Maryland Voices of the Civil Warby Charles W. Mitchell
The most contentious event in our nation’s history, the Civil War deeply divided families, friends, and communities. Both sides fought to define the conflict on their own termsLincoln and his supporters struggled to preserve the Union and end slavery, while the Confederacy waged a battle for the primacy of local liberty or "states' rights." But the war
The most contentious event in our nation’s history, the Civil War deeply divided families, friends, and communities. Both sides fought to define the conflict on their own termsLincoln and his supporters struggled to preserve the Union and end slavery, while the Confederacy waged a battle for the primacy of local liberty or "states' rights." But the war had its own peculiar effects on the four border slave states that remained loyal to the Union. Internal disputes and shifting allegiances injected uncertainty, apprehension, and violence into the everyday lives of their citizens.
No state better exemplified the vital role of a border state than Marylandwhere the passage of time has not dampened debates over issues such as the alleged right of secession and executive power versus civil liberties in wartime. In Maryland Voices of the Civil War, Charles W. Mitchell draws upon hundreds of letters, diaries, and period newspapersmany previously unpublishedto portray the passions of a wide variety of peoplemerchants, slaves, soldiers, politicians, freedmen, women, clergy, slave owners, civic leaders, and childrencaught in the emotional vise of war. Mitchell tells the compelling story of how Maryland African Americans escaped from slavery and fought for the Union and their freedom alongside white soldiers and he reinforces the provocative notion that Maryland’s Southern sympathieswhile genuinenever seriously threatened to bring about a Confederate Maryland.
Maryland Voices of the Civil War illuminates the human complexities of the Civil War era and the political realignment that enabled Marylanders to abolish slavery in their state before the end of the war.
The voices of Maryland flow freely off the pages of this work... This is not just a book for Maryland. It is a work that belongs in all academic institutions' Civil War collections. Highly recommended.
Glenn W. LaFantasie
Rev. Dr. David McDonald
- Johns Hopkins University Press
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What People are saying about this
Although Maryland remained in the Union, the state was riven by divided loyalties during the Civil War. Maryland soldiers fought on both sides and the state experienced internal upheavals, occupation by Union soldiers, and invasions by Confederate armies. This book presents the words of white and black Maylanders of all conditions and persuasions in a mosaic of voices that captures the contentions and confusions of this experience.
James M. McPherson, Princeton University
Maryland Voices is even better than I expected it to be, which makes it better than fine. It is by far the best book we have on Civil War Maryland and a triumphant proof that Mitchell's documentary approach is just right. Of course some will still say that Maryland "almost" seceded, but he has left them no way to say it. Mitchell is also superb on that neglected subject, blacks' agency in ensuring that secesh and slavery itself had no shot at enduring.
William W. Freehling, The Virginia Foundation for theHumanities
A perfect gift for Civil War buffs... extensive and meticulously researched... powerful, rich in diversity, and evocative of the 'fog of war,' these Maryland voices should not be ignored.
Claudia Floyd, Villa Julie University
Meet the Author
Charles W. Mitchell, a Marylander by birth and by choice, is a writer descended from a congressman, a pirate, and two Confederate officers who appear in the pages of this book. The ancestors of his wife, Betsy, include eleven Union soldiers, Pennsylvanians all. Charley and Betsy, and their two children, Abbie and Alec, live in Lutherville, Maryland.
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