The View from the Ground: Experiences of Civil War Soldiers (New Directions In Southern History)
Civil War scholars have long used soldiers' diaries and correspondence to flesh out their studies of the conflict's great officers, regiments, and battles. However, historians have only recently begun to treat the common Civil War soldier's daily life as a worthwhile topic of discussion in its own right. The View from the Ground reveals the beliefs of ordinary men and women on topics ranging from slavery and racism to faith and identity and represents a significant development in historical scholarship―the use of Civil War soldiers' personal accounts to address larger questions about America's past. Aaron Sheehan-Dean opens The View from the Ground by surveying the landscape of research on Union and Confederate soldiers, examining not only the wealth of scholarly inquiry in the 1980s and 1990s but also the numerous questions that remain unexplored. Chandra Manning analyzes the views of white Union soldiers on slavery and their enthusiastic support for emancipation. Jason Phillips uncovers the deep antipathy of Confederate soldiers toward their Union adversaries, and Lisa Laskin explores tensions between soldiers and civilians in the Confederacy that represented a serious threat to the fledgling nation's survival. Essays by David Rolfs and Kent Dollar examine the nature of religious faith among Civil War combatants. The grim and gruesome realities of warfare―and the horror of killing one's enemy at close range―profoundly tested the spiritual convictions of the fighting men. Timothy J. Orr, Charles E. Brooks, and Kevin Levin demonstrate that Union and Confederate soldiers maintained their political beliefs both on the battlefield and in the war's aftermath. Orr details the conflict between Union soldiers and Northern antiwar activists in Pennsylvania, and Brooks examines a struggle between officers and the Fourth Texas Regiment. Levin contextualizes political struggles among Southerners in the 1880s and 1890s as a continuing battle kept alive by memories of, and identities associated with, their wartime experiences. The View from the Ground goes beyond standard histories that discuss soldiers primarily in terms of campaigns and casualties. These essays show that soldiers on both sides were authentic historical actors who willfully steered the course of the Civil War and shaped subsequent public memory of the event.
Studies, Wiley explored the world of Civil War participants, black and white, civilian and soldier. The Southern-born, Northern-trained Wiley devoted scant attention to causes and consequences, unlike his many predecessors; instead, he focused on the war and what it was like for those who experienced it. He explored not just what they did but also how they thought and felt, their likes and dislikes, their joys and sorrows, their hardships and pleasantries. Based largely on soldiers’ letters,.
Little Brown, 1997. Vinovskis, Maris A., ed. Toward a Social History of the American Civil War: Exploratory Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Weitz, Mark A. A Higher Duty: Desertion among Georgia Troops during the Civil War. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. Wiley, Bell Irvin. The Life of Billy Yank: The Common Soldier of the Union. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1952. ———. The Life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill,.
Hope never to live to see the day when they [women] will lend their influence to the support of a weakly & submissive policy, for while we are away in the army, the management of affairs at home is in a very great measure dependant upon them and their influence, and remove that influence, or give it in behalf of weakness & submission, & where would our country & cause be hurried in a very short time, left in the hands of such men as are most remaining at home?”33 Only women, with their superior.
Administrative work for elite women in Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), 92–112. 28. Bartlett Yancey Malone, journal, May 8, 1863, in William Whately Pierson Jr., ed., Whipt ’em Everytime: The Diary of Bartlett Yancey Malone, Co. H, 6th N.C. Regiment (Jackson, TN: McCowat-Mercer Press, 1960), 81; Fred A. Brodé, November 19, 1864, Fred A. Brodé Letters, MOC; Mark Holland to father, December 3,.
“loyal opposition,” Republican Party leaders believed that Northern Democrats could be measured only by the lines of “treason” espoused by their Copperhead leaders.3 This Republican reaction proved especially dangerous in the case of the North’s citizen-soldiers, who directly threatened the antiwar politicians. Union army officers and enlisted men took swift action to silence “treasonous” Democrats, advocating the use of violence to ensure that Copperheads would not acquire political office.