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A New Georgia Encyclopedia Companion
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.
A Chaplain's Story
In 1861 young Joseph Twichell cut short his seminary studies to become a Union Army chaplain in New York's Excelsior Brigade. A middle-class New England Protestant, Twichell served for three years in a regiment manned mostly by poor Irish American Catholics. This selection of Twichell's letters to his Connecticut family will rank him alongside the Civil War's most literate and insightful firsthand chroniclers of life on the road, in battle, and in camp. As a noncombatant, he at once observed and participated in the momentous events of the Peninsula and Wilderness Campaigns and at the Second Bull Run, as well as at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Spotsylvania.
Twichell writes about politics and slavery and the theological and cultural divide between him and his men. Most movingly, he tells of tending the helpless, burying the dead, and counseling the despondent. Alongside accounts of a run-in with slave hunters, a massive withdrawal of wounded soldiers from Richmond, and other extraordinary events, Twichell offers close-up views of his commanding officer, the "political general" Daniel Sickles, surely one of the most colorful and controversial leaders on either side.
Civil War scholars and enthusiasts will welcome this fresh voice from an underrepresented class of soldier, the army chaplain. Readers who know of Twichell's later life as a prominent minister and reformer or as Mark Twain's closest friend will appreciate these insights into his early, transforming experiences.
Temporality and Identity in America, 1861-1865
Wells calls this phenomenon 'battle time.' To create a modern war machine military officers tried to graft the antebellum authority of the clock onto the actual and mental terrain of the Civil War. However, as Wells's coverage of the Manassas and Gettysburg battles shows, military engagements followed their own logic, often without regard for the discipline imposed by clocks. Wells also looks at how battle time's effects spilled over into periods of inaction, and she covers not only the experiences of soldiers but also those of nurses, prisoners of war, slaves, and civilians.
After the war, women returned, essentially, to an antebellum temporal world, says Wells. Elsewhere, however, postwar temporalities were complicated as freedmen and planters, and workers and industrialists renegotiated terms of labor within parameters set by the clock and nature. A crucial juncture on America's path to an ordered relationship to time, the Civil War had an acute effect on the nation's progress toward a modernity marked by multiple, interpenetrating times largely based on the clock.
The romance begins with the marriage of Cligès's parents and continues with the clandestine, mutual love of their son and his uncle's bride, Fenice. Cligès and Fenice are finally united after executing a false-death plot aided by black magic.
With a thoroughness and clarity that will appeal to students and scholars of medieval literature, Cline's accessible translation effectively conveys the sparkle, pace, and intricate wordplay of Chrétien's love monologues, classic themes, and complex poetic devices. In addition, her introduction sheds new light on the transmission of British history and legend to the French court of Champagne. With themes that echo from the Tristan legend to Romeo and Juliet, Cligès is an exciting romance about young lovers who escape from an arranged match and find true love in marriage.
Sandra Thompson takes us inside the lives of women struggling to find their places among lovers, husbands and ex-husbands, mothers, and children in relationships where old rules do not apply and new rules have not yet been set.
Thompson’s characters live in a world where dreams often supersede reality and things are not as they seem. Her style is sophisticated and subtle, and we experience her stories almost by osmosis. They stay with us afterwards to question their own realities.
Memoir, Memory, and Jim Crow
Wallach argues that the field of autobiography studies, which is currently dominated by literary critics, needs a new theoretical framework that allows historians, too, to benefit from the interpretation of life writing. Her most provocative claim is that, due to the aesthetic power of literary language, skilled creative writers are uniquely positioned to capture the complexities of another time and another place. Through techniques such as metaphor and irony, memoirists collectively give their readers an empathetic understanding of life during the era of segregation. Although these reminiscences bear certain similarities, it becomes clear that the South as it was remembered by each is hardly the same place.
Explorations in Ecocritical Theory and Practice
The essays also put ecocriticism into greater contact with the natural sciences, including elements of evolutionary biology, biological taxonomy, and geology. Engaging both ecocritical theory and practice, these authors more closely align ecocriticism with the physical environment, with the wide range of texts and cultural practices that concern it, and with the growing scholarly conversation that surrounds this concern.
Labor, Politics, and Capital Mobility in the Textile Industry
In 1896, to confront the effects of increasing state regulations, labor militancy, and competition from southern mills, the Dwight Company became one of the first New England cotton textile companies to open a subsidiary mill in the South. Dwight closed its Massachusetts operations completely in 1927, but its southern subsidiary lasted three more decades. In 1959, the branch factory Dwight had opened in Alabama became one of the first textile mills in the South to close in the face of post-World War II foreign competition.
Beth English explains why and how New England cotton manufacturing companies pursued relocation to the South as a key strategy for economic survival, why and how southern states attracted northern textile capital, and how textile mill owners, labor unions, the state, manufacturers' associations, and reform groups shaped the ongoing movement of cotton-mill money, machinery, and jobs. A Common Thread is a case study that helps provide clues and predictors about the processes of attracting and moving industrial capital to developing economies throughout the world.