Book Review: The Confederate Heartland: Military and Civilian Morale in the Western Confederacy


by Bradley R. Clampitt

Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2011. Pp. xx, 236. Notes, biblio., index. $39.95. ISBN: 0807139955

The Confederate Heartland examines morale in the Confederate states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee, from the beginning of 1864 through to the end of the war in the Spring of 1865. 

Prof. Clampitt (East Central University), opens by noting that despite some 30 months of hard war, and many grievous blows, at the start of 1864 Confederate morale in the region remained surprisingly high, a phenomenon noted in most other regions of the Confederacy as well.  Moreover, during the opening months of the year morale actually rose, as Confederate forces everywhere did well in holding back the Union tide.  By mid-year, however, morale began to sag, despite some seeming Confederate successes, such as Hood’s invasion of Tennessee.  As the year came to a close, multiple reverses, notably the fall of Atlanta and the devastating losses at Franklin and Nashville, caused morale to drop precipitously.  Nevertheless, as Clampitt notes, among some citizens morale, or at least determination, remained high almost to the end. 

The Confederate Heartland , a volume in the LSU Press series “Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War,” is a valuable read for anyone interested in the Civil War, and particulary for those concerned with the Home Front.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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