Edward DeWitt Patterson was a nineteen-years-old in May 1861 when he enlisted in the Lauderdale Rifles company, which soon became Company D, Ninth Alabama Regiment. He had been living in Alabama only two years at the time, having been born in Lorain County, Ohio to New England parents who had been part of the great westward migration from Massachusetts and Connecticut.
And Hence This Unholy War
Author John G. Barrett writes that “There are many instances of northerners coming South and in time becoming vigorous defenders of the region, but seldom did one so young become so quickly such a strong believer in the Southern cause. Patterson never wavered in his convictions, and throughout his journal he expressed the complete Southern point of view. At typical entry is the following, dated December 31, 1861:
“Another hour and this year will be gone forever. A year fraught with incidents long to be remembered, not only by the Southern people but by all the world. It will be remembered as the year in which the Southern people, unable longer to bear the tyranny of the North, or rather of Northern fanaticism, determined to exercise those rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution and following the example of the colonies, years ago, separated themselves from the old government and set up for themselves another without so many conflicting interests.
The North, so long accustomed to receiving her countless thousands from the South would not willingly sacrifice her share in the profits accruing from Southern trade, and hence this unholy war. The cause of the South is growing brighter, and I believe that ere long the Confederate States will be a free and independent government, loved at home, respected abroad.”
(Yankee Rebel. The Civil War Journal of Edmund DeWitt Patterson. John G. Barrett, editor. UNC Press, 1966. pp. xiii-xiv)