Glenn Seiler

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Before the final shot of the Civil War rang out, the phrase "a rich man's war, poor man's fight" was well embedded in the psyche of Confederate citizens. Many historians credit such perceptions with ultimately condemning the Confederacy to failure. While numerous government policies seemed to emphasize a sense of protection toward the men of affluent Southern families, Confederate leaders disputed such claims. To the common Southerner the rich did not contribute in an equitable share of the fighting and often sought personal gain while the masses endured hardships. There can be no doubt internal class dissent plagued the Confederacy from the very start. In almost every instance it was the wealthy slaveowner who was the target of such resentment. Through a thorough evaluation of the military participation of those within the "slave society" of Lunenburg County, Virginia, this thesis argues that this group did, in fact, serve in the Confederate army at a rate commensurate with Southern plain folk.

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