Avenues of Faith documents how religion flourished in southern cities after the turn of the century and how a cadre of clergy and laity created a notably progressive religious culture in Richmond, the bastion of the Old South. Famous as the former capital of the Confederacy, Richmond emerges as a dynamic and growing industrial city invigorated by the social activism of its Protestants.
By examining six mainline white denominations-Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Disciples of Christ, and Lutherans-Samuel C. Shepherd Jr. emphasizes the extent to which the city fostered religious diversity, even as "blind spots" remained in regard to Catholics, African Americans, Mormons, and Jews. Shepherd explores such topics as evangelism, interdenominational cooperation, the temperance campaign, the Sunday school movement, the international peace initiatives, and the expanding role of lay people of both sexes. He also notes the community's widespread rejection of fundamentalism, a religious phenomenon almost automatically associated with the South, and shows how it nurtured social reform to combat a host of urban problems associated with public health, education, housing, women's suffrage, prohibition, children, and prisons.
In lucid prose and with excellent use of primary sources, Shepherd delivers a fresh portrait of Richmond Protestants who embraced change and transformed their community, making it an active, progressive religious center of the New South.
This new book brings to life the material-culture heritage of southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. In Backcountry Makers, Betsy K. White expands on her previous study of the region’s rich decorative arts legacy, Great Road Style, to offer a closer look at the individual artisans responsible for the diverse works that constitute that legacy.
Beautifully illustrated with some 230 photographs, most of them in color, this volume includes biographical sketches of seventy-five makers—potters, weavers, spinners, quilters, embroiderers, cabinetmakers, metalsmiths, clocksmiths, gunsmiths, and artists—who worked in the region from the earliest eighteenth-century settlement days to the late twentieth century. The entry for each artisan is accompanied by one or more images of a signed or marked work, or, in a number of instances, an unmarked work with certain provenance.
These vignettes offer a fascinating glimpse of the people behind the various pieces, describing their background, family life, and where they learned their trade. Using census records and other documentary evidence, White has traced the earliest of these artisans from their origins in such places as Europe and Philadelphia down through the Great Valley of Virginia to their ultimate destinations in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. Along with the photos displaying the products of their craftsmanship, the book also includes a number of evocative images of the artists and their homes and towns, thus giving the reader a fuller sense of the region where these gifted people lived and worked.
One of the few studies to addresses handmade objects in this locale—and one of the even fewer works to focus on the artisans themselves— Backcountry Makers will be of great value not only to scholars of material culture and the arts in Appalachia but also to those who collect regional antiques and crafts and want to know more about the individuals who made them.
Betsy K. White is the author of Great Road Style: The Decorative Arts Legacy of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. Until her retirementin 2008, she was director of the William King Regional Arts Center (now William King Museum) in Abingdon, Virginia.
By the 14th century more than a dozen accretional burial mounds—reaching heights of 12 to 15 feet—marked the floodplains of interior Virginia. Today, none of these mounds built by the nearly forgotten Monacan Indians remain on the landscape, having been removed over the centuries by a variety of natural and cultural causes. This study uses what remains of the mounds—excavated from the 1890s to the 1980s— to gain a new understanding of the Monacans and to gauge their importance in the realm of the late prehistoric period in the Eastern Woodlands.
Based on osteological examinations of dozens of complete skeletons and thousands of isolated bones and bone fragments, this work constructs information on Monacan demography, diet, health, and mortuary ritual in the 10th through the 15th centuries. The results show an overall pattern of stability and local autonomy among the Late Woodland village societies of interior Virginia in which a mixture of maize farming and the collection of wild food resources were successful for more than 600 years.
This book—uniting biological and cultural aspects of the data for a holistic understanding of everyday life in the period—will be of interest to ethnohistorians, osteologists, bioarchaeologists, and anyone studying Late Woodland, Mississippian, and contact periods, as well as middle range societies, in the Eastern Woodlands.
Debra L. Gold is Associate Professor of Anthropology at St. Cloud State University.
"Debra Gold's book represents the first scientific, bioarchaeological study of the mound builder populations in central Virginia and is a welcomed addition to our understanding of health, subsistence, and mortuary practices among Native American groups in the eastern Woodlands."—Southeastern Archaeology
Bleeder: A Memoir
Shelby Smoak Michigan State University Press, 2013 Library of Congress RC642.S66 2013 | Dewey Decimal 616.15720092
I am Caucasian, five foot eleven, have sandy brown hair, blue eyes, and am a tender slip of bone. And I am at the hospital.
A coming-of-age memoir for modern times, Bleeder is the incredibly compelling tale of author Shelby Smoak. A hemophiliac, Smoak discovered he had been infected with HIV during a blood transfusion at the start of his college career. This devastating and destabilizing news led Smoak to see his world from an entirely new perspective, one in which life-threatening illness was perpetually just around the corner. Set in the 1990s along the North Carolina coast, Bleeder traces Smoak’s quest for love in a world that feels increasingly dangerous, and despite a future that feels increasingly uncertain. From the bedroom to the operating room, and from one hospital to the next, Smoak seeks out hope and better health. Winner of a PEN American Center award for writers living with HIV, Smoak, whose work has appeared in numerous journals and magazines, constructs this unforgettable story of life and love against insurmountable difficulties in breathtaking, tightly drawn prose.
Even as the 250th anniversary of its outbreak approaches, the Seven Years' War (otherwise known as the French and Indian War) is still not wholly understood. Most accounts tell the story as a military struggle between British and French forces, with shifting alliances of Indians, culminating in the British conquest of Canada. Scholarly and popular works alike, including James Fennimore Cooper's Last of the Mohicans, focus on the action in the Hudson River Valley and the St. Lawrence Seaway. Matthew C. Ward tells the compelling story of the war from the point of view of the region where it actually began, and whose people felt the devastating effects of war most keenly-the backcountry communities of Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Previous wars in North America had been fought largely on the New England and New York frontiers. But on May 28, 1754, when a young George Washington commanded the first shot fired in western Pennsylvania, fighting spread for the first time to Virginia and Pennsylvania. Ward's original research reveals that on the eve of the Seven Years' War the communities of these colonies were isolated, economically weak, and culturally diverse. He shows in riveting detail how, despite the British empire's triumph, the war brought social chaos, sickness, hunger, punishment, and violence, to the backcountry, much of it at the hands of Indian warriors.
Ward's fresh analysis reveals that Indian raids were not random skirmishes, but part of an organized strategy that included psychological warfare designed to make settlers flee Indian territories. It was the awesome effectiveness of this “guerilla” warfare, Ward argues, that led to the most enduring legacies of the war: Indian-hating and an armed population of colonial settlers, distrustful of the British empire that couldn't protect them. Understanding the horrors of the Seven Years' War as experienced in the backwoods thus provides unique insights into the origins of the American republic.
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.
This work fills a tremendous gap in our available knowledge in a fundamental area of Civil War studies, that of basic quotidian information on the weather in the theater of operations in the vicinity of Washington, DC, and Richmond, Virginia. Krick adds to the daily records kept by amateur meteorologists in these two locations. Anecdotal descriptions of weather found in contemporary soldiers’ dairies and correspondence combines these scattered records into a chronology of weather information that also includes daybreak and sunset times for each day. The information in Civil War Weather in Virginia is indispensable for students of the Civil War in the vital northern Virginia/Maryland theater of operations, and of the effects of weather on military history in general.
The Deer in the Mirror
Cary Holladay The Ohio State University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3558.O347777D44 2013 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
With a song-like voice and deep knowledge of the history and folklore of her native Virginia, Cary Holladay creates dazzling stories of hardship and ecstasy. A young widow romances a German immigrant while weighing a proposal from the colonial governor. Convicted of murdering her master, an enslaved woman is burned at the stake. A breakneck stagecoach ride gives a bricklayer’s apprentice the power to save or destroy his fellow passengers. An aging bachelor despairs of his marriage to a Confederate orphan. A beautiful adventuress joins the 1898 Alaska Gold Rush, charms a violent gangster, and figures out the secret of his fabulous wealth.
This seventh book from an award-winning author spans 300 years in the Old Dominion. Holladay’s people fight the wars, battle the floods, and wrest a living from a wilderness where “Time is God’s, not ours”—so says a reformed prostitute whose obsessive love for an amnesiac Yankee soldier defines her life. With a sensuous, lyrical style, Holladay holds a distinctive place in contemporary fiction.
All of these stories have appeared in major literary journals and anthologies, including Tin House and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best.
In The Divided Dominion, Ethan A. Schmidt examines the social struggle that created Bacon's Rebellion, focusing on the role of class antagonism in fostering violence toward native people in seventeenth-century Virginia. This provocative volume places a dispute among Virginians over the permissibility of eradicating Native Americans for land at the forefront in understanding this pivotal event.
Myriad internal and external factors drove Virginians to interpret their disputes with one another increasingly along class lines. The decades-long tripartite struggle among elite whites, non-elite whites, and Native Americans resulted in the development of mutually beneficial economic and political relationships between elites and Native Americans. When these relationships culminated in the granting of rights—equal to those of non-elite white colonists—to Native Americans, the elites crossed a line and non-elite anger boiled over. A call for the annihilation of all Indians in Virginia united different non-elite white factions and molded them in widespread social rebellion.
The Divided Dominion places Indian policy at the heart of Bacon's Rebellion, revealing the complex mix of social, cultural, and racial forces that collided in Virginia in 1676. This new analysis will interest students and scholars of colonial and Native American history.
When Huston Diehl began teaching a fourth-grade class in a "Negro" elementary school in rural Louisa County, Virginia, the school’s white superintendent assured her that he didn't expect her to teach "those children" anything. She soon discovered how these low expectations, widely shared by the white community, impeded her students' ability to learn. With its overcrowded classrooms, poorly trained teachers, empty bookshelves, and meager supplies, her segregated school was vastly inferior to the county's white elementary schools, and the message it sent her students was clear: "dream not of other worlds."
In her often lyrical memoir, Diehl reveals how, in the intimacy of the classroom, her students reached out to her, a young white northerner, and shared their fears, anxieties, and personal beliefs. Repeatedly surprised and challenged by her students, Diehl questions her long-standing middle-class assumptions and confronts her own prejudices. In doing so, she eloquently reflects on what the students taught her about the hurt of bigotry and the humiliation of poverty as well as dignity, courage, and resiliency.
Set in the waning days of the Jim Crow South, Dream Not of Other Worlds chronicles an important moment in American history. Diehl examines the history of black education in the South and narrates the dramatic struggle to integrate Virginia's public schools. Meeting with some of her former students and colleagues and visiting the school where she once taught, she considers what has--and has not--changed after more than thirty years of integrated schooling. This provocative book raises many issues that are of urgent concern today: the continuing social consequences of segregated schools, the role of public education in American society, and the challenges of educating minority and poor children.
The only comprehensive, up-to-date guide to wineries of the eastern United States!
Look out Napa Valley. From Maine to Virginia, a surprising number of vintners are producing impressive wines worthy of a celebratory toast. Or two.
Once thought to be a region dominated by quaint farm wines, the eastern U.S. now boasts a number of highly coveted wines. Pinot Noirs and Merlots, Rieslings and Gewürztraminers are being bottled all along the Atlantic, so even the most discriminating wine drinker can find something to please the palate.
Here is the only comprehensive, up-to-date directory to nearly 300 wineries across New England and the mid-Atlantic. Wineries in thirteen states are covered: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Invaluable as both a buying and touring guide, East Coast Wineries offers insights into the winemaking world and puts the reviews of the experts at your fingertips. Features include:
A short history of the winery
A listing of wines offered by that winery, plus recommended buys
Reviews by wine experts from major newspapers, magazines, and journals
Directions and hours of operation
A listing of annual wine festivals and other special events
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a beginner, East Coast Wineries is the book to read. Cheers!
An Exploration of the Human Experience in One of the Civil War’s Most Important and Devastating Battles
The Union assault on the critical Confederate stronghold of Fredericksburg, Virginia, along the Rappahannock River in December 1862 was one of the most significant and storied battles of the Civil War. It was fought in order to secure confidence in the North for Lincoln’s administration after 18 months of Confederate victories, Union setbacks, and directionless Northern leadership. The result was a complete and stunning Confederate victory and one of the bloodiest losses for the Union Army. Federal General Ambrose E. Burnside and his Army of the Potomac planned to overrun Fredericksburg and move on to Richmond, the Confederate capital. The opposing general, Robert E. Lee, and his Army of Northern Virginia prepared Fredericksburg’s defense. Thousands of Union troops were able to successfully cross the Rappahannock River despite withering small arms fire and proceeded to brutally sack the city, terrorizing its remaining civilian inhabitants while the Confederates fell back to a line of heights to the west. Burnside soon ordered his generals to attack with the intention of flanking the Confederate defenders. Unable to dislodge or go around the enemy, Burnside was forced to withdraw without a victory after suffering appalling casualties.
In The Fate of War: Fredericksburg, 1862, historian and professional psychologist Duane Schultz uses this key moment in Civil War history to address how soldiers and civilians react to the stress of war. Rather than a traditional military history—and there are a number of excellent accounts of troop movements and strategy at Fredericksburg—The Fate of War explores the human element in battle; the motivations, passions, and emotions of the people who fought on both sides. Using letters, diaries, and memoirs, including those of Clara Barton and Walt Whitman, Schultz reveals what individuals can force themselves to do in the name of duty, patriotism, and dedication to a cause, or the ultimate fear of letting down their friends. Schultz’s account, grounded in careful research, is a record of the triumph and failure, courage and cowardice, compassion and cruelty of the people—the ordinary and high-ranking, soldier and civilian, men and women—who came together one terrible day.
FINDING A CLEAR PATH
JIM MINICK West Virginia University Press, 2006 Library of Congress QH105.V8M53 2005 | Dewey Decimal 508.7569
Finding a Clear Path intertwines literature, agriculture, and ecology as author Jim Minick takes the reader on many journeys, allowing you to float on a pond, fly with a titmouse, gather ginseng, and grow the lowly potato. The reader visits monarch butterflies and morel mushrooms, encountering beavers, black snakes, and bloodroot along the way. Using his background as a blueberry farmer, gardener and naturalist, Minick explores the Appalachian region and also introduces information that can be appreciated from a scientific point of view, explaining, for example, the ears of an owl, or the problems with the typical Christmas tree. Reading this collection of essays invites you to search for ways to better understand and appreciate this marvelous world, opening paths for journeys of your own.
In a series of columns published in the African American newspaper The Christian Recorder, the young, charismatic preacher Henry McNeal Turner described his experience of the Civil War, first from the perspective of a civilian observer in Washington, D.C., and later, as one of the Union army’s first black chaplains.
In the halls of Congress, Turner witnessed the debates surrounding emancipation and black enlistment. As army chaplain, Turner dodged “grape” and cannon, comforted the sick and wounded, and settled disputes between white southerners and their former slaves. He was dismayed by the destruction left by Sherman’s army in the Carolinas, but buoyed by the bravery displayed by black soldiers in battle. After the war ended, he helped establish churches and schools for the freedmen, who previously had been prohibited from attending either.
Throughout his columns, Turner evinces his firm belief in the absolute equality of blacks with whites, and insists on civil rights for all black citizens. In vivid, detailed prose, laced with a combination of trenchant commentary and self-deprecating humor, Turner established himself as more than an observer: he became a distinctive and authoritative voice for the black community, and a leader in the African Methodist Episcopal church. After Reconstruction failed, Turner became disillusioned with the American dream and became a vocal advocate of black emigration to Africa, prefiguring black nationalists such as Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. Here, however, we see Turner’s youthful exuberance and optimism, and his open-eyed wonder at the momentous changes taking place in American society.
Well-known in his day, Turner has been relegated to the fringes of African American history, in large part because neither his views nor the forms in which he expressed them were recognized by either the black or white elite. With an introduction by Jean Lee Cole and a foreword by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, Freedom’s Witness: The Civil War Correspondence of Henry McNeal Turner restores this important figure to the historical and literary record.
Freeing Charles recounts the life and epic rescue of captured fugitive slave Charles Nalle of Culpeper, Virginia, who was forcibly liberated by Harriet Tubman and others in Troy, New York, on April 27, 1860. Scott Christianson follows Nalle from his enslavement by the Hansborough family in Virginia through his escape by the Underground Railroad and his experiences in the North on the eve of the Civil War. This engaging narrative represents the first in-depth historical study of this crucial incident, one of the fiercest anti-slavery riots after Harpers Ferry. Christianson also presents a richly detailed look at slavery culture in antebellum Virginia and probes the deepest political and psychological aspects of this epic tale. His account underscores fundamental questions about racial inequality, the rule of law, civil disobedience, and violent resistance to slavery in the antebellum North and South. As seen in New York Times and on C-Span’s Book TV.
In 1842 Charles Lewis Cocke arrived in Roanoke, Virginia, with sixteen slaves; there, he founded Hollins College, an elite woman's school. Many of the early students also brought their slaves to the college with them. Upon Emancipation some of the African Americans of the community "mostly women" stayed on as servants, forming what is now called the Hollins Community. Although the servants played an integral part in the college's success, students were strongly discouraged from acknowledging them as people. Rules forbidding any "familiarity" with the servants perpetuated a prejudicial attitude toward the African American community that would persist well into the 1940s.
Determined to give voice to the African American community that served as the silent workforce for Hollins College, Ethel Morgan Smith succeeded in finding individuals to step forward and tell their stories. From Whence Cometh My Help examines the dynamics of an institution built on the foundations of slavery and so steeped in tradition that it managed to perpetuate servitude for generations. Interviewing senior community members, Smith gives recognition to the invisible population that provided and continues to provide the labor support for Hollins College for more than 150 years.
Although African American students have been admitted to the college for roughly thirty years, to date only one person from the Hollins Community has graduated from the college. From Whence Cometh My Help explores the subtle and complex relationship between the affluent white world of Hollins College and the proud African American community that has served it since its inception. Interweaving personal observations, historical documents, and poetry throughout a revealing oral history, Smith shares her fascinating discoveries and the challenges involved in telling a story silenced for so long.
George Mercer was a lieutenant and later captain of the First Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, and a land surveyor. He served as agent for the Ohio Company in England. In this book, Lois Mulkearn interprets George Mercer's documents on the activities of the Ohio Company.Through the eyes of Indians, French, and English we see the political and military efforts to control the vast area of the Ohio frontier, and witness treaties signed at Logstown, and those between Pennsylvania and the Weas and Piankashaws in 1740. Among Mercer's other papers are directions for laying out the first British town to be called “Saltsburg” at present day McKees Rocks, outside Pittsburgh. With this extensive collection, Mulkearn enlightens our knowledge of colonial history and the western frontier.
George Washington’s childhood is famously the most elusive part of his life story. For centuries biographers have struggled with a lack of period documentation and an absence of late-in-life reflection in trying to imagine Washington’s formative years.
In George Washington Written upon the Land, Philip Levy explores this most famous of American childhoods through its relationship to the Virginia farm where much of it took place. Using approaches from biography, archaeology, folklore, and studies of landscape and material culture, Levy focuses on how different ideas about Washington’s childhood functioned—what sorts of lessons they sought to teach and how different epochs and writers understood the man and the past itself.
In a suggestive and far-reaching final chapter, Levy argues that Washington was present at the onset of the Anthropocene—the geologic era when human activity began to have a significant impact on world ecosystems. Interpreting Washington’s childhood farm through the lens of “big” history, he encourages scholars to break down boundaries between science and social science and between human and nonhuman.
Herbal and Magical Medicine draws on perspectives from folklore, anthropology, psychology, medicine, and botany to describe the traditional medical beliefs and practices among Native, Anglo- and African Americans in eastern North Carolina and Virginia. In documenting the vitality of such seemingly unusual healing traditions as talking the fire out of burns, wart-curing, blood-stopping, herbal healing, and rootwork, the contributors to this volume demonstrate how the region’s folk medical systems operate in tandem with scientific biomedicine. The authors provide illuminating commentary on the major forms of naturopathic and magico-religious medicine practiced in the United States. Other essays explain the persistence of these traditions in our modern technological society and address the bases of folk medical concepts of illness and treatment and the efficacy of particular pratices. The collection suggests a model for collaborative research on traditional medicine that can be replicated in other parts of the country. An extensive bibliography reveals the scope and variety of research in the field.
Contributors. Karen Baldwin, Richard Blaustein, Linda Camino, Edward M. Croom Jr., David Hufford, James W. Kirland, Peter Lichstein, Holly F. Mathews, Robert Sammons, C. W. Sullivan III
In the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Virginia–North Carolina border, an extraordinarily rich musical heritage survives and flourishes. Even before the legendary Bill Monroe coined the term “bluegrass” in the mid-1950s, the traditional music of this area was coming into its own as a distinctive style. Early performers from the 1920s through the 1950s, many of whom migrated northward during the Great Depression, popularized the music they had grown up hearing, thereby preserving and celebrating the cultural legacy of their home region.
In A Hot-Bed of Musicians, Paula Anderson-Green tells the stories of several of these legendary performers and instrument makers from the Upper New River Valley–Whitetop Mountain region, including Ola Belle Campbell Reed, Albert Hash, and Dave Sturgill. These men and women began to bring the music of Appalachia to a wider audience well before Nashville became the center of country music. Making extensive use of interviews, the book reveals the fascinating experiences and enduring values behind the practice of old-time music. This musical heritage remains an indispensable component of Appalachian culture, and Anderson-Green traces the traditions down to the present generation of musicians there.
Written for anyone with an interest in mountain music, this book focuses on performers from Alleghany and Ashe Counties in North Carolina and Carroll County and Grayson County in Virginia. It includes a comprehensive appendix of place names and music venues as well as annotated lists of musicians and the songs they have performed.
The Author: Paula Hathaway Anderson-Green is an adjunct professor of English at Kennesaw State University and does research in Appalachian studies.
From well-known battlefields, such as Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Appomattox, to lesser-known sites, such as Sinking Spring Cemetery and Rude’s Hill, Sedore leads readers on a vivid journey through Virginia’s Confederate history. Tablets, monoliths, courthouses, cemeteries, town squares, battlefields, and more are cataloged in detail and accompanied by photographs and meticulous commentary. Each entry contains descriptions, fascinating historical information, and location, providing a complete portrait of each site.
Much more than a visual tapestry or a tourist’s handbook, An Illustrated Guide to Virginia’s Confederate Monuments draws on scholarly and field research to reveal these sites as public efforts to reconcile mourning with Southern postwar ideologies. 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. From commemorations of famous generals to memories of unknown soldiers, the dead speak from the pages of this sweeping companion to history.
The Piedmont area of Loudoun and Fauquier Counties, Virginia, near the Maryland border, was hotly contested throughout the Civil War. In the Shadow of the Enemy vividly chronicles one elite woman's experiences on the home front of this dangerous locale.
The mistress of a slave-holding estate, Ida Powell Dulany took over control of the extensive family lands once her husband left to fight for the Confederacy. She struggled to manage slaves, maintain contact with her neighbors, and keep up her morale after her region was abandoned by the Confederate government soon after the beginning of hostilities.
More than just an elegantly written account of her own day-to-day experiences in the Civil War, Ida's journal also shows us much about how her community dealt with extreme conditions. It opens a window into the Southern culture of the time, demonstrating the importance of community, the locals' unwavering faith in God and the righteousness of the Confederate cause, and their universal demonizing of Union soldiers. On a personal level, Ida's writings reveal a courageous woman who, despite her vulnerability and isolation, refused to be intimidated in numerous confrontations with Union soldiers.
The editors' introduction explains how Ida's background shaped her and discusses her marriage to Hal Dulany, which was an atypical relationship for the time-one in which Hal viewed Ida as an intelligent partner. They also provide a brief overview of the relevant military history, including an examination of the role of the “Gray Ghost,” John S. Mosby, in the area. To put Ida's writings into further context, the editors have interspersed helpful timelines throughout the diary, highlighting the key events that occurred over the course of the larger conflict.
A fascinating addition to the Voices of the Civil War series, this new book is sure to appeal not only to scholars and students of the era but also to women's history specialists, genealogists, and local historians.
Mary Le Jeune Mackall spent her early years at Blenheim, a pre-Revolutionary farm near Charlottesville, which inspired her lifelong interest in Virginia history. She and her husband divide their time between Alexandria and Selby, the family farm in Fauquier County, Virginia, where they are engaged in planting native grasses, restoring streams, and operating an environmentally sensitive farming operation.
Stevan F. Meserve has written extensively for several Civil War publications, including North and South, Civil War Magazine, and Civil War News. He is the author of The Civil War in Loudoun County, Virginia: A History of Hard Times.
Anne Mackall Sasscer grew up on Selby, a family farm near The Plains, Virginia, the home of Ida Powell Dulany's youngest daughter. She writes family history and genealogy for her children and seven grandchildren. She is a strong believer in Historic Preservation and has worked on projects including the restoration of historic Trinity Episcopal Church in Upper Marlboro, Maryland and the restoration of a family house in the old village of Marlboro where she and her husband are living.
"For students of race and culture, this book contains vital information and analysis on the origins
of a multicultural society. . . . Lindsey shows the complicated way that one black institution,
while still under white control, devised to manage the education and socialization of African and
Native American students, not for their needs but in the interests of the broader Anglo-American
society." -- American Historical Review
Britain's Attempt to Subdue Virginia and End the Revolution
The American War for Independence was fought in nearly every colony, but some colonies witnessed far more conflict than others. In the first half of the war, the bulk of military operations were concentrated in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. A shift in British strategy southward after the Battle of Monmouth in 1778 triggered numerous military engagements in 1779 and 1780 in Georgia and the Carolinas.Surprisingly, Virginia, the largest of the original thirteen colonies, saw relatively little fighting for the first six years of the Revolutionary War. This changed in 1781 when British and American forces converged on Virginia. The war’s arrival did not result from one particular decision or event, but rather, a series of incidents and battles beginning in the fall of 1780 at Kings Mountain, South Carolina.
Benedict Arnold’s sudden appearance in Virginia in early 1781 with 1,600 seasoned British troops and his successful raid up the James River to Richmond and subsequent occupation of Portsmouth, demonstrated Virginia’s vulnerability to attack and the possibility that the colonies could be divided and subdued piecemeal, a strategy Britain had attempted to deploy several times earlier in the war. British General Henry Clinton’s decision to reinforce Arnold in Virginia expanded Britain’s hold on the colony while events in North Carolina, including the battle of Guilford Court House, led British General Charles Cornwallis to conclude that defeating the Patriots in Virginia was the key to ending the war. As a result, Cornwallis marched his army north in May 1781 to assume command of what was now a very powerful British force of over 7,000 troops. The war had returned to Virginia with a vengeance, and how it did so and what happened as a result is the focus of The Invasion of Virginia 1781.
Barbour, a Virginia contemporary of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, during a long public career spanning the years 1798-1842, exerted a constructive influence on the nation’s history. Active in state and national politics during the formative decades of the republic, Barbour was a political nationalist who grafted to the dominant political philosophy of the day those elements of the Hamiltonian Federalist creed necessary for governing a dynamic, changing nation.
Barbour’s life affords a unique vantage point for viewing party politics in the South and the nation during the Jeffersonian and Jacksonian periods, for understanding Jeffersonian Republicanism, and for comprehending the difficulties a Southern agrarian had in embracing the economic and political realities at the dawn of the modern commercial age.
The Jamestown Project
Karen Ordahl Kupperman Harvard University Press, 2007 Library of Congress F234.J3K87 2007 | Dewey Decimal 973.21
Listen to a short interview with Karen Ordahl Kupperman
Host: Chris Gondek | Producer: Heron & Crane
Captain John Smith's 1607 voyage to Jamestown was not his first trip abroad. He had traveled throughout Europe, been sold as a war captive in Turkey, escaped, and returned to England in time to join the Virginia Company's colonizing project. In Jamestown migrants, merchants, and soldiers who had also sailed to the distant shores of the Ottoman Empire, Africa, and Ireland in search of new beginnings encountered Indians who already possessed broad understanding of Europeans. Experience of foreign environments and cultures had sharpened survival instincts on all sides and aroused challenging questions about human nature and its potential for transformation.
It is against this enlarged temporal and geographic background that Jamestown dramatically emerges in Karen Kupperman's breathtaking study. Reconfiguring the national myth of Jamestown's failure, she shows how the settlement's distinctly messy first decade actually represents a period of ferment in which individuals were learning how to make a colony work. Despite the settlers' dependence on the Chesapeake Algonquians and strained relations with their London backers, they forged a tenacious colony that survived where others had failed. Indeed, the structures and practices that evolved through trial and error in Virginia would become the model for all successful English colonies, including Plymouth.
Capturing England's intoxication with a wider world through ballads, plays, and paintings, and the stark reality of Jamestown--for Indians and Europeans alike--through the words of its inhabitants as well as archeological and environmental evidence, Kupperman re-creates these formative years with astonishing detail.
JOHN BROWN'S TRIAL
Brian McGinty Harvard University Press, 2009 Library of Congress KF223.B765M34 2009 | Dewey Decimal 973.7116
Mixing idealism with violence, abolitionist John Brown cut a wide swath across the United States before winding up in Virginia, where he led an attack on the U.S. armory and arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Supported by a "provisional army" of 21 men, Brown hoped to rouse the slaves in Virginia to rebellion. But he was quickly captured and, after a short but stormy trial, hanged on December 2, 1859. Brian McGinty provides the first comprehensive account of the trial, which raised important questions about jurisdiction, judicial fairness, and the nature of treason under the American constitutional system.
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.
Offering a fascinating look at an ordinary soldier's struggle to survive not only the horrors of combat but also the unrelenting hardship of camp life, Lee and Jackson's Bloody Twelfth brings together for the first time the extant correspondence of Confederate lieutenant Irby Goodwin Scott, who served in the hard-fighting Twelfth Georgia Infantry.
The collection begins with Scott's first letter home from Richmond, Virginia, in June 1861, and ends with his last letter to his father in February 1865. Scott miraculously completed the journey from naïve recruit to hardened veteran while seeing action in many of the Eastern Theater's most important campaigns: the Shenandoah Valley, the Peninsula, Second Manassas, and Gettysburg. His writings brim with vivid descriptions of the men's activities in camp, on the march, and in battle. Particularly revelatory are the details the letters provide about the relationship between Scott and his two African American body servants, whom he wrote about with great affection. And in addition to maps, photographs, and a roster of Scott's unit, the book also features an insightful introduction by editor Johnnie Perry Pearson, who highlights the key themes found throughout the correspondence.
By illuminating in depth how one young Confederate stood up to the physical and emotional duress of war, the book stands as a poignant tribute to the ways in which all ordinary Civil War soldiers, whether fighting for the South or the North, sacrificed, suffered, and endured.
Johnnie Perry Pearson is a retired state service officer formerly with the North Carolina Division of Veteran Affairs. He served as an infantry platoon sergeant during the Vietnam War and lives in Hickory, North Carolina.
“These poignant letters provide readers with a rich portrait of Parker, a thoughtful, caring young Virginian concerned about his family and farm, but also torn by his sense of loyalty to the Confederacy. Anyone reading just a few of Parker's letters will see the undeniable tie between the homefront and battlefront, the tie between a soldier's duty and his family.” -Lesley J. Gordon, co-editor, Inside the Confederate Nation: Essays in Honor of Emory M. Thomas
The letters assembled in this extraordinarily rich collection were written by Robert W. Parker, an enlisted Confederate cavalryman who is thought to have been the last man killed in action in the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. He is representative of the Confederate Everyman: a modest farmer in the antebellum years, his patriotic fervor spurred him at the beginning of the war to enlist in the Confederate Army, in which he served until his death during the last charge at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
Parker fought in most of the major campaigns in Virginia, including the 1862 Valley Campaign, the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, the 1863 Maryland Campaign, and the 1864 Overland Campaign. In letters to his wife Rebecca back home in Bedford County, Virginia, Parker described his life as an enlisted soldier in the Second Regiment Virginia Cavalry. His letters reveal how local communities worked together to provide the necessary stuff of war to soldiers, from food and clothing to moral support. They also show the importance of correspondence and religion in sustaining Confederate morale and nationalism.
Catherine Wright provides a valuable introduction that illuminates not only these particular letters but also the many roles of correspondence during the Civil War. She points out how women-in this case, Parker's wife and his mother-made sure that men in the ranks understood that more than politics or manly honor was at stake in fighting the Yankees. Parker believed that the war was a supreme test in which God would look deep into the souls of Northerners and Southerners. His private beliefs informed his public views on how Southerners should act as citizens of a Confederate nation. People of all classes, Parker reasoned, had to give themselves to country and to God if Southern armies were to succeed on the battlefield. Parker's steadfastness was surely due in part to the words of his family, who instilled in him “just cause” to continue fighting.
Anyone with an interest in how a typical soldier experienced the Civil War will find these letters both absorbing and enlightening.
Catherine M. Wright is a collections manager at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. She was formerly a curator at the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, Virginia.
This volume in the Living with the Shore series provides practical and specific information on the status of the nation's coast and useful guidelines that enable residents, visitors, and investors to live with and enjoy the shore without costly and futile struggles against the forces of nature.
Lowest White Boy
Greg Bottoms West Virginia University Press, 2019 Library of Congress F234.H23B67 2019 | Dewey Decimal 305.800975541209
An innovative, hybrid work of literary nonfiction, Lowest White Boy takes its title from Lyndon Johnson’s observation during the civil rights era: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket.”
Greg Bottoms writes about growing up white and working class in Tidewater, Virginia, during school desegregation in the 1970s. He offers brief stories that accumulate to reveal the everyday experience of living inside complex, systematic racism that is often invisible to economically and politically disenfranchised white southerners—people who have benefitted from racism in material ways while being damaged by it, he suggests, psychologically and spiritually. Placing personal memories against a backdrop of documentary photography, social history, and cultural critique, Lowest White Boy explores normalized racial animus and reactionary white identity politics, particularly as these are collected and processed in the mind of a child.
In 1905, the sociologist James Cutler observed, "It has been said that our country's national crime is lynching." If lynching was a national crime, it was a southern obsession. Based on an analysis of nearly six hundred lynchings, this volume offers a new, full appraisal of the complex character of lynching. In Virginia, the southern state with the fewest lynchings W. Fitzhugh Brundage found that conditions did not breed endemic mob violence. The character of white domination in Georgia, however, was symbolized by nearly fie hundred lynchings and became the measure of race relations in the Deep South. By focusing on these two states, Brundage addresses three central questions ignored by precious studies: How can the variation in lynching over space and time be explained? To what extent was lynching a social ritual that affirmed traditional values? What were the causes of the decline of lynching?
The book's multidisciplinary approach and the significant issues it addresses will interest historians of African-American history, the South, and American violence. At the same time, it will remind a more general audience of a tradition of violence that poisoned American life, and especially southern life.
Markings on Earth
Karenne Wood University of Arizona Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS3623.O63M37 2001 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
“Ten thousand years of history, and we find the remains
of ancestors removed from their burial mound . . . “
Impressions of the past, markings on earth, are part of the world of Karenne Wood. A member of the Monacan tribe of Virginia, she writes with insight and grace on topics that both reflect and extend her Native heritage.
Markings on Earth is a cyclical work that explores the many dimensions of human experience, from our interaction with the environment to personal relationships. In these pages we relive the arrival of John Smith in America and visit the burial mounds of the Monacan people, experience the flight of the great blue heron and witness the dance of the spider. We also share the personal journey of one individual who seeks to overcome her sense of alienation from her people and her past.
Wood’s palette is not only Nature but human nature as well. She writes pointedly about shameful episodes of American history, such as the devastation of Appalachia by mining companies and the “disappearance” of Indian peoples. She also addresses forms of everyday violence known to many of us, such as alcoholism and sexual abuse. Wood conveys an acceptance of history and personal trauma, but she finds redemption in a return to tradition and a perception of the world’s natural grace.
Through these elegantly crafted words, we come to know that Native writers need not be limited to categorical roles determined by their heritage. Markings on Earth displays a fidelity to human experience, evoking that experience through poems honed to perfection. It is an affirmation of survival, a work that suggests one person’s life cannot be separated from the larger story of its community, its rootedness in history, and its timeless connections to the world.
“William Wilson Chamberlaine’s Memoirs of the Civil War, though relatively little known because of its rarity in the original edition, contains much valuable information and engaging narrative passages. A Virginian whose Confederate career included service in an infantry regiment early in the war, Chamberlaine’s most important military service was as a staff officer attached to Brigadier General Reuben Lindsay Walker, who commanded the Third Corps artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia. His book includes excellent material on the duties of staff officers, operation of Confederate conscription, and the role of artillery in Lee’s campaigns. He is especially eloquent and revealing about a number of famous battles: the Seven Days; Antietam, where Chamberlaine distinguished himself and was wounded; and the Wilderness, where he had a memorable encounter with Lee.
“Never before reprinted, Memoirs of the Civil War benefits greatly from a perceptive introduction by Robert E. L. Krick. Its intrinsic merits should earn attention from readers interested in the storied operations of the Army of Northern Virginia.”
The contemporary Monacan Nation had approximately 1,400 registered members in 2006, mostly living in and around Lynchburg, Virginia, in Amherst County, but some are scattered like any other large family. Records trace the Monacans of Virginia back to the late 1500s, with an estimated population of over 15,000 in the 1700s.
Like members of some other native tribes, the Monacans have a long history of struggles for equality in jobs, health care, and education and have suffered cultural, political, and social abuse at the hands of authority figures appointed to serve them. The critical difference for the Monacans was the actions of segregationist Dr. Walter A. Plecker, Director of the Bureau of Vital Statistics from 1912 until he retired at age 85 in 1946. A strong proponent and enforcer of Virginia’s Racial Integrity Law of 1924 (struck down in 1967), which prohibited marriage between races, Plecker’s interpretation of that law convinced him that there were only two races–white and colored–and anyone not bearing physically white genetic characteristics was “colored” and that included Indians. He would not let Indians get married in Virginia unless they applied as white or colored, he forced the local teachers to falsify the students’ race on the official school rolls, and he threatened court clerks and census takers with prosecution if they used the term “Indian” on any official form. He personally changed government records when his directives were not followed and even coerced postpartum Indian mothers to list their newborns as white or colored or they could not take their infants home from the hospital. Eventually the federal government intervened, directing the Virginia state officials to begin the tedious process of correcting official records. Yet the legacy of Plecker’s attempted cultural genocide remains. Through interviews with 26 Monacans, one Episcopal minister appointed to serve them, one former clerk of the court for Amherst County, and her own story, Whitlock provides first person accounts of what happened to the Monacan families and how their very existence as Indians was threatened.
She was the daughter of a circuit judge and state senator. He was the youngest son of Virginia’s Civil War governor and was a state legislator himself at the age of nineteen. Their courtship and marriage stands as a portrait of a bygone way of life unique to the American South during the first half of the twentieth century. My Dearest Angel is their story, told through their faithful correspondence over the course of their fifty years together.
Piecing together the voluminous letters, their granddaughter, noted author Katie Letcher Lyle, has succeeded in giving us an intimate panorama of the full and oftentimes wrenching lives led by Greenlee and Katie Letcher. Domestic life, family secrets, and visiting luminaries are part of their story. But the abiding appeal of My Dearest Angel is the maturation of a lifelong relationship built on the crest of a changing world.
Armed with only early boyhood memories, Lawrence P. Jackson begins his quest by setting out from his home in Baltimore for Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to try to find his late grandfather’s old home by the railroad tracks in Blairs. My Father’s Name tells the tale of the ensuing journey, at once a detective story and a moving historical memoir, uncovering the mixture of anguish and fulfillment that accompanies a venture into the ancestral past, specifically one tied to the history of slavery.
After asking around in Pittsylvania County and carefully putting the pieces together, Jackson finds himself in the house of distant relations. In the pages that follow, he becomes increasingly absorbed by the search for his ancestors and increasingly aware of how few generations an African American needs to map back in order to arrive at slavery, “a door of no return.” Ultimately, Jackson’s dogged research in libraries, census records, and courthouse registries enables him to trace his family to his grandfather’s grandfather, a man who was born or sold into slavery but who, when Federal troops abandoned the South in 1877, was able to buy forty acres of land. In this intimate study of a black Virginia family and neighborhood, Jackson vividly reconstructs moments in the lives of his father’s grandfather, Edward Jackson, and great-grandfather, Granville Hundley, and gives life to revealing narratives of Pittsylvania County, recalling both the horror of slavery and the later struggles of postbellum freedom. My Father’s Name is a family story full of twists and turns—and one of haunting familiarity to many Americans, who may question whether the promises of emancipation have ever truly been fulfilled. It is also a resolute look at the duties that come with reclaiming and honoring Americans who survived slavery and a thoughtful meditation on its painful and enduring history.
Never Seen the Moon carefully yet lucidly recreates a young woman's wild ride through the American legal system. In 1935, free-spirited young teacher Edith Maxwell and her mother were indicted for murdering Edith's conservative and domineering father, Trigg, late one July night in their Wise County, Virginia, home. Edith claimed her father had tried to whip her for staying out late. She said that she had defended herself by striking back with a high-heeled shoe, thus earning herself the sobriquet "slipper slayer."
Immediately granted celebrity status by the powerful Hearst press, Maxwell was also championed as a martyr by advocates of women's causes. National news magazines and even detective magazines picked up her story, Warner Brothers created a screen version, and Eleanor Roosevelt helped secure her early release from prison. Sharon Hatfield's brilliant telling of this true-crime story transforms a dusty piece of history into a vibrant thriller. Throughout the narrative, she discusses yellow journalism, the inequities of the jury system, class and gender tensions in a developing region, and a woman's right to defend herself from family violence.
Since arriving nearly 250 years ago in Franklin County, Virginia, German Baptists have maintained their faith and farms by relying on their tightly knit community for spiritual and economic support. Today, with their land and livelihoods threatened by the encroachment of neighboring communities, the construction of a new highway, and competition from corporate megafarms, the German Baptists find themselves forced to adjust.
Charles D. Thompson Jr.'s The Old German Baptist Brethren combines oral history with ethnography and archival research--as well as his own family ties to the Franklin County community--to tell the story of the Brethren's faith on the cusp of impending change. The book traces the transformation of their operations from frontier subsistence farms to cash-based enterprises, connecting this with the wider confluence of agriculture and faith in colonial America. Using extensive interviews, Thompson looks behind the scenes at how individuals interpret their own futures in farming, their hope for their faith, and how the failure of religiously motivated agriculture figures in the larger story of the American farmer.
Oy Pioneer!: A Novel
Marleen S. Barr University of Wisconsin Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3602.A836O9 2003 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
What would happen if a feminist Jewish wit and scholar invaded David Lodge’s territory? Marleen S. Barr, herself a pioneer in the feminist criticism of science fiction, provides a giddily entertaining answer in this feisty novel. Oy Pioneer! follows professor Sondra Lear as she makes her inimitable way through a world of learning—at times fantastic, at times all too familiar, often hilarious, and always compulsively interesting.
As if Mel Brooks and Erica Jong had joined forces to recreate Sex and the City for the intellectual set, the story is a heady mix of Jewish humor, feminist insight, and academic satire. Lear is a tenured radical and a wildly ambitious intellectual, but is subject nonetheless to the husband-hunting imperatives of her Jewish mother. Her adventures expand narrative parameters according to Barr’s term "genre fission."
Mixing elements of science fiction, fantasy, ethnic comedy, satire, and authentic experience of academic life, Oy Pioneer! is uncommonly fun—a Jewish feminist scholar’s imaginative text boldly going where no academic satire has gone before—and bringing readers along for an exhilarating ride.
The Perils and Prospects of Southern Black Leadership fills an important gap in uncovering the history of southern black leaders between the death of Booker T. Washington and the rise of Martin Luther King, Jr. Originally published to critical acclaim in 1977 (Duke University Press), and now available in paperback with a new preface by the author, this book provides an intellectual biography of Gordon Blaine Hancock, a Virginia educator, journalist, and minister whose writings and speeches on race relations were widely influential in the South in the thirty years prior to the Brown decision of 1954. In showing how Hancock faced his generation's main dilemma—how to end Jim Crow and ensure integration without abandoning ideals of black identity, independence, and solidarity—Raymond Gavins's biography illuminates the history of African Americans and race relations in America.
William S. Belko’s Philip Pendleton Barbour in Jacksonian America provides the first comprehensive biography of a pivotal yet nearly forgotten statesman who made numerous key contributions to a transformative period of early American history.
Barbour, a Virginia lawyer, participated in America’s transition from a mostly republican government to a truer majority democracy, notably while serving as the twelfth Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and later as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. After being elected to the US Congress during the War of 1812, Barbour also emerged as one of the foremost champions of states’ rights, consistently and energetically fighting against expansions of federal powers. He, along with other Jeffersonian Old Republicans, opposed federal plans for a national tariff and internal improvements. Later, Barbour became one of the first Jeffersonian politicians to join the Jacksonian Democrats in Jackson’s war against a national bank.
Barbour continued to make crucial strides in support of states’ rights after taking his seat on the United States Supreme Court in 1836 under Chief Justice Roger Taney. He contributed to the Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge and Briscoe v. Bank of Kentucky decisions, which bolstered states’ rights. He also delivered the opinion of the court in New York v. Miln, which provided the basis for the State Police Powers Doctrine.
Expertly interweaving biography, history, political science, and jurisprudence, Philip Pendleton Barbour in Jacksonian America remembers the man whose personal life and career were emblematic of the decades in which the United States moved from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Jackson, contributing to developments that continue to animate American politics today.
The Politics of Mourning
Micki McElya Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress F234.A7M35 2016 | Dewey Decimal 975.5295
Arlington National Cemetery is America’s most sacred shrine, a destination for four million visitors who each year tour its grounds and honor those buried there. For many, Arlington’s symbolic importance places it beyond politics. Yet as Micki McElya shows, no site in the United States plays a more political role in shaping national identity.
With the increasing demand for midwives, activists are lobbying to loosen restrictions that deny legal access to homebirth options. In Pushing for Midwives, Christa Craven presents a nuanced history of women’s reproductive rights activism in the U.S. She also provides an examination of contemporary organizing strategies for reproductive rights in an era increasingly driven by “consumer rights.”
An historical and ethnographic case study of grassroots organizing, Pushing for Midwives is an in-depth look at the strategies, successes, and challenges facing midwifery activists in Virginia. Craven examines how decades-old race and class prejudices against midwives continue to impact opposition to—as well as divisions within—women’s contemporary legislative efforts for midwives. By placing the midwifery struggle within a broader reproductive rights context, Pushing for Midwives encourages activists to reconsider how certain political strategies have the potential to divide women. This reflection is crucial in the wake of neoliberal political-economic shifts that have prioritized the rights of consumers over those of citizens—particularly if activists hope to maintain their commitment to expanding reproductive rights for all women.
Finalist for the 2007 John Gardner Award for Fiction
In these stories of magic and memory, clustered around a resort hotel in a small Virginia community, Cary Holladay takes the reader on an excursion through the changes wrought by time on the community and its visitors. From the quiet of a rural forest to the rhythms of rock and roll, The Quick-Change Artist is at once whimsical and hard-edged, dizzying in its matter-of-fact delivery of the fantastic.
Romance, a sense of place and belonging, and the supernatural—especially in the lives of children coming of age—offer windows into worlds beyond the ordinary throughout The Quick-Change Artist. In the title story, a young chambermaid is in love with a foreign magician who performs at the hotel where she works. In “Heaven,” set during the 1918 flu epidemic, a struggling mother and son rely on the support of their fortune-telling plow horse. The narrator of “Jane's Hat” recalls a childhood enlivened by an unusual school principal and a friend who starts finding beauty everywhere.
Horses and the people who love them, wanderers and those who feed them, creatures that disappear and those who search for them: these are stories with a constant heart.
In the expansive canon of Civil War memoirs, relatively few accounts from women exist. Among the most engaging and informative of these rare female perspectives is Constance Cary Harrison’s Recollections Grave and Gay, a lively, first-person account of the collapse of the Confederacy by the wife of President Jefferson Davis’s private secretary. Although equal in literary merit to the well-known and widely available diaries of Mary Boykin Chesnut and Eliza Frances Andrews, Harrison’s memoir failed to remain in print after its original publication in 1916 and, as a result, has been lost to all but the most diligent researcher. In Refugitta of Richmond, Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr. and S. Kittrell Rushing resurrect Harrison’s work, reintroducing an especially insightful perspective on the Southern high command, the home front, and the Confederate elite.
Born into an old, aristocratic Virginia family in 1843, Constance Cary fled with her family from their estate near Alexandria, Virginia, to Richmond in 1862. There, the nineteen-year-old met Burton Norvell Harrison, a young math professor from the University of Mississippi who had come to the Confederate capital to work for Davis. The pair soon became engaged and joined the inner circle of military, political, and social leaders at the Confederate White House. Under the pen name “Refugitta,” Constance also wrote newspaper columns about the war and became a respected member of Richmond’s literary community.
Fifty years later, Constance used her wartime diaries and letters to pen her recollections of her years in Richmond and of the confusing months immediately after the war. She offers lucid, insightful, and detailed observations of the Confederate home front even as she reflects on the racial and class biases characteristic of her time and station. With an informative introduction and thorough annotations by Hughes and Rushing, Refugitta of Richmond provides a highly readable, often amusing, occasionally troubling insider’s look at the Confederate nerve center and its ultimate demise.
Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes Jr. is the author or editor of twenty books relating to the American Civil War, including The Life and Wars of Gideon J. Pillow; Brigadier General Tyree H. Bell, C.S.A.: Forrest’s Fighting Lieutenant; and Yale’s Confederates.
S. Kittrell Rushing, Frank McDonald Professor of History at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, is the editor of Eliza Frances Andrews’s A Family Secret and Journal of a Georgia Woman, 1870–1872. Rushing also edited and annotated Judge Garnett Andrews’s Reminiscences of an Old Georgia Lawyer.
Many localities in America resisted integration in the aftermath of the Brown v. Board of Education rulings (1954, 1955). Virginia’s Prince Edward County stands as perhaps the most extreme. Rather than fund integrated schools, the county’s board of supervisors closed public schools from 1959 until 1964. The only formal education available for those locked out of school came in 1963 when the combined efforts of Prince Edward’s African American community and aides from President John F. Kennedy’s administration established the Prince Edward County Free School Association (Free School). This temporary school system would serve just over 1,500 students, both black and white, aged 6 through 23.
Drawing upon extensive archival research, Resisting Brown presents the Free School as a site in which important rhetorical work took place. Candace Epps-Robertson analyzes public discourse that supported the school closures as an effort and manifestation of citizenship and demonstrates how the establishment of the Free School can be seen as a rhetorical response to white supremacist ideologies. The school’s mission statements, philosophies, and commitment to literacy served as arguments against racialized constructions of citizenship. Prince Edward County stands as a microcosm of America’s struggle with race, literacy, and citizenship.
Richmond’s Priests and Prophets examines Richmond, Virginia, during the 1940s and 1950s, exploring the ways in which white Christian leaders navigated the shifting legal and political battles around desegregation even as members of their congregations struggled with their own understanding of a segregated society.
Douglas E. Thompson’s Richmond’s Priests and Prophets: Race, Religion, and Social Change in the Civil Rights Era presents a compelling study of religious leaders’ impact on the political progression of Richmond, Virginia, during the time of desegregation. Scrutinizing this city as an entry point into white Christians’ struggles with segregation during the 1950s, Thompson analyzes the internal tensions between ministers, the members of their churches, and an evolving world.
In the mid-twentieth-century American South, white Christians were challenged repeatedly by new ideas and social criteria. Neighborhood demographics were shifting, public schools were beginning to integrate, and ministers’ influence was expanding. Although many pastors supported the transition into desegregated society, the social pressure to keep life divided along racial lines placed Richmond’s ministers on a collision course with forces inside their own congregations. Thompson reveals that, to navigate the ideals of Christianity within a complex historical setting, white religious leaders adopted priestly and prophetic roles.
Moreover, the author argues that, until now, the historiography has not viewed white Christian churches with the nuance necessary to understand their diverse reactions to desegregation. His approach reveals the ways in which desegregationists attempted to change their communities’ minds, while also demonstrating why change came so slowly—highlighting the deeply emotional and intellectual dilemma of many southerners whose worldview was fundamentally structured by race and class hierarchies.
This 1910 study of sectionalism in Virginia illustrates how the east and west of Virginia were destined to separate into two states. Barbara Rasmussen, professor of Public History and Director of Cultural Resource Management at West Virginia University writes a new introduction to Sectionalism in Virginia, setting Ambler’s classic grand achievement into the context of its production by creating an historical process for studying West Virginia history.
This book is the first anthology of the autobiographical writings of Peter Randolph, a prominent nineteenth-century former slave who became a black abolitionist, pastor, and community leader.
Randolph’s story is unique because he was freed and relocated from Virginia to Boston, along with his entire plantation cohort. A lawsuit launched by Randolph against his former master’s estate left legal documents that corroborate his autobiographies.
Randolph's writings give us a window into a different experience of slavery and freedom than other narratives currently available and will be of interest to students and scholars of African American literature, history, and religious studies, as well as those with an interest in Virginia history and mid-Atlantic slavery.
"Obscured from our view of slaves and masters in America is a critical third party: the state, with its coercive power. This book completes the grim picture of slavery by showing us the origins, the nature, and the extent of slave patrols in Virginia and the Carolinas from the late seventeenth century through the end of the Civil War. Here we see how the patrols, formed by county courts and state militias, were the closest enforcers of codes governing slaves throughout the South.
Mining a variety of sources, Sally Hadden presents the views of both patrollers and slaves as she depicts the patrols, composed of “respectable” members of society as well as poor whites, often mounted and armed with whips and guns, exerting a brutal and archaic brand of racial control inextricably linked to post–Civil War vigilantism and the Ku Klux Klan. City councils also used patrollers before the war, and police forces afterward, to impose their version of race relations across the South, making the entire region, not just plantations, an armed camp where slave workers were controlled through terror and brutality."
In 1853, Eyre Crowe, a young British artist, visited a slave auction in Richmond, Virginia. Harrowed by what he witnessed, he captured the scene in sketches that he would later develop into a series of illustrations and paintings, including the culminating painting, Slaves Waiting for Sale, Richmond, Virginia.
This innovative book uses Crowe’s paintings to explore the texture of the slave trade in Richmond, Charleston, and New Orleans, the evolving iconography of abolitionist art, and the role of visual culture in the transatlantic world of abolitionism. Tracing Crowe’s trajectory from Richmond across the American South and back to London—where his paintings were exhibited just a few weeks after the start of the Civil War—Maurie D. McInnis illuminates not only how his abolitionist art was inspired and made, but also how it influenced the international public’s grasp of slavery in America. With almost 140 illustrations, Slaves Waiting for Sale brings a fresh perspective to the American slave trade and abolitionism as we enter the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
In 1959, Virginia’s Prince Edward County closed its public schools rather than obey a court order to desegregate. For five years, black children were left to fend for themselves while the courts decided if the county could continue to deny its citizens public education. Investigating this remarkable and nearly forgotten story of local, state, and federal political confrontation, Christopher Bonastia recounts the test of wills that pitted resolute African Americans against equally steadfast white segregationists in a battle over the future of public education in America.
Beginning in 1951 when black high school students protested unequal facilities and continuing through the return of whites to public schools in the 1970s and 1980s, Bonastia describes the struggle over education during the civil rights era and the human suffering that came with it, as well as the inspiring determination of black residents to see justice served. Artfully exploring the lessons of the Prince Edward saga, Southern Stalemate unearths new insights about the evolution of modern conservatism and the politics of race in America.
A close study of one region of Appalachia that experienced economic vitality and strong sectionalism before the Civil War.
This book examines the construction of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad through southwest Virginia in the 1850s, before the Civil War began. The building and operation of the railroad reoriented the economy of the region toward staple crops and slave labor. Thus, during the secession crisis, southwest Virginia broke with northwestern Virginia and embraced the Confederacy. Ironically, however, it was the railroad that brought waves of Union raiders to the area during the war
This remarkable biography and edited diary tell the story of William Ellis Jones (1838–1910), an artillerist in Crenshaw’s Battery, Pegram’s Battalion, the Army of Northern Virginia. One of the few extant diaries by a Confederate artillerist, Jones’s articulate writings cover camp life as well as many of the key military events of 1862, including the Peninsula Campaign, the Second Battle of Manassas, the Maryland Campaign, and the Battle of Fredericksburg.
In 1865 Jones returned to his prewar printing trade in Richmond, and his lasting reputation stems from his namesake publishing company’s role in the creation and dissemination of much of the Lost Cause ideology. Unlike the pro-Confederate books and pamphlets Jones published—primary among them the Southern Historical Society Papers—his diary shows the mindset of an unenthusiastic soldier. In a model of contextualization, Constance Hall Jones shows how her ancestor came to embrace an uncritical veneration of the army’s leadership and to promulgate a mythology created by veterans and their descendants who refused to face the amorality of their cause.
Jones brackets the soldier’s diary with rich, biographical detail, profiling his friends and relatives and providing insight into his childhood and post-war years. In doing so, she offers one of the first serious investigations into the experience of a Welsh immigrant family loyal to the Confederacy and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Civil War–era Richmond and the nineteenth-century publishing industry. Invitingly written, The Spirits of Bad Men Made Perfect is an engaging life-and-times story that will appeal to historians and general readers alike.
Spirits of Just Men tells the story of moonshine in 1930s America, as seen through the remarkable location of Franklin County, Virginia, a place that many still refer to as the "moonshine capital of the world." Charles D. Thompson Jr. chronicles the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935, which made national news and exposed the far-reaching and pervasive tendrils of Appalachia's local moonshine economy. Thompson, whose ancestors were involved in the area's moonshine trade and trial as well as local law enforcement, uses the event as a stepping-off point to explore Blue Ridge Mountain culture, economy, and political engagement in the 1930s. Drawing from extensive oral histories and local archival material, he illustrates how the moonshine trade was a rational and savvy choice for struggling farmers and community members during the Great Depression.
Local characters come alive through this richly colorful narrative, including the stories of Miss Ora Harrison, a key witness for the defense and an Episcopalian missionary to the region, and Elder Goode Hash, an itinerant Primitive Baptist preacher and juror in a related murder trial. Considering the complex interactions of religion, economics, local history, Appalachian culture, and immigration, Thompson's sensitive analysis examines the people and processes involved in turning a basic agricultural commodity into such a sought-after and essentially American spirit.
Washington, DC, stands at the epicenter of world espionage. Mapping this history from the halls of government to tranquil suburban neighborhoods reveals scoresof dead drops, covert meeting places, and secret facilities—a constellation ofclandestine sites unknown to even the most avid history buffs. Until now.
Spy Sites of Washington, DC traces more than two centuries of secret history from the Mount Vernon study of spymaster George Washington to the Cleveland Park apartment of the “Queen of Cuba.” In 220 main entries as well as listings for dozens more spy sites, intelligence historians Robert Wallace and H. Keith Melton weave incredible true stories of derring-do and double-crosses that put even the best spy fiction to shame. Maps and more than three hundred photos allow readers to follow in the winding footsteps of moles and sleuths, trace the covert operations that influenced wars hot and cold, and understand the tradecraft traitors and spies alike used in the do-or-die chess games that have changed the course of history.
Informing and entertaining, Spy Sites of Washington, DC is the comprehensive guidebook to the shadow history of our nation’s capital.
A southern journalist campaigns for racial understanding during the
struggle over school desegregation in Virginia.
In 1958 the nation's attention was focused on Norfolk,
Virginia, where nearly ten thousand students were locked out of their schools.
Rather than comply with the desegregation mandate of Brown v. Board
of Education, Governor J. Lindsay Almond, supported by the powerful
political machine of Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr., had closed Norfolk's white
Massive resistance to integration transformed Norfolk
into a civil rights arena. Although the process by which Norfolk's schools
were integrated was far from orderly, the transition was characterized
by debate, political maneuvering, and judicial action--not violence. Lenoir
Chambers, editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, conducted a five-year
editorial campaign supporting the peaceful implementation of the Court's
order. The Pilot was Virginia's only white newspaper to take this
position. Chambers was later awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials.
Utilizing a wide range of primary and secondary sources, Standing before the Shouting Mob examines Chambers's campaign, explores
the influences that shaped his racial views, and places him within the
context of southern journalism. The book also provides a detailed analysis
of Virginia's massive resistance and Norfolk's school closing.
Enslaved Africans and their descendants comprised a significant portion of colonial Virginia populations, with most living on rural slave quarters adjacent to the agricultural fields in which they labored. Archaeological excavations into these home sites have provided unique windows into the daily lifeways and culture of these early inhabitants.
A common characteristic of Virginia slave quarters is the presence of subfloor pits beneath the houses. The most common explanations of the functions of these pits are as storage places for personal belongings or root vegetables, and some contextual and ethnohistoric data suggest they may have served as West Africa-style shrines. Through excavations of 103 subfloor pits dating from the 17th through mid-19th centuries, Samford reveals a wealth of data including shape, location, surface area, and depth, as well as contents and patterns of related feature placement. Archaeology reveals the material circumstances of slaves’ lives, which in turn opens the door to illuminating other aspects of life: spirituality, symbolic meanings assigned to material goods, social life, individual and group agency, and acts of resistance and accommodation. Analysis of the artifact assemblages allows the development of hypotheses about how West African, possibly Igbo, cultural traditions were maintained and transformed in the Virginia Chesapeake.
In 1609, two years after its English founding, colonists struggled to stay alive in a tiny fort at Jamestown.John Smith fought to keep order, battling both English and Indians. When he left, desperate colonists ate lizards, rats, and human flesh. Surviving accounts of the “Starving Time” differ, as do modern scholars’ theories.
Meanwhile, the Virginia-bound Sea Venture was shipwrecked on Bermuda, the dreaded, uninhabited “Isle of Devils.” The castaways’ journals describe the hurricane at sea as well as murders and mutinies on land. Their adventures are said to have inspired Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
A year later, in 1610, the Bermuda castaways sailed to Virginia in two small ships they had built. They arrived in Jamestown to find many people in the last stages of starvation; abandoning the colony seemed their only option. Then, in what many people thought was divine providence, three English ships sailed into Chesapeake Bay. Virginia was saved, but the colony’s troubles were far from over.
Despite glowing reports from Virginia Company officials, disease, inadequate food, and fear of Indians plagued the colony. The company poured thousands of pounds sterling and hundreds of new settlers into its venture but failed to make a profit, and many of the newcomers died. Bermuda—with plenty of food, no native population, and a balmy climate—looked much more promising, and in fact, it became England’s second New World colony in 1612.
In this fascinating tale of England’s first two New World colonies, Bernhard links Virginia and Bermuda in a series of unintended consequences resulting from natural disaster, ignorance of native cultures, diplomatic intrigue, and the fateful arrival of the first Africans in both colonies. Written for general as well as academic audiences, A Tale of Two Colonies examines the existing sources on the colonies, sets them in a transatlantic context, and weighs them against circumstantial evidence.
From diplomatic correspondence and maps in the Spanish archives to recent archaeological discoveries at Jamestown, Bernhard creates an intriguing history. To weave together the stories of the two colonies, which are fraught with missing pieces, she leaves nothing unexamined: letters written in code, adventurers’ narratives, lists of Africans in Bermuda, and the minutes of committees in London. Biographical details of mariners, diplomats, spies, Indians, Africans, and English colonists also enrich the narrative. While there are common stories about both colonies, Bernhard shakes myth free from truth and illuminates what is known—as well as what we may never know—about the first English colonies in the New World.
A Tale of Two Plantations
Richard S. Dunn Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress HT1099.M48D86 2014 | Dewey Decimal 306.362097292
Richard Dunn reconstructs the lives of three generations of slaves on a sugar estate in Jamaica and a plantation in Virginia, to understand the starkly different forms slavery took. Deadly work regimens and rampant disease among Jamaican slaves contrast with population expansion in Virginia leading to the selling of slaves and breakup of families.
Americans have been shocked by media reports of the dismal working conditions in factories that make clothing for U.S. companies. But while well intentioned, many of these reports about child labor and sweatshop practices rely on stereotypes of how Third World factories operate, ignoring the complex economic dynamics driving the global apparel industry.
To dispel these misunderstandings, Jane L. Collins visited two very different apparel firms and their factories in the United States and Mexico. Moving from corporate headquarters to factory floors, her study traces the diverse ties that link First and Third World workers and managers, producers and consumers. Collins examines how the transnational economics of the apparel industry allow firms to relocate or subcontract their work anywhere in the world, making it much harder for garment workers in the United States or any other country to demand fair pay and humane working conditions.
Putting a human face on globalization, Threads shows not only how international trade affects local communities but also how workers can organize in this new environment to more effectively demand better treatment from their distant corporate employers.
The English settlers who staked their claims in the Chesapeake Bay were drawn to it for a variety of reasons. Some sought wealth from the land, while others saw it as a place of trade, a political experiment, or a potential spiritual sanctuary. But like other European colonizers in the Americas, they all aspired to found, organize, and maintain functioning towns—an aspiration that met with varying degrees of success, but mostly failure. Yet this failure became critical to the economy and society that did arise there. As Urban Dreams, Rural Commonwealth reveals, the agrarian plantation society that eventually sprang up around the Chesapeake Bay was not preordained—rather, it was the necessary product of failed attempts to build cities.
Paul Musselwhite details the unsuccessful urban development that defined the region from the seventeenth century through the Civil War, showing how places like Jamestown and Annapolis—despite their small size—were the products of ambitious and cutting-edge experiments in urbanization comparable to those in the largest port cities of the Atlantic world. These experiments, though, stoked ongoing debate about commerce, taxation, and self-government. Chesapeake planters responded to this debate by reinforcing the political, economic, and cultural authority of their private plantation estates, with profound consequences for the region’s laborers and the political ideology of the southern United States. As Musselwhite makes clear, the antebellum economy around this well-known waterway was built not in the absence of cities, but upon their aspirational wreckage.
This landmark volume chronicles the history of laws banning interracial marriage in the United States with particular emphasis on the case of Richard and Mildred Loving, a white man and a black woman who were convicted by the state of Virginia of the crime of marrying across racial lines in the late 1950s. The Lovings were not activists, but their battle to live together as husband and wife in their home state instigated the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that antimiscegenation laws were unconstitutional, which ultimately resulted in the overturning of laws against interracial marriage that were still in effect in sixteen states by the late 1960s.
A fresh, original look at George Washington as an innovative land manager whose singular passion for farming would unexpectedly lead him to reject slavery.
George Washington spent more of his working life farming than he did at war or in political office. For over forty years, he devoted himself to the improvement of agriculture, which he saw as the means by which the American people would attain the “respectability & importance which we ought to hold in the world.”
Washington at the Plow depicts the “first farmer of America” as a leading practitioner of the New Husbandry, a transatlantic movement that spearheaded advancements in crop rotation. A tireless experimentalist, Washington pulled up his tobacco and switched to wheat production, leading the way for the rest of the country. He filled his library with the latest agricultural treatises and pioneered land-management techniques that he hoped would guide small farmers, strengthen agrarian society, and ensure the prosperity of the nation.
Slavery was a key part of Washington’s pursuits. He saw enslaved field workers and artisans as means of agricultural development and tried repeatedly to adapt slave labor to new kinds of farming. To this end, he devised an original and exacting system of slave supervision. But Washington eventually found that forced labor could not achieve the productivity he desired. His inability to reconcile ideals of scientific farming and rural order with race-based slavery led him to reconsider the traditional foundations of the Virginia plantation. As Bruce Ragsdale shows, it was the inefficacy of chattel slavery, as much as moral revulsion at the practice, that informed Washington’s famous decision to free his slaves after his death.
During World War II, factories across America retooled for wartime production, and unprecedented labor opportunities opened up for women and minorities. In We, Too, Are Americans, Megan Taylor Shockley examines the experiences of the African American women who worked in two capitols of industry--Detroit, Michigan, and Richmond, Virginia--during the war and the decade that followed it, making a compelling case for viewing World War II as the crucible of the civil rights movement.
As demands on them intensified, the women working to provide American troops with clothing, medical supplies, and other services became increasingly aware of their key role in the war effort. A considerable number of the African Americans among them began to use their indispensability to leverage demands for equal employment, welfare and citizenship benefits, fair treatment, good working conditions, and other considerations previously denied them.
Shockley shows that as these women strove to redefine citizenship, backing up their claims to equality with lawsuits, sit-ins, and other forms of activism, they were forging tools that civil rights activists would continue to use in the years to come.
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.
On the night of March 11, 1862, as the heavy tramp of Confederate marching troops died away in the distance—her husband’s regiment among them—Cornelia Peake McDonald began her diary of events in war-torn Winchester, Virginia.
McDonald’s story of the Civil War records a personal and distinctly female battle of her own—a southern woman’s lonely struggle in the midst of chaos to provide safety and shelter for herself and her children. For McDonald, history is what happens “inside the house.” She relates the trauma that occurs when the safety of the home is disrupted and destroyed by the forces of war—when women and children are put out of their houses and have nowhere to go.
Whether she is describing a Union soldier’s theft of her Christmas cakes, the discovery of a human foot in her garden, or the death of her baby daughter, McDonald’s story of the Civil War at home is compelling and disturbing. Her tremendous determination and unyielding spirit in the face of the final collapse of her world is testimony to a woman’s will to preserve her family and her own sense of purpose as a “rebel” against all that she regarded as tyrannical and brutal in war itself.