by John S. Sledge
University of Alabama Press, 2017
eISBN: 978-0-8173-9142-3 | Cloth: 978-0-8173-1960-1
Library of Congress Classification E470.7.S54 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 976.105

I couldn’t stop reading it! Bravo!” —Ken Burns, Emmy Award-winning producer and director of The Civil War

In These Rugged Days: Alabama in the Civil War, John S. Sledge offers a riveting and readable account of Alabama’s Civil War saga. Focused on the conflict’s turning points within the state’s borders, Sledge recounts residents’ experiences from secession’s early days to its tumultuous collapse, when 75,000 blue-coated soldiers were on the move statewide. Sledge brings these tumultuous years to life in an impressive array of primary and secondary sources, including official records, diaries, newspapers, memoirs, correspondence, sketches, and photographs. He also highlights such colorful personalities as John Pelham, the youthful Jacksonville artillerist who was shipped home in an iron casket with a glass faceplate; Gus Askew, a nine-year-old Barbour County slave who vividly recalled the day the Yankees marched in; Augusta Jane Evans, the Mobile novelist who was given a gold pen by a daring blockade runner; and Emma Sansom, a plucky Gadsden teenager who acted as a scout and guide to Nathan Bedford Forrest.

These Rugged Days is an enthralling tale of action, courage, pride, and tragedy. The Civil War has left indelible marks on Alabama’s land, culture, economy, and people, and Sledge offers a refreshing take on the state's role in the conflict. His narrative is a dramatic account that will be enjoyed by lay readers as well as students and scholars of Alabama and the Civil War. 

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