In 1863, during the American Civil War
, Edward Everett Hale
, great grand-nephew of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale
("I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country
") published The Man Without a Country
This novella is a commentary on patriotism; telling the fictional story of Philip Nolan. In 1805 Nolan helps plot a new government in some of the southern states. When captured and put on trial, Nolan tells the judge, "I wish I may never hear of the United States again!" His desire is granted and the judge orders him to live out his days on a Navy ship, always at sea and forbidden any news or mention of the United States. The story's moral of lost loyalty was hugely popular in the North during the Civil War.
The Man Without a Country was an anthem of loyalty to the Union, but it transcends America and is a message given to men of all nations. Hale writes this story so well that many believed it to be a true story -- believing Philip Nolan to be a genuine historical figure.
and ESPN's "The Annotated Dennis Miller":