By David Williams
The acclaimed sweeping historical past of a country at battle with itself, informed right here for the 1st time through the folk who lived it.
Bottom-up historical past at its best possible, A People's background of the Civil battle "does for the Civil struggle interval what Howard Zinn's A People's heritage of the us did for the examine of yankee historical past commonly" (Library Journal). commonly praised upon its preliminary unlock, it was once defined as "meticulously researched and persuasively argued" by means of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Historian David Williams has written the 1st account of the yankee Civil struggle notwithstanding the eyes of normal people—foot squaddies, slaves, girls, prisoners of conflict, draft resisters, local american citizens, and others. Richly illustrated with little-known anecdotes and first-hand testimony, this pathbreaking narrative strikes past presidents and generals to inform a brand new and robust tale approximately America's such a lot damaging conflict.
A People's historical past of the Civil battle is "readable social heritage" which "sheds attention-grabbing mild" (Publishers Weekly) in this an important interval. In so doing it recovers the long-overlooked views and forgotten voices of 1 of the defining chapters of yankee historical past. 40 b/w photographs.
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Extra info for A People’s History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom
Williams, children of poverty and depression who made sure that their children knew the value of education. And to my younger brother, Scott, who often served more as an example to me than I did to him. To my wife, Teresa Crisp Williams, I shall always be grateful for her many years of steadfast patience and loving encouragement. Her faith in me has been the foundation on which my efforts have been largely built. I am eternally grateful to her family as well for their patience, tolerance, and help with more moves than I care to remember.
Few plain folk had the required “hard money” on hand, nor did they have the collateral with which to borrow it. Successful loan applications fell dramatically and small banks across the country began to fail. The resulting depression helped drive cotton prices under as well, and they continued falling into the 1840s. With their staple-crop income cut nearly in half, debt-ridden farmers found it impossible to keep up loan payments. Their land and slaves were repossessed and sold at auction, usually to already well-established slaveholders.
In the South, the “rich man’s war” attitude and resistance to the draft was just as fierce, though more diffuse. Draft evaders simply refused to report for duty and hid out in southern swamps, pine barrens, and hill country. Some helped organize the Peace and Constitutional Society, which worked to undermine Confederate authority in Arkansas. Others formed the Order of the Heroes of America in the southern Appalachians. Perhaps the largest antiwar organization in the South was the Peace Society, which counted membership in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.