September 2016 (vol. 6, no. 3)

September 2016 (vol. 6, no. 3)

Volume 6, Number 3

September 2016



Editor’s Note


Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture

Joseph T. Glatthaar

A Tale of Two Armies: The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac and Their Cultures

This article, drawn from the 2015 Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture, illuminates the distinct cultures that emerged in the Union Army of the Potomac and Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and argues that those disparate cultures “shaped the course and outcome of the war.” Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, the article uncovers the demographic backgrounds of a random sample of the soldiers who served in both armies to demonstrate how soldiers’ backgrounds shaped the cultures of these armies. In the Army of Northern Virginia the author finds a military that was divided sharply by wealth but united by southerners’ shared sense of honor. The Army of the Potomac, on the other hand, largely was an army of laborers who were used to the kind of discipline, regimentation, and teamwork required in the military. Buttressed by its culture and unity, the Army of the Potomac was able to undertake a relentless offensive late in the war that weakened the Army of Northern Virginia, undermined its unity, and ultimately forced its surrender.

read this article at project muse



David K. Thomson

“Like a Cord through the Whole Country”: Union Bonds and Financial Mobilization for Victory

This article examines the little-studied Union bond drives orchestrated by the financier Jay Cooke during the Civil War. More than just a means of funding the war, Cooke saw the bond drives as instruments for unifying the nation and smoothing over political and cultural divisions in pursuit of military victory over the Confederacy. While Cooke and his agents managed the drives and marketed the bonds, this essay focuses on the public’s positive response to the drives. Using material from the Recordss of the Bureau of the Public Debt at the National Archives and other sources, Thompson analyzed the demographics of bond ownership and found that a significant portion of the bold holders were common people: workers, farmers, women, and soldiers. This was especially true of the 7-30 bond drive which comprised mostly small bond purchases. By engaging a broad spectrum of the public, these successful bond drives spearheaded the development of a new post-war financial industry focused on turning “the people writ large” into investors.

read this article at project muse


Mark E. Neely, Jr.

Guerrilla Warfare, Slavery, and the Hopes of the Confederacy

This article revisits the old question of why the Confederacy did not resort to guerrilla warfare in the waning days of the Civil War to try to save their nascent nation. While previous histories have argued that southerners feared guerrilla warfare would undermine slavery, this essay counters that Confederate citizens evinced little fear that partisan warfare would put the South’s institutions, including slavery, at risk. Delving into popular fiction by William Gilmore Simms, Nathaniel Beverley Tucker, Edmund Ruffin, Jane Tandy Hardin Cross, and Sally Rochester Ford, among others, the essay traces a literary tradition that articulated a distinct southern nationalism through romantic portrayals of guerrilla war heroes. But romantic invocations of noble guerrillas withered in the face of grim military reality. The reason the Confederacy’s military leadership did not endorse guerrilla warfare in the waning days of the conflict simply was because they did not believe it was a viable strategy for ensuring the survival of the nascent nation.

read this article at project muse


Review Essay

Robert Cook

The Quarrel Forgotten? Toward a Clearer Understanding of Sectional Reconciliation

This review essay surveys recent literature on the lengthy process of reconciliation following the Civil War. It highlights those works that have challenged the predominant narrative of a relatively uncomplicated reconciliation achieved through the growth of a militant American nationalism in the late nineteenth century. Since the publication of David Blight’s groundbreaking Race and Reunion, numerous scholars have invoked the simmering postwar hostility between Union and Confederate veterans. Even as these veterans participated in reunion events, a Lost Cause memory of the war persisted in the South, while an emancipationist and unionist vision of the war prevailed in the North for years to come. Ultimately, these recent works show, reunion was a contested and uneven process well into the twentieth century.

read this article at project muse


Book Reviews

Books Received

Notes on Contributors