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The Long Shadow of the Civil War: Southern Dissent and Its Legacies / Edition 1

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Overview

"In The Long Shadow of the Civil War, Victoria Bynum relates uncommon narratives about common Southern folks who fought not with the Confederacy, but against it. Focusing on regions in three Southern states - North Carolina, Mississippi, and Texas - Bynum introduces Unionist supporters, guerrilla soldiers, defiant women, socialists, populists, free blacks, and large interracial kin groups that belie stereotypes of the South and of Southerners as uniformly supportive of the Confederate cause." Examining regions within the South where the inner civil wars of deadly physical conflict and intense political debate continued well into the era of Reconstruction and beyond, Bynum explores three central questions. How prevalent was support for the Union among ordinary Southerners during the Civil War? How did Southern Unionists and freedpeople experience both the Union's victory and the emancipation of slaves during and after Reconstruction? And what were the legacies of the Civil War - and Reconstruction - for relations among classes and races and between the sexes, both then and now?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bynum (Unruly Women: The Politics of Social and Sexual Control in the Old South), a historian at Texas State University, offers an analysis of “home front schisms” in three Confederate regions: Big Thicket in eastern Texas, Piedmont North Carolina's “Quaker Belt,” and the counties in Mississippi's Piney Woods known as the “Free State of Jones.” Geographically and culturally isolated, they were largely populated by nonslaveholding subsistence farmers whose relationships with slaves and free blacks often generated “a lively interracial subculture” and even interracial family networks. Conscription policies favoring planters and manufacturers, together with food requisitions and taxes collected in kind by force, contributed to a sense of “rich man's war, poor man's fight” that made civilian-supported desertion and draft-evasion endemic. Defiance escalated to insurgency; Bynum quotes one unrepentant de facto Unionist: “we fought [Confederates] like dogs, and we buried them like asses....” The collapse of Reconstruction left these dissenters marginalized by a race-based legal system and a lost cause mythology. Bynum highlights the “solid South” as a construction and even more successfully presents the importance of “kinship, community, and place” in sustaining resistance to oppression. 9 illus., 1 map. (Apr. 15)
From the Publisher
The bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth has come and gone, and with it a flood of books about the sixteenth president. But the sesquicentennial of the Civil War now looms on the horizon, promising its own deluge of books of every size, shape and description. We will be fortunate indeed if in sheer originality and insight they measure up to . . . The Long Shadow of the Civil War, [a] new work by . . . Victoria Bynum . . . on the Confederate experience.--Eric Foner, The Nation

A masterful community study. . . . Based on exhaustive and innovative research. . . . [That] brilliantly demonstrates that common men and women, yeoman farmers, poor whites, slaves, and freedpeople left their stories behind for historians to excavate.--Arkansas Historical Quarterly

Bynum has plunged deeply into the primary sources on these interesting individuals, family groups, and local communities. . . . Valuable . . . because it proves that dissent was not rare and insignificant.--H-Civil War

[This book] ranks among the most innovative in its methods and its findings….[Bynum] is to be commended for her sheer doggedness as a researcher and her creative use of methods and sources.--The Journal of American History

Historians wishing to pursue such comparisons and questions will find great value in Bynum's careful research.--Journal of the Civil War Era

A solid contribution….an engagingly written exposition of buried and contested histories….Bynum has done a great service to Southern history." --Southern Historian

Supported by impressive research and crafted to enlighten rather than celebrate or condemn, this book offers a penetrating portrait of the dissenters and their world. A strong addition to upper-level Civil War collections, it will also serve as a lively read for the general public. . . . Highly recommended.--Choice

An interesting read and opens up avenues for scholars who wish to trace kinship migrations throughout the South and the cultural linkages those migrations may have established.--The Review of Politics

Those who enjoy the study of Reconstruction social and political battles as much or more than the military conflicts of the Civil War will find a wealth of material here for further study. . . . [Bynum's] engaging writing style will no doubt interest many readers of her book as well.--TOCWOC

Bynum's emphasis on individual characters makes this story come alive. . . .The Long Shadow of the Civil War is a fascinating account of southern Unionist activity and fills a large hole in Civil War historiography." --The Journal of Southern History

This volume offers insights into the complexities of southern dissent, gender roles, race relations, and the influences that shaped memories.--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807833810
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2010
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,030,833
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Victoria Bynum is professor of history at Texas State University, San Marcos. She is author of The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War and Unruly Women: The Politics of Social and Sexual Control in the Old South (both from UNC Press).
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Table of Contents

Introduction Kinship, Community, and Place in the Old and the New South 1

Pt. I Home Front 15

1 Guerrilla Wars: Plain Folk Resistance to the Confederacy 19

2 Occupied at Home: Women Confront Confederate Forces in North Carolina's Quaker Belt 37

Pt. II Reconstruction and Beyond 55

3 Disordered Communities: Freedpeople, Poor Whites, and "Mixed Blood" Families in Reconstruction North Carolina 59

4 Fighting a Losing Battle: Newt Knight versus the U.S. Court of Claims, 1870-1900 77

Pt. III Legacies 97

5 Civil War Unionists as New South Radicals: Mississippi and Texas, 1865-1920 101

6 Negotiating Boundaries of Race and Gender in Jim Crow Mississippi: The Women of the Knight Family 117

Epilogue Fathers and Sons 137

Notes 149

Bibliography 187

Acknowledgments 207

Index 211

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