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Confederate Women and Yankee Men: A UNC Press Civil War Short, Excerpted from Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

Confederate Women and Yankee Men: A UNC Press Civil War Short, Excerpted from Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

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Confederate Women and Yankee Men: A UNC Press Civil War Short, Excerpted from Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

Lunghezza:
80 pagine
1 ora
Pubblicato:
Mar 15, 2012
ISBN:
9780807838525
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

When Confederate men marched off to battle, southern women struggled with the new responsibilities of directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. Drew Gilpin Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute crisis, when every part of these women's lives became vexed and uncertain.

In this UNC Press Short, excerpted from Mother's of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, Drew Gilpin Faust explores the legendary hostility of Confederate women toward Yankee soldiers. From daily acts of belligerence to murder and espionage, these women struggled not only with the Yankee enemy in their midst but with the genteel ideal of white womanhood that was at odds with their wartime acts of resistance.

UNC Press Civil War Shorts excerpt compelling, shorter narratives from selected best-selling books published by the University of North Carolina Press and present them as engaging, quick reads. Produced exclusively in ebook format, these shorts present essential concepts, defining moments, and concise introductions to topics. They are intended to stir the imagination and encourage further exploration of the original publications from which these works are drawn.

Pubblicato:
Mar 15, 2012
ISBN:
9780807838525
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Drew Gilpin Faust is president of Harvard University. Her books includeSouthern Stories: Slaveholders in Peace and War and The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South.

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Anteprima del libro

Confederate Women and Yankee Men - Drew Gilpin Faust

Confederate Women and Yankee Men

A UNC Press Civil War Short, Excerpted from Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

Drew Gilpin Faust

When Confederate men marched off to battle, southern women struggled with the new responsibilities of directing farms and plantations, providing for families, and supervising increasingly restive slaves. Drew Gilpin Faust offers a compelling picture of the more than half-million women who belonged to the slaveholding families of the Confederacy during this period of acute crisis, when every part of their lives became vexed and uncertain.

In this UNC Press Short, excerpted from Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, Drew Gilpin Faust explores the legendary hostility of Confederate women toward Yankee soldiers. In actions ranging from daily displays of belligerence to murder and espionage, these women struggled not only with the Yankee enemy in their midst but also with the genteel ideal of white womanhood that was at odds with their wartime acts of resistance.

Drew Gilpin Faust is president of Harvard University. Her books include Southern Stories: Slaveholders in Peace and War, The Creation of Confederate Nationalism: Ideology and Identity in the Civil War South, and This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War.

UNC Press Civil War Shorts excerpt compelling, shorter narratives from selected best-selling books published by the University of North Carolina Press and present them as engaging, quick reads. Produced exclusively in ebook format, these shorts present essential concepts, defining moments, and concise introductions to topics. They are intended to stir the imagination and encourage further exploration of the topic. For in-depth analysis, contextualization, and perspective, we invite readers to turn to the original publications from which these works are drawn.

Confederate Women and Yankee Men consists of the introduction, chapter 9, the epilogue, and the afterword from Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, by Drew Gilpin Faust. © 1996 The University of North Carolina Press. All rights reserved.

www.uncpress.unc.edu

The Library of Congress has cataloged the original edition of this book as follows:

Faust, Drew Gilpin.

Mothers of invention : women of the slaveholding South in the American Civil War / by Drew Gilpin Faust.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 0-8078-2255-8 (alk. paper)

1. United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865—Women.

2. Women—Confederate States of America—History.

3. Confederate States of America—History. I. Title.

E628.F35 1996

973-7′15042—dc20 95-8896

CIP 00 99 98 97 5 4

UNC Press Civil War Shorts ebook edition published in 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8078-3852-5

For more information on UNC Press ebook shorts, visit www.uncpressebookshorts.com.

Contents

Introduction

Chapter Nine - To Relieve My Bottled Wrath

Epilogue

Afterword

Notes

INTRODUCTION

All the Relations of Life

Just a little more than a year after the firing on Fort Sumter and the outbreak of armed conflict between North and South, Lucy Buck of Front Royal, Virginia, observed in her diary, We shall never any of us be the same as we have been. The Civil War would replace the Old South with a new, slavery with freedom, and wealth with poverty. In transforming governments, economies, and society, the war necessarily challenged the very foundations of personal identity as well.¹

White men and women of the antebellum South had defined and understood themselves in relation to a number of categories: race, which marked the difference between bound and free, superior and inferior; gender, which was designed to distinguish independent from dependent, patriarch from subordinate; and class, more subtle and more hidden in a society that rested within a democratizing America but present nonetheless in distinctions of wealth, power, education, and refinement, in claims to honor and gentility. Of course, white southerners acknowledged other identities as well; they might be Presbyterians or Baptists or Methodists, Louisianians or Virginians or South Carolinians, Whigs or Democrats, but none of these characteristics was so readily apparent or so socially or personally fundamental as the Old South’s hierarchies of race, gender, and class. Southerners inevitably thought of themselves first in terms of blackness or whiteness and maleness or femaleness, for these attributes did not just shape identities but dictated life choices and aspirations. In the minds of white southerners, class was less rigid than these seemingly biological distinctions, yet this very fluidity made attention to social status and its shifts all the more imperative, for class identity had to be constantly asserted and claimed. Evident in skin color, dress, hairstyle, language, and prescribed behavior, race, class, and gender were both the markers and the principal determinants of power, as well as the stuff of self-definition.

When the Civil War convulsed southern society, when it overthrew slavery and undermined the wealth and political power of the planter elite, it necessarily threatened and transformed each of these interrelated hierarchies, instigating what one contemporary newspaper described as a Stampede from the Patriarchal Relation that had so firmly placed white men at the apex of the social pyramid. But perhaps just as significant as measurable shifts in social power was the challenge to the very categories that had defined and embodied that dominance. What did whiteness mean when it was no longer the all but exclusive color of freedom? What was maleness when it was defeated and impoverished, when men had failed as providers and protectors? What did womanhood involve once the notion of

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