The study of the Confederate home front has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past several decades. The subject has been examined with a great deal of care by some of the region's best historians, but students who compare older studies with newer ones will be struck by changes in tone and emphasis. Many of the earlier studies of the Confederate home front were written by scholars who were themselves Southerners and were generally sympathetic with Southern society. More recent studies have taken a critical look at the South and in many instances have been written by Yankees (such as this author). This chapter will emphasize the more recent studies, though students would do well to consult both kinds. A good bibliographic guide to the earlier studies is Mary Elizabeth Massey, "The Confederate States of America: The Homefront" ( 1965).
Most research topics are covered to some extent in a variety of general studies of the Confederacy. The most thorough account of the Confederate experience is E. Merton Coulter, The Confederate States of America, 1861-1865 ( 1950). The book, part of a multivolume history of the South, is the product of a tremendous amount of research in primary and secondary sources. It is abounding with insight into numerous questions, but it also reflects an age when Southern social history could be written without paying adequate regard to women and African Americans, and its author's Confederate sympathies are apparent. A more modern treatment is Emory M. Thomas, The Confederate Nation, 1861-1865