"Not only plumbs the fascinating history of encampments, it establishes new models for their study, emphasizing innovative and non-traditional methods to delve into the data sets that really give us insight into a soldier's life in the field."
“Huts and History moves beyond archaeological interest in battlefield sites, tactics and artifacts to focus on a soldier’s most common activity—life in camp. This book will prove interesting to a wide variety of historical and military archaeologists, preservationists and historians; and to those with a general interest in eighteenth and nineteenth century conflicts.”—G. Michael Pratt, director, Center for Historic and Military Archaeology, and professor of anthropology, Heidelberg College
“[N]ot only plumbs the fascinating history of encampments, it establishes new models for their study, emphasizing innovative and non-traditional methods to delve into the data sets that really give us insight into a soldier’s life in the field.”—Douglas D. Scott, National Park Service Midwest Archaeological Center
The American Civil War soldier, confined much of the time to his camp, suffered from boredom and sickness. Encampment was not only tedious but detrimental to his health; far more soldiers died of diseases from sharing close quarters with their comrades than from wounds on the battlefield. Until now, archaeologists have concentrated their study on the battle sites and overlooked the importance of the camps. This edited collection is the first dedicated to the archaeology of Civil War encampments. The authors contend that intensive study to interpret and preserve these sites will help to ensure their protection as well as expand our understanding of the 19th-century soldier’s life.
Whether they mobilized tens of thousands of men for training or taught maneuvers to smaller groups, encampments are significant in several ways: as “cultural landscapes” characterized by architectural features, as socially and politically organized “mobile communities,” and as infrastructures created to support soldiers’ needs. The authors’ techniques can be applied to camps not only of the Civil War but the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Indian campaign.