Popular images of women during the American Civil War include self-sacrificing nurses, romantic spies, and brave ladies maintaining hearth and home in the absence of their men. However, as DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook show in their remarkable new study, that conventional picture does not tell the entire story. Hundreds of women assumed male aliases, disguised themselves in men’s uniforms, and charged into battle as Union and Confederate soldiers—facing down not only the guns of the adversary but also the gender prejudices of society. They Fought Like Demons is the first book to fully explore and explain these women, their experiences as combatants, and the controversial issues surrounding their military service.
Relying on more than a decade of research in primary sources, Blanton and Cook document over 240 women in uniform and find that their reasons for fighting mirrored those of men—-patriotism, honor, heritage, and a desire for excitement. Some enlisted to remain with husbands or brothers, while others had dressed as men before the war. Some so enjoyed being freed from traditional women’s roles that they continued their masquerade well after 1865. The authors describe how Yankee and Rebel women soldiers eluded detection, some for many years, and even merited promotion. Their comrades often did not discover the deception until the “young boy” in their company was wounded, killed, or gave birth.
In addition to examining the details of everyday military life and the harsh challenges of -warfare for these women—which included injury, capture, and imprisonment—Blanton and Cook discuss the female warrior as an icon in nineteenth-century popular culture and why -twentieth-century historians and society ignored women soldiers’ contributions. Shattering the negative assumptions long held about Civil War distaff soldiers, this sophisticated and dynamic work sheds much-needed light on an unusual and overlooked facet of the Civil War experience.
Cimprich covers the entire history of Fort Pillow, including its construction by Confederates, its capture and occupation by federals, the massacre, and ongoing debates surrounding that affair. He sets the scene for the carnage by describing the social conflicts in federally occupied areas between secessionists and unionists as well as between blacks and whites. In a careful reconstruction of the assault itself, Cimprich balances vivid firsthand reports with a judicious narrative and analysis of events. He shows how Major General Nathan B. Forrest attacked the garrison with a force outnumbering the Federals roughly 1,500 to 600, and a breakdown of Confederate discipline resulted. The 65 percent death toll for black unionists was approximately twice that for white unionists, and Cimprich concludes that racism was at the heart of the Fort Pillow massacre.
Fort Pillow, a Civil War Massacre, and Public Memory serves as a case study for several major themes of the Civil War: the great impact of military experience on campaigns, the hardships of military life, and the trend toward a more ruthless conduct of war. The first book to treat the fort's history in full, it provides a valuable perspective on the massacre and, through it, on the war and the world in which it occurred.
The Emancipation Proclamation is the most important document of arguably the greatest president in U.S. history. Now, Edna Greene Medford, Frank J. Williams, and Harold Holzer -- eminent experts in their fields -- remember, analyze, and interpret the Emancipation Proclamation in three distinct respects: the influence of and impact upon African Americans; the legal, political, and military exigencies; and the role pictorial images played in establishing the document in public memory. The result is a carefully balanced yet provocative study that views the proclamation and its author from the perspective of fellow Republicans, antiwar Democrats, the press, the military, the enslaved, free blacks, and the antislavery white establishment, as well as the artists, publishers, sculptors, and their patrons who sought to enshrine Abraham Lincoln and his decree of freedom in iconography.Medford places African Americans, the people most affected by Lincoln's edict, at the center of the drama rather than at the periphery, as previous studies have done. She argues that blacks interpreted the proclamation much more broadly than Lincoln intended it, and during the postwar years and into the twentieth century they became disillusioned by the broken promise of equality and the realities of discrimination, violence, and economic dependence. Williams points out the obstacles Lincoln overcame in finding a way to confiscate property -- enslaved humans -- without violating the Constitution. He suggests that the president solidified his reputation as a legal and political genius by issuing the proclamation as Commander-in-Chief, thus taking the property under the pretext of military necessity. Holzer explores how it was only after Lincoln's assassination that the Emancipation Proclamation became an acceptable subject for pictorial celebration. Even then, it was the image of the martyr-president as the great emancipator that resonated in public memory, while any reference to those African Americans most affected by the proclamation was stripped away.This multilayered treatment reveals that the proclamation remains a singularly brave and bold act -- brilliantly calculated to maintain the viability of the Union during wartime, deeply dependent on the enlightened voices of Lincoln's contemporaries, and owing a major debt in history to the image-makers who quickly and indelibly preserved it.
During the Civil War, the regiment was the fundamental component of armies both North and South, its reliability and effectiveness crucial to military success. Soldiers' devotion to their regiment -- their esprit de corps -- encouraged unit cohesion and motivated the individual soldier to march into battle and endure the hardships of military life. In Brothers One and All, Mark H. Dunkelman identifies the characteristics of Civil War esprit de corps and charts its development from recruitment and combat to the end of the war and beyond through the experiences of a single regiment, the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry. Dunkelman offers a unique psychological portrait of a front-line unit that fought with distinction at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Valley, Rocky Face Ridge, and other engagements. He traces the evolution of natural camaraderie among friends and neighbors into a more profound sense of pride, enthusiasm, and loyalty forged as much in the shared unpleasantness of day-to-day army life as in the terrifying ordeal of battle.
During the first half of the twentieth centuryespecially in the darkest days of the Depression, when membership waned and funds were scarcea core group of women maintained Louisianas NAACP. Fighting on the front line, Sartain explains, women acted as grassroots organizers, running public relations campaigns and membership drives, mobilizing youth groups, and promoting general community involvement. Using case studies of several prominent female NAACP members in Louisiana, Sartain demonstrates how women combined their fundraising skills with an extensive network of community and family ties to fund the NAACP and, increasingly, to undertake the daytoday operations of the local organizations themselves.
Still, these women also struggled against the double obstacles of racism and sexism that prevented them from attaining the highest positions within NAACP branch leadership. Sartain illustrates how the differences between the sexes were ultimately woven into the political battle for racial justice, where women were viewed as having inherent moral superiority and, hence, the potential to lift the black population as a whole. Sartain concludes that despite the societal traditions that kept women out of leadership positions, in the early stages of the civil rights movement, their skills and their contributions as community matriarchs provided the keys to the organizations progress.
Highly original and essential to a comprehensive study of the NAACP, Invisible Activists gives voice to the many individual women who sustained the influential civil rights organization during a time of severe racial oppression in Louisiana. Without such dedication, Sartain asserts, the organization would have had no substantial presence in the state.
AUTHOR BIO: Lee Sartain is a research fellow at the School of American & Canadian Studies at University of Nottingham, England.
On July 8, 1860, fire destroyed the entire business section of Dallas, Texas. At about the same time, two other fires damaged towns near Dallas. Early reports indicated that spontaneous combustion was the cause of the blazes, but four days later, Charles Pryor, editor of the Dallas Herald, wrote letters to editors of pro-Democratic newspapers, alleging that the fires were the result of a vast abolitionist conspiracy, the purpose of which was to devastate northern Texas and free the region's slaves. White preachers from the North, he asserted, had recruited local slaves to set the fires, murder the white men of their region, and rape their wives and daughters. These sensational allegations set off an unprecedented panic that extended throughout the Lone Star State and beyond. In Texas Terror, Donald E. Reynolds offers a deft analysis of these events and illuminates the ways in which this fictionalized conspiracy determined the course of southern secession immediately before the Civil War. As Reynolds explains, all three fires probably resulted from a combination of extreme heat and the presence of new, and highly volatile, phosphorous matches in local stores. But from July until mid-September, vigilantes from the Red River to the Gulf of Mexico charged numerous whites and blacks with involvement in the alleged conspiracy and summarily hanged many of them. Southern newspapers reprinted lurid stories of the alleged abolitionist plot in Texas, and a spate of similar panics occurred in other states. States-rights Democrats asserted that the Republican Party had given tacit approval, if not active support, to the abolitionist scheme, and they repeatedly cited the "Texas Troubles" as an example of what would happen throughout the South if Lincoln were elected president. After Lincoln's election, secessionists charged that all who opposed immediate secession were inviting abolitionists to commit unspeakable depredations. Secessionists used this argument, as Reynolds clearly shows, with great effectiveness, particularly where there was significant opposition to immediate secession.Mining a rich vein of primary sources, Reynolds demonstrates that secessionists throughout the Lower South created public panic for a purpose: preparing a traditionally nationalistic region for withdrawal from the Union. Their exploitation of the "Texas Troubles," Reynolds asserts, was a critical and possibly decisive factor in the Lower South's decision to leave the Union of their fathers and form the Confederacy.
In Bleeding Borders, Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel offers a fresh, multifaceted interpretation of the quintessential sectional conflict in pre--Civil War Kansas. Instead of focusing on the white, male politicians and settlers who vied for control of the Kansas territorial legislature, Oertel explores the crucial roles Native Americans, African Americans, and white women played in the literal and rhetorical battle between proslavery and antislavery settlers in the region. She brings attention to the local debates and the diverse peoples who participated in them during that contentious period.
Oertel begins by detailing the settlement of eastern Kansas by emigrant Indian tribes and explores their interaction with the growing number of white settlers in the region. She analyzes the attempts by southerners to plant slavery in Kansas and the ultimately successful resistance of slaves and abolitionists. Oertel then considers how crude frontier living conditions, Indian conflict, political upheaval, and sectional violence reshaped traditional Victorian gender roles in Kansas and explores women's participation in the political and physical conflicts between proslavery and antislavery settlers.
Oertel goes on to examine northern and southern definitions of "true manhood" and how competing ideas of masculinity infused political and sectional tensions. She concludes with an analysis of miscegenation -- not only how racial mixing between Indians, slaves, and whites influenced events in territorial Kansas, but more importantly, how the fear of miscegenation fueled both proslavery and antislavery arguments about the need for civil war.
As Oertel demonstrates, the players in Bleeding Kansas used weapons other than their Sharpes rifles and Bowie knives to wage war over the extension of slavery: they attacked each other's cultural values and struggled to assert their own political wills. They jealously guarded ideals of manhood, womanhood, and whiteness even as the presence of Indians and blacks and the debate over slavery raised serious questions about the efficacy of these principles. Oertel argues that, ultimately, many Native Americans, blacks, and women shaped the political and cultural terrain in ways that ensured the destruction of slavery, but they, along with their white male counterparts, failed to defeat the resilient power of white supremacy.
Moving beyond a conventional political history of Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Borders breaks new ground by revealing how the struggles of this highly diverse region contributed to the national move toward disunion and how the ideologies that governed race and gender relations were challenged as North, South, and West converged on the border between slavery and freedom.
For many of the forty years of her life as a slave, Azeline Hearne cohabitated with her wealthy, unmarried master, Samuel R. Hearne. She bore him four children, only one of whom survived past early childhood. When Sam died shortly after the Civil War ended, he publicly acknowledged his relationship with Azeline and bequeathed his entire estate to their twenty-year-old mulatto son, with the provision that he take care of his mother. When their son died early in 1868, Azeline inherited one of the most profitable cotton plantations in Texas and became one of the wealthiest ex-slaves in the former Confederacy. In Counterfeit Justice, Dale Baum traces Azeline's remarkable story, detailing her ongoing legal battles to claim and maintain her legacy.
As Baum shows, Azeline's inheritance quickly made her a target for predatory whites determined to strip her of her land. A familiar figure at the Robertson County District Court from the late 1860s to the early 1880s, Azeline faced numerous lawsuits -- including one filed against her by her own lawyer. Samuel Hearne's family took steps to dispossess her, and other unscrupulous white men challenged the title to her plantation, using claims based on old Spanish land grants. Azeline's prolonged and courageous defense of her rightful title brought her a certain notoriety: the first freedwoman to be a party to three separate civil lawsuits appealed all the way to the Texas Supreme Court and the first former slave in Robertson County indicted on criminal charges of perjury. Although repeatedly blocked and frustrated by the convolutions of the legal system, she evolved from a bewildered defendant to a determined plaintiff who, in one extraordinary lawsuit, came tantalizingly close to achieving revenge against those who defrauded her for over a decade.
Due to gaps in the available historical record and the unreliability of secondary accounts based on local Reconstruction folklore, many of the details of Azeline's story are lost to history. But Baum grounds his speculation about her life in recent scholarship on the Reconstruction era, and he puts his findings in context in the history of Robertson County. Although history has not credited Azeline Hearne with influencing the course of the law, the story of her uniquely difficult position after the Civil War gives an unprecedented view of the era and of one solitary woman's attempt to negotiate its social and legal complexities in her struggle to find justice.
Baum's meticulously researched narrative will be of keen interest to legal scholars and to all those interested in the plight of freed slaves during this era.
In Breach, New Orleans native Nicole Cooley recalls Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in gritty, poignant detail, bearing witness to the destruction of a region and to its recovery. Ranging from the urgent to the reflective, these poems speak not only to the horrors of the immediate disaster, but also to family dynamics in a time of crisis and to the social, political, and cultural realities that contextualized the storm and its wake. In the title poem, Cooley invokes the multiple meanings of the word "breach" -- breach of the levees, breach of trust -- which resonate with survivors in the Crescent City, and in "Evacuation," she recounts her efforts to encourage her parents to leave the city and her harrowing three-day wait to hear from them after they refused. A number of poems, including "Write a Love Letter to Camellia Grill," "The Superdome: A Suite," and "Biloxi Bay Bridge Still Out," offer a broad range of voices and experiences to expand the perspective beyond Cooley's own family. With language and images both powerful and precise, this compelling collection dares us to "watch the surface of the city tear like loose skin."
After the American Civil War, several movements for ethnic separatism and political self-determination significantly shaped the course of Reconstruction. The Union Leagues mobilized African Americans to fight for their political rights and economic security while the Ku Klux Klan used intimidation and violence to maintain the political and economic hegemony of southern whites. Founded in 1858 as the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, the Irish American Fenians sought to liberate Ireland from English rule. In Fenians, Freedmen, and Southern Whites, Mitchell Snay provides a compelling comparison of these seemingly disparate groups and illuminates the contours of nationalism during Reconstruction. By joining the Fenians with freedpeople and southern whites, Snay seeks to assert their central relevance to the dynamics of nationalism during Reconstruction and offers a highly original analysis of Reconstruction as an Age of Capital and an Age of Emancipation where categories of race, class, and gender -- as well as nationalism -- were fluid and contested.
After the American Civil War, several movements for ethnic separatism and political self-determination significantly shaped the course of Reconstruction. The Union Leagues, which began during the war to support the northern effort, spread to the South after the war and mobilized African Americans to fight for their political rights and economic security. Opposing the Leagues was the Ku Klux Klan, which used intimidation and violence to maintain the political and economic hegemony of southern whites. Founded in 1858 as the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, the Irish American Fenians sought to liberate Ireland from English rule. Mitchell Snay provides a compelling comparison of these seemingly disparate groups in Fenians, Freedmen, and Southern Whites, illuminating the contours of nationalism during Reconstruction. Despite their separate and often opposing goals, the Fenians, Union Leagues, and the Klan, Snay reveals, shared many characteristics. To various extents, they were secret societies that sought to advance their mission through both political and extra-political means. Both the League and the Klan employed elaborate rites of initiation and secret passwords common to nineteenth-century fraternal organizations. They also shared a similar political culture of secrecy, conspiracy, and countersubversion. All three groups were quasi-military in structure and activities and shared a desire for the control of land. Among the three organizations, Snay shows, the Fenians provide the clearest case of nationalist aspirations along the lines of ethnicity, though the rise of racial consciousness among both southern whites and blacks also might be seen as expressions of ethnic nationalism. According to Snay, the political culture of Reconstruction encouraged the nationalist ambitions of these groups, but channeled their separatist impulses along civil rather than ethnic lines by focusing on questions of freedom, citizenship, and suffrage. In addition, the Republican emphasis on color-blind equality limited overt expressions of national identities based solely on ethnicity or race.Unlike southern whites and blacks, Irish Americans are seldom mentioned in Reconstruction histories. By joining the Fenians with freedpeople and southern whites, Snay seeks to assert their central relevance to the dynamics of nationalism during Reconstruction and offers a highly original analysis of Reconstruction as an Age of Capital and an Age of Emancipation where categories of race, class, and gender -- as well as nationalism -- were fluid and contested.
Historians have long believed that the "frontier" shaped Texas plantation society, but in this detailed examination of Texas's most important plantation region, Sean M. Kelley asserts that the dominant influence was not the frontier but the Mexican Republic. The Lower Brazos River Valley -- the only slave society to take root under Mexican sovereignty -- made replication of eastern plantation culture extremely difficult and complicated. By tracing the synthesis of cultures, races, and politics in the region, Kelley reveals a distinct variant of southern slavery -- a borderland plantation society.
Kelley opens by examining the four migration streams that defined the antebellum Brazos community: Anglo-Americans and their African American slaves who constituted the first two groups to immigrate; Germans who came after the Mexican government barred immigrants from the U.S. while encouraging those from Europe; and African-born slaves brought in through Cuba who ultimately made up the largest concentration of enslaved Africans in the antebellum South. Within this multicultural milieu, Kelley shows, the disparity between Mexican law and German practices complicated southern familial relationships and master-slave interaction. Though the Mexican policy on slavery was ambiguous, alternating between toleration and condemnation, Brazos slaves perceived the Rio Grande River as the boundary between white supremacy and racial egalitarianism. As a result, thousands fled across the border, further destabilizing the Brazos plantation society.
In the1850s, nonslaveholding Germans also contributed to the upheaval by expressing a sense of ethnic solidarity in politics. In an attempt to undermine Anglo efforts to draw a sharp boundary between black and white, some Germans hid runaway slaves. Ultimately, Kelley demonstrates how the Civil War brought these issues to the fore, eroding the very foundations of Brazos plantation society.
With Los Brazos de Dios, Kelley offers the first examination of Texas slavery as a borderland institution and reveals the difficulty with which southern plantation society was transplanted in the West.
Customers who bought from this series also bought
|5 star (0%)||0%|
|4 star (0%)||0%|
|3 star (0%)||0%|
|2 star (0%)||0%|
|1 star (0%)||0%|