In Rebel Richmond, Stephen V. Ash vividly evokes life in Richmond as war consumed the Confederate capital. He guides readers from the city's alleys, homes, and shops to its churches, factories, and halls of power, uncovering the intimate daily drama of a city transformed and ultimately destroyed by war. Drawing on the stories and experiences of civilians and soldiers, slaves and masters, refugees and prisoners, merchants and laborers, preachers and prostitutes, the sick and the wounded, Ash delivers a captivating new narrative of the Civil War's impact on a city and its people.
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
Rebel Richmond carves out a unique and important place in the crowded chronicles of the Confederate capital. Stephen V. Ash employs an impressive variety of untapped sources to weave a compelling portrait of wartime Richmond centered around the city's everyday occupants. This is simply one of the best urban studies of the Civil War era ever written.A. Wilson Greene, author of A Campaign of Giants; The Battle for Petersburg
Remarkably rich, humane, and compelling. Ash reveals aspects of life in the Confederate capital we have never seen before and helps us understand that the Civil War was much more than the familiar battlesit was a cataclysmic event that consumed the entire society, especially in the South.Edward L. Ayers, author of The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America
Stephen V. Ash offers a captivating portrait of the erosion of the order and habits of Richmond under the relentless pressure of war. Often picaresque and always poignant, Rebel Richmond is a rich kaleidoscope of white and black Richmonders scrambling for food and housing, searching for diversion and solace, and anxiously awaiting the outcome of a war that engulfed them.W. Fitzhugh Brundage, author of Civil Torture: An American Tradition, a Pulitzer Prize@–finalist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was a fascinating history book and I hope to read more like it. It is the story of the city of Richmond during the Civil War: the growth of population, urban development, industry, and more. What was life like for the average person living in Richmond? For the poor, the slaves, the free blacks, government officials, or rich some of the experiences were the same and others were much different (if you had money!). I had never before read anything about how, as more and more men were drafted into the army, women were allowed to work men's jobs- causing social confusion and upheaval but saving lives. Women rioted to protest prices of staple foods, people planted tiny gardens to provide their families with something to eat. There are stories of people renting rooms or living in boarding houses with five times the number of people you would think the house could hold, as well as stories of what women working in the hospitals experienced. Drawn from memoirs and diaries, this is a story not of battle or politics, but of people and day to day survival in a town that was suddenly both the center of government and military camps. Well-written, carefully researched, and beautifully detailed, this is a great book for readers who want the details of daily life, the lives of average Richmonders, during the most unusual experience an American city has had. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Thank you to Net galley for the opportunity to read this book and to give an honest review. Reading about great past events it is too easy to overlook the details that necessarily that are part and parcel of the greater action. Most Civil War histories make vague references To Richmond as the Capitol of the Confederacy but now we can getting the gritty details of life in a city that was not ready to be under virtual seige.