Random House's College Dictionary defines a traitor as "a person who betrays his country by violating his allegiance." A soldier who changes sides in a war is assuredly "violating his allegiance” which is among the most egregious actions a soldier can do. A traitor is often not trusted by his new nation nor allowed to return to his old one, paying a high price for his defection. Yet, even in the passionate fight of brother against brother of the Civil War, many soldiers forsook their nation and became traitors. Their story, however, was not one of evil intent as presumed by the label. For most, the choice was one of survival due to the inhumane conditions these so-called traitors endured—often for more than a year—in prisoner of war camps in both the North and South.
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