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The Civil War in Georgia

A New Georgia Encyclopedia Companion

Edited by John C. Inscoe

Publication Year: 2011

Georgians, like all Americans, experienced the Civil War in a variety of ways. Through selected articles drawn from the New Georgia Encyclopedia (www.georgiaencyclopedia.org), this collection chronicles the diversity of Georgia’s Civil War experience and reflects the most current scholarship in terms of how the Civil War has come to be studied, documented, and analyzed.

The Atlanta campaign and Sherman’s March to the Sea changed the course of the war in 1864, in terms both of the upheaval and destruction inflicted on the state and the life span of the Confederacy. While the dramatic events of 1864 are fully documented, this companion gives equal coverage to the many other aspects of the war—naval encounters and guerrilla war­fare, prisons and hospitals, factories and plantations, politics and policies— all of which provided critical support to the Confederacy’s war effort. The book also explores home-front conditions in depth, with an emphasis on emancipation, dissent, Unionism, and the experience and activity of African Americans and women.

Historians today are far more conscious of how memory—as public commemoration, individual reminiscence, historic preservation, and literary and cinematic depictions—has shaped the war’s multiple meanings. Nowhere is this legacy more varied or more pronounced than in Georgia, and a substantial part of this companion explores the many ways in which Georgians have interpreted the war experience for themselves and others over the past 150 years. At the outset of the sesquicentennial these new historical perspectives allow us to appreciate the Civil War as a complex and multifaceted experience for Georgians and for all southerners.

A Project of the New Georgia Encyclopedia; Published in Association with the Georgia Humanities Council and the University System of Georgia/GALILEO.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Title and Copyright Pages

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pp. v-vii


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pp. xi-xii

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pp. 1-3

Georgians, like all Americans, experienced the Civil War in a variety of ways. With the exception of the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863, the state avoided major military conflict until 1864, when for nine months Union general William T. Sherman’s troops moved across Georgia to...

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Overview: The Civil War in Georgia

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pp. 5-11

The South, like the rest of the country, was forever altered by the dramatic events of the Civil War. Few states, however, were more integral to the outcome of the conflict than Georgia, which provided an estimated 120,000 soldiers for the Confederacy, as well as 3,500 black troops...

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SECTION 1: Prelude to War

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pp. 13-42

THE CIVIL WAR WAS VERY MUCH A POLITICAL WAR, one brought on by the simultaneous failure of national political leadership and the triumph of Southern politicians pushing regional agendas. Following an overview of antebellum slavery and a socioeconomic snapshot of the...

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SECTION 2: The War Years

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pp. 43-46

THE CIVIL WAR IN GEORGIA is often closely associated with the extended incursion by Union general William T. Sherman’s troops in 1864—including both the Atlanta campaign and the subsequent March to the Sea. Yet the war fought on Georgia’s soil entailed much more than the...

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MILITARY ACTIONS [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 47-122

A massive five-sided edifice, Fort Pulaski was constructed in the 1830s and 1840s on Cockspur Island at the mouth of the Savannah River. Built to protect the city of Savannah from naval attack, the fort came under siege by Union forces in early 1862 and was ultimately captured on...

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pp. 123-146

Established in Marietta and opened to students in July 1851, the Georgia Military Institute (GMI) was the principal source of education for new engineers and teachers in the state during the decade prior to the Civil War. Originally funded by private subscription and donations, GMI...

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pp. 147-178

Georgia citizens in the nineteenth century relied on newspapers to keep them informed about what was happening outside their own towns and counties. The state could boast a few literary, religious, and agricultural magazines, but newspapers were by far the more important news source. ...

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SECTION 3: The War's Legacy

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pp. 179-182

“IT SOMETIMES SEEMS that the Confederacy is more alive today than it was in the 1800s,” observed historian Anne Sarah Rubin in her book A Shattered Nation (2005). To be sure, since the end of the Civil War, Georgians have commemorated the conflict profusely and pervasively,...

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pp. 183-204

As a defeated Confederate state, Georgia underwent Reconstruction from the aftermath of the Civil War in 1865 until 1871, when Republican government and military occupation in the state ended. Though relatively brief, Reconstruction transformed the state politically, socially, and...

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pp. 205-236

Both during and after the Civil War, Georgians faced the task of burying the Confederate and Union soldiers who died within the state’s bounds. Many of the fallen were later reburied either in existing cemeteries or in new ones specifically dedicated to Civil War soldiers. ...

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pp. 237-280

In Patriotic Gore (1962), his classic study of Civil War literature, the literary critic Edmund Wilson asked, “Has there ever been another historical crisis of the magnitude of 1861–1865 in which so many people were so articulate?” Historian Louis Masur later made the...

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 281-286


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pp. 287-291


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pp. 293-305

E-ISBN-13: 9780820341828
E-ISBN-10: 0820341827
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820341385
Print-ISBN-10: 082034138X

Page Count: 312
Illustrations: 25 b&w photos, 3 maps
Publication Year: 2011