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War between the States
The Zeal of the Scots


Their contribution

The Scot-Irish and Germans made up the largest group of immigrants. Scots had been living in Ulster for a century or more. Many left for overseas. In the case of the Ulster Scots the causes for migration lay in discrimination by England against their products and their textile industry. They were forced to pay higher rents, were excluded from political and military offices and were obligated to pay tithes to the Anglican Church.

The Scots scattered throughout the colonies. Reports of success by earlier migrants promulgated the exodus to America. Some settling in New York, in Ulster and Orange counties then on down to the midsection of the Virginias and finally to the Piedmont area of the Carolinas.

Another exodus of Scots came after the Rebellion of 1715. Scottish emigrants to the colonies totaled some 25,000 during 1763-1775. Young and old joined the exodus. Thirty families agreed to meet at Killin in Perthshire 1775. After spending the night in barns they were brought together in the morning to the sound of bagpipes. "Dressed in their best attire and some of them armed in the Highland Fashion in spite of the law, they settled the order of march, bade farewell to their friends and relatives and set off down the road." By foot and by boat they arrived at Greenock where they took ships for the New World. Another group of 200 about this time were also marching off to Greenock. Among them was a woman of 83. 0n foot, her son preceded her playing, "Tullochgorum" on his bagpipes. Some of the emigrants took along children, wee babies, carrying them on in baskets on their fathers backs.

The Continental Congress and the Constitution were both endorsed and signed by Scotsmen. The Scots played an integral part in the formation of the new world, their skills and craftsmanship surpassed those of other countries. These women knew how to weave cloth, the men knew how to grow the flax and harvest it. These skills were necessary to the founding of a new country. It is well known what the Scots contributed to the growth of America.

It is by these skills and others the Scottish settlements were mostly in Virginia and the Piedmont area of Carolina. They were respected for their knowledge of special skills and they also wanted to be left alone in their communities to worship freely.

Scottish Americans were divided from the beginning. William Steel, a noted antislavery advocate and one of the organizers of the Underground Railroad, which conveyed slaves to freedom in the North, was born in Lanarkshire. On the other hand, Mark Twain in his "Life on the Mississippi"
asserted it was the romantic impact of Sir Walter Scott on the South that produced the Civil War.

When the time came to elect a president of the rebel of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, Scottish on his mother's side was the choice. Perhaps it was auspicious that the first state to secede, South Carolina was so done at the hall of St. Andrew's Society in Charleston.

At the beginning of the war., General Winfield Scott, too old to fight actively, was Lincon's chief advisor. The commander in chief of the Union Army in 1861 was General Geroge B. McClelland, and thirty four years old. He was the victor at the Battle of Antietam which prevented Lee's advance on Washington. In 1877 he became governor of New Jersey and was a charter member of St. Andrews Society of Illinois.

Traditionally, the Lower South has been considered the Johnny Reb. Historically the Lower South was innundated with Scottish emigrants since their arrival at Cape Fear River. The wish of the Scot was to live their Highlander traditions and worship their religion without fear of intimidation from the outside world. It is to say the Scots served their newly acquired home in America with the zeal of the proud Highlander heritage they once knew many years ago and that was the reason they fought diligently in the War between the States.


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