This book addresses the most important issues associated with Confederate desertion. How many soldiers actually deserted, when did they desert, and why? What does Confederate desertion say about Confederate nationalism and the war effort? Mark A. Weitz has taken his argument beyond the obvious reasons for desertion–that war is a horrific and cruel experience—and examined the emotional and psychological reasons that might induce a soldier to desert. Just as loyalty to his fellow soldiers might influence a man to charge into a hail of lead, loyalty to his wife and family could also lead him to risk a firing squad in order to return home.
Mark A. Weitz is the former director of the Civil War Era Studies Program at Gettysburg College. He is the author of More Damning than Slaughter: Desertion in the Confederate Army (Nebraska 2005).