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Two Months in the Confederate States: An Englishman's Travels Through the South Hardcover – September 1, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State Univ Press (September 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807120375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807120378
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,342,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Through his copious, informative notes, Trask, the librarian at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Va., adds a great deal to this vivid account of an English hardware merchant's travels in the deep South during the Civil War autumn of 1862. Explaining and sometimes refuting the author's commentary, the notational obbligato allows readers to enjoy the narrative enriched by the editor's thorough research and personal perspective. With the North's blockade of Southern ports drastically cutting into his hardware exports, Corsan traveled to New York early in October 1862 and soon set sail for New Orleans to discover the state of his old customers. Traveling north to Richmond, Corsan, tourist and Southern sympathizer, offers a window on the deep South and the optimistic outlook of planters and businessmen at this high point of Confederate success in the war. Corsan offers shrewd insights, as when he notes the personal equality of military officers and privates in their off-duty interchanges, contrasted with the complete subordination in rank order while on duty. Perhaps because he was a stranger, however sympathetic to the southern cause, this Englishman gives a fresh perspective of the South at war, whereas local diarists such as Mary Chesnut took much of the ordinary for granted. Surprisingly, neither Corsan nor Trask correctly interprets the effect of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation upon the English people and their government. Almost at the point of recognizing the Confederacy's right to secede from the Union, England, confronted by the proclamation, decided it could not support an effort to continue slavery. What we do have in this well-written narrative and its notations, is a clear picture of the deep South caught at its apex of optimism and expectation of victory and prosperous future.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

English merchant Corsan's never-before-published account of his brief swing through the South in 1862, from the federal-occupied New Orleans to the Confederate capital of Richmond, offers an engaging, if often uninformed, view of the Southern people and prospects amid war. Edited by Trask, the librarian at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia, Corsan's work reveals the English thinking of his day while adopting his Southern hosts' perspective. Corsan doubted the moral character, mettle, and military prowess of the Union cause while tallying business opportunities in the South. In no way does Corsan's Baedecker supersede the fuller, more trenchant classics of this genre by Englishmen Arthur Fremantle (1863) and William Howard Russell (1863), but it does remind us how easily a short trip to a faraway land can beguile the observer who thinks he has seen much but in fact misses almost everything. For academic libraries only.?Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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