Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War

By Jonathan W. White | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

First, I thank my wife, Lauren, for tolerating the many late nights I have worked on this project. When I started writing in May 2013, our newborn daughter, Charlotte, would lie next to me on the couch until 3 A.M. while Daddy worked and Mommy caught up on sleep. Now Charlotte is a big sister and I can no longer afford to stay up so late since I never know when I’ll be greeted by Clara calling for us in the morning or Charlotte running into our room yelling, “Wake up, Daddy!”

I thank the scholars and friends mentioned in the Note on Method who generously pointed me toward a number of the dreams in this book. Christopher Newport University’s interlibrary loan specialist, Jesse Spencer, tracked down many books, articles, manuscripts, and microfilm reels for me. My student research assistants, Erin Bello, Ben Coffman, Sarah Hopkins, Oliver Thomas, and Lizzy Wall, helped me locate several of the dreams discussed in this book; Daniel Glenn and Emily Risko assisted me with the page proofs and index. My mother-in-law, Leigh Kramer, read published collections of Civil War letters and diaries whenever she came to visit. I also thank my parents, Bill and Eileen White, for reading through almost every thing I’ve written and for encouraging me to pursue my dream of becoming a historian.

Both the Department of Leadership and American Studies and Dean Bob Colvin of the College of Social Sciences at Christopher Newport University financially supported my research, as did the Office of the Provost through a Faculty Development Grant, which funded research in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Throughout the past five years my department chair, Ben Redekop, has always managed to find extra resources to support my many research trips, for which I am very grateful. An Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship supported several trips to the Virginia Historical Society. And Harold Holzer sent me at least four score and seven books on Lincoln and the Civil War as he packed up his office at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, many of them proving timely additions to my library as I was completing this and other projects. Harold’s generosity is unmatched, as he and Edith also send wonderful gifts for my children.

I thank Dana Shoaf, editor of Civil War Times; Clay Risen, editor of the New York Times “Disunion” blog; and the Abraham Lincoln Association for publishing earlier versions of this research.

Tore Nielsen of the University of Montreal and Deidre Barrett of Harvard University helped me understand the latest in sleep research. My colleague at CNU, Jason Hart, discussed recent scholarship in psychology with me and pointed me toward several helpful books and articles.

Finally, I am grateful to the friends and colleagues who read portions of the manuscript and offered suggestions for improvements. My undergraduate mentor, Mark

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Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter One - The Soldier’s Rest 1
  • Chapter Two - The Soldier’s Dream 27
  • Chapter Three - Civilians’ Dreams 52
  • Chapter Four - African American Dreams 81
  • Chapter Five - Dreams of the Dying 101
  • Chapter Six - Dreams in Popular Culture 121
  • Chapter Seven - Lincoln’s Dreams of Death 149
  • Epilogue - It Seems like a Dream 173
  • Note on Method 185
  • Acknowledgments 189
  • Notes 191
  • Bibliography 229
  • Index 261
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