Rockbridge County unionism and the secession crisis
Unionist sentiment was prevalent in Rockbridge County, Virginia for much of the secession crisis. This thesis traces the political development of Unionism in Rockbridge, examines the economic factors that influenced many county residents to maintain allegiance to the federal Union, and shows how this allegiance manifested itself. My study also reveals that Unionism in Rockbridge eroded gradually during the secession crisis. Many Unionists ultimately favored allying Virginia with the Confederacy because they recognized both the threat Abraham Lincoln posed to their liberty and the possible ramifications of isolating their state from the rest of the slave states.