The Civil War in the Border South

The Civil War in the Border South

The Civil War in the Border South

The Civil War in the Border South

Synopsis

By studying the characteristics of those positioned along this fault line during the Civil War, the centrality of the war issue of slavery, which border residents long eschewed as being divisive, became apparent. This book explains how the process of Southernization occurred during and after the Civil War--a phenomenon largely unexplained by historians.

Beyond the broader, more traditional narrative of the clash of arms, within these border slave states raged an inner civil war that shaped the military and political outcomes of the war as well as these states' cultural landscapes. Author Christopher Phillips describes how the Civil War experience in the border states served to form new loyalties and communities of identity that both deeply divided these states and distorted the meaning of the war for postwar generations.

Excerpt

“Like Ol’ Man River,” the distinguished Civil War historian Peter J. Parish wrote in 1998, “Civil War historiography just keeps rolling along. It changes course occasionally, leaving behind bayous of stagnant argument, while it carves out new lines of inquiry and debate.”

Since Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s men stacked their guns at Appomattox Court House in April 1865, historians and partisans have been fighting a war of words over the causes, battles, results, and broad meaning of the internecine conflict that cost more than 620,000 American lives. Writers have contributed between 50,000 and 60,000 books and pamphlets on the topic. Viewed in terms of defining American freedom and nationalism, western expansion and economic development, the Civil War quite literally launched modern America. “The Civil War,” Kentucky poet, novelist, and literary critic Robert Penn Warren explained, “is for the American imagination, the great single event of our history. Without too much wrenching, it may, in fact, be said to be American history.”

The books in Praeger’s Reflections on the Civil War Era series examine pivotal aspects of the American Civil War. Topics range from examinations of military campaigns and local conditions to analyses of institutional, intellectual, and social history. Questions of class, gender, and race run through each volume in the series. Authors, veteran experts in their respective fields, provide concise, informed . . .

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