September 2022 (vol. 12, no. 3)

September 2022 (vol. 12, no. 3)

Volume 12, Number 3
September 2022

Editors’ Note
Kate Masur and Gregory Downs

read this article at project muse




Thavolia Glymph

“She Wears the Flag of Our Country”: Women, Nation, and War

Editors’ Note: The 2022 Tom Watson Brown Award essay is derived from the acceptance speech for the Tom Watson Brown Prize, awarded for the best book published on the Civil War era in 2020. Tad Brown, president of the Watson-Brown Foundation, awarded the prize to Thavolia Glymph for her book The Women’s Fight: The Civil War’s Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation, published by the University of North Carolina Press. Dr. Glymph delivered her acceptance speech during the Southern Historical Association’s virtual annual meeting on November 5, 2021. The Society of Civil War Historians judges and administers the book prize.

read this article at project muse



Louis P. Masur

Abraham Lincoln and the Problem of Reconstruction

From the start of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln considered the problem of reconstruction, and for four years he took actions that he hoped would hasten the end of the rebellion: he supported the admission of West Virginia, he appointed military governors, he issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, and, in his last speech, delivered on April 11, 1865, he offered a vision for the future, one that included black men as voting citizens. Lincoln’s ideas about reconstruction may have led to a rupture with Congress over the Wade-Davis bill, but they provided a blueprint for his vision of a just and generous peace that leaves us wondering what might have happened had he lived.

Keywords: Lincoln, Reconstruction, Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, Wade-Davis Bill, Military governors, West Virginia, Louisiana, Voting rights

read this article at project muse



Evan Turiano

“Prophecies of Loss”: Debating Slave Flight during Virginia’s Secession Crisis

This article examines debates over fugitives from slavery during Virginia’s secession movement. By considering these debates in the context of Virginia’s history of freedom seekers, the constitutional politics of fugitive slave rendition, and white fears of politically informed slave resistance, this article clarifies how proslavery Virginians understood the threat posed by interstate slave flight in 1861. Proslavery Virginians on both sides of the secession conflict agreed that, in the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s election, runaways posed a grave danger to Virginia slavery. Early in the convention, southeastern planters and northwestern Unionists forged an alliance based on their fear of losing federal protection against slave flight. After slaveholders interpreted President Lincoln as hostile to enforcing the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, however, secessionists used the issue to frame the northern public as aggressive and foreign.

Keywords: Fugitives from Slavery, Secession, Slavery, Virginia, Constitutional Politics, Slave Resistance, Abraham Lincoln, 1850 Fugitive Slave Law

read this article at project muse



Richard Bell

Peepholes, Eels, and Pickett’s Charge: Doing Microhistory Then and Now

What is microhistory, exactly? We know it when we see it, but does it have any formal characteristics beyond a tight focus on a small subject? This survey of microhistorical theory, practice, and historiography contends that its particular historical methods emanate from a core set of precepts grounded in contingency, disruption, uncertainty, and transparency. Over the last fifty years, the practice of microhistory in the United States has been characterized by ceaseless experimentation and by contests regarding the proper balance between narrative and narration. Yet this essay argues that the central tenets of Carlo Ginzburg-era microhistory retain their analytical potency and offer a unique set of tools well suited to tackling the knottiest problems in contemporary Civil War studies.

Keywords: Microhistory, Historiography, Historical Methods, Narrative, Narration, Carlo Ginzburg, Civil War studies

read this article at project muse