The Making of a Confederate: Walter Lenoir's Civil War

Oxford University Press
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Despite the advances of the civil rights movement, many white southerners cling to the faded glory of a romanticized Confederate past. In The Making of a Confederate, William L. Barney focuses on the life of one man, Walter Lenoir of North Carolina, to examine the origins of southern white identity alongside its myriad ambiguities and complexities. Born into a wealthy slaveholding family, Lenoir abhorred the institution, opposed secession, and planned to leave his family to move to Minnesota, in the free North. But when the war erupted in 1860, Lenoir found another escape route--he joined the Confederate army, an experience that would radically transform his ideals. After the war, Lenoir, like many others, embraced the cult of the Lost Cause, refashioning his memory and beliefs in an attempt to make sense of the war, its causes, and its consequences. While some Southerners sank into depression, aligned with the victors, or fiercely opposed the new order, Lenoir withdrew to his acreage in the North Carolina mountains. There, he pursued his own vision of the South's future, one that called for greater self-sufficiency and a more efficient use of the land. For Lenoir and many fellow Confederates, the war never really ended. As he tells this compelling story, Barney offers new insights into the ways that (selective) memory informs history; through Lenoir's life, readers learn how individual choices can transform abstract historical processes into concrete actions.
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About the author

William L. Barney is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Student Companion (OUP, 2001), The Passage of the Republic, Battleground for the Union, Flawed Victory, The Secessionist Impulse, and The Road to Secession. He is coauthor of The American Journey, Second Edition, and editor of A Companion to 19th-Century America.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Nov 14, 2007
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780199886180
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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William L. Barney
A gold mine for the historian as well as the Civil War buff, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Civil War offers a concise, comprehensive overview of the major personalities and pivotal events of the war that redefined the American nation. Drawing upon recent research that has moved beyond battles and military campaigns to address the significant roles played by civilians, women, and African Americans, the 250 entries explore the era in all its complexity and unmistakable human drama. Here of course are the major battles and campaigns, ranging from Gettysburg and Shiloh to Sherman's March to the Sea, as well as biographical entries on everyone from Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee to Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, and Walt Whitman. But the book also features entries on a wealth of other matters--music, photography, religion, economics, foreign affairs, medicine, prisons, legislative landmarks, military terms and weaponry, political events, social reform, women in the war, and much more. In addition, charts, newly commissioned maps, chronologies, and period photographs provide an appealing visual context. Suggestions for further reading at the end of most entries and a guide to more general sources in an appendix introduce the reader to the literature on a specific topic. A list of Civil War museums and historic sites and a representative sampling of Civil War websites also point to resources that can be tailored to individual interests. A quick, convenient, user-friendly guide to all facets of the Civil War, this new updated edition also serves as an invaluable gateway to the rich historical record now available, perfect for virtually anyone who wants to learn more about this tumultuous period in our history.
William L. Barney
A gold mine for the historian as well as the Civil War buff, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Civil War offers a concise, comprehensive overview of the major personalities and pivotal events of the war that redefined the American nation. Drawing upon recent research that has moved beyond battles and military campaigns to address the significant roles played by civilians, women, and African Americans, the 250 entries explore the era in all its complexity and unmistakable human drama. Here of course are the major battles and campaigns, ranging from Gettysburg and Shiloh to Sherman's March to the Sea, as well as biographical entries on everyone from Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee to Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, and Walt Whitman. But the book also features entries on a wealth of other matters--music, photography, religion, economics, foreign affairs, medicine, prisons, legislative landmarks, military terms and weaponry, political events, social reform, women in the war, and much more. In addition, charts, newly commissioned maps, chronologies, and period photographs provide an appealing visual context. Suggestions for further reading at the end of most entries and a guide to more general sources in an appendix introduce the reader to the literature on a specific topic. A list of Civil War museums and historic sites and a representative sampling of Civil War websites also point to resources that can be tailored to individual interests. A quick, convenient, user-friendly guide to all facets of the Civil War, this new updated edition also serves as an invaluable gateway to the rich historical record now available, perfect for virtually anyone who wants to learn more about this tumultuous period in our history.
Robert J. Cook
Politicians and opinion leaders on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line struggled to formulate coherent responses to the secession of the deep South states. The Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in mid-April 1861 triggered civil war and the loss of four upper South states from the Union. The essays by three senior historians in Secession Winter explore the robust debates that preceded these events.

For five months in the winter of 1860–1861, Americans did not know for certain that civil war was upon them. Some hoped for a compromise; others wanted a fight. Many struggled to understand what was happening to their country. Robert J. Cook, William L. Barney, and Elizabeth R. Varon take approaches to this period that combine political, economic, and social-cultural lines of analysis. Rather than focus on whether civil war was inevitable, they look at the political process of secession and find multiple internal divisions—political parties, whites and nonwhites, elites and masses, men and women. Even individual northerners and southerners suffered inner conflicts.

The authors include the voices of Unionists and Whig party moderates who had much to lose and upcountry folk who owned no slaves and did not particularly like those who did. Barney contends that white southerners were driven to secede by anxiety and guilt over slavery. Varon takes a new look at Robert E. Lee's decision to join the Confederacy. Cook argues that both northern and southern politicians claimed the rightness of their cause by constructing selective narratives of historical grievances.

Secession Winter explores the fact of contingency and reminds readers and students that nothing was foreordained.

Tony Horwitz
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011
A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011

Bestselling author Tony Horwitz tells the electrifying tale of the daring insurrection that put America on the path to bloody war

Plotted in secret, launched in the dark, John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry was a pivotal moment in U.S. history. But few Americans know the true story of the men and women who launched a desperate strike at the slaveholding South. Now, Midnight Rising portrays Brown's uprising in vivid color, revealing a country on the brink of explosive conflict.

Brown, the descendant of New England Puritans, saw slavery as a sin against America's founding principles. Unlike most abolitionists, he was willing to take up arms, and in 1859 he prepared for battle at a hideout in Maryland, joined by his teenage daughter, three of his sons, and a guerrilla band that included former slaves and a dashing spy. On October 17, the raiders seized Harpers Ferry, stunning the nation and prompting a counterattack led by Robert E. Lee. After Brown's capture, his defiant eloquence galvanized the North and appalled the South, which considered Brown a terrorist. The raid also helped elect Abraham Lincoln, who later began to fulfill Brown's dream with the Emancipation Proclamation, a measure he called "a John Brown raid, on a gigantic scale."

Tony Horwitz's riveting book travels antebellum America to deliver both a taut historical drama and a telling portrait of a nation divided—a time that still resonates in ours.

William L. Barney
William L. Barney
A gold mine for the historian as well as the Civil War buff, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Civil War offers a concise, comprehensive overview of the major personalities and pivotal events of the war that redefined the American nation. Drawing upon recent research that has moved beyond battles and military campaigns to address the significant roles played by civilians, women, and African Americans, the 250 entries explore the era in all its complexity and unmistakable human drama. Here of course are the major battles and campaigns, ranging from Gettysburg and Shiloh to Sherman's March to the Sea, as well as biographical entries on everyone from Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee to Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, and Walt Whitman. But the book also features entries on a wealth of other matters--music, photography, religion, economics, foreign affairs, medicine, prisons, legislative landmarks, military terms and weaponry, political events, social reform, women in the war, and much more. In addition, charts, newly commissioned maps, chronologies, and period photographs provide an appealing visual context. Suggestions for further reading at the end of most entries and a guide to more general sources in an appendix introduce the reader to the literature on a specific topic. A list of Civil War museums and historic sites and a representative sampling of Civil War websites also point to resources that can be tailored to individual interests. A quick, convenient, user-friendly guide to all facets of the Civil War, this new updated edition also serves as an invaluable gateway to the rich historical record now available, perfect for virtually anyone who wants to learn more about this tumultuous period in our history.
William L. Barney
A gold mine for the historian as well as the Civil War buff, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Civil War offers a concise, comprehensive overview of the major personalities and pivotal events of the war that redefined the American nation. Drawing upon recent research that has moved beyond battles and military campaigns to address the significant roles played by civilians, women, and African Americans, the 250 entries explore the era in all its complexity and unmistakable human drama. Here of course are the major battles and campaigns, ranging from Gettysburg and Shiloh to Sherman's March to the Sea, as well as biographical entries on everyone from Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee to Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, and Walt Whitman. But the book also features entries on a wealth of other matters--music, photography, religion, economics, foreign affairs, medicine, prisons, legislative landmarks, military terms and weaponry, political events, social reform, women in the war, and much more. In addition, charts, newly commissioned maps, chronologies, and period photographs provide an appealing visual context. Suggestions for further reading at the end of most entries and a guide to more general sources in an appendix introduce the reader to the literature on a specific topic. A list of Civil War museums and historic sites and a representative sampling of Civil War websites also point to resources that can be tailored to individual interests. A quick, convenient, user-friendly guide to all facets of the Civil War, this new updated edition also serves as an invaluable gateway to the rich historical record now available, perfect for virtually anyone who wants to learn more about this tumultuous period in our history.
Robert J. Cook
Politicians and opinion leaders on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line struggled to formulate coherent responses to the secession of the deep South states. The Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in mid-April 1861 triggered civil war and the loss of four upper South states from the Union. The essays by three senior historians in Secession Winter explore the robust debates that preceded these events.

For five months in the winter of 1860–1861, Americans did not know for certain that civil war was upon them. Some hoped for a compromise; others wanted a fight. Many struggled to understand what was happening to their country. Robert J. Cook, William L. Barney, and Elizabeth R. Varon take approaches to this period that combine political, economic, and social-cultural lines of analysis. Rather than focus on whether civil war was inevitable, they look at the political process of secession and find multiple internal divisions—political parties, whites and nonwhites, elites and masses, men and women. Even individual northerners and southerners suffered inner conflicts.

The authors include the voices of Unionists and Whig party moderates who had much to lose and upcountry folk who owned no slaves and did not particularly like those who did. Barney contends that white southerners were driven to secede by anxiety and guilt over slavery. Varon takes a new look at Robert E. Lee's decision to join the Confederacy. Cook argues that both northern and southern politicians claimed the rightness of their cause by constructing selective narratives of historical grievances.

Secession Winter explores the fact of contingency and reminds readers and students that nothing was foreordained.

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