Civil War America : A Social and Cultural History with Primary Sources book cover
1st Edition

Civil War America
A Social and Cultural History with Primary Sources

ISBN 9780415896009
Published October 17, 2012 by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

As war raged on the battlefields of the Civil War, men and women all over the nation continued their daily routines. They celebrated holidays, ran households, wrote letters, read newspapers, joined unions, attended plays, and graduated from high school and college. Civil War America reveals how Americans, both Northern and Southern, lived during the Civil War—the ways they worked, expressed themselves artistically, organized their family lives, treated illness, and worshipped.

Written by specialists, the chapters in this book cover the war’s impact on the economy, the role of the federal government, labor, welfare and reform efforts, the Indian nations, universities, healthcare and medicine, news coverage, photography, and a host of other topics that flesh out the lives of ordinary Americans who just happened to be living through the biggest conflict in American history. Along with the original material presented in the book chapters, the website accompanying the book is a treasure trove of primary sources, both textual and visual, keyed for each chapter topic.

Civil War America and its companion website uncover seismic shifts in the cultural and social landscape of the United States, providing the perfect addition to any course on the Civil War.

Table of Contents


Foreword by John Stauffer

Introduction by Maggi M. Morehouse and Zoe Trodd

Part I: Dissent and Disobedience

  1. Draft Resistance and Rioting: Shannon Smith Bennett
  2. Southern Dissent: David Williams
  3. Women Soldiers: Rachel Redfern
  4. Part II: Labor and Land

  5. The Domestic Sphere: Phyllis Thompson
  6. Labor Organizations: Mark A. Lause
  7. Commerce and Industry: Daniel Rasmussen
  8. The Environment: Megan Kate Nelson
  9. Part III: Religion and Reform

  10. Religion in the South: Thomas Lawrence Long
  11. Religion in the North: James R. Rohrer
  12. Reform and Welfare Societies: Lauren Brandt
  13. Part IV: Health and Education

  14. Higher Education: A.J. Angulo and Kimberly Cook
  15. Military Schools: Bradford A. Wineman
  16. Military Medicines: Guy R. Hasegawa
  17. Civilian Healthcare: James M. Schmidt
  18. Part V: Ethnic American Lives

  19. Slave Emancipation: Sharon A. Roger Hepburn
  20. Black Troops: Maggi M. Morehouse
  21. Immigrants: Jennifer A. Stollman
  22. Native Americans: W. Craig Gaines
  23. Part VI: Literature and Visual Culture

  24. Newspapers: Brayton Harris
  25. Literature: Vanessa Steinroetter
  26. Photography: Mandy A. Reid
  27. Painting and Illustration: Jennifer Raab
  28. Part VII: Leisure and Performance

  29. Music: Jack Hamilton
  30. Theater: Laura Ansley and Renée M. Sentilles
  31. Baseball: Ryan Swanson
  32. Sacred and Secular Holidays: Suanna H. Davis
  33. Part VII: Death and Aftermath

  34. Death and Dying: Nicole Day
  35. Veterans: John Casey
  36. Competing Memories: James M. Gillispie

About the Editors

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Maggi M. Morehouse is Associate Professor of Southern History and Director of the Burroughs Fund for Southern Studies at Coastal Carolina University.

Zoe Trodd is Professor and Chair of American Literature in the Department of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham.


"Civil War America offers readers a remarkably insightful and comprehensive collection of essays on the social and cultural history of the home front and the battlefield. Students and professors alike will find the essays accessible and substantive, perfect for sparking classroom discussions of this vital era. Covering a range of diverse topics such as wartime music and theater, education, sports, draft resistance, and African American troops, Civil War America opens myriad avenues for dialogue and understanding."

Jonathan D. Wells, author of A House Divided: The Civil War and Nineteenth Century America (Routledge)

"A new collection of twenty-nine short essays edited by Maggi Morehouse and Zoe Trodd falls into new thinking about the war...Especially useful are chapters covering cultural metamorphoses. These help students think beyond military and political institutions and consider the roles played by newspapers, literature, photography, the fine arts, music, and sports in shaping perceptions of the war and the broader, slippery entity called “American” culture."

Robert E. Weir, Smith College/University of Massachusetts Amherst