Of the 425 Confederate generals commissioned during the Civil War you may find it surprising to learn that 33 were born in Northern states. New York was the leader with seven Confederate generals followed by Pennsylvania and Ohio who had six each. Massachusetts had five, New Jersey three, Maine two, and one each from Iowa, Connecticut, Indiana and Rhode Island. I did a little research to try and figure out why so many fought for the South.
There were six generals that moved with their families at a very young age and were raised in the South. All served in the war as brigadier Generals. They were Charles Clark (Ohio), Robert Hopkins Hatton (Ohio), William Miller (New York), Lawrence Sullivan Ross (Iowa), Clement Hoffman Stevens (Connecticut), and William Stephen Walker (Pennsylvania).
There were 15 generals that moved to the South after reaching adulthood and in essence considered themselves Southerners. Two were eventually promoted to major general. They were Samuel Gibbs French (New Jersey) and Bushrod Rust Johnson (Ohio). The other 13 were commissioned brigadier generals and they were Albert Gallatin Blanchard (Massachusetts), Julius Adolph De Lagnel (New Jersey), Johnson Kelly Duncan (Pennsylvania), Daniel Marsh Frost (New York), Archibald Gracie, Jr. (New York), Richard Griffith (Pennsylvania), Danville Leadbetter (Maine), William McComb (Pennsylvania), Edward Aylesworth Perry (Massachusetts), Albert Pike (Massachusetts), Daniel Harris Reynolds (Ohio), Claudius Wistar Sears (Massachusetts), and Zebulon York (Maine).
General Samuel Cooper
Eight Northern born generals married Southern women and that's how they came about joining the Confederacy. One may come as a complete surprise to most. That was General Samuel Cooper (New Jersey) who was the highest ranking Confederate general. Although he was essentially a desk general, many are surprised that the man actually ranked General Robert E. Lee. One was Lieutenant General John Clifford Pemberton (Pennsylvania) who eventually would become hated in the South for surrendering Vicksburg. Two became major generals. One was Martin Luther Smith (New York) and Franklin Gardner (New York) who ironically was forced to surrender Port Hudson after Vicksburg fell. The other four were brigadier generals. They were Josiah Gorgas (Pennsylvania), Roswell Sabine Ripley (Ohio), William Steele (New York), and Walter Husted Stevens (New York).
Major General Lunsford Lindsay Lomax
Major General Lunsford Lindsay Lomax (Rhode Island) really can't be counted like the others because he was born to Southerners while his father was stationed up North in the army. Brigadier General Otho French Strahl (Ohio) moved South because his grandmothers were Southerners and impressed him with stories of the South. One of the most surprising of all was Brigadier General Francis Asbury Shoup (Indiana) who was still living in Indiana when the Southern states began seceding. The man immediately moved to Florida because of his admiration of the South and claimed he was a Southerner in his heart. The other was Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles (Massachusetts) who I was unable to find the reason for his joining the South.
Of those 33 Confederate generals born in the Northern states, five would be killed in action. All five were brigadier generals. They were Archibald Gracie, Jr. (Petersburg), Richard Griffith (Savage's Station), Robert Hopkins Hatton (Fair Oaks), Clement Hoffman Stevens (Atlanta), and Otho French Strahl (Franklin).
Later, I will try and figure out how many Southern born generals served in the Union army during the war. It will be daunting task as the Union army had so many more generals than the Confederacy.