Most Civil War historians now agree that the guerrilla conflict shaped the entire war in significant ways. Some of these “bushwhackers”—Nathan Bedford Forrest, William Clarke Quantrill, John Singleton Mosby—have become quite infamous. Illiterate Sam Hildebrand, one of Missouri’s most notorious guerrillas—often compared to “Rob Roy,” and the subject of dime novels—was one of the few to survive the war and have his story taken down and published. Shortly after this he was killed in a barroom brawl. “I make no apology to mankind for my acts of retaliation; I make no whining appeal to the world for sympathy. I sought revenge and I found it; the key of hell was not suffered to rust in the lock while I was on the war path.” —Sam Hildebrand Hildebrand’s reign of terror gave the Union army fits and kept much of the Trans-Mississippi, especially Missouri, roiling in the 1860s. Over seven years of fighting he and his men killed dozens of soldiers and civilians, whites and blacks; he claimed to have killed nearly one hundred himself. He was accused of many heinous acts. The historical significance of Hildebrand’s story is substantial, but his bloody tale is eminently readable and stands quite well on its own as a cold-blooded portrait of a violent time in American history. Like the nightmarish and depraved world of the Kid in Cormac McCarthy’s novel Blood Meridian, Hildebrand’s world is truly ruthless and his story is brutally descriptive in its coolly detached rendering of one man’s personal war. Published in 1870, Hildebrand’s autobiography has long been out of print and has been a rare and highly prized acquisition among Civil War
Aspirations to “whoop” the North notwithstanding, Confederates set their hopes for independence not on the belief that they could defeat the North but on the hope that their armies could stave off defeat long enough for the North to weary of war.
The South’s single biggest opportunity to effect political change in the North was the presidential contest of 1864. If Lincoln’s support foundered and the North elected a president with a more flexible vision of peace on the continent, the South might realize its dream of independence.
In Bullets, Ballots, and Rhetoric, Larry Nelson vividly brings to life the complex state of Northern politics during the election year of 1863. He recounts fluctuations in the value of the dollar, draft resistance and riots, protests against emancipation, political defeats suffered by the Republicans in the elections of 1862, and growing discontent in the border states and Midwest.
Nelson offers an insider’s look at the administration of Jefferson Davis, as it looked for cracks in Northern unity and electoral opportunities to exploit. Bullets, Ballots, and Rhetoric is an engrossing account of a little-known facet of Civil War statecraft and politics.
Captives in Blue, a study of Union prisoners in Confederate prisons, is a companion to Roger Pickenpaugh’s earlier groundbreaking book Captives in Gray: The Civil War Prisons of the Union, rounding out his examination of Civil War prisoner of war facilities.
In June of 1861, only a few weeks after the first shots at Fort Sumter ignited the Civil War, Union prisoners of war began to arrive in Southern prisons. One hundred and fifty years later Civil War prisons and the way prisoners of war were treated remain contentious topics. Partisans of each side continue to vilify the other for POW maltreatment. Roger Pickenpaugh’s two studies of Civil War prisoners of war facilities complement one another and offer a thoughtful exploration of issues that captives taken from both sides of the Civil War faced.
In Captives in Blue, Pickenpaugh tackles issues such as the ways the Confederate Army contended with the growing prison population, the variations in the policies and practices inthe different Confederate prison camps, the effects these policies and practices had on Union prisoners, and the logistics of prisoner exchanges. Digging further into prison policy and practices, Pickenpaugh explores conditions that arose from conscious government policy decisions and conditions that were the product of local officials or unique local situations. One issue unique to Captives in Blue is the way Confederate prisons and policies dealt with African American Union soldiers. Black soldiers held captive in Confederate prisons faced uncertain fates; many former slaves were returned to their former owners, while others were tortured in the camps. Drawing on prisoner diaries, Pickenpaugh provides compelling first-person accounts of life in prison camps often overlooked by scholars in the field.
Chimborazo Hospital, just outside Richmond, Virginia, served as the Confederacy’s largest hospital for four years. During this time, it treated nearly eighty thousand patients, boasting a mortality rate of just over 11 percent. This book, the first full-length study of a facility that was vital to the Southern war effort, tells the story of those who lived and worked at Chimborazo.
Organized by Dr. James Brown McCaw, Chimborazo was an innovative hospital with well-trained physicians, efficient stewards, and a unique supply system. Physicians had access to the latest medical knowledge and specialists in Richmond. The hospital soon became a model for other facilities. The hospital’s clinical reputation grew as it established connections with the Medical College of Virginia and hosted several drug and treatment trials requested by the Confederate Medical Department.
In fascinating detail, Chimborazo recounts the issues, trials, and triumphs of a Civil War hospital. Based on an extensive study of hospital and Confederate Medical Department records found at the National Archives, along with other primary sources, the study includes information on the patients, hospital stewards, matrons, and slaves who served as support staff. Since Chimborazo was designated as an independent army post, the book discusses other features of its organization, staff, and supply system as well. This careful examination describes the challenges facing the hospital and reveals the humanity of those who lived and worked there.
Civil War High Commands
John H. Eicher and David J. Eicher Foreword by John Y. Simon Stanford University Press, 2001
Library of Congress E467.E35 2001 |
Dewey Decimal 973.7/13
Based on nearly five decades of research, this magisterial work is a biographical register and analysis of the people who most directly influenced the course of the Civil War, its high commanders. Numbering 3,396, they include the presidents and their cabinet members, state governors, general officers of the Union and Confederate armies (regular, provisional, volunteers, and militia), and admirals and commodores of the two navies. Civil War High Commands will become a cornerstone reference work on these personalities and the meaning of their commands, and on the Civil War itself.
Errors of fact and interpretation concerning the high commanders are legion in the Civil War literature, in reference works as well as in narrative accounts. The present work brings together for the first time in one volume the most reliable facts available, drawn from more than 1,000 sources and including the most recent research. The biographical entries include complete names, birthplaces, important relatives, education, vocations, publications, military grades, wartime assignments, wounds, captures, exchanges, paroles, honors, and place of death and interment.
In addition to its main component, the biographies, the volume also includes a number of essays, tables, and synopses designed to clarify previously obscure matters such as the definition of grades and ranks; the difference between commissions in regular, provisional, volunteer, and militia services; the chronology of military laws and executive decisions before, during, and after the war; and the geographical breakdown of command structures. The book is illustrated with 84 new diagrams of all the insignias used throughout the war and with 129 portraits of the most important high commanders.
A witness who brings remarkable life and color to the Civil War in the East.
Robert Hubard was an enlisted man and officer of the 3rd Virginia Cavalry in the Army of Northern Virginia (CSA) from 1861 through 1865. He wrote his memoir during an extended convalescence spent at his father’s Virginia plantation after being wounded at the battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865. Hubard served under such Confederate luminaries as Jeb Stuart, Fitz Lee, Wade Hampton, and Thomas L. Rosser. He and his unit fought at the battles of Antietam, on the Chambersburg Raid, in the Shenandoah Valley, at Fredericksburg, Kelly’s Ford, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Bristoe Station, and down into Virginia from the Wilderness to nearly the end of the war at Five Forks.
Hubard was like many of his class and station a son of privilege and may have felt that his service was an act of noblesse oblige. Unlike many of his contemporaries, however, he was a keen observer and a writer of unusual grace, clarity, humor, and intelligence. The editor has fleshed out his memoir by judicious use of Hubard’s own wartime letters, which not only fill in gaps but permit the reader to see developments in the writer’s thinking after
the passage of time. Because he was a participant in events of high drama and endured the quotidian life of a soldier, Hubard’s memoir should be of value to both scholars and avocational readers.
1993 Douglas Southall Freeman History Award, sponsored by Military Order of the Stars and Bars
The Confederacy’s Fighting Chaplain is the remarkable story of the Irishman who brought the Bible and his own resourcefulness and daring to both the battlefield and the diplomatic field—a story that has been largely ignored for more than 130 years. The biography of John B. Bannon also chronicles the forgotten Southerners—the Irish immigrants of the Confederacy—whose colorful and crucial role in the Civil War has been seriously neglected.
John B. Bannon was born in Ireland in 1829 and raised in peat-bog country. Educated at the Royal College of St. Patrick at Maynooth, he was ordained a priest in May 1853. Ireland was still suffering from the effects of the Potato Famine, which caused thousands of Irish to emigrate to the United States. In response to the need for Roman Catholic priests to minister to America’s immigrant population, Father Bannon was sent to the Archidiocese of St. Louis, Missouri, shortly after his ordination. Many of the Irish parishioners of St. Louis lived in a crowded corner of the city without money, assistance or land.
Father Bannon soon became a leading civic and religious figure in St. Louis. An impressive character, he was described as a “handsome man, over six feet in height, with splendid form and intellectual face, courteous manners, and of great personal magnetism, conversing entertainingly and with originality and great wit, in a manner all his own.”
By 1860, Missouri contained the second largest Irish population and the largest German population in the Southern and border states, and when the war reached Missouri, Father Bannon volunteered to serve on the battlefield by tending to the wounded and dying. During the war he served as chaplain-soldier in perhaps the finest combat unit on either side—the First Missouri Confederate Brigade. He impressed his fellow Confederates by attending the wounded at the front lines during battle, while most chaplains stayed to the rear. This tall, athletic man was a striking figure with his slouch had and butternut-colored uniform with a red cloth cross on the left shoulder. Various accounts praised the chaplain: A veteran wrote that the chaplain “was everywhere in the midst of battle when the fire was heaviest and the bullets thickest.” General Sterling Price wrote: “The greatest soldier I ever saw was Father Bannon. In the midst of the fray he would step in and take up a fallen soldier.”
After the fall of Vicksburg, where Bannon had worked under dangerous fire, he journeyed to Richmond and received recognition and special diplomatic duties from President Jefferson Davis. Bannon conceived a brilliant strategy to gain recognition for the Confederacy from Pope Pius IX and thus open the door for recognition from Britain and France. On a mission for Davis he acted as a secret agent in Ireland during an all-important clandestine effort to stop the flood of Irish immigrants pouring into the Union armies at a critical time—before the decisive campaigns of 1864. After the war he joined the Jesuit order in Ireland, where he served until his death in 1913.
The story of Father Bannon is indeed the story of the Missouri Irish Confederates, whose role in the conflict likewise has been neglected. Without doubt, Father Bannon stands out as an important religious-diplomatic personality of the Confederacy. Few men played such a distinguished and diverse role during the Civil War.
The Confederate Battle Flag
John M. COSKI Harvard University Press, 2005
Library of Congress CR113.5.C67 2005 |
Dewey Decimal 929.9/2/0975
The Confederate Belle
Giselle Roberts University of Missouri Press, 2003
Library of Congress E628.R63 2003 |
Dewey Decimal 973.7/082/0975
While historians have examined the struggles and challenges that confronted the Southern plantation mistress during the American Civil War, until now no one has considered the ways in which the conflict shaped the lives of elite young women, otherwise known as belles. In The Confederate Belle, Giselle Roberts uses diaries, letters, and memoirs to uncover the unique wartime experiences of young ladies in Mississippi and Louisiana. In the plantation culture of the antebellum South, belles enhanced their family’s status through their appearance and accomplishments and, later, by marrying well.
During the American Civil War, a new patriotic womanhood superseded the antebellum feminine ideal. It demanded that Confederate women sacrifice everything for their beloved cause, including their men, homes, fine dresses, and social occasions, to ensure the establishment of a new nation and the preservation of elite ideas about race, class, and gender. As menfolk answered the call to arms, southern matrons had to redefine their roles as mistresses and wives. Southern belles faced a different, yet equally daunting, task. After being prepared for a delightful “bellehood,” young ladies were forced to reassess their traditional rite of passage into womanhood, to compromise their understanding of femininity at a pivotal time in their lives. They found themselves caught between antebellum traditions of honor and of gentility, a binary patriotic feminine ideal and wartime reality.
Rather than simply sacrificing their socialization for patriotic womanhood, belles drew upon southern honor to strengthen their understanding of themselves as young Confederate women. They used honor to shape and legitimize their obligations to the wartime household. They used honor to fashion their role as patriotic women. They even used honor to frame their relationship to the cause. By drawing upon this powerful concept, young ladies ensured the basic preservation of an ideology of privilege. Their unique Confederate bellehoods would ultimately shape the ways in which they viewed themselves and the changed social landscape during the conflict—and after it.
A Confederate Chronicle presents the remarkable life of Thomas L. Wragg, who served in both the Confederate army and navy and endured incarceration as a prisoner of war. After the war, he undertook a series of jobs, eventually becoming a physician. In 1889, he died tragically at the hands of a man who mistakenly thought he was defending his family’s honor. Pamela Chase Hain uses Wragg’s letters home to his family, friends, and fiancée, as well as his naval notebook and newspaper articles, to give readers direct insight into his life and the lives of those around him.
The son of a respected Savannah physician, Wragg was born into a life of wealth and privilege. A nonconscripted soldier, he left home at eighteen to join the front lines in Virginia. From there, he sent letters home describing the maneuverings of General Joseph E. Johnston’s army in and around Harpers Ferry and Winchester, culminating with the Battle of Bull Run.
In the fall of 1862, Wragg joined the Confederate Navy and trained on the ironclad CSS Georgia before transferring to the CSS Atlanta. Hain uses the notebook that he kept during his training in ordnance and gunnery to provide a rare glimpse into the naval and artillery practices at the time. This notebook also provides evidence of a fledgling Confederate naval “school” prior to the one established on the James River on the CSS Patrick Henry.
The crew of the unfortunate Atlanta was captured on the ship’s maiden voyage, and evidence in the Wragg family papers suggests the capture was not the result of bad luck, as has been claimed. Wragg and the other officers were sent to Fort Warren Prison in Boston Harbor for fifteen months. Wragg’s POW letters reveal the isolation and sense of abandonment the prisoners felt as they waited in hopes of an exchange. The correspondence between Wragg and his fiancée, Josie, after the war illustrates not only the mores of nineteenth-century courtship but also the difficulty of adjustment that many Confederate war veterans faced.
Sadly, Wragg’s life was cut short after he became a successful doctor in Quincy, Florida. Cover-up and intrigue by influential citizens prevented Wragg’s wife from bringing the murderer to justice. A Confederate Chronicle offers an unprecedented look at how the Civil War affected the gentry class of the South. It gives readers a personal view into one man’s struggle with the chaos of life during and after the war, as well as into the struggles of the general society.
When we talk about the Civil War, we often describe it in terms of battles that took place in small towns or in the countryside: Antietam, Gettysburg, Bull Run, and, most tellingly, the Battle of the Wilderness. One reason this picture has persisted is that few urban historians have studied the war, even though cities hosted, enabled, and shaped Southern society as much as they did in the North.
Confederate Cities, edited by Andrew L. Slap and Frank Towers, shifts the focus from the agrarian economy that undergirded the South to the cities that served as its political and administrative hubs. The contributors use the lens of the city to examine now-familiar Civil War–era themes, including the scope of the war, secession, gender, emancipation, and war’s destruction. This more integrative approach dramatically revises our understanding of slavery’s relationship to capitalist economics and cultural modernity. By enabling a more holistic reading of the South, the book speaks to contemporary Civil War scholars and students alike—not least in providing fresh perspectives on a well-studied war.
Among field officers in the Confederate Army, colonels had the greatest life-or-death power over the average soldier. Usually regimental commanders who were charged with instructing their men in drill, many also led brigades or divisions, and the influence of an outstanding colonel could be recognized throughout the army.
While several books have dealt with the Confederacy’s generals, this is the first comprehensive study of its colonels. Bruce S. Allardice has undertaken exhaustive research to uncover a wealth of facts not previously available and to fill in many gaps in previous scholarship on the 1,583 men who achieved the rank of full colonel by the end of their careers—including both staff and line officers and members of all armies.
A biographical article on each man includes such data as date and place of birth, education, prewar occupation and military experience, service record, instances of being wounded or captured, postwar life and death, and available writings on the officer or manuscript collections of his papers. Throughout, Allardice follows Confederate law and surviving government records in determining an officer’s true rank, and he uses the regimental designations from the compiled service records in the National Archives as the most familiar to researchers. Appendixes list state army colonels, colonels who became generals, and colonels whose rank cannot be proved.
In his introduction, Allardice gives readers a clear understanding of the characteristics of a colonel in the Confederacy. He explains how one became a colonel—the mustering process, election of officers, reorganizing of regiments—and exposes the inadequacies of the officer-nominating process, questions of seniority, and problems of “rank inflation.” He highlights such notable figures as John S. Mosby, the “Grey Ghost,” and George Smith Patton, great-grandfather of WWII general George S. Patton, and also provides statistics on such matters as states of origin, age, and casualties.
This single-volume compendium sheds new light on these interesting and important military figures and features more standard information than can be found in similar references. Confederate Colonels belongs at the side of every Civil War historian or buff, whether as a research tool or as a touchstone for other readings.
Known as one of the most aggressive Confederate officers in the Western Theater, Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr. is legendary for having had eight horses shot out from under him in battle—more than any other infantry commander, Union or Confederate. Yet despite the exceptional bravery demonstrated by his dubious feat, Vaughan remains a largely overlooked Civil War leader.
In Confederate Combat Commander, Lawrence K. Peterson explores the life of this unheralded yet important rebel officer before, during, and after his military service. A graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Vaughan initially commanded the Thirteenth Tennessee Infantry Regiment, and later Vaughan’s Brigade. He served in the hard-fought battles of the western area of operations in such key confrontations as Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and the Atlanta Campaign.
Tracing Vaughan’s progress through the war and describing his promotion to general after his commanding officer was mortally wounded, Peterson describes the rise and development of an exemplary military career, and a devoted fighting leader. Although Vaughan was beloved by his troops and roundly praised at the time—in fact, negative criticism of his orders, battlefield decisions, or personality cannot be found in official records, newspaper articles, or the diaries of his men—Vaughan nevertheless served in the much-maligned Army of Tennessee. This book thus assesses what responsibility—if any—Vaughan bore for Confederate failures in the West.
While biographies of top-ranking Civil War generals are common, the stories of lower-level senior officers such as Vaughan are seldom told. This volume provides rare insight into the regimental and brigade-level activities of Civil War commanders and their units, drawing on a rich array of privately held family histories, including two written by the general himself.
Lawrence K. Peterson, a retired airline pilot, worked as a National Park Service ranger and USAF officer. He is the great-great grandson of Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughan Jr.
In The Confederate Constitution of 1861, Marshall DeRosa argues that the Confederate Constitution was not, as is widely believed, a document designed to perpetuate a Southern "slaveocracy," but rather an attempt by the Southern political leadership to restore the Anti-Federalist standards of limited national government. In this first systematic analysis of the Confederate Constitution, DeRosa sheds new light on the constitutional principles of the CSA within the framework of American politics and constitutionalism. He shows just how little the Confederate Constitution departed from the U.S. Constitution on which it was modeled and examines closely the innovations the delegates brought to the document.
Confederate Daughters: Coming of Age during the Civil War explores gender, age, and Confederate identity by examining the lives of teenage daughters of Southern slaveholding, secessionist families. These young women clung tenaciously to the gender ideals that upheld marriage and motherhood as the fulfillment of female duty and to the racial order of the slaveholding South, an institution that defined their status and afforded them material privileges. Author Victoria E. Ott discusses how the loyalty of young Southern women to the fledgling nation, born out of a conservative movement to preserve the status quo, brought them into new areas of work, new types of civic activism, and new rituals of courtship during the Civil War.
Social norms for daughters of the elite, their preparation for their roles as Southern women, and their material and emotional connections to the slaveholding class changed drastically during the Civil War. When differences between the North and South proved irreconcilable, Southern daughters demonstrated extraordinary agency in seeking to protect their futures as wives, mothers, and slaveholders.
From a position of young womanhood and privilege, they threw their support behind the movement to create a Confederate identity, which was in turn shaped by their participation in the secession movement and the war effort. Their political engagement is evident from their knowledge of military battles, and was expressed through their clothing, social activities, relationships with peers, and interactions with Union soldiers.
Confederate Daughters also reveals how these young women, in an effort to sustain their families throughout the war, adjusted to new domestic duties, confronting the loss of slaves and other financial hardships by seeking paid work outside their homes.
Drawing on their personal and published recollections of the war, slavery, and the Old South, Ott argues that young women created a unique female identity different from that of older Southern women, the Confederate bellehood. This transformative female identity was an important aspect of the Lost Cause mythology—the version of the conflict that focused on Southern nationalism—and bridged the cultural gap between the antebellum and postbellum periods.
Augmented by twelve illustrations, this book offers a generational understanding of the transitional nature of wartime and its effects on women’s self-perceptions. Confederate Daughters identifies the experiences of these teenage daughters as making a significant contribution to the new woman in the New South.
In contrast to Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, the armies and events of the Civil War’s Trans-Mississippi Theater have received scant historical attention, to the detriment of our understanding not only of individuals and events west of the Mississippi River, but also to the east of it. In Confederate Generals in the Trans-Mississippi, Volume 2, noted Civil War historians offer fresh scholarship on eight generals who made names for themselves in the region, providing intriguing insight into important wartime issues in the Trans-Mississippi and beyond.
Contrary to popular belief, the Trans-Mississippi did not serve as a dumping ground for generals who had failed in Virginia. Instead, the majority of generals who served in the region were homegrown and faced challenges unknown to their counterparts in the East—expansive territory, few men, and limited transportation for the meager supplies available. Superior Union numbers in the West, however, did not guarantee Union victory. As these essays show, southern generals often beat themselves because of personal failings or an inability to work together. Sterling Price and Ben McCulloch refused to cooperate, Henry Sibley combined alcoholism with cowardice, and the able French-born Prince de Polignac faced language barriers. The war ended before Joseph Brent, a visionary regarding tank warfare, could make his name as a brigadier, and “Prince John” Magruder’s achievements in Texas remain overshadowed by his earlier career in Virginia. The Cajun Alfred Mouton, a superior leader, died on a battlefield in his native Louisiana, while Mosby Parsons survived the war only to be murdered by Mexican cavalry. While some of these generals breathed life into the Confederacy, others hastened its downfall.
By chronicling the lives and careers of these eight generals, this welcome volume integrates the Trans-Mississippi more fully with the Western Theater and illuminates critical issues vital to understanding the South’s ultimate defeat.
Lawrence Lee Hewitt is professor of history emeritus at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is the author of Port Hudson: Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi and coeditor of six anthologies dealing with America’s Civil War.
Thomas E. Schott worked as a historian for the Department of Defense. He is the author of Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography, winner of the Jefferson Davis Award, and coeditor with Lawrence Hewitt of Lee and His Generals: Essays in Honor of T. Harry Williams.
Until relatively recently, conventional wisdom held that the Trans-Mississippi Theater was a backwater of the American Civil War. Scholarship in recent decades has corrected this oversight, and a growing number of historians agree that the events west of the Mississippi River proved integral to the outcome of the war. Nevertheless, generals in the Trans-Mississippi have received little attention compared to their eastern counterparts, and many remain mere footnotes to Civil War history. This welcome volume features cutting-edge analyses of eight Southern generals in this most neglected theater—Thomas Hindman, Theophilus Holmes, Edmund Kirby Smith, Mosby Monroe Parsons, John Marmaduke, Thomas James Churchill, Thomas Green, and Joseph Orville Shelby—providing an enlightening new perspective on the Confederate high command.
Although the Trans-Mississippi has long been considered a dumping ground for failed generals from other regions, the essays presented here demolish that myth, showing instead that, with a few notable exceptions, Confederate commanders west of the Mississippi were homegrown, not imported, and compared well with their more celebrated peers elsewhere. With its virtually nonexistent infrastructure, wildly unpredictable weather, and few opportunities for scavenging, the Trans-Mississippi proved a challenge for commanders on both sides of the conflict. As the contributors to this volume demonstrate, only the most creative minds could operate successfully in such an unforgiving environment.
While some of these generals have been the subjects of larger studies, others, including Generals Holmes, Parsons, and Churchill, receive their first serious scholarly attention in these pages. Clearly demonstrating the independence of the Trans-Mississippi and the nuances of the military struggle there, while placing both the generals and the theater in the wider scope of the war, these eight essays offer valuable new insight into Confederate military leadership and the ever-vexing questions of how and why the South lost this most defining of American conflicts.
Lawrence Lee Hewitt was professor of history at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is the coeditor, with Bruce S. Allardice, of Kentuckians in Gray: Confederate Generals and Field Officers of the Bluegrass State. He and Arthur W. Bergeron Jr. coedited three volumes of Confederate Generals in the Western Theater.
Until his death in 2010, Arthur W. Bergeron Jr. was a reference historian with the United States Army Military History Institute. He was the author of Confederate Mobile, 1861–1865, and coeditor, with Lawrence Lee Hewitt, of Louisianians in the Civil War.
Thomas E. Schott worked for many years as a historian for the U. S. Air Force and U. S. Special Operations Command. He is the author of Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, which won the Jefferson Davis Award. He has authored numerous articles on subjects ranging from the Civil War to baseball. Schott is co-editor, with Lawrence Lee Hewitt, of Lee and His Generals: Essays in Honor of T. Harry Williams.
“A marvelous collection of little-known essays by some of the field’s best historians, past and present. It is not only a wonderful assortment in and of itself, but also serves as a fitting prelude to future volumes of modern essays on the neglected Confederate generals of the western theater.”
—Timothy B. Smith, author of A Chickamauga Memorial
“Seldom has a collection of essays contained such a lineup of historians. These are the true ‘power hitters’ of their generation in their prime and at their very best. So prepare to enjoy Civil War historiography at its finest.”
—from the Foreword by Terrence J. Winschel
This collection, the first of several projected volumes, brings together some of the best previously published essays on Confederate commanders in the Western Theater. Including articles by such distinguished historians as Grady McWhiney, Charles P. Roland, T. Harry Williams, Frank E. Vandiver, Archer Jones, and Edwin C. Bearss, many of these pieces have only appeared in academic journals, and most have long been out of print. In resurrecting them, this volume introduces a new generation of readers to some of the mid–twentieth century’s most significant Civil War scholarship.
As part of a new series, The Western Theater in the Civil War, this volume reflects the premise that truly understanding the outcome of the war can only be gained through greater knowledge of the western campaigns and the generals who waged them. The essays gathered here—such as Roland’s reassessment of Albert Sidney Johnston, Williams’s examination of P. G. T. Beauregard’s role at Shiloh, Bearss’s look at Bedford Forrest’s great tactical victory at Brice’s Cross Roads, and Vandiver’s analysis of John Bell Hood’s use of logistics—are admirable contributions to this goal. Significantly, in addition to highlighting the Western Theater’s best-known generals, this volume also includes essays on two of its less familiar ones, Patton Anderson and Daniel C. Govan, thus rescuing these fascinating figures from undeserved oblivion.
Future volumes of Confederate Generals in the Western Theater will showcase the latest scholarship with new essays written expressly for the series. By gathering classic earlier work between one set of covers, this opening foray sets a high standard indeed.
Lawrence Lee Hewitt is professor of history emeritus at Southeastern Louisiana University. A recipient of SLU’s President’s Award for Excellence in Research and the Charles L. Dufour Award for outstanding achievements in preserving the heritage of the American Civil War, he is a former managing editor of North & South. His publications include Port Hudson: Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi.
Arthur W. Bergeron Jr. is a reference historian with the United States Army Military History Institute and a past president of the Louisiana Historical Association. Among his earlier books are Confederate Mobile and A Thrilling Narrative: The Memoir of a Southern Unionist.
Many students of the Civil War have concluded that the overstudied conflict in the Eastern Theater resulted only in an unwinnable stalemate. For that reason they are now looking to the West for more precise explanations of the Confederates’ failure to win independence. To editors Lawrence Hewitt and Arthur Bergeron, the answers lie with the generals who waged a calamitous war that stretched across nine states and left a long trail of bloody battlefields, surrendered fortresses, burned cities, wrecked infrastructure, and, ultimately, a lost cause.
For this book, which follows an earlier volume of previously published essays, Hewitt and Bergeron have enlisted ten gifted historians—among them James M. Prichard, Terrence J. Winschel, Craig Symonds, and Stephen Davis—to produce original essays, based on the latest scholarship, that examine the careers and missteps of several of the Western Theater’s key Rebel commanders. Among the important topics covered are George B. Crittenden’s declining fortunes in the Confederate ranks, Earl Van Dorn’s limited prewar military experience and its effect on his performance in the Baton Rouge Campaign of 1862, Joseph Johnston’s role in the fall of Vicksburg, and how James Longstreet and Braxton Bragg’s failure to secure Chattanooga paved the way for the Federals’ push into Georgia.
Confederate Generals in the Western Theater will ultimately comprise several volumes that promise a host of provocative new insights into not only the South’s ill-fated campaigns in the West but also the eventual outcome of the larger conflict.
Lawrence Lee Hewitt is professor of history emeritus at Southeastern Louisiana University. A recipient of SLU’s President’s Award for Excellence in Research and the Charles L. Dufour Award for outstanding achievements in preserving the heritage of the American Civil War, he is a former managing editor of North & South. His publications include Port Hudson: Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi.
Arthur W. Bergeron Jr. is a reference historian with the United States Army Military History Institute and a past president of the Louisiana Historical Association. Among his earlier books are Confederate Mobile and A Thrilling Narrative: The Memoir of a Southern Unionist.
The American Civil War was won and lost on its western battlefields, but accounts of triumphant Union generals such as Grant and Sherman leave half of the story untold. In the third volume of Confederate Generals in the Western Theater, editors Lawrence Hewitt and Arthur Bergeron bring together ten more never-before-published essays filled with new, penetrating insights into the key question of why the Rebel high command in the West could not match the performance of Robert E. Lee in the East.
Showcasing the work of such gifted historians as Wiley Sword, Timothy B. Smith, Rory T. Cornish, and M. Jane Johansson, this book is a compelling addition to an ongoing, collective portrait of generals who occasionally displayed brilliance but were more often handicapped by both geography and their own shortcomings. While the vast, varied terrain of the Western Theater slowed communications and troop transfers and led to the creation of too many military departments that hampered cooperation among commands, even more damaging were the personal qualities of many of the generals. All too frequently, incompetence, egotism, and insubordination were the rule rather than the exception. Some of these men were undone by alcoholism and womanizing, others by politics and nepotism. A few outlived their usefulness; others were killed before they could demonstrate their potential. Together, they destroyed what chance the Confederacy had of winning its independence.
Whether adding fresh fuel to the debate over the respective roles of Albert Sidney Johnston and P. G. T. Beauregard at Shiloh or bringing to light such lesser known figures as Joseph Finegan and Hiram Bronson Granbury, this volume, like the ones preceding it, is an exemplary contribution to Civil War scholarship.
Joseph M. Bailey’s memoir, Confederate Guerrilla, provides a unique perspective on the fighting that took place behind Union lines in Federal-occupied northwest Arkansas during and after the Civil War. This story—now published for the first time—will appeal to modern readers interested in the grassroots history of the Trans-Mississippi war. Bailey participated in the Battle of Pea Ridge and the siege of Port Hudson, eventually escaping to northwest Arkansas where he fought as a guerrilla against Federal troops and civilian unionists. After Federal forces gained control of the area, Bailey rejoined the Confederate army and continued in regular service in northeast Texas until the end of the war. Historians will find the descriptions of military campaigns and the observations on guerrilla war especially valuable. According to Bailey, Southern guerrillas were motivated less by a sense of loyalty to either the Confederate or Union side than by a determination to protect their families and neighbors from the “Mountain Federals.” This partisan war waged between the rebel guerrillas and Southern Unionists was essentially a “struggle for supremacy and revenge.” Comprehensive annotations are provided by editor T. Lindsay Baker to illuminate the clarity and reliability of Bailey’s late-life memoir.
The book tells of Stephen R. Mallory's support of naval inventions, strategy, and ideas. It also sheds light on the the successes and failures of Jefferson Davis. Durkin gives a well-balanced biography of Mallory and his life in the Confederate navy.
This provocative study proves the existence of a de facto Confederate policy of giving no quarter to captured black combatants during the Civil War—killing them instead of treating them as prisoners of war. Rather than looking at the massacres as a series of discrete and random events, this work examines each as part of a ruthless but standard practice.
Author George S. Burkhardt details a fascinating case that the Confederates followed a consistent pattern of murder against the black soldiers who served in Northern armies after Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. He shows subsequent retaliation by black soldiers and further escalation by the Confederates, including the execution of some captured white Federal soldiers, those proscribed as cavalry raiders, foragers, or house-burners, and even some captured in traditional battles.
Further disproving the notion of Confederates as victims who were merely trying to defend their homes, Burkhardt explores the motivations behind the soldiers’ actions and shows the Confederates’ rage at the sight of former slaves—still considered property, not men—fighting them as equals on the battlefield.
Burkhardt’s narrative approach recovers important dimensions of the war that until now have not been fully explored by historians, effectively describing the systemic pattern that pushed the conflict toward a black flag, take-no-prisoners struggle.
Stephanie McCurry Harvard University Press, 2010
Library of Congress E487.M18 2010 |
Dewey Decimal 973.7/1
Stephanie McCurry tells a very different tale of the Confederate experience. When the grandiosity of Southerners’ national ambitions met the harsh realities of wartime crises, unintended consequences ensued. Although Southern statesmen and generals had built the most powerful slave regime in the Western world, they had excluded the majority of their own people—white women and slaves—and thereby sowed the seeds of their demise.
By the end of the Civil War, Champ Ferguson had become a notorious criminal whose likeness covered the front pages of Harper’s Weekly, Leslie’s Illustrated, and other newspapers across the country. His crime? Using the war as an excuse to steal, plunder, and murder Union civilians and soldiers.
CumberlandBlood: Champ Ferguson’s Civil War offers insights into Ferguson's lawless brutality and a lesser-known aspect of the Civil War, the bitter guerrilla conflict in the Appalachian highlands, extending from the Carolinas through Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia. This compelling volume delves into the violent story of Champ Ferguson, who acted independently of the Confederate army in a personal war that eventually garnered the censure of Confederate officials.
Author Thomas D. Mays traces Ferguson's life in the Cumberland highlands of southern Kentucky, where—even before the Civil War began—he had a reputation as a vicious killer.
Ferguson, a rising slave owner, sided with the Confederacy while many of his neighbors and family members took up arms for the Union. For Ferguson and others in the highlands, the war would not be decided on the distant fields of Shiloh or Gettysburg: it would be local—and personal.
Cumberland Blood describes how Unionists drove Ferguson from his home in Kentucky into Tennessee, where he banded together with other like-minded Southerners to drive the Unionists from the region. Northern sympathizers responded, and a full-scale guerrilla war erupted along the border in 1862. Mays notes that Ferguson's status in the army was never clear, and he skillfully details how raiders picked up Ferguson's gang to work as guides and scouts. In 1864, Ferguson and his gang were incorporated into the Confederate army, but the rogue soldier continued operating as an outlaw, murdering captured Union prisoners after the Battle of Saltville, Virginia.
Cumberland Blood, enhanced by twenty-one illustrations, is an illuminating assessment of one of the Civil War's most ruthless men.
Ferguson's arrest, trial, and execution after the war captured the attention of the nation in
1865, but his story has been largely forgotten. CumberlandBlood: Champ Ferguson's Civil War returns the story of Ferguson's private civil war to its place in history.
"Filled with perceptive observations about military leaders, morale in the Confederacy, life in the Southern capital of Richmond, and a range of medical topics including the treatment of wounded, . . . Confederate surgeon Thomas Fanning Wood’s wartime letters and postwar reminiscences constitute a fine addition to the roster of published firsthand testimony about the Civil War."—Gary W. Gallagher
The Civil War was a tragic conflict that destroyed many lives, but for those trying to save lives the tragedy was often compounded. Military doctors labored through the smoke of battle where impossible conditions and fear of infection often forced them to resort to amputation, and most operations were performed without painkillers. Thomas Fanning Wood recorded his wartime experiences as a Confederate Army surgeon, and his recollections of those events allow us to hear a distinct voice of the Civil War.
As a young soldier recovering from fever at a Richmond hospital, Wood developed an interest in medicine that was encouraged by a doctor who steered him toward medical training. After only eight months of study he was made an assistant surgeon in the Third North Carolina Regiment. His narrative—drawn from his memoirs, letters from the front, and articles written for his hometown newspaper—presents a poignant and sometimes horrifying picture of what the Civil War physician had to face both under battlefield conditions and in urban hospitals.
Wood himself spent much of his time at the front, and his vivid narrative describes both a doctor’s daily activities and the campaigns he witnessed. He was present at many of the war’s major engagements: he was near Stonewall Jackson when the general fell at Chancellorsville, manned a field dressing station at the foot of Culp’s Hill at Gettysburg, and was one of the few survivors of the Union attack on the "mule shoe" at Spotsylvania when his entire division was wiped out. Wood’s account also lends new insight into Jubal Early’s 1864 campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley and against Washington.
With its observations of medical care and training not found in standard histories of the war—including a description of the examination required to become an assistant surgeon—Doctor to the Front offers a unique human perspective on the Civil War. With their additional descriptions of key figures and events, Wood’s recollections combine historical significance and human interest to show us another side of that terrible conflict.
The Author: Donald B. Koonce is the great-grandson of Thomas Fanning Wood and has served on the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Historical Society and the Historic Greenville Foundation. He is president of the Koonce Group, Inc., an award-winning communications company whose productions include Daybreak at the Cowpens, a documentary for the National Park Service.
The Edge of Mosby’s Sword is the first scholarly volume to delve into the story of one of John Singleton Mosby’s most trusted and respected officers, Colonel William Henry Chapman. Presenting both military and personal perspectives of Chapman’s life, Gordon B. Bonan offers an in-depth understanding of a man transformed by the shattering of his nation. This painstakingly researched account exposes a soldier and patriot whose convictions compelled him to battle fiercely for Southern independence; whose quest for greatness soured when faced with the brutal realities of warfare; and who sought to heal his wounded nation when the guns of war were silenced.
Born into a wealthy slave-owning family, Chapman was a student of the fiery secessionist rhetoric of antebellum Virginia who eagerly sought glory and adventure on the battlefields of the Civil War. Bonan traces Chapman’s evolution from an impassioned student at the University of Virginia to an experienced warrior and leader, providing new insight into the officer’s numerous military accomplishments. Explored here are Chapman’s previously overlooked endeavors as a student warrior, leader of the Dixie Artillery, and as second-in-command to Mosby, including his participation in the capture of Harpers Ferry, the battering of Union forces at Second Manassas, and his ferocious raids during the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign. Bonan reveals fresh perspectives on the intrepid maneuvers of Mosby’s Rangers, the hardships of war, and Chapman’s crucial role as the right hand of the “Gray Ghost.” But while Mosby recognized him for his bravery and daring, the fame Chapman sought always eluded him. Instead, with his honors and successes came disillusionment and sorrow, as he watched comrades and civilians alike succumb to the terrible toll of the war.
The end of the struggle between North and South saw Chapman accept defeat with dignity, leading the Rangers to their official surrender and parole at Winchester. With the horrors of the war behind him, he quickly moved to embrace the rebuilding of his country, joining the Republican party and beginning a forty-two-year career at the IRS enforcing Federal law throughout the South. In the end, Chapman’s life is a study in contradictions: nationalism and reconciliation; slavery and liberty; vengeance and chivalry.
Rhetoric and ritual commemorating war has been a part of human culture for ages. In Enduring Legacy,W. Stuart Towns explores the crucial role of rhetoric and oratory in creating and propagating a “Lost Cause” public memory of the American South.
Enduring Legacy explores the vital place of ceremonial oratory in the oral tradition in the South. It analyses how rituals such as Confederate Memorial Day, Confederate veteran reunions, and dedication of Confederate monuments have contributed to creating and sustaining a Lost Cause paradigm for Southern identity. Towns studies in detail secessionist and Civil War speeches and how they laid the groundwork for future generations, including Southern responses to the civil rights movement, and beyond. The Lost Cause orators that came after the Civil War, Towns argues, helped to shape a lasting mythology of the brave Confederate martyr, and the Southern positions for why the Confederacy lost and who was to blame. Innumerable words were spent—in commemorative speeches, newspaper editorials, and statehouse oratory—condemning the evils of Reconstruction, redemption, reconciliation, and the new and future South. Towns concludes with an analysis of how Lost Cause myths still influence Southern and national perceptions of the region today, as evidenced in debates over the continued deployment of the Confederate flag and the popularity of Civil War re-enactments.
When Jefferson Davis became president of the Confederacy, his wife, Varina Howell Davis, reluctantly became the First Lady. Pro-slavery but also pro-Union, Varina Davis was inhibited by her role as Confederate First Lady and unable to reveal her true convictions.Cashin offers a splendid portrait of a fascinating woman who struggled with the constraints of her time and place.
Tracing the origins and history of Missouri Confederate units that served during the Civil War is nearly as difficult as comprehending the diverse politics that produced them. Deeply torn by the issues that caused the conflict, some Missourians chose sides enthusiastically, others reluctantly, while a number had to choose out of sheer necessity, for fence straddling held no sway in the state after the fighting began. The several thousand that sided with the Confederacy formed a variety of military organizations, some earning reputations for hard fighting exceeded by few other states, North or South. Unfortunately, the records of Missouri's Confederate units have not been adequately preserved—officially or otherwise—until now. James E. McGhee is a highly respected and widely published authority on the Civil War in Missouri; the scope of this book is startling, the depth of detail gratifying, its reliability undeniable, and the unit narratives highly readable. McGhee presents accounts of the sixty-nine artillery, cavalry, and infantry units in the state, as well as their precedent units and those that failed to complete their organization. Relying heavily on primary sources, such as rosters, official reports, order books, letters, diaries, and memoirs, he weaves diverse materials into concise narratives of each of Missouri's Confederate organizations. He lists the field-grade officers for battalions and regiments, companies and company commanders, and places of origin for each company when known. In addition to listing all the commanding officers in each unit, he includes a bibliography germane to the unit, while a supplemental bibliography provides the other sources used in preparing this unique and comprehensive resource.
The life of Henry Hotze encompasses the history of antebellum Mobile, Confederate military recruitment, Civil War diplomacy and international intrigue, and the development of a Darwinian-based effort to find scientific evidence for differences among human “races.” When civil war broke out in his adopted country, Hotze enthusiastically assumed the mindset of the young Southern secessionist, serving first as newspaper correspondent and Confederate soldier until the Confederate government selected him as an agent, with instructions to promote the Southern cause in London. There he founded, edited, and wrote most of the content for The Index, a pro-Southern paper, as a part of the effort to convince the British Government to extend recognition to the Confederacy.
Among the arguments Hotze employed were adaptations of the scientific racism of the period, which attempted to establish a rational basis for assumptions of racial difference. After the collapse of the Confederacy in 1865, Hötze remained in Europe, where he became an active partisan and promoter of the ideas of Arthur de Gobineau (1816–1882) whose work Essai sur L’inégalité des Races Humaines was a founding document in racism’s struggle for intellectual respectability.
This work consists of a biographical essay on Hotze; his contributions to Mobile newspapers during his military service in 1861; his correspondence with Confederate officials during his service in London; articles he published in London to influence British and European opinion; and his correspondence with, and published work in support of, Gobineau.
As America was torn apart by the horrors of the Civil War, no state bore the brunt of battle more than Virginia. Home to the Confederate capitol of Richmond and the linchpin of the eastern theater of the war, the state now bears a myriad of testaments to its harrowing past, waiting to be explored. With An Illustrated Guide to Virginia's Confederate Monuments, Timothy S. Sedore presents the first volume to enumerate Virginia's southern Civil War memorials marking the bloody battles that took place on Virginia soil. Sedore's illuminating and highly readable guide catalogs 360 of the state's most infamous and obscure commemorations, and provides not only a fascinating compilation of locations but also a compelling vision of the public sense of loss in the post-Civil War South.
From notorious sites such as Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Appomattox to the lesser-known locations of Sinking Spring Cemetery and Rude's Hill, Sedore leads readers on a vivid journey through Virginia's Confederate history in all its tarnished glory. Tablets, monoliths, courthouses, cemeteries, town squares, battlefields, and more are cataloged in detail throughout this compendium, accompanied by photographs and meticulous commentary. Each entry also contains descriptions, historical information, and location, providing a complete portrait of each site. Designed for the expert historian and the lay reader alike, the vast scope of these locations-from Clinch Mountain near Tennessee to the Eastern Shore, from the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., to the edge of North Carolina-is organized geographically by region for ease of use. Six maps also are provided for the reader's orientation.
Much more than a visual tapestry or a tourist's handbook, however, An Illustrated Guide to Virginia's Confederate Monuments draws on scholarly and field research to reveal these sites not only as monuments to history but also as public efforts to reconcile mourning with Southern postwar ideologies. Unveiled here are dynamic memorials that are at once intimate and aloof, written on stone, bronze, or marble but forged from the language of suffering. Sedore analyzes in depth the nature of these attempts to publicly explain Virginia's sense of grief after the war, delving deep into the psychology of a traumatized area. Insight into these evocative elegies for lost sons, fathers, spouses, and other loved ones provides yet another dimension to this captivating volume.
The first book of its kind, An Illustrated Guide to Virginia's Confederate Monuments will appeal to the traveler, historian, and armchair enthusiast alike. Never before has such a comprehensive collection of Virginia's Southern Civil War sites been gathered and examined in one volume. From commemorations of famous generals to memories of unknown soldiers, from the Shenandoah Valley to the Chesapeake Bay, the dead speak from the pages of this sweeping companion to history.
Preeminent Civil War historian Frank Vandiver always longed to see an interpretive biography of Jefferson Davis. Finally, more than twenty years after Vandiver expressed that wish, publication of Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart makes such an interpretive biography available.
Felicity Allen begins this monumental work with Davis's political imprisonment at the end of the Civil War and masterfully flashes back to his earlier life, interweaving Davis's private life as a schoolboy, a Mississippi planter, a husband, a father, and a political leader. She follows him from West Point through army service on the frontier, his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, his regimental command in the Mexican War, his service as U.S. secretary of war and senator, and his term as president of the Confederate States of America.
Although Davis's family is the nexus of this biography, friends and enemies also play major roles. Among his friends intimately met in this book are such stellar figures as Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun, Zachary Taylor, Franklin Pierce, Albert Sidney Johnston, and Robert E. Lee.
With the use of contemporary accounts and Davis's own correspondence, Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart casts new light upon this remarkable man, thawing the icy image of Davis in many previous accounts. Felicity Allen shows a strong, yet gentle man; a stern soldier who loved horses, guns, poetry, and children; a master of the English language, with a dry wit; a man of powerful feelings who held them in such tight control that he was considered cold; and a home-loving Mississippian who was drawn into a vortex of national events and eventual catastrophe. At all times, "duty, honor, country" ruled his mind. Davis's Christian view of life runs like a thread throughout the book, binding together his devotion to God, his family, and the land.
Jefferson Davis, Unconquerable Heart brings Davis to life in a way that has never been done before. The variety of his experience, the breadth of his learning, and the consistency of his beliefs make this historical figure eminently worth knowing.
One of the best primary accounts of the Civil War by a Confederate.
John Dooley was the youngest son of Irish immigrants to Richmond, Virginia, where his father prospered, and the family took a leading position among Richmond’s sizeable Irish community. Early in 1862, John left his studies at Georgetown University to serve in the First Virginia Infantry Regiment, in which his father John and brother James also served. John’s service took him to Second Manassas, South Mountain, Sharpsburg (Antietam), Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg; before that last battle, Dooley was elected a lieutenant. On the third day at Gettysburg, Dooley swept up the hill in Pickett’s charge, where he was shot through both legs and lay all night on the field, to be made a POW the next day. Held until February 27, 1865, Dooley made his way back south to arrive home very near the Confederacy’s final collapse.
Dooley’s account is valuable for the content of his service and because most of the material came from his diary, with some interpolations (which are indicated as such) that he made shortly after the war’s end when his memory was still fresh. Dooley’s health seems to have been permanently compromised by his wounds; he entered a Roman Catholic seminary after the war and died in 1873 several months before his ordination was to take place.
Among the finer soldier-diarists of the Civil War, John Edward Dooley first came to the attention of readers when an edition of his wartime journal, edited by Joseph Durkin, was published in 1945. That book, John Dooley, Confederate Soldier, became a widely used resource for historians, who frequently tapped Dooley’s vivid accounts of Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, where he was wounded during Pickett’s Charge and subsequently captured.
As it happens, the 1945 edition is actually a much-truncated version of Dooley’s original journal that fails to capture the full scope of his wartime experience—the oscillating rhythm of life on the campaign trail, in camp, in Union prisons, and on parole. Nor does it recognize how Dooley, the son of a successful Irish-born Richmond businessman, used his reminiscences as a testament to the Lost Cause. John Dooley’s Civil War gives us, for the first time, a comprehensive version of Dooley’s “war notes,” which editor Robert Emmett Curran has reassembled from seven different manuscripts and meticulously annotated. The notes were created as diaries that recorded Dooley’s service as an officer in the famed First Virginia Regiment along with his twenty months as a prisoner of war. After the war, they were expanded and recast years later as Dooley, then studying for the Catholic priesthood, reflected on the war and its aftermath. As Curran points out, Dooley’s reworking of his writings was shaped in large part by his ethnic heritage and the connections he drew between the aspirations of the Irish and those of the white South.
In addition to the war notes, the book includes a prewar essay that Dooley wrote in defense of secession and an extended poem he penned in 1870 on what he perceived as the evils of Reconstruction. The result is a remarkable picture not only of how one articulate southerner endured the hardships of war and imprisonment, but also of how he positioned his own experience within the tragic myth of valor, sacrifice, and crushed dreams of independence that former Confederates fashioned in the postwar era.
The Journals of Josiah Gorgas, 1857–1878
Josiah Gorgas, edited by Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins, foreword by Frank E. Vandiver University of Alabama Press, 2009
Library of Congress E467.1.G68A3 1995 |
Dewey Decimal 973.7/82
Josiah Gorgas was best known as the highly regarded Chief of Confederate Ordnance. Born in 1818, he attended West Point, served in the U.S. Army, and later, after marrying Amelia Gayle, daughter of a former Alabama governor, joined the Confederacy. After the Civil War he served as president of The University of Alabama until ill health forced him to resign. His journals, maintained between 1857 and 1878, reflect the family's economic successes and failures, detail the course of the South through the Civil War, and describe the ordeal of Reconstruction. Few journals cover such a sweep of history. An added dimension is the view of Victorian family life as Gorgas explored his feelings about aspects of parental responsibility and transmission of values to children--a rarely documented account from the male perspective. His son, called Willie in the journals, was William Crawford Gorgas (1854-1920), who was noted for his fight to control yellow fever and who became surgeon general of the United States.
In his foreword to the volume, Frank E. Vandiver states: "Wiggins has done much more than present a well-edited version of Gorgas's diaries and journals; she has interpreted them in full Gorgas family context and in perspective of the times they cover. . . . Wiggins informs with the sort of editorial notes expected of a careful scholar, but she enlightens with wide knowledge of American and southern history. . . . Josiah Gorgas [was] an unusually observant, passionate man, a 'galvanized Rebel' who deserves rank among the true geniuses of American logistics."
The exhaustive, definitive study of Southern attempts to gain international support for the Confederacy by leveraging the cotton supply for European intervention during the Civil War. Using previously untapped sources from Britain and France, along with documents from the Confederacy’s state department, Frank Owsley’s King Cotton Diplomacy is the first archival-based study of Confederate diplomacy.
A legendary professor at Louisiana State University, T. Harry Williams not only produced such acclaimed works as Lincoln and the Radicals, Lincoln and His Generals, and a biography of Huey Long that won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, but he also mentored generations of students who became distinguished historians in their own right. In this collection, ten of those former students, along with one author greatly inspired by Williams’s example, offer incisive essays that honor both Williams and his career-long dedication to sound, imaginative scholarship and broad historical inquiry.
The opening and closing essays, fittingly enough, deal with Williams himself: a biographical sketch by Frank J. Wetta and a piece by Roger Spiller that place Williams in larger historical perspective among writers on Civil War generalship. The bulk of the book focuses on Robert E. Lee and a number of the commanders who served under him, starting with Charles Roland’s seminal article “The Generalship of Robert E. Lee,” the only one in the collection that has been previously published. Among the essays that follow Roland’s are contributions by Brian Holden Reid on the ebb and flow of Lee’s reputation, George C. Rable on Stonewall Jackson’s deep religious commitment, A. Wilson Greene on P. G. T. Beauregard’s role in the Petersburg Campaign, and William L. Richter on James Longstreet as postwar pariah.
Together these gifted historians raise a host of penetrating and original questions about how we are to understand America’s defining conflict in our own time—just as T. Harry Williams did in his. And by encompassing such varied subjects as military history, religion, and historiography, Lee and His Generals demonstrates once more what a fertile field Civil War scholarship remains.
Lawrence Lee Hewitt is professor of history emeritus at Southeastern Louisiana University. Most recently, he and Arthur W. Bergeron, now deceased, coedited three volumes of essays under the collective title Confederate Generals in the Western Theater.
Thomas E. Schott served for many years as a historian for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command. He is the author of Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia: A Biography, which won both the Society of American Historians Award and the Jefferson Davis Award.
“The Letters of General Richard S. Ewell provide a sweeping view of the nineteenth century. Such chronological breadth makes this volume truly exceptional and important. Through Ewell’s eyes we see the many worlds of an American people at war. His thoughtful observations, biting wit, and ironic disposition offer readers a chance to rethink the paper-thin generalizations of Ewell as a quirky neurotic who simply crumbled under the legacy of Stonewall Jackson.” —from the foreword by Peter S. Carmichael
Richard S. Ewell was one of only six lieutenant generals to serve in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, and of those he was but one of two—the other being Stonewall Jackson, his predecessor as commander of the Second Corps—to have left behind a sizable body of correspondence. Forty-nine of Ewell’s letters were published in 1939. This new volume, drawing on more recently available material and scrupulously annotated by Ewell biographer Donald Pfanz, offers a much larger collection of the general’s missives: 173 personal letters, 7 official letters, 4 battle narratives, and 2 memoranda of incidents that took place during the Civil War.
The book covers the full range of Ewell’s career: his days at West Point, his posting on the western frontier, his role in the Mexican War, his Civil War service, and, finally, his postwar years managing farms in Tennessee and Mississippi. Some historians have judged Ewell harshly, particularly for his failure to capture Cemetery Hill on the first day at Gettysburg, but Pfanz contends that Ewell was in fact a brilliant combat general whose overall record, which included victories at the battles of Cross Keys, Second Winchester, and Fort Harrison, was one of which any commanding officer could be proud. Although irritable and often critical of others, Ewell’s correspondence shows him to have been generous toward subordinates, modest regarding his own accomplishments, and upright in both his professional and personal relationships. His letters to family and friends are a mixture of wry humor and uncommon sense. No one who reads them will view this important general in quite the same way again.
DONALD C. PFANZ is the author of Richard S. Ewell: A Soldier’s Life, Abraham Lincoln at City Point, and War So Terrible: A Popular History of the Battle of Fredericksburg.
One of nineteenth-century America’s most controversial military figures, Gideon Johnson Pillow gained notoriety early in the Civil War for turning an apparent Confederate victory at Fort Donelson into an ignominious defeat. Dismissed by contemporaries and historians alike as a political general with dangerous aspirations, his famous failures have overshadowed the tremendous energy, rare talent, and great organizational skills that also marked his career. In this exhaustive biography, Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr. and Roy P. Stonesifer Jr. look beyond conventional historical interpretations to provide a full and nuanced portrait of this provocative and maligned man.
While noting his arrogance, ambition, and very public mistakes, Hughes and Stonesifer give Pillow his due as a gifted attorney, first-rate farmer, innovator, and man of considerable political influence. One of Tennessee’s wealthiest planters, Pillow promoted scientific methods to improve the soil, preached crop diversification to reduce the South’s dependence on cotton, and endorsed railroad construction as a means to develop the southern economy. He helped secure the 1844 Democratic nomination for his friend and fellow Tennessean James K. Polk and was rewarded after Polk’s victory with an appointment as brigadier general. While his role in the Mexican War earned him a reputation for recklessness and self-promotion, his organization of what would become the Army of Tennessee put him at the forefront of the Confederate war effort. After the disaster at Donelson, he spent the rest of the war directing Confederate conscription in the West and leading Rebel cavalry forces—a role of continuing service which, the authors show, has been insufficiently acknowledged.
Updated with a new foreword by noted Civil War scholar Timothy D. Johnson, The Life and Wars of Gideon J. Pillow portrays a colorful, enigmatic general who moved just outside the world of greatness he longed to enter.
Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr. is the author or editor of twenty books relating to the American Civil War, including Refugitta of Richmond; Brigadier General Tyree H. Bell, C.S.A.: Forrest’s Fighting Lieutenant; and Yale’s Confederates. The late Roy P. Stonesifer Jr. was a professor of history at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
In the treacherous swamps of southeast Missouri, a different kind of Civil War was waged.
Meriwether Jeff Thompson was one of the most intriguing but least-known Missouri participants in the Civil War. He and his troops traveled fast and light to harass Union forces, materializing out of the countryside to surprise the enemy and evading the traps set for them by Northern commanders. Early in the war, Union General Ulysses S. Grant gave Thompson the name “Swamp Fox” for his exploits in the Bootheel region. This book now tells his story—an adventure that will be appreciated by readers of all ages. Doris Mueller has produced a meticulously researched account of Thompson’s life, from his Virginia boyhood and early successes to his wartime exploits and postwar life. When the war began, Thompson left his adopted city of St. Joseph—where he had served as mayor—to fight for the Confederacy. He was elected brigadier general in the First Military District of Southeast Missouri and led poorly equipped and loosely trained men in skirmishes and raids, often using guerrilla tactics. He was captured in August 1863. After being released twelve months later in a prisoner exchange, he joined Sterling Price’s ill-fated raid into Missouri. After the war, he was one of the first Southern leaders to seek reinstatement as a U.S. citizen and worked to allay hostilities among fellow Southerners.
Thompson was also known as the “Poet Laureate of the Marshes,” and Mueller includes numerous excerpts from his writings about his experiences. Her account not only provides a wealth of little-known biographical details about this important Missourian but also offers insight into the state’s unique experiences during that bloody era, personalizing events through the life of this brave soldier.
Scorned by the Northern press for impudence, but beloved as a leader by his men, Thompson was courageous in battle, often to the point of recklessness, making him a constant thorn in the side of Union forces; after the war he was an oft-maligned model for reconciliation. Doris Mueller’s recounting of his life is an action-adventure story that will delight readers as it attests to his important role in Missouri’s heritage.
Christopher Phillips has brought to life a man, a story, and a voice lost in the din of competing post–Civil War narratives that each claim a timeless divide between North and South. William Barclay Napton (1808–1883) was an editor, lawyer, and state supreme court justice who lived in Missouri during the tumultuous American nineteenth century. He was a keen observer of the nation’s sectional politics just as he was a participant in those of his border state, the most divided of any in the nation, in the decades surrounding the Civil War. This book tells the story of one man’s civil war, lived and waged within the broader conflict, and the long shadows both cast.
But Napton’s story moves beyond the Civil War just as it transcends the formal political realm. His is a fascinating tale of identity politics and their shifting currents, by which the highly educated former New Jerseyite became the owner or trustee of nearly fifty slaves and one of the most committed and thoughtful of the nation’s proslavery ideologues. That a “northerner” could make such a life transition in the Border West suggests more than the powerful nature of slavery in antebellum American society. Napton’s story offers provocative insights into the process of southernization, one driven more by sectional ideology and politics than by elements of a distinctive southern culture.
Although Napton’s tragic Civil War experience was a watershed in his southern evolution, that evolution was completed only after he had constructed a politicized memory of the bitter conflict, one that was suffered nowhere worse than in Missouri. This war-driven transformation ultimately defined him and his family, just as it would his border state and region for decades to come. By suffering for the South, losing family and property in his defense of its ideals and principles, he claimed by right what he could not by birth. Napton became a southerner by choice.
Drawn from incomparable personal journals kept for more than fifty years and from voluminous professional and family correspondence, Napton’s life story offers a thoughtful and important perspective on the key issues and events that turned this northerner first into an avowed proslavery ideologue and then into a full southerner. As a prominent jurist who sat on Missouri’s high bench for more than a quarter century, he used his politicized position to give birth to the New South in the Old West. Students, teachers, and general readers of southern history, western history, and Civil War history will find this book of particular interest.
A genteel southern intellectual, saloniste, and wife to a prominent colonel in Jefferson Davis’s inner circle, Mary Chesnut today is remembered best for her penetrating Civil War diary. Composed between 1861 and 1865 and revised thoroughly from the late 1870s until Chesnut’s death in 1886, the diary was published first in 1905, again in 1949, and later, to great acclaim, in 1981. This complicated literary history and the questions that attend it—which edition represents the real Chesnut? To what genre does this text belong?—may explain why the document largely has, until now, been overlooked in literary studies.
Julia A. Stern’s critical analysis returns Chesnut to her rightful place among American writers. In Mary Chesnut’s Civil War Epic, Stern argues that the revised diary offers the most trenchant literary account of race and slavery until the work of Faulkner and that, along with his Yoknapatawpha novels, it constitutes one of the two great Civil War epics of the American canon. By restoring Chesnut’s 1880s revision to its complex, multidecade cultural context, Stern argues both for Chesnut’s reinsertion into the pantheon of nineteenth-century American letters and for her centrality to the literary history of women’s writing as it evolved from sentimental to tragic to realist forms.
The four years of the Civil War saw bloodshed on a scale unprecedented in the history of the United States. Thousands of soldiers and sailors from both sides who survived the horrors of the war faced hardship for the rest of their lives as amputees. Now Guy R. Hasegawa presents the first volume to explore the wartime provisions made for amputees in need of artificial limbs—programs that, while they revealed stark differences between the resources and capabilities of the North and the South, were the forebears of modern government efforts to assist in the rehabilitation of wounded service members.
Hasegawa draws upon numerous sources of archival information to offer a comprehensive look at the artificial limb industry as a whole, including accounts of the ingenious designs employed by manufacturers and the rapid advancement of medical technology during the Civil War; illustrations and photographs of period prosthetics; and in-depth examinations of the companies that manufactured limbs for soldiers and bid for contracts, including at least one still in existence today. An intriguing account of innovation, determination, humanitarianism, and the devastating toll of battle, Mending Broken Soldiers shares the never-before-told story of the artificial-limb industry of the Civil War and provides a fascinating glimpse into groundbreaking military health programs during the most tumultuous years in American history.
Univeristy Press Books for Public and Secondary Schools 2013 edition
Although the state of Missouri is located hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean, ships with Missouri names and connections have served the United States for decades. In Missouri at Sea, Richard Schroeder tells about the ships that were named after the state, its cities, and its favorite sons and explores the important role that each has played in American history.
For each vessel, a brief history is supplied, and the book is illustrated with many extraordinary images and photographs taken from official U.S. government records and archives. Schroeder begins his volume with the first St.Louis and other small early ships that were symbolic of America’s modest nineteenth-century commercial and political ambitions. The first Missouri, one of the earliest American steamships, depicts the United States’ move into the industrial and technological revolution of the nineteenth century.
Another Federal St.Louis and a Confederate Missouri highlight the Mississippi River Civil War campaign. Schroeder then turns to America’s rise as a global military power at the beginning of the twentieth century with stories of the St. Louis in the Spanish-American War and the first battleship Missouri of Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet. The dominance of the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific theater is illustrated by the fourth and most famous of all the ships to bear the name Missouri, whose deck was the site for the Japanese surrender.
The advanced technological achievements of the mid-twentieth century are represented by the nuclear submarines named for one of Missouri’s favorite sons and for its capital: Daniel Boone and Jefferson City. Also highlighted in the volume is the 5,000-crew nuclear aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, along with smaller ships named for Missouri war heroes. Missouri at Sea will appeal to those readers interested in naval history and technology or Missouri history.
The Civil War was barely over before Southerners and other students of the war began to examine the Confederate high command in search of an explanation for the South's failure. Although years of research failed to show that the South's defeat was due to a single, overriding cause, the actions of the Southern leaders during the war were certainly among the reasons the South lost the war.
In No Band of Brothers, Steven Woodworth explores, through a series of essays, various facets of the way the Confederacy waged its unsuccessful war for secession. He examines Jefferson Davis and some of his more important generals, including Pierre G. T. Beauregard, Leonidas Polk, Joseph E. Johnston, Robert E. Lee, James Longstreet, and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson; the Confederacy's strategic plans; and the South's success in making competent officers out of men with very little military preparation.
Woodworth particularly looks at the personalities and personal relationships that affected the course and outcome of the war. What made a good general? What could make an otherwise able man a failure as a general? What role did personal friendships or animosities play in the Confederacy's top command assignments and decisions? How successful was the Confederacy in making competent generals out of its civilian leaders? In what ways did Jefferson Davis succeed or fail in maximizing the chances for the success of his cause?
In analyzing the Confederate leadership, Woodworth reveals some weaknesses, many strengths, and much new information. No Band of Brothers will be an important addition to Civil War scholarship and will be welcomed by professional historians, amateur historians, students, and the general reader alike.
Most surviving correspondence of the Civil War period was written by members of a literate, elite class; few collections exist in which the woman's letters to her soldier husband have been preserved. Here, in the exchange between William and Emily Moxley, a working-class farm couple from Coffee County, Alabama, we see vividly an often-neglected aspect of the Civil War experience: the hardships of civilian life on the home front.
Emily's moving letters to her husband, startling in their immediacy and detail, chronicle such difficulties as a desperate lack of food and clothing for her family, the frustration of depending on others in the community, and her growing terror at facing childbirth without her husband, at the mercy of a doctor with questionable skills. Major Moxley's letters to his wife reveal a decidedly unromantic side of the war, describing his frequent encounters with starvation, disease, and bloody slaughter.
To supplement this revealing correspondence, the editor has provided ample documentation and research; a genealogical chart of the Moxley family; detailed maps of Alabama and Florida that allow the reader to trace the progress of Major Moxley's division; and thorough footnotes to document and elucidate events and people mentioned in the letters. Readers interested in the Civil War and Alabama history will find these letters immensely appealing while scholars of 19th-century domestic life will find much of value in Emily Moxley's rare descriptions of her homefront experiences.
The South has made much of J. E. B. Stuart and Stonewall Jackson, but no individual has had a greater elevation to divine status than John Pelham, remembered as the “Gallant Pelham.” An Alabama native, Pelham left West Point for service in the Confederacy and distinguished himself as an artillery commander in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Lee is reported to have said of him, “It is glorious to see such courage in one so young!” Blond, blue-eyed, and handsome, Pelham’s modest demeanor charmed his contemporaries, and he was famously attractive to women. He was killed in action at the battle of Kelly’s Ford in March of 1863, at twenty-four years of age, and reportedly three young women of his acquaintance donned mourning at the loss of the South’s “beau ideal.”
Maxwell’s work provides the first complete, deeply researched biography of Pelham, perhaps Alabama’s most notable Civil War figure, and explains his enduring attraction.
From the shooting of an unarmed prisoner at Montgomery, Alabama, to a successful escape from Belle Isle, from the swelling floodwaters overtaking Cahaba Prison to the inferno that finally engulfed Andersonville, A Perfect Picture of Hell is a collection of harrowing narratives by soldiers from the 12th Iowa Infantry who survived imprisonment in the South during the Civil War.
Editors Ted Genoways and Hugh Genoways have collected the soldiers' startling accounts from diaries, letters, speeches, newspaper articles, and remembrances. Arranged chronologically, the eyewitness descriptions of the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Jackson, and Tupelo, together with accompanying accounts of nearly every famous Confederate prison, create a shared vision
Prussia, like much of nineteenth-century Germany, was governed by the belief that knowledge, and thus understanding, was best derived from direct observation and communicated through documentation. Justus Scheibert, an officer in the Royal Prussian Engineers, was therefore sent to the United States for seven months to observe the Civil War and report the effects of artillery on fortifications. His interests, however, surpassed that limited assignment, and his observations, as well as the writings translated in this work, went on to include tactics, strategy, logistics, intelligence, combined operations, and the medical service.
Scheibert, an expert on warfare, had access to the Confederate high command, including such luminaries as Robert E. Lee, J. E. B. Stuart, and Stonewall Jackson. He brought to the war not only the fresh perspective of a foreigner, but also the insightful eye of a career military officer and a skillful author and correspondent. Although he was personally sympathetic to the South, Scheibert researched both sides of the conflict in order to write unbiased, informed commentary for his fellow Prussian officers. His firsthand account of many aspects of the Civil War included a theoretical discussion of every branch of service and the Confederate high command, illustrated with his personal observations.
Sheibert's narrative portrays soldiers, weaponry, and battles, including the first, and one of the few, studies of combined operations in the Civil War. Trautmann combines two of Scheibert's publications, The Civil War in the North American States: A Military Study for the German Officer (1874) and Combined Operations by Army and Navy: A Study Illustrated by the War on the Mississippi, 1861-1863 (ca. 1887), which for decades influenced German military writing. Trautmann's translations evince the grace and achieve the readability of Scheibert's intricate and complex works.
A Prussian Observes the American Civil War makes an important addition to Civil War studies and will appeal greatly to professional historians and those interested in, and dedicated to, Civil War and military studies.
Naval hero for all the South, Raphael Semmes (1809-1877) sailed two famous Confederate raiders. He outfitted CSS Sumter in 1861 and captured 18 Union merchant ships in six months before the raider was blockaded at Gibraltar. Next he took command of CSS Alabama, an English-built raider, and terrorized U.S. merchant vessels on the high seas from August 1862 until the raider was sunk in battle off Cherbourg in June 1864. During that two-year period, he captured more enemy merchant ships than any other cruiser captain in maritime history. He is considered one of the greatest ship's commanders that America has produced.
In this first, full-scale biography that relies on Semmes's private papers, unpublished diaries, and correspondence, Spencer has produced a well-balanced and comprehensive account of the man, as well as the naval officer. The biographer paints a vivid portrait of Semmes—the intellectual, the family man, lawyer, romanticist, nationalist—providing a greater understanding of the man behind the heroic deeds.
Semmes was born in Maryland to a slave-holding family and entered the United States Navy in 1826. In 1849, he moved his family to Mobile, Alabama, to be near the navy base at Pensacola, Florida, and to practice law during leaves. Semmes was an astute student, not only of international and maritime law but also of weather patterns; astronomy; flora and fauna; naval, social, and cultural history; and the classics. His study of constitutional law led him to side with his adopted state in 1861, a move that set the stage for his place in history.
Born in New Orleans, Herman Hattaway grew up in the Deep South. While it might not seem such a stretch for him to have become one of the foremost authorities on the Civil War and Southern history, Hattaway was actually at a loss for a career choice when he stumbled into the class of Professor T. Harry Williams at Louisiana State University. Williams’s lectures and writings were so inspiring to Hattaway that he became a regular in his classes, receiving his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. all under the professor’s tutelage.
This collection of essays is a compendium of Hattaway’s writings from throughout his more-than-forty-year career. He is the author or coauthor of five books that were selections of the History Book Club—Jefferson Davis: Confederate President; Shades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War; Why the South Lost the Civil War; How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War; and General Stephen D. Lee. He is also the author of the text for Gettysburg to Vicksburg: The Five Original Civil War Battlefield Parks.
Hattaway is a captivating historian who always seeks to engage others in the study of history. He has made many important scholarly contributions to our understanding of the Civil War, including new information on the military use of balloons, the relevance of religion in warfare, and the nature of good (and bad) military leadership. This book will appeal to the many historians and others who have been influenced by Hattaway over the years. It demonstrates how he has evolved as a historian and brings to light many essays that were never before published or published only in specialized journals.
During the American Civil War, southern white women found themselves speaking and acting in unfamiliar and tumultuous circumstances. With the war at their doorstep, women who supported the war effort took part in defining what it meant to be, and to behave as, a Confederate through their verbal and nonverbal rhetorics. Though most did not speak from the podium, they viewed themselves as participants in the war effort, indicating that what they did or did not say could matter. Drawing on the rich evidence in women’s Civil War diaries, The Rhetoric of Rebel Women recognizes women’s persuasive activities as contributions to the creation and maintenance of Confederate identity and culture.
Informed by more than one hundred diaries, this study provides insight into how women cultivated rhetorical agency, challenging traditional gender expectations while also upholding a cultural status quo. Author Kimberly Harrison analyzes the rhetorical choices these women made and valued in wartime and postwar interactions with Union officers and soldiers, slaves and former slaves, local community members, and even their God. In their intimate accounts of everyday war, these diarists discussed rhetorical strategies that could impact their safety, their livelihoods, and those of their families. As they faced Union soldiers in attempts to protect their homes and property, diarists saw their actions as not only having local, immediate impact on their well-being but also as reflecting upon their cause and the character of the southern people as a whole. They instructed themselves through their personal writing, allowing insight into how southern women prepared themselves to speak and act in new and contested contexts.
The Rhetoric of Rebel Women highlights the contributions of privileged white southern women in the development of the Confederate national identity, presenting them not as passive observers but as active participants in the war effort.
Williamson S. Oldham was a shrewd and candid observer of the Civil War scene. Representing the always contrary and suspicious Texans in the Confederate Senate, he was a major opponent of President Jefferson Davis and spoke out vehemently against conscription—which he considered an abusive violation of individual rights—and against military interference in the cotton trade.
Oldham’s memoir provides a firsthand look at the Civil War from the perspective of a government insider. In it, he sheds light on such topics as military strategy, foreign relations, taxes, and conflicts between state officials and the Confederate government. Perhaps more important, his travels between Texas and Richmond—both during and after the war—allowed him to observe the many changes taking place in the South, and he made note of both the general sentiment of citizens and the effect of political and military measures on the country.
Throughout the memoir, Oldham consistently stresses the centrality of politics to a society and the necessity of legislating for the will of the people even in times of war. In assessing the Confederacy’s defeat, he points not to military causes but to Congress’s giving in to the will of the president and military leaders rather than ruling for and representing the people.
Clayton E. Jewett has edited and annotated Oldham’s memoir to produce the only fully edited publication of this important document, significantly expanded here over any version previously published. His introduction helps clarify Oldham’s position on many of the topics he discusses, making the memoir accessible to scholar and Civil War buff alike, while his annotations reflect his deep knowledge of the intrigue of wartime political life in both Texas and Richmond.
Oldham’s memoir offers important new insight into not only political leadership and conflicts in a young nation but also the question of why the South lost the Civil War, dispelling many myths about the defeat and bolstering interpretations of the Confederacy’s decline that point more to political than to military causes. Rise and Fall of the Confederacy is one of the major political and social documents of the Confederacy and will be a boon to all scholars of the Civil War era.
Routes of War
Yael A. Sternhell Harvard University Press, 2012
Library of Congress E468.9.S86 2012 |
Dewey Decimal 973.7/13
The Civil War thrust millions of men and women—rich and poor, soldiers and civilians, enslaved and free—onto the roads of the South. During four years of war, Southerners lived on the move. In the hands of Sternhell, movement becomes a radically new means to perceive the full trajectory of the Confederacy’s rise, struggle, and ultimate defeat.
This fast-paced memoir was written in 1905 by 61-year-old Samuel W. Hankins while he was living in the Soldiers Home in Gulfport, Mississippi. It vividly details his years as a Confederate rifleman from the spring of 1861, when at a mere sixteen years of age he volunteered for the 2d Mississippi Infantry, through the end of the war in 1865, when he was just twenty years old and maimed for life.
The 2d Mississippi was part of the Army of Northern Virginia and as such saw action at Bull Run/Manassas, Seven Pines and the Peninsular Campaign, and Gettysburg. Besides being hospitalized with measles, suffering severely frostbitten feet, and being wounded by a minié ball at the Railroad Cut, Hankins was captured by Federal forces and sent to a prisoner of war camp on David’s Island, New York. Later, he was transferred to a South Carolina hospital, returned home on furlough, joined a cavalry unit that fought at Atlanta, and was stationed in Selma, Alabama, when the war ended.
The strength of Hankins’s text lies in his straightforward narrative style virtually free of Lost Cause sentiment. Both Union and Confederate veterans could relate to his stories because so many of them had faced similar challenges during the war. Full of valuable information on a common soldier’s experience, the memoir still conjures the sights, sounds, and smells of warfare.
A unit that saw significant action in many of the engagements of the Civil War’s eastern theater.
Until this work, no comprehensive study of the Florida units that served in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) had been attempted, and problems attend the few studies of particular Florida units that have appeared. Based on more than two decades of research, Waters and Edmonds have produced a study that covers all units from Florida in the ANV, and does so in an objective and reliable fashion.
Drawn from what was then a turbulent and thinly settled frontier region, the Florida troops serving in the Confederacy were never numerous, but they had the good or bad luck of finding themselves at crucial points in several significant battles such as Gettysburg where their conduct continues to be a source of contention. Additionally, the study of these units and their service permits an examination of important topics affecting the Civil War soldier: lack of supplies, the status of folks at home, dissension over civilian control of soldiers and units from the various Confederate states, and widespread and understandable problems of morale. Despite the appalling conditions of combat, these soldiers were capable of the highest courage in combat. This work is an important contribution to the record of Lee’s troops, ever a subject of intense interest.
During the Civil War, many southerners expressed serious opposition to secession and openly entreated their fellow southerners to maintain support for the Union. A number of these unionists actively opposed the Confederacy while remaining within its borders; others fled their homes and the South, becoming exiles in northern cities and the border slave states. The southern unionist leaders used their oral and written communication skills to proclaim their opposition to the Confederacy, often producing pamphlets that circulated in the North, in the border states, and in the heart of the Confederacy itself. Jon L. Wakelyn unites the voices of these southern unionists in the first comprehensive collection of their written arguments—Southern Unionist Pamphlets and the Civil War.
Including eighteen pamphlets and a discussion of twenty-two others, this book provides a magnificent representation of the southern unionists and their concerns. Written between 1861 and 1865, the pamphlets were compiled by local and national political leaders, including three federal congressmen and future vice president and president Andrew Johnson, as well as concerned private citizens and members of the military and clergy. Except for Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia, all Confederate and border slave states are represented in this collection.
The topics discussed and the events described in the pamphlets cover a wide range of subjects. The authors discuss their motivation to remain loyal to the union, the actions of their friends and enemies, the perilous life of unionists behind military lines, their continued support for the federal government, and their hopes for a restored Union. Aware that their northern allies would read these pamphlets, the unionists also wrote to solicit northern aid, to renew efforts to defeat the Confederacy, and to gain sympathy for the plight of their people behind enemy lines.
A remarkable collection of primary source material, Southern Unionist Pamphlets and the Civil War provides the most detailed study of the internal resistance to the Confederacy available to date. Students, scholars, and general readers alike will find this volume an invaluable resource for Civil War studies.
In the mid-1800s, Spain experienced economic growth, political stabilization, and military revival, and the country began to sense that it again could be a great global power. In addition to its desire for international glory, Spain also was the only European country that continued to use slaves on plantations in Spanish-controlled Cuba and Puerto Rico. Historically, Spain never had close ties to Washington, D.C., and Spain’s hard feelings increased as it lost Latin America to the United States in independence movements. Clearly, Spain shared many of the same feelings as the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War, and it found itself in a unique position to aid the Confederacy since its territories lay so close to the South. Diplomats on both sides, in fact, declared them “natural allies.” Yet, paradoxically, a close relationship between Spain and the Confederacy was never forged.
In Spain and the American Civil War, Wayne H. Bowen presents the first comprehensive look at relations between Spain and the two antagonists of the American Civil War. Using Spanish, United States and Confederate sources, Bowen provides multiple perspectives of critical events during the Civil War, including Confederate attempts to bring Spain and other European nations, particularly France and Great Britain, into the war; reactions to those attempts; and Spain’s revived imperial fortunes in Africa and the Caribbean as it tried to regain its status as a global power. Likewise, he documents Spain’s relationship with Great Britain and France; Spanish thoughts of intervention, either with the help of Great Britain and France or alone; and Spanish receptiveness to the Confederate cause, including the support of Prime Minister Leopoldo O’Donnell.
Bowen’s in-depth study reveals how the situations, personalities, and histories of both Spain and the Confederacy kept both parties from establishing a closer relationship, which might have provided critical international diplomatic support for the Confederate States of America and a means through which Spain could exact revenge on the United States of America.
“Towne’s narrative is a fascinating whodunit, with its vivid portrayal of Union commanders hiring questionable detectives in an effort to stymie the Knights of the Golden Circle, a loose collection of Confederate sympathizers in the Old Northwest. A valuable addition to any library seeking to upgrade its collection with a regional slant to the US Civil War. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” —CHOICE
A History Book Club Reading Selection
Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War represents pathbreaking research on the rise of U.S. Army intelligence operations in the Midwest during the American Civil War and counters long-standing assumptions about Northern politics and society. At the beginning of the rebellion, state governors in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois cooperated with federal law enforcement officials in various attempts—all failed—to investigate reports of secret groups and individuals who opposed the Union war effort.
Starting in 1862, army commanders took it upon themselves to initiate investigations of antiwar sentiment in those states. By 1863, several of them had established intelligence operations staffed by hired civilian detectives and by soldiers detailed from their units to chase down deserters and draft dodgers, to maintain surveillance on suspected persons and groups, and to investigate organized resistance to the draft. By 1864, these spies had infiltrated secret organizations that, sometimes in collaboration with Confederate rebels, aimed to subvert the war effort.
Stephen E. Towne is the first to thoroughly explore the role and impact of Union spies against Confederate plots in the North. This new analysis invites historians to delve more deeply into the fabric of the Northern wartime experience and reinterpret the period based on broader archival evidence.
“Arthur Carter brings new perspective to Confederate knight-errant Earl Van Dorn, who might have been famous rather than infamous had he lived. . . . Carter suggests how Van Dorn the cavalryman could have joined mounted leaders Forrest, Morgan, and Wheeler as raiders-superb and mainstay of Confederate success in the West. Except for one costly peccadillo, Van Dorn would have been one of the South’s rising rather than falling stars.”—Benjamin Franklin Cooling, Author of Fort Donelson’s Legacy
Dashing, bold, and fearless in command, Major General Earl Van Dorn was a soldier whose star shone brightly during the early days of the Confederacy. A veteran of the Mexican War and Indian campaigns, he is remembered for suffering devastating defeats while leading armies at Pea Ridge and Corinth and then redeeming himself as a cavalry commander at Holly Springs and Thompson Station. Yet he was perhaps best known for his reputation as a womanizer killed by an irate husband at the height of his career.
Arthur B. Carter’s biography of Van Dorn, the first in three decades, draws on previously unpublished sources regarding the general’s affair with Martha Goodbread—which resulted in three children—and his liaison with Jessica Peters, which resulted in his death. This new material, unknown to previous biographers, includes the revelation that the true circumstances of Van Dorn's death were kept secret by friends and comrades in order to protect his family. Carter reveals that the general was probably mortally wounded on the Peters plantation but was carried back to his Spring Hill headquarters. He reconstructs the details of Van Dorn's murder in a brisk narrative that draws on accounts of Van Dorn's confidantes, capturing both the danger and passion of those events.
The Tarnished Cavalier is more than a story of scandal. Carter sheds new light on Confederate conduct of the war in the western theater during 1861 and 1862, revisits the pivotal battles of Pea Ridge and Corinth—both of which are important to understanding the loss of the upper South—and introduces new perspectives on the defense of Vicksburg and the Middle Tennessee operations of early 1863.
Carter’s narrative juxtaposes Van Dorn's flamboyance with his failings as a commander: although he was a soldier with heroic aspirations, he was also impulsive, reckless, and unable to delegate authority. Perhaps more telling, it shows how Van Dorn’s character flaws extended to his personal life, cutting short a promising career.
The Author: Arthur B. Carter, a retired U.S. Army officer and educator, lives in Mobile, Alabama.
This memoir is a dramatic, intelligent first-person account of an Alabama regiment central to the Confederate campaign, written by its commander.
From Seven Pines to Sharpsburg and Chancellorsville to Spotsylvania, the Third Alabama Regiment played a key role in the Civil War. One of the first infantry units from the Deep South to make the journey to Virginia in 1861, the Third Alabama was the first to cross the Potomac into Maryland and to enter the streets of Gettysburg in 1863.
As the regiment’s leader and one of General Robert E. Lee’s brigade commanders, General Cullen Andrews Battle witnessed the extent of the many triumphs and sufferings of the Army of Northern Virginia. Trained as a journalist and lawyer, he records these events honestly and with compassion. Battle captures the courage of citizen soldiers fighting without prior military training, always paying tribute to the heroism of those under his command, while providing vivid accounts of some of the war’s bloodiest fights. He assesses Confederate mistakesparticularly at Seven Pines—and sheds light on the third Battle of Winchester, the only decisive defeat in which the regiment was involved.
Brandon Beck’s introductory notes provide a thorough review of Battle’s life and valuable biographical information on soldiers under his command as well as on other officers in the Army of Northern Virginia. A worthwhile addition to all Civil War librariespublic or private Third Alabama! offers an informative, dramatic reading of the wartime activities of one of the Confederacy’s bravest fighting units.
According to the 1860 census, nearly 350,000 native northerners resided in a southern state by the time of the Civil War. Although northern in birth and upbringing, many of these men and women identified with their adopted section once they moved south. In this innovative study, David Ross Zimring examines what motivated these Americans to change sections, support (or not) the Confederate cause, and, in many cases, rise to considerable influence in their new homeland. By analyzing the lives of northern emigrants in the South, Zimring deepens our understanding of the nature of sectional identity as well as the strength of Confederate nationalism.
Focusing on a representative sample of emigrants, Zimring identifies two subgroups: “adoptive southerners,” individuals born and raised in a state above the Mason-Dixon line but who but did not necessarily join the Confederacy after they moved south, and “Northern Confederates,” emigrants who sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War. After analyzing statistical data on states of origin, age, education, decade of migration, and, most importantly, the reasons why these individuals embarked for the South in the first place, Zimring goes on to explore the prewar lives of adoptive southerners, the adaptations they made with regard to slavery, and the factors that influenced their allegiances during the secession crisis. He also analyzes their contributions to the Confederate military and home front, the emergence of their Confederate identities and nationalism, their experiences as prisoners of war in the North, and the reactions they elicited from native southerners.
In tracing these journeys from native northerner to Confederate veteran, this book reveals not only the complex transformations of adoptive southerners but also the flexibility of sectional and national identity before the war and the loss of that flexibility in its aftermath. To Live and Die in Dixie is a thought-provoking work that provides a novel perspective on the revolutionary changes the Civil War unleashed on American society.
David Ross Zimring is an adjunct professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Montgomery College. He has published in West Virginia History and the Journal of Southern History.
Engaging letters from a gifted and perceptive Confederate cavalry officer.
This book contains the letters of George Knox Miller who served as a line officer in the Confederate cavalry and participated in almost all of the major campaigns of the Army of Tennessee. He was, clearly, a very well-educated young man. Born in 1836 in Talladega, Alabama, he developed a great love for reading and the theater and set his sights upon getting an education that would lead to a career in law or medicine; meanwhile he worked as an apprentice in a painting firm to earn tuition. Miller then enrolled in the University of Virginia, where he excelled in his studies.
Eloquent, bordering on the lyrical, the letters provide riviting first-hand accounts of cavalry raids, the monotony of camp life, and the horror of battlefield carnage. Miller gives detailed descriptions of military uniforms, cavalry tactics, and prison conditions. He conveys a deep commitment to the Confederacy, but he was also critical of Confederate policies that he felt hindered the army's efforts. Dispersed among these war-related topics is the story of Miller's budding relationship with Celestine "Cellie" McCann, the love of his life, whom he would eventually marry. Together, the letters offer significan insight into the life, heart, mind, and attitudes of an intelligent, educated, young mid-19th-century white Southerner.
Valleys of the Shadow is the previously unpublished account of Captain Reuben Clark’s first-hand experiences as a Confederate officer, a prisoner of war, and a post war civilian living in a conquered state.
Captain Clark was a twenty-seven-year-old Knoxville businessman when the first shots of the Civil War were fired in 1861. Like many southern gentlemen, Clark was opposed to secession but could not desert his family and friends. Enlisting as a first lieutenant in the Confederacy’s Third Tennessee Infantry Regiment, he spent his first night as a soldier on the bloody battlefield of Manasses. Clark’s recollections of Manasses and the battles and skirmishes that followed pinpoint his regiment’s activities in previously undocumented areas while providing valuable analyses of battles from a participant’s point of view and discussing the irony many soldiers felt when battle pitted them against men they had known before the war in business, politics, and society.
Captured after the battle of Morristown in the fall of 1864, Clark was jailed in Knoxville, then under Federal control. His account of the eight months he spent as a prisoner—his harsh treatment, a near-fatal illness, the false accusations of traitorous activities—offer a detailed description of the physical and legal battles of a Confederate prisoner of war fighting to obtain his freedom. Clark’s post war experiences relate his struggles as a former Rebel living in a conquered state, reflecting the deeply divided loyalties of East Tennessee that continued for years after the war’s end.
This first book in the Voices of the Civil War series shares the story of a man who remained sensible of his kinship with those he was forced to call his enemies. Written a quarter-century after the war began, Clark's memories vividly bring to life the tragedy that was the Civil War.
Willene B. Clark, a granddaughter of Captain Clark, is a professor of art history at Marlboro College, Marlboro, Vermont.
The only Confederate ship to circumnavigate the globe.
The Confederate cruiser Shenandoah was the last of a group of commerce raiders deployed to prey on Union merchant ships. Ordered to the Pacific Ocean to "greatly damage and disperse" the Yankee whaling fleet in those waters, the Shenandoah's successful pursuit of her quarry compared favorably with the exploits of the more celebrated Alabama and Florida but has never been as well known because it coincided with the war's end and the Confederacy's downfall. It was, however, one of the best documented naval expeditions—from England to the Indian Ocean, Australia and the South Pacific, the Bering Sea, San Francisco, and finally to port in Liverpool—during the Civil War.
The ship's log and Captain James Waddell's notes are well preserved, and a number of the Shenandoah's officers kept detailed journals of the entire voyage. One of the most significant journals, by Lieutenant William Whittle, is presented here, with annotations from other journals, the official records and logs, and newspaper accounts of the Shenandoah's activities, together bringing to life the history of this remarkable voyage.
Vivid and lively letters from a young Confederate in Lee’s Army.
In the spring of 1861 a 22-year-old Alabamian did what many of his friends and colleagues were doing—he joined the Confederate Army as a volunteer. The first of his family to enlist, William Cowan McClellan, who served as a private in the 9th Alabama Infantry regiment, wrote hundreds of letters throughout the war, often penning for friends who could not write home for themselves. In the letters collected in John C. Carter’s volume, this young soldier comments on his feelings toward his commanding officers, his attitude toward military discipline and camp life, his disdain for the western Confederate armies, and his hopes and fears for the future of the Confederacy.
McClellan’s letters also contain vivid descriptions of camp life, battles, marches, picket duty, and sickness and disease in the army. The correspondence between McClellan and his family dealt with separation due to war as well as with other wartime difficulties such as food shortages, invasion, and occupation. The letters also show the rise and fall of morale on both the home front and on the battlefield, and how they were closely intertwined.
Remarkable for their humor, literacy, and matter-of-fact banter, the letters reveal the attitude a common soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia had toward the day-to-day activity and progression of the war. John C. Carter includes helpful appendixes that list the letters chronologically and offer the regimental roster, casualty/enlistment totals, assignments, and McClellan’s personal military record.
A Cuban woman who moved to New Orleans in the 1850s and eloped with her American lover, Loreta Janeta Velazquez fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy as the cross-dressing Harry T. Buford. As Buford, she single-handedly organized an Arkansas regiment; participated in the historic battles of Bull Run, Balls Bluff, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh; romanced men and women; and eventually decided that spying as a woman better suited her Confederate cause than fighting as a man. In the North, she posed as a double agent and worked to traffic information, drugs, and counterfeit bills to support the Confederate cause. She was even hired by the Yankee secret service to find "the woman . . . traveling and figuring as a Confederate agent"—Velazquez herself.
Originally published in 1876 as The Woman in Battle, this Civil War narrative offers Velazquez’s seemingly impossible autobiographical account, as well as a new critical introduction and glossary by Jesse Alemán. Scholars are divided between those who read the book as a generally honest autobiography and those who read it as mostly fiction. According to Alemán’s critical introduction, the book also reads as pulp fiction, spy memoir, seduction narrative, travel literature, and historical account, while it mirrors the literary conventions of other first-person female accounts of cross-dressing published in the United States during wartime, dating back to the Revolutionary War. Whatever the facts are, this is an authentic Civil War narrative, Alemán concludes, that recounts how war disrupts normal gender roles, redefines national borders, and challenges the definition of identity.
Worthy of the Cause for Which They Fight chronicles the experiences of a well-educated and articulate Confederate officer from Arkansas who witnessed the full evolution of the Civil War in the Trans-Mississippi Department and western theater. Daniel Harris Reynolds, a community leader with a thriving law practice in Chicot County, entered service in 1861 as a captain in command of Company A of the First Arkansas Mounted Rifles. Reynolds saw action at Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge before the regiment was dismounted and transferred to the Army of Tennessee, the primary Confederate force in the western theater. As Reynolds fought through the battles of Chickamauga, Atlanta, Nashville, and Bentonville, he consistently kept a diary in which he described the harsh realities of battle, the shifting fortunes of war, and the personal and political conflicts that characterized and sometimes divided the soldiers. The result is a significant testimonial offering valuable insights into the nature of command from the company to brigade levels, expressed by a committed Southerner coming to grips with the realities of defeat and the ultimate demoralization of surrender.