Parthenia Vardaman (later Hague) experienced the Civil War while employed as a schoolteacher on a plantation near Eufaula, Alabama. A Blockaded Family recounts how a frightened and war-weary household dealt with privations during a blockade imposed on the South. The author shows that the Yankees had no monopoly on ingenuity when survival depended upon self-sufficiency. She describes in detail the changes forced by war on farming methods, the daily imperatives of finding enough to eat and making do with substitutes, the manufacture of shoes and clothes on the plantation. A Blockaded Family is memorable for its glimpses of wartime domestic life and of the ways anxious citizens coped as the northern army closed in.
“Exceptional in its documentation of hardships and substitutions in Alabama during the war years. Provides insight on everything from feather fans to spinning and weaving; recommended by Jefferson Davis.”—Victoria R. Rumble
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese is Eleonore Raoul Professor of Humanities at Emory University and author of a number of volumes, including Within the Plantation Household; Black and White Women of the Old South.