In actuality support for secession and the earliest military companies raised for the Confederacy came from thriving market centers. During the 1850s these larger cities and smaller towns along rivers and rail lines exhibited rapid growth, prosperity based on commerce and immediate connection with the outside world, a high degree of literacy and culture. They also show evidence of widespread social and political involvement as well as a diverse population. Print media in the form of daily and weekly newspapers provides another important indicator, in that they helped to disperse ideas and opinions.
In contrast, Southern counties that provided recruits for U.S. military service were quite isolated and backwards. One example -- by no means the only one, would be Winston County in Alabama. The 1860 census of those counties report few merchants, attorneys, clerks or teachers, small market centers with limited connection to the outside world, hardly any sign of cultural, educational or literary life, indifference towards social and political activities outside the immediate community, resistance to change and no newspapers. These characteristics can be applied to Unionists found in isolated communities across the South.