Deserter Country: Civil War Opposition in the Pennsylvania Appalachians

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Overview


During the Civil War, there were throughout the Union explosions of resistance to the war -from the deadly Draft Riots in New York City to other, less well-known outbreaks. In Deserter Country, Robert Sandow explores one of these least known "inner civil wars", the widespread, sometimes violent opposition in the Appalachian lumber country of Pennsylvania.

Sparsely settled, these mountains were home to divided communities that provided safe-haven for opponents of the war. The dissent of mountain folk reflected their own marginality in the face of rapidly increasing exploitation of timber resources by big firms, as well as partisan debates over loyalty.

One of the few studies of the northern Appalachians, this book draws revealing parallels to the War in the southern mountains, exploring the roots of rural protest in frontier development, the market economy, military policy, partisan debate, and everyday resistance. Sandow also sheds new light on the party politics of rural resistance, rejecting easy depictions of war-opponents as traitors and malcontents for a more nuanced and complicated study of the class, economic upheaval, and localism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

. . . [An] intelligent and proper study. . . -Michael Barton

In colorful and engaging prose, Sandow describes several instances of violent draft resistance and federal intervention in the Pennsylvania mountains in 1864.-Jon White

. . . Offers a valuable corrective to previous portraits of wartime dissent and proves once again that community studies, far from being myopic and tangential, can offer substantive interpretations with broad implications.-Jonathan D. Sarris

Sandow's research serves as a reminder that America's tradition of dissent in time of conflict is essential to our republic, even though it remains a frequently suppressed part of our public memory.- The Journal of Southern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823230525
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Series: North's Civil War Series
  • Edition description: 3
  • Pages: 246
  • Sales rank: 358,588
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Sandow is Associate Professor of History at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

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