brings to the forefront the suffering endured by Louisianians during and after the war—hardships more severe than those suffered by the majority of residents in the Confederacy. The wealthiest southern state before the Civil War, Louisiana was the poorest by 1880. Such economic devastation negatively affected most segments of the state’s population, and the fighting that contributed to this financial collapse further fragmented Louisiana’s culturally diverse citizenry. The essays in this book deal with the differing segments of Louisiana’s society and their interactions with one another.
Louisiana was as much a multicultural society during the Civil War as the United States is today. One manner in which this diversity manifested itself was in the turning of neighbor against neighbor. This volume lays the groundwork for demonstrating that strongholds of Unionist sentiment existed beyond the mountainous regions of the Confederacy and, to a lesser extent, that foreigners and African Americans could surpass white, native-born Southerners in their support of the Lost Cause. Some of the essays deal with the attitudes and hardships the war inflicted on different classes of civilians (sugar planters, slaves, Union sympathizers, and urban residents, especially women), while others deal with specific minority groups or with individuals.
Written by leading scholars of Civil War history, Louisianians in the Civil War provides the reader a rich understanding of the complex ordeals of Louisiana and her people. Students, scholars, and the general reader will welcome this fine addition to Civil War studies.