The report of Major Innis Palmer mentions the capture of Confederate General George “Maryland” Steuart. Recently, I asked a question in a chat room, and not having received much of a response there, I thought I’d ask you folks what you think.
Let’s for a minute accept that many Confederate soldiers felt justified in taking up arms against their former country because of the primacy of their loyalty to their states. I’m not saying I necessarily accept that as justification, but for the sake of this argument, let’s say it’s a true assumption.
What then do we make of the likes of Steuart (of Maryland, above left) and Simon Buckner or John Breckenridge (of Kentucky, above center and right)? Were these men traitors to both their country and their states? They were born, raised and resided in states that did not secede, and chose simply between a purely foreign country and the one of their birth or residence (as opposed to folks like John Gibbon and Winfield Scott). Are they to be viewed any differently than, say, John C. Pemberton (who was at least married to a Virginian so may have had a significant nag factor to contend with, not to mention some wealth in a seceded state)? What do you say?