By Stephen V. Ash
A 12 months within the South is ready 4 usual humans in a rare time. They lived within the South in the course of 1865 -- a 12 months that observed conflict, disunion, and slavery collapse to peace, reconstruction, and emancipation. One was once a slave made up our minds to realize freedom, one a widow combating poverty and melancholy, one a guy of God and planter’s son grappling with non secular and worldly issues, and one a former accomplice soldier looking a brand new existence. among January and December 1865 they witnessed, from very diversified vantage issues, the loss of life of the previous South and the start of the hot South. Civil struggle historian Stephen V. Ash reconstructs their day-by-day lives, their fears and hopes, and their frustrations and triumphs in shiny aspect, telling a dramatic tale of actual humans in a time of serious upheaval and delivering a clean point of view on a pivotal second in historical past.
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Extra resources for A Year in the South: Four Lives in 1865
Where was it all going? citizens demanded to know. 13 As one after another of the Confederacy’s food-growing regions fell to the Northern invaders, the upper valley was increasingly called on to help feed the rest of the rebel population. Army impressment agents scoured the region, taking what they needed from the farmers and paying them in Confederate money at government-set prices far below market value. 14 These levies created agricultural scarcity in Rockbridge County, which had never known it before the war.
By early 1865, what was left of the Confederacy’s armed forces was melting away from desertion. Spurred by the pleas of their suffering loved ones at home or by their own sense that the cause was now hopeless, rebel soldiers in growing numbers were abandoning their comrades and heading back to their families. 41 This crisis of spirit became especially acute in the last four months of 1864, as a succession of disasters shook the Confederacy. S. president with a pledge to continue the war until the Southern “rebellion” was stamped out, General William T.
I received one-half of the money. ”7 It must be said that few other slaves in the Old South were as successful in this respect as Lou. He held a privileged position at the works, thanks to his special skills and his close relationship with Superintendent Brooks and Commissioner Woolsey. Certainly Uncle Hudson, William, John, and even Matilda, for that matter, enjoyed no such liberties, not to mention the legions of others who did the saltworks’ daily drudgery with ax and spade and hoe. 22 W INTER Each might carve out some personal space in the informal communal setting, but that space was very narrow.