February 09, 2014 6:00 am
Compiled by P. Michael Jones, director of the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro
A report on the Union troops of Southern Illinois (known at the time as Egypt) 150 years ago during the WBTS.
EXCERPT:"Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation had been a blow to Southern Illinois’ volunteers, the majority of whom had joined the army to save the Union not aide Lincoln in abolishing slavery. Copperheads and Knights of the Golden Circle back home knew this and hammered away at the soldiers’ friends and families to pressure them to just come home and let Lincoln and the abolitionists fight their own war. The desire to desert must have been especially strong on enlisted men who watched their officers get to do just that by simply resigning their commissions. Their only option was desertion."
The Knights of the Golden Circle Research and Historical Archives