A House Divided

Brother against brother, father vs. his sons; the divisions within families were numerous during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Even in the bounds of the Lincoln household on Pennsylvania Avenue, Abraham was from pro-Union Illinois and his wife, Mary, was from Kentucky, born into a family of slaveholders. She even had several relatives fight and died for the Southern Confederate cause.

So was the case in Frederick County, Maryland in 1861. The patriarch of the Baer family was Philip Baer, a staunchly pro-Union, while one of his sons, George W. Baer, had married a Southerner, born in Maryland and had taken up her cause. Maryland was very much a divided state.

Tensions built up so much between the two factions that the elder Mr. Baer devised a plan. His son’s family would live on the first floor and the Northern sympathizers on the second; the dining room and foyer would be neutral territory, with no political talk allowed.

A measure of ‘peace’ was established and remained so throughout the war’s duration. So illustrating that different views could be tolerated, even within the same house.

If you had ancestors living in states supporting either side during the Civil War, you might need to check further if there was a divided house.

Photos: Abraham and Mary Lincoln and a House Divided.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Maryland Document

Western Maryland

Blue and Gray Ancestors

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