Routes of War: The World of Movement in the Confederate South

8 Nov

Routes of War: The World of Movement in the Confederate South

Routes of War: The World of Movement in the Confederate South

Yael A. Sternhell

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 0674088174

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Civil War thrust millions of men and women―rich and poor, soldiers and civilians, enslaved and free―onto the roads of the South. During four years of war, Southerners lived on the move. In the hands of Sternhell, movement becomes a radically new means to perceive the full trajectory of the Confederacy’s rise, struggle, and ultimate defeat.












June, when Jackson was clamoring for more troops to help him defeat the Union’s greatly superior force, both Jefferson Davis and Lee recommended that reserves would be marched up and down the Valley to make it appear as though the army was larger and stronger than was actually the case. Lee contacted the officer commanding forces in the Valley town of Staunton and instructed him “to collect all the troops in that vicinity, raise the community, magnify their numbers, and march down the valley and

daughter in Norfolk. “He is in Richmond in the hospital. I am going to see him in the morning but I will run the risk of being court martialled by doing so, as we are forbid going to town without permits, but I would go if I thought I would be cashiered for it.” After the brutal Seven Days Battles, which took place right outside of Richmond, the city swarmed with “thousands of fathers, brothers, mothers, and sisters of the wounded,” who had arrived “to attend their suffering relations, and to

to serve provided applications signed by parents or guardians.136 Women also needed sponsorship from a local citizen of good standing, who provided them with notes consisting of statements such as “I certify that I have known Mrs. Margaret E. Cosgrove for several years past and that I regard her a person of excellent character. I therefore respectfully recommend that she be permitted to pass with her children to Stafford Co.”137 Men and women working in every industry in Richmond supplied

unmistakable sign of degradation.140 Responding to their grumbling, the provost marshal of Richmond freely admitted that the system infringed on the rights of free men, but insisted that in the wartime South it was a burden everyone must bear: That the system is obnoxious and trenches odiously upon personal liberty, there is no question, and that it should be abolished, unless sternly demanded by the exigencies of the War, and the safety of our cause, there is no doubt. Its operation includes, of

nor the trauma of Union occupation deterred former slaveholders from reviving the old techniques of movement control, including the violence, humiliation, and intimidation that had served them so well in the past.51 In Opelousas, Louisiana, a local police force outlawed the presence of black people in town unless they had written permission from their employers. Blacks were also banned on the streets after 10 pm on weekdays and past 3 pm on Sundays, and the only African Americans allowed to

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