Huts and History: The Historical Archaeology of Military Encampment During the American Civil War / Edition 1

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Overview


The American Civil War soldier, confined much of the time to his camp, suffered from boredom and sickness. Encampment was not only tedious but detrimental to his health; far more soldiers died of diseases from sharing close quarters with their comrades than from wounds on the battlefield. Until now, archaeologists have concentrated their study on the battle sites and overlooked the importance of the camps. This edited collection is the first dedicated to the archaeology of Civil War encampments. The authors contend that intensive study to interpret and preserve these sites will help to ensure their protection as well as expand our understanding of the 19th-century soldier’s life. Whether they mobilized tens of thousands of men for training or taught maneuvers to smaller groups, encampments are significant in several ways: as “cultural landscapes” characterized by architectural features, as socially and politically organized “mobile communities,” and as infrastructures created to support soldiers’ needs. The authors’ techniques can be applied to camps not only of the Civil War but the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the Indian campaign.     
 
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813029412
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 7/28/2006
  • Edition description: First
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Clarence Geier, professor of anthropology at James Madison University, is the author of Archaeological Perspectives on the American Civil War (UPF, 2001) and Look to the Earth: Historic Archaeology and the American Civil War.   David Orr is senior regional archaeologist for the National Park Service’s Northeast region and research professor of anthropology at Temple University. He has written extensively on topics in historical archaeology and contributed most recently to Archaeology and the Muses.   Matthew Reeves is director of archaeology for the Montpelier Foundation and adjunct associate professor of anthropology at James Madison University. He is a contributor to Places in Mind: Archaeology as Applied Anthropology.
 
 
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Table of Contents

Pt. I Introduction and background 1
1 "I am now very comfortably situated for the winter having a very nice chimney attached to my tent, and everything that tends to make this unhappy life pleasant and agreeable" 5
2 Blueprint for nineteenth-century camps : castramentation, 1778-1865 28
Pt. II Survey and management of Civil War encampments 51
3 Finding Civil War sites : what relic hunters know, what archaeologists should and need to know 55
4 Guarding the junction : the encampment of the 14th New Jersey infantry 74
Pt. III Encampment plan and layout 93
5 "Masterly inactivity" : the confederate cantonment supporting the 1861-1862 blockade of the Potomac River, Evansport, Virginia 97
6 Civil War housing insights from Camp Nelson, Kentucky 136
Pt. IV Encampment architecture and material culture 173
7 "Right nice little house[s]" : winter camp architecture of the American Civil War 177
8 Under the forest floor : excavations at a confederate winter encampment, orange, Virginia 194
9 "Beautiful confusion" : the archaeology of Civil War camp life in an urban context 216
10 Cabin in command : the city point headquarters of Ulysses S. Grant 244
Pt. V Conclusions and beginnings 263
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