Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army after 1861 [NOOK Book]

Overview

After the feverish mobilization of secession had faded, why did Southern men join the Confederate army? Kenneth Noe examines the motives and subsequent performance of "later enlisters." He offers a nuanced view of men who have often been cast as less patriotic and less committed to the cause, rekindling the debate over who these later enlistees were, why they joined, and why they stayed and fought.

Noe refutes the claim that later enlisters ...
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Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army after 1861

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Overview

After the feverish mobilization of secession had faded, why did Southern men join the Confederate army? Kenneth Noe examines the motives and subsequent performance of "later enlisters." He offers a nuanced view of men who have often been cast as less patriotic and less committed to the cause, rekindling the debate over who these later enlistees were, why they joined, and why they stayed and fought.

Noe refutes the claim that later enlisters were more likely to desert or perform poorly in battle and reassesses the argument that they were less ideologically savvy than their counterparts who enlisted early in the conflict. He argues that kinship and neighborhood, not conscription, compelled these men to fight: they were determined to protect their families and property and were fueled by resentment over emancipation and pillaging and destruction by Union forces. But their age often combined with their duties to wear them down more quickly than younger men, making them less effective soldiers for a Confederate nation that desperately needed every able-bodied man it could muster.

Reluctant Rebels places the stories of individual soldiers in the larger context of the Confederate war effort and follows them from the initial optimism of enlistment through the weariness of battle and defeat.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This fine study . . . answers questions about motivation and enlistment that have hovered over the field for generations. . . . The strengths of Noe's book lie in his clear prose, deep research, and persuasive analysis.--Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

A valuable monograph, which will stand with books by James McPherson and Bell Wiley among standard studies on Confederate soldiers….We need more books like this one to document facts.--The Review of Politics

Those attracted to Civil War history and those interested in the interrelationships between culture and war in varied historical contexts should find this work of interest.--The Courier

With insight and skill, Noe hands down some provocative judgments.--Civil War Book Review

Reluctant Rebels is a well-researched, highly readable book . . . . Anyone interested in Civil War history or the life of the Confederate soldier should definitely take a look at this offering.--The Historian

Noe admirably stays impartial and transparent in his research throughout. He has produced a significant study worthy of debate in the scholarship on Civil War motivations." --The Journal of American History

An absorbing study. . . . Thought provoking. . . . This excellent book provides a more complete portrait of Johnny Reb. . . Highly recommended.--Choice

Compelling. . . . This superb study effectively engages previous scholarship and fills a neat niche in the literature.--America's Civil War

The writing is excellent, the research is complete and the analysis on target. . . . If you want a challenging, thought-provoking book, you will be hard pressed to find a better candidate.--TOCWOC-A Civil War Blog

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807895634
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 5/14/2010
  • Series: Civil War America
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,200,597
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Kenneth W. Noe is Draughon Professor of History at Auburn University. He is author or editor of five books, including Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle.
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