Civil War Wiki

"Brother against brother" is a slogan used in histories of the American Civil War, describing the predicament faced in families (primarily, but not exclusively, residents of border states) in which loyalties and military service were divided between the Union and the Confederacy. There are a number of stories of brothers fighting in the same battles on opposite sides, or even of brothers killing brothers over the issues.

The term Brother Against Brother is also the name of a popular rules set for miniature wargaming recreations of Civil War skirmishes.


  • On December 26, 1861, in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Confederate Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest was ordered to probe the strength of Union troops under Brigadier General Thomas L. Crittenden. Two Confederate forward scouts, Adam R. Johnson and Robert M. Martin, each had brothers stationed at the Union's Camp Calhoun near Sacramento, Kentucky, a direct objective of the Confederate force.[1]
  • The Crittenden brothers were brigadier generals on opposite sides of the conflict—George B. Crittenden within the Confederate army and Thomas Leonidas Crittenden wearing the Union blue.
  • James B. and William R. Terrill were brothers. James was a brigadier general in the Confederate army, killed at Bethesda Church. William was a brigadier general in the Union army, killed at Perryville.


  1. The Battle of Sacramento Battlefield history - Address of local history site: P.O. Box 245 | Sacramento, KY 42372