Why Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia
In the first comprehensive study of the experience of Virginia soldiers and their families in the Civil War, Aaron Sheehan-Dean captures the inner world of the rank-and-file. Utilizing new statistical evidence and first-person narratives, Sheehan-Dean explores how Virginia soldiers--even those who were nonslaveholders--adapted their vision of the war's purpose to remain committed Confederates.
Sheehan-Dean challenges earlier arguments that middle- and lower-class southerners gradually withdrew their support for the Confederacy because their class interests were not being met. Instead he argues that Virginia soldiers continued to be motivated by the profound emotional connection between military service and the protection of home and family, even as the war dragged on. The experience of fighting, explains Sheehan-Dean, redefined southern manhood and family relations, established the basis for postwar race and class relations, and transformed the shape of Virginia itself. He concludes that Virginians' experience of the Civil War offers important lessons about the reasons we fight wars and the ways that those reasons can change over time.
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Allen Amherst County antebellum April battle campaign camps Cavalry Chapel Hill Charles Civil War Miscellaneous Coiner Confeder Confederacy Confederate armies Confederate soldiers conflict conscription County Dear death defeat defend desertion di√erent di≈culty Diary draft Drew Gilpin Faust e√ect e√ort early emancipation enlisted Family Papers federacy fighting forces fought Frank McIntosh Fredericksburg George hardships Henry Robinson Berkeley Jackson’s James James Eldridge Jones July June late Lee’s army letter Lewis Leigh Collection Lincoln Louisiana State University loyalty Lynchburg man’s March military North Carolina North Carolina Press o√ered o≈cers o≈cials Overland campaign Papers John Pendleton Peninsula campaign political regiment region reported Richmond Robert Samuel secession Shenandoah Valley slaveholding slavery slaves South southern su√ering Thomas tion Union army Union troops Unionist University of North University Press victory Virginia Confederates Virginia Infantry Virginia soldiers volunteers Waldrop war’s Watkins white Virginians wife wrote Yankees