- Editor’s Overview
Our final issue for 2016 explores the topics of movement and citizenship from unique and fascinating angles. William Thomas, Kaci Nash, and Robert Shepard argue that specific geographic, military, and topographical conditions created “funnel points” where the Union army amassed men, materiél, and animals to sustain its incursions into the South. Applying the concepts of flows, funnels, and networks from critical geographic and urban studies, they tackle the characteristics of these interstitial zones in the Civil War between the home front and the battlefield. In these places, a series of large-scale processes and movements unfolded over the course of the war, as humans and animals exchanged microbes, landscapes and environmental conditions were altered, properties changed hands, and bureaucratic mechanisms were instantiated. To uncover the depth and significance of these sorts of disruptions, Thomas, Nash, and Shepard center their exploration on one of the principal central flow points in the war: Alexandria, Virginia.
David Carlson investigates the ways Confederate concerns for military mobilization, national security, and immigration reform informed southern concepts of citizenship between 1862 and 1865. Lacking clearly defined de jure standards, Confederates initially accepted a de facto form of citizenship based on domiciliation, local acceptance, and rights enjoyment. The Confederate government thus based its calls to military service on the obligations natal and immigrant recruits’ owed for their prewar enjoyment of civic rights. As the war progressed, however, and both de jure and de facto citizens became increasingly reluctant to fulfill their military obligations, Confederates inverted the rights-to-obligations relationship to create a more militarized version of citizenship. Military service became a prerequisite to the attainment of citizenship status for immigrants and the continual enjoyment of civic rights for citizens.
Our review section focuses on the South, in particular on issues of slavery; race; and the lingering social, political, and personal impact of the Civil War on southern society. Reviews include new titles from Ira Berlin, Gregory Downs, and Louis Masur as well as books on such subjects as John Brown, slave impressment, amputation, and the legacy of Reconstruction. [End Page 357]
The American Civil War Museum is pleased to announce that Adam Roth-man’s Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery, published by Harvard University Press, is the recipient of the forty-sixth annual Jefferson Davis Award. The award honors outstanding scholarship on the origins, life, and legacies of the Confederate States of America and the American Civil War.
Adam Rothman earned his PhD from Columbia University and is associate professor at Georgetown University, where he has taught since 2000. He is also the author of Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005).
The award judges praised Beyond Freedom’s Reach as “a micro-history that gets at … the most important story of the Confederate era, the end of slavery and the struggle for emancipation as it played out in the lives of men and women and their families. … Viewing the slow and tentative crumbling of slavery through the eyes of Rose Herera, we understand it that much better. Rothman moves smoothly back and forth from a wide-angled lens to a sharp focus on those few tantalizing documents that recorded Herera’s existence, providing just the right contexts, just the right additional examples to flesh things out.” The judges cited Rothman’s book for its literary merits as well as its outstanding scholarship.
The judges named two finalists for the 2015 Davis Award: Don H. Doyle’s The Cause of All Nations: An International History of the American Civil War, published by Basic Books, and Brian Craig Miller’s Empty Sleeves: Amputation in the Civil War South, published by the University of Georgia Press.
Presented by the Museum since 1971, the Jefferson Davis Award consists of a framed certificate bearing a red wax impression made from the original Great Seal of the Confederacy and a cash prize. The recipient is decided by an independent jury of scholars, who for the 2015 award are Paul Quigley of Virginia Tech, Barton Myers of Washington and Lee University, and Barbara Gannon of the University of Central Florida.