Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



This thesis will analyze the effect that Confederate conscription policies during the American Civil War from 1862 to 1864 had on the social order that existed in North Carolina. Conflicts arose during the war between the slave-owning aristocratic class and the yeomen farmers who owned few slaves, if any, and thus were not dependent on the slave system in the pre-war era. A regional approach, exploring the impact of geography on social development, illustrates that the undermining of this social stability led to growing class-consciousness among the middle class farmers who dominated the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It will also challenge the more traditional narrative of the South that often views it as a unified body fighting against the more culturally and socially diverse Union. This work reveals the stress that the war inflicted upon the traditional social strata of the South and the conflicts that intensified among the social classes in North Carolina.