Writing description: Yankee or Union?

It’s interesting how description can determine what a character is like, what his attitude is, as I discovered when I was describing a character’s viewpoint of the Union blockade also known as the Yankee blockade during the American civil war.
At first, he supported the Confederacy, so he described the blockade as the Yankee blockade, because to him the Yankee was the enemy.
But later it evolved that he was indifferent to the Confederacy, so he didn’t call it the Yankee blockade, he called it the Union blockade.
This wasn’t because he particularly supported the Union; he was just as indifferent to the Union as he was to the Confederacy.
It was just more convenient to call it the Union blockade.
Probably an alternative would be to call it the ‘Northern blockade.’
In fact, just thinking about it, this is more neutral than ‘Union,’ because ‘Northern’ is just an area of land that happens to lie to the north, it isn’t a political or governmental entity.
As a matter of interest, he is a British ship’s captain who doesn’t particularly care who is responsible for the blockade, in fact he doesn’t particularly care who wins the war.
He is trapped in a Confederate port and just wants to be free to sail through the blockade – whoever owns it.

Author: Paul Gresham

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