would have put my great grandfather in his 40s at the time. I believe my grandfather was the youngest of a large family. And he would have been pushing 40 when my father was born in 1929.

Walloon
10-08-2006, 10:37 AM
A friend of my family was born in 1926, his father was born in 1893, and his grandfather, a Civil War veteran, was born in 1834 (his wife was 15 years younger).

carnivorousplant
10-08-2006, 10:51 AM
This may also be of interest.
Civil War Widows (http://suvcw.org/kids/CWkids.pdf#search=%22maude%20celia%20hopkins%22)

Rigamarole
10-08-2006, 01:14 PM
I still refuse to swear allegiance to the Union, and they don't seem to care much as long as they still get their taxes outta me. Pimp bastards.

David Simmons
10-08-2006, 03:06 PM
It is possible, but requires a few older parents along the way. My great grandfather fought in the Civil War, but my father is about your age, so his grandfather fought in it. The great grandfather in question was reputedly a boy soldier at 14. So put his birthdate sometime in the 1840s. I know my paternal grandfather was born in 1890, which would have put my great grandfather in his 40s at the time. I believe my grandfather was the youngest of a large family. And he would have been pushing 40 when my father was born in 1929.O course it's possible. For example if someone were born in 1845 and had a son in 1890 and that son had a daughter in 1935 that daughter would now be 71 years old. Absolutely possible, but a tad unusual. That's what made me curious.

Of course I know that men were selfish pigs in the 1800's. It was not unusual for a man to have several young wives in succession to a fairly advanced age and have them all die of exhaustion from children every 11 months and overwork.

Freddy the Pig
10-08-2006, 08:07 PM
Let's consider Bauman's quote one sentence at a time: In the bitter aftermath of the War Between the States (1860-65), Congress hotly debated the status of people in the southern states that formed the Confederacy. Ultimately, Congress decided “rebels” who swore allegiance could again become U.S. citizens. The “Expatriation Act of 1868” formally recognized that all Americans do have a right to give up their citizenship, if they so choose.The first sentence is accurate. The second sentence is not. The third sentence is accurate, but logically unrelated to the previous two. Walloon is correct that the authors of the Expatriation Act were not primarily concerned with ex-Confederates.

Congress did debate the status of rebels during the Civil War, and went so far as to pass the Wade-Davis Bill in 1864, which would have stripped rebel office holders of their citizenship. President Lincoln pocket vetoed the Wade-Davis bill.

The only provisions concerning citizenship which were signed into law during the Civil War concerned Union army deserters and draft deserters. Hence the falsity of Bauman's statement that "rebels who swore allegiance could again become U.S. citizens"; no oath was necessary, because citizenship was never lost.

To be sure, Congress did pass laws which required persons to swear loyalty oaths to be eligible to vote or hold federal office; the former generally applied as long as suffrage remained under federal control during Reconstruction. But failure to take such an oath never resulted in loss of citizenship.

As for the Expatriation Act, the clearest exposition of its purpose is in the dissent in Afroyim v. Rusk (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=387&invol=253), mentioned above: Further, the purposes and background of the (Expatriation) Act should not be forgotten. The debates were stimulated by repeated requests both from President Andrew Johnson and from the public that Congress assert the rights of naturalized Americans against the demands of their former countries. The Act as finally adopted was thus intended "primarily to assail the conduct of the British Government [chiefly for its acts toward naturalized Americans resident in Ireland] and to declare the right of naturalized Americans to renounce their native allegiance" . . .Almost en passant, Congress declared the right of Americans to expatriate; after all, how could we assert that others could renounce allegiance to their native country if we weren't prepared to acknowledge that our own citizens could do so?

What happened to those who refused to swear fealty to the new US union? Did they die in some stateless limbo?As you might surmise from the foregoing, not much; they couldn't vote in the first round of Reconstruction elections, and couldn't hold federal office. But they were still American citizens, no matter how much they might pine for the Stars and Bars.

Spoke
10-08-2006, 08:27 PM
I will be 84 in December and my paternal grandfather was born in 1861`making him a little young to have served in the Civil War.

I'm only 44, but I have two great-grandfathers who were Confederate veterans. Hell, I have a great-great-grandfather who was in the War of 1812.

As others have suggested, it has to do with having children late in life. Not really that unusual, I would think. Families used to be large, and the last child born could come quite late in its parents' lives. That was the case in my family. I am the last child of the last child of the....etc.

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