David Schenck and the Contours of Confederate Identity
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The University of Tennessee Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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My study of the life of David Schenck is the culmination of many years of hard work and personal sacrifice. Now that this book is completed, I can say with full confidence that the craft of biography is, at best, difficult. The challenge of coming to know an individual based entirely on his or her written record or the records kept by the society in which that individual circulated...
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This book seeks to accomplish two main objectives. First, it serves to tell the story of North Carolinian David Schenck (1835–1902), whose extensive diaries have long been a wellspring of information for historians, yet whose biography has gone unwritten for far too long. Secondly, it uses Schenck’s diary, and a wide array of other sources, as a powerful new lens...
Chapter 1. Coming of Age
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On the western edge of North Carolina’s Piedmont section, in the region sandwiched between the Catawba River and the Blue Ridge, lies a pristine, beckoning land. For centuries this handsome country with its rich soil and vast mineral deposits was the homeland of Cherokee and Catawba Indians. European settlement in the region remained sparse until the latter...
Chapter 2. Secessionist Revolution
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W hen church bells in Lincolnton rang out at midnight on January 1, 1860, announcing the arrival of the New Year, the mood in the town was festive, as it was elsewhere in North Carolina and across the nation. Beneath the gaiety, however, Americans grew apprehensive about the future...
Chapter 3. The Home Front
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W hen the State Convention disbanded in the spring of 1862, David Schenck returned home to Lincolnton. For a while he labored in the fields of his small farm on the outskirts of town, planting crops and building fences in preparation for what promised to be an uncertain economic future. By the end of summer, however, the District Court of North Carolina was ready to begin its work of tracking down enemy-owned property...
Chapter 4. Reconstruction, 1865–1868
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On April 26, 1865, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston defied the orders of Jefferson Davis and surrendered the tattered remains of his army to Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman a few miles from Durham Station, North Carolina, near Raleigh. Federal troops remained for the rest of the year under the command of Gen. John M. Schofield, who was charged with keeping the peace and assisting in reconstituting the state government. One month...
Chapter 5. Klansman, 1868–1874
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In November 1868 Schenck set out on the fall circuit. Although he and his Conservative friends had worked tirelessly to defeat the new state constitution, its passage and the subsequent changes made to the judicial system brought new prosperity to Schenck. Those attorneys licensed to practice law only in the county courts were effectively eliminated along with the county...
Chapter 6. Esse Quam Videri, 1878–1902
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T he final two decades of David Schenck’s life were by no means quiet or uneventful. It was a period in his life during which he came to realize the limitations of the Southern society he loved and, in his own way, fought to preserve. Schenck reached the zenith of his career on the bench, but then fell short of attaining a loftier position on the state supreme court. He would...
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Page Count: 184
Publication Year: 2012