Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in History (PhD)

Degree Level





Daniel Sutherland

Committee Member

Patrick Williams

Second Committee Member

James Gigantino, II


Civil War, New Hampshire, Northern Home Front


The Fourth New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry was suspected of being a Democratic regiment due to the intense partisanship of the antebellum and Civil War era. The political socialization of New Hampshire’s citizens divided communities and fostered animosity towards political opponents. The unit’s recruits came from regions that were political battlegrounds and contained a large number of Irish immigrants. The intemperate and disorderly conduct of the officers and men of the Fourth during the Port Royal expedition seemingly confirmed the suspicions of civilians on the home front. The arrest of Colonel Louis Bell by Major General David Hunter led to further disparagement. The regiment’s reputation was so tarnished that the governor of New Hampshire nearly disbanded the unit. In the Granite State, the elections of 1863 were highly competitive and the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, personally intervened to ensure the success of the Republican party at the polls. In the process, politicians were arrested and an officer of the Fourth was dismissed from the service for merely supporting the Democratic party. As a result of the regiment’s first three years of service, it was largely forgotten after the war and was the second to last unit to receive its official history in 1913. All because the Fourth was suspected of being a Democratic regiment.

Available for download on Thursday, July 31, 2025