Confederate Home Guards

  • American Civil War
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The term ''Home Guard'' is in reference to certain non-attached Military Units which were formed in many Southern States during The American Civil War of 1861-1865. They were akin to National Guard or the contemporary Militias. These organizations were composed of mostly aged civilians (too old to actively serve) and later infirmed Confederate Veterans, no longer capable of active service. The Home Guards also attracted persons who could not serve due to medical disqualification. The North had a similar system called The Invalid Corps. - also known as The Veteran Volunteers.


Unlike The North however, most Home Guard Units were poorly controlled and disciplined. Most times, they wore no uniforms and often acted as a form of irregular cavalry. As such, many took on an almost outlaw mentality. Due to the lack of large numbers of the male population in The South due to recruitment into the many Confederate Armies raised. Many Home Guard Units were used not only as an impromptu military Force, but for local Law Enforcement. Most had no to little training in such. Additionally, with the inception of The Emancipation Proclamation of 1862, many Home Guard Units were used as ''Runaway Slave'' Catchers (to those trying to escape from bondage to The North).


While many Home Guardsmen would continue after The War as Outlaws, some did serve with honor. A classic example was at The Battle of Natural Bridge (1865) – in Florida. Federal Forces had sent a Military Expedition to take The Capital of that State (Tallahassee). The only military Force available of a Florida Home Guard composed of ''old Men and young Boys''. Regardless, the untrained ''rabble'' not only held off The Union Forces, but gave Tallahassee the honor as being the only Confederate Capital not captured by Federal Forces during The War.