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Portraits of Conflict

A Photographic History of Alabama in the Civil War

Ben H. Severance

Publication Year: 2012

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Alabama in the Civil War is the tenth volume in this acclaimed series showing the human side of the country’s great national conflict. Over 230 photographs of soldiers and civilians from Alabama, many never seen before, are accompanied by their personal stories and woven into the larger narrative of the war both on the battlefield and the home front.

Published by: University of Arkansas Press


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-9


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pp. ix-7

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This is the tenth volume in the series of photographic histories of the South during the Civil War. Like the previous volumes, it seeks to give that conflict a human face by presenting the reader an array of still images that preserve the faces of some of the actual participants. Photographs are a valuable primary source, but for the Civil War period—during ...

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pp. xi-13

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Alabama in the Civil War is the tenth volume in a series that intends to use photographs to tell the story of the individuals and societies engaged in the country’s great national conflict. As in previous volumes, the layout involves the use of photographs of ...

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1. Photography in Alabama during the Civil War

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pp. 1-13

The Civil War era coincided with the emergence of photography as a profession. As a result, America’s Iliad became the first widely photographed military conflict in history. Studio images became especially popular with soldiers on both sides. The volume of such pictures was so great, in fact, that it literally bequeaths for posterity a human face, or rather faces, ...

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2. The Cradle of the Confederacy

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pp. 15-43

On 11 January 1861, Alabama seceded from the Union and shortly thereafter hosted the newly formed Confederacy’s first capital in Montgomery. For Alabamians, secession was the climax to a decades-long power struggle between the North and the South over the political and economic ...

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3. Alabamians Go to War

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pp. 45-79

In early April 1861, the Confederate government in Montgomery faced a crisis. When South Carolina seceded the previous December, Federal troops under Maj. Robert Anderson concentrated at Fort Sumter, a military installation that controlled the entrance to Charleston Harbor. For several weeks, Confederate diplomats, including John Forsyth of ...

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4. Lee’s Alabama Boys

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pp. 81-117

Toward the end of June 1862, three fresh Alabama regiments arrived outside of Richmond. Recruited largely from the northeastern part of the state, the 44th, 47th, and 48th Alabama Infantry added approximately 2,500 badly needed reinforcements to the Army of Northern Virginia. Although disease ...

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5. Defending the Heart of Dixie

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pp. 119-159

In the early summer of 1862, the military situation in the western Confederacy was bleak. One Union army of nearly 70,000 under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was preparing to advance deeper into Mississippi—its goal, Vicksburg and with it control over the mighty river. Another Union army of more ...

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6. Retreat and Defeat in the East

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pp. 161-193

In the spring of 1864, the Army of Northern Virginia braced for the North’s most powerful drive of the war. Gen. Robert E. Lee had repelled four previous invasions, but he now faced the Union’s best commander, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. As the new general in chief, Grant implemented a grand strategy ...

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7. Retreat and Defeat in the West

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pp. 195-231

One week into May 1864, William T. Sherman set in motion his army group of more than 100,000 bluecoats in three armies; the second great Union offensive of the season was underway. Like Grant, who was clashing at that moment with Lee in the Wilderness, Sherman’s mission was to aim for a high ...

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8. Alabama Home Front

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pp. 233-273

A year after secession, the war for independence seemed a distant affair to many Alabamians. To be sure, economic hardships were nascent, but the Confederacy’s capital had moved from Montgomery to Richmond, and most of the volunteer regiments were on battlefields hundreds of miles ...

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9. Mobile: A City under Blockade

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pp. 275-305

On 26 May 1861, the USS Powhatan appeared on the horizon outside Mobile Bay and initiated what became a three-year blockade of Alabama’s famous port city. With a multiethnic population of 29,000 (including 8,000 slaves), Mobile was the largest and wealthiest city in the state. It was also an important ...

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10. Reconstruction and Legacy

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pp. 307-335

Throughout the summer of 1865, roads all over Alabama felt the trudge of paroled soldiers returning home. Other than the relieved tears of family members, there was little joy in the occasion—the Heart of Dixie was a defeated land. Of the 96,000 Alabamians who wore gray, upward of one-third ...


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pp. 337-363


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pp. 365-371


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pp. 373-378


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pp. 379-387

E-ISBN-13: 9781610755078
E-ISBN-10: 1610755073
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557289896
Print-ISBN-10: 1557289891

Page Count: 500
Illustrations: 235 photographs
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 828737894
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Portraits of Conflict

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Alabama -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Alabama -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns.
  • Alabama -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Photography.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Photography.
  • Alabama -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Pictorial works.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Pictorial works.
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