Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

It is a humbling thing to put into words my thanks to all those who have helped to put this project between two covers. I have been bucked up, sustained, encouraged, and inspired by so many friends and family who have offered help at every stage. Each page of this book bears the fingerprint of some wise comment or act...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-12

Late in February 1864, almost three years into the Civil War, five planters from the Mississippi Delta county of Bolivar were forced from their homes by a detachment of Confederate militia. Handcuffed, the men were made to watch as militia set to “insulting the ladies, taking all the clothing and dry goods they could lay...

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1. A Government without Citizens

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pp. 13-37

Imagine the United States as a government without citizens. The notion might sound like nonsense, but between the early nineteenth century and the Civil War, this was how many Americans envisaged their republic. It was not that the notion of a citizen lay beyond their understanding. Many could recite a worn list of rights...

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2. The Rise and Fall of a Slaveholder’s Republic

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pp. 38-63

Mississippi governor John Pettus had been in office for only nine days when, in November 1859, he received a letter that threatened disaster. It detailed an abolitionist attack, “much better planned than the Harpers Ferry affair,” filled with the foreboding mention of determined whites, revolutionary slaves, a cache of rifles...

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3. Schools of Citizenship

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pp. 64-86

Consider the imagined world laid out for Confederate recruits as they perused a soldier’s manual: Hundreds of canvas tents, arrayed in straight lines, separated by thoroughfares in a well-appointed camp. Regiments grouped together, in the order that soldiers should expect to follow one another into battle. Hierarchy...

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4. Defining Loyalty in an Age of Emancipation

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pp. 87-117

In the pages of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, readers in the winter of 1861 were treated to an article on the life of America’s most notorious traitor, Benedict Arnold. Written with a patient eye for detail and adorned with lavish pen-and-ink drawings, the piece made it clear that in Arnold’s life, readers could glimpse...

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5. Loyalty Under Fire

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pp. 118-144

By the time members of Congress began to debate a constitutional amendment banning slavery in the United States in the final months of the Civil War, questions about emancipation and citizenship had become well and truly tangled. After four years of war—four years in which the national government had ballooned...

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6. It Looks Much Like Abandoned Land

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pp. 145-166

There was nothing remarkable about the church on the corner of State and Wall Streets. Prior to the Civil War it had stolidly stood for nearly a decade, home to one of the largest Baptist congregations in Natchez. Like many Baptist churches in parts of the American South where slavery reigned, the faithful who filed into...

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Epilogue

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pp. 167-176

At the end of 1866, Frederick Douglass penned a rousing call for Congress to act on the question of Reconstruction. With many of the issues for which the Civil War had been fought still unresolved, Douglass argued that the future of the republic hung by a thread. The question that mattered most, he argued, was...

Notes

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pp. 177-216

Index

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pp. 217-221