They have been forgotten, those white Southerners who fought on the Union side. They are the unknown soldiers of the Civil War. In the vast and growing literature of that conflict they remain practically unmentioned. There are historic reasons why this has been so, but it has not been because the men are historically unimportant or undeserving of remembrance. Not at all. They made a difference in the outcome of the war: without them, it would not have ended when and as it did. - Lincoln’s Loyalists
They accused me of being a Buffalo, that is what all loyal men were called, and harboring Buffaloes in the woods. They did arrest me and imprisioned me and made other threats which I do not remember. - John H. Haddock
"We had many regiments of brave and loyal men who volunteered under great difficulty from the twelve million belonging to the South."
-Ulysses S. Grant
If as many as 900,000 fought for the Confederacy, the 100,000 who fought for the Union represented a loss of 10 percent of the Confederacy's military manpower. In reality the Confederacy suffered a double loss, since the 100,000 loyalists must not only be subtracted from the strength of the Confederacy but also be added to the strength of the Union. - Lincoln's Loyalists
A great many union men in Onslow Cty, forced to be secesh when they don’t want to be." - John Smith of Onslow County: Refugees Statements 1863
History will do them justice, when it shall come to be fairly & fully written.
But their present lot is one of local dishonor & infamy. They are stigmatized as renegades and traitors to the South.... The rebellion which they fought to overcome has succumbed, and the Union which they fought to maintain has reasserted its imperial authority. But what recognition or reward have they?
The Republic owes these brave loyalists, or their surviving relatives, a debt not only of gratitude & honor, but of pecuniary compensation. They need immediate relief. - Charles H. Foster
These men are from different portions of this State having responded to the call of the country under the disadvantages of persecution as relentless as the inquisition. They have stood by the nation in its hour of trial, and now that they are about to return to their respective homes in sections which have been in rebellion and where there is still that hostile feeling which could prompt insult and outrage, it would be an honor to their patriotism, give them a means of self protection and ...coincide with the policy of organizing and arming Home Guards. These men can be depended upon in sustaining the laws of the country, putting down guerrillas and bringing criminals to justice. - Col. Oscar Eastmon, June 10, 1865
For whites in eastern North Carolina, as one Union officer explained later, "It cost something to be loyal to the Union." - Shifting Loyalties
"[T]he reason I enlisted at the time I did was that the conscript officers of the Confederate army tried to get me two or three days previous thereto and I ran from them and they shot at me. It was well understood in my neighborhood [that] at the time I was old enough to be subject to army duty and I saw I had to join one side or the other so [I] went to Plymouth and enlisted in the U.S. Army." - William David Thomas, 1st North Carolina Infantry (Union)