David Silkenat here provides the first comprehensive study of Civil War surrender, focusing on the conflicting social, political, and cultural meanings of the action. Looking at the conflict from the perspective of men who surrendered, Silkenat creates new avenues to understand prisoners of war, fighting by Confederate guerillas, the role of southern Unionists, and the experiences of African American soldiers. The experience of surrender also sheds valuable light on the culture of honor, the experience of combat, and the laws of war.
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Raising the White Flag provides an unsettling cultural and social history examining how notions of honor, the laws of war, the exigencies of the battlefield, and the politics of prisoner exchange shaped the famous, infamous, and obscure surrenders of the American Civil War."—Joan Waugh, author of U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth
Silkenat offers a far more informed and insightful understanding of how Americans defined surrender during the Civil War and how those definitions shaped the surrender of armies as well as individuals. His study stands alone as the best examination of how surrenders happened, what they implied, and what they meant."—Brooks D. Simpson, author of The Civil War in the East: Struggle, Stalemate, and Victory