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North Carolinians in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction

Edited by Paul D. Escott

Publication Year: 2008

Although North Carolina was a "home front" state rather than a battlefield state for most of the Civil War, it was heavily involved in the Confederate war effort and experienced many conflicts as a result. North Carolinians were divided over the issue of secession, and changes in race and gender relations brought new controversy. Blacks fought for freedom, women sought greater independence, and their aspirations for change stimulated fierce resistance from more privileged groups. Republicans and Democrats fought over power during Reconstruction and for decades thereafter disagreed over the meaning of the war and Reconstruction. With contributions by well-known historians as well as talented younger scholars, this volume offers new insights into all the key issues of the Civil War era that played out in pronounced ways in the Tar Heel State. In nine essays composed specifically for this volume, contributors address themes such as ambivalent whites, freed blacks, the political establishment, racial hopes and fears, postwar ideology, and North Carolina women. These issues of the Civil War and Reconstruction eras were so powerful that they continue to agitate North Carolinians today. Contributors: David Brown, Manchester University Judkin Browning, Appalachian State University Laura F. Edwards, Duke University Paul D. Escott, Wake Forest University John C. Inscoe, University of Georgia Chandra Manning, Georgetown University Barton A. Myers, University of Georgia Steven E. Nash, University of Georgia Paul Yandle, West Virginia University Karin Zipf, East Carolina University Although North Carolina was a "homefront" state rather than a battlefield state for most of the Civil War, it made many key contributions to the Confederate war effort. As the war dragged on, though, the commitment of the state to the war effort came into question. Eastern portions of the state were occupied by Federal forces from early in the war and were home to several large freedmen's colonies. The mountainous west harbored strong Unionist elements from the beginning, and several Piedmont counties contained large numbers of deserters and disaffected citizens. Protests against the war grew stronger as the war progressed, and many white North Carolinians grew tired of the war and sought some sort of neutral ground or negotiated peace. Chapters examine issues of southern Unionism and Confederate loyalty in the Federal raid by black North Carolina troops into their home counties in northeastern North Carolina, the meaning of emancipation as blacks sought freedom in Carteret and Craven counties; the 1864 gubernatorial election and the effects of emancipation on white southerners; gender roles, gender issues, and women's history; and the role of Governor Zeb Vance in "redeeming" the state after Reconstruction and the use of his memory by Democrats in the white supremacy campaigns of the late nineteenth century, among other topics. Although North Carolina was a "home front" state rather than a battlefield state for most of the Civil War, it was heavily involved in the Confederate war effort and experienced many conflicts as a result. With contributions by well-known historians as well as talented younger scholars, this volume offers new insights into all the key issues of the Civil War era that played out in pronounced ways in the Tar Heel State. In 9 essays composed specifically for this volume, contributors address themes such as ambivalent whites, freed blacks, the political establishment, racial hopes and fears, postwar ideology, and North Carolina women. Although North Carolina was a "home front" state rather than a battlefield state for most of the Civil War, it was heavily involved in the Confederate war effort and experienced many conflicts as a result. North Carolinians were divided over the issue of secession, and changes in race and gender relations brought new controversy. Blacks fought for freedom, women sought greater independence, and their aspirations for change stimulated fierce resistance from more privileged groups. Republicans and Democrats fought over power during Reconstruction and for decades thereafter disagreed over the meaning of the war and Reconstruction. With contributions by well-known historians as well as talented younger scholars, this volume offers new insights into all the key issues of the Civil War era that played out in pronounced ways in the Tar Heel State. In nine essays composed specifically for this volume, contributors address themes such as ambivalent whites, freed blacks, the political establishment, racial hopes and fears, postwar ideology, and North Carolina women. These issues of the Civil War and Reconstruction eras were so powerful that they continue to agitate North Carolinians today. Contributors: David Brown, Manchester University Judkin Browning, Appalachian State University Laura F. Edwards, Duke University Paul D. Escott, Wake Forest University John C. Inscoe, University of Georgia Chandra Manning, Georgetown University Barton A. Myers, University of Georgia Steven E. Nash, University of Georgia Paul Yandle, West Virginia University Karin Zipf, East Carolina University

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 1-4

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

The era of the Civil War and Reconstruction was a crucial period in U.S. history and in the history of North Carolina. More was at stake than the fate of the Union and the future of slavery, vitally important though these questions were. The fundamental character of southern...

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North Carolinian Ambivalence: Rethinking Loyalty and Disaffection in the Civil War Piedmont

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pp. 7-36

The issue of southern loyalty (or loyalties) during the American Civil War has been a perennial staple for nineteenth-century historians since Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. But in the past decade, it has evoked particular interest and controversy. The extent to which southerners...

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A More Rigorous Style of Warfare: Wild’s Raid, Guerrilla Violence, and Negotiated Neutrality in Northeastern North Carolina

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pp. 37-67

During the final days of December 1863, Union brigadier general and Massachusetts abolitionist Edward Augustus Wild was a thoroughly frustrated man. By his own admission, Wild had undergone a major change in recent weeks. When he sat down on December 28 to...

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Visions of Freedom and Civilization Opening before Them: African Americans Search for Autonomy during Military Occupation in North Carolina

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pp. 69-100

Wednesday, January 14, 1863, found Beaufort, North Carolina, still drying from a recent tempest and getting colder by the hour. The weather had not been the only turbulent event that week. Captain William B. Fowle Jr., Beaufort’s provost marshal, sat down that morning...

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The Order of Nature Would Be Reversed: Soldiers, Slavery, and the North Carolina Gubernatorial Election of 1864

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pp. 101-128

In 1864, North Carolina governor Zebulon Baird Vance faced more than the usual number of challenges. The Civil War engulfed his nation; weather, labor shortages, and the presence of armies played havoc with harvests; and food and supply shortfalls afflicted his people....

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To Do Justice to North Carolina: The War’s End according to Cornelia Phillips Spencer, Zebulon B. Vance, and David L. Swain

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pp. 129-153

At the beginning of Patriotic Gore, his classic study of the literature of the Civil War, Edmund Wilson asked, “Has there ever been another historical crisis of the magnitude of 1861–65 in which so many people were so articulate?” He went on to muse that “the drama has already...

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Reconstruction and North Carolina: Women’s Tangled History with Law and Governance

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pp. 155-191

Women were no strangers to North Carolina courts during Reconstruction. They had little choice but to appear when they were the ones charged with crimes. That had always been the case, even before the upheaval of war and emancipation. But women—even African American...

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No Longer under Cover(ture): Marriage, Divorce, and Gender in the 1868 Constitutional Convention

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pp. 193-219

Eighteen-year-old Martha A. Hopkins suffered a broken heart during the Civil War. Her husband of only one year, William T. Hopkins, deserted her in February 1864. She had married Hopkins against the will of her father, Robert D. Hart, who later came to suspect that Hopkins...

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Different Colored Currents of the Sea: Reconstruction North Carolina, Mutuality, and the Political Roots of Jim Crow, 1872–1875

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pp. 221-268

In his work The New South Creed, Paul Gaston notes the unanimity with which white southerners saw themselves as the protectors of African Americans in a segregated society after the postwar amendments to the Constitution provided the slaves with freedom and United...

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The Immortal Vance: The Political Commemoration of North Carolina’s War Governor

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pp. 269-294

On June 22, 1916, an adoring crowd gazed in awe upon Zebulon Baird Vance’s stout frame. Similar scenes had played out time and again in North Carolina when the “War Governor of the South” was on the stump. On this occasion, however, their “Zeb” was a bronze statue unveiled...

Contributors

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pp. 295-296

Index

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pp. 297-307


E-ISBN-13: 9781469601649
E-ISBN-10: 1469601648
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807832226
Print-ISBN-10: 0807832227

Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 3 tables
Publication Year: 2008