History Podcasts

The Union's Secret Rebels: The Story of Gettysburg's Five Rebellious Double Crossers Who Returned as Foreign Invaders

The Union's Secret Rebels: The Story of Gettysburg's Five Rebellious Double Crossers Who Returned as Foreign Invaders

The Civil War is called the war in which brother fought against brother. But few knew of the “Gettysburg Rebels”: the five privates from that very town who moved south to Virginia in the 1850s, joined the Confederate army, and returned home as foreign invaders for the great battle in July 1863.

I talk about this story with Tom McMillan, author of Gettysburg Rebels: Five Native Sons Who Came Home to Fight as Confederate Soldiers. It is the story of Gettysburg's five native sons who abandoned their hometown ties to join the Southern cause. But that's not to say they forgot their families altogether. At least one of these soldiers receive a leave of absence to cross enemy lines at night and visit his family… while in full Confederate uniform.

Willing to relinquish familial ties, Henry Wentz, Wesley Culp, and the three Hoffman brothers kept their hometown connections hidden from Confederate leaders-a decision that would ultimately determine the fate of the Confederacy.

We discuss

• The background of Gettysburg's five traitors

• Why the men decided to leave Gettysburg to join the Confederate Army

• How the men returned home to fight against family and friends

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Gettysburg Rebels: Five Native Sons Who Came Home to Fight as Confederate Soldiers