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The Confederate Homefront: A History in Documents, by Wallace Hettle, editor

Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2017. Pp. xviii, 214. Sources, index. $50.00. ISBN: 080716755X.

The Southern People in the Confederate War

Prof. Hettle (Northern Iowa), the author of Inventing Stonewall Jackson: A Civil War Hero in History and Memory, has specialized in the social and cultural life of the South during era of the Civil War. In preparing this work, he collected over seventy newspaper clippings, diary entries, letters, official reports, memoirs, and such that illustrate how the people of the Confederacy – white, black, free, slave, Unionist, Secessionist, rich, poor, soldier, civilian – were affected by and responded to the Civil War.

The excerpts are grouped chronologically. The vary widely in subject matter: “A Louisiana Family Flees from the Union Army”, “The Mysterious Death of a Slave Woman”, “Fear of a Slave Rebellion in Mississippi”, “A Bread Riot in Richmond”, “The Arrest of a Virginia Dissenter”, “An Alabama Belle Leaves Home”, “A Former Slave describes a Death in His Master’s Family” and even Edmund Ruffin’s suicide note. These selection throw light on many different aspects of life on the Home Front, giving some insights into the different ways ordinary people experienced and endured the hardships of the war.

Although some items on the devastating effect of the South’s run-away inflation would have been valuable, The Confederate Home Front will prove useful reading for anyone interested in the life of the ordinary people of Confederacy during the war.

 

Note: The Confederate Home Front is also available as an e-pub.

 

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Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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