© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Civil War
00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1a20000The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes focusing on events from 1861 through 1865. The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation. Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War." E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.Airs: Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

This Week in the Civil War - 523

During the Civil War desertion within the ranks was fairly common for both the Union and Confederate armies but worse for the North.   One estimate suggested that 200,000 Union soldiers deserted during the Civil War; records of the Army of the Potomac revealed in December of 1862 that no less than 180,000 of the soldiers listed on the Union muster rolls were absent without leave (AWOL). 

Some soldiers had family obligations that motivated them to shirk their duty.  Others simply feared for their lives while in combat.  On Tuesday, March 10, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation of amnesty to all AWOL Federal soldiers, provided they would report for duty before April 1.  After that date, they would be arrested and prosecuted as deserters.