Between the epic battles of 1862 and the grueling and violent military campaigns that would follow, the year 1863 was oddly quiet for the Confederate state of Virginia. Only one major battle was fought on its soil, at Chancellorsville, and the conflict was one of the Army of Northern VirginiaÕs greatest victories. Yet the pressures of the Civil War turned the daily lives of VirginiansÑyoung and old, men and women, civilians and soldiersÑinto battles of their own. Despite minimal combat, 1863 was an eventful year in Virginia historyÑStonewall Jackson died within its borders and Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. In Virginia at War, 1863, editors William C. Davis and James I. Robertson Jr. present these and other key events, as well as a discussion of the yearÕs military land operations to reveal the political, social, and cultural ramifications of the ongoing national conflict. By this time, the war had profoundly transformed nearly every aspect of Virginia life and culture, from education to religion to commerce. Mounting casualties and depleted resources made the citizens of the Commonwealth feel the deprivations of war more deeply than ever. Virginia at War, 1863 surveys these often overlooked elements of the conflict. Contributors focus on the warÕs impact on VirginiaÕs children and its newly freed slaves. They shed light on the origins of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, explore the popularity of scrapbooking as a form of personal recordkeeping, and consider the changing role of religion during wartime and the uncertain faith of VirginiaÕs Christians. The book concludes with the 1863 entries of the Diary of a Southern Refugee by RichmondÕs Judith Brockenbrough McGuire. At the midpoint of the Civil War, the hostility of this great American struggle had become an ingrained part of Virginia life. Virginia at War, 1863 is the third volume of a five-book series that reexamines the CommonwealthÕs history as an integral part of the Confederacy. The series looks beyond military campaigns and tactics to consider how the war forever changed the people, culture, and society of Virginia.
Marine Corps Fighter Squadron 214 was hastily organized in the field during World War II to meet the urgent need for another combat squadron in the South Pacific. The squadron, self-named the "Black Sheep," went on under the leadership of the swashbuckling "Pappy" Boyington to become the most famous in Marine Corps history. Now comes the true story of the Black Sheep Squadron and the men who wrote its record in the Pacific skies. Once They Were Eagles tells how and why the squadron was formed, provides brief sketches of every member, and creates a vivid picture of the exciting but deadly aerial sorties over the South Pacific. Frank E. Walton located the thirty-four survivors of the fifty-one original Black Sheep. In a unique series of interviews, former "Eagles" share their recollections of those days of high adventure and their experiences in the years to follow.