The best books on little-known aspects of the Confederate era

Dennis L. Peterson Author Of Christ in Camp and Combat: Religious Work in the Confederate Armies
By Dennis L. Peterson

The Books I Picked & Why

Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery

By Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, Jennifer Frank

Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery

Why this book?

Three veteran journalists without a regional axe to grind but only a desire to find and communicate the historical facts present a compelling argument that slavery was a national, not merely a Southern, problem. Their findings are truly an inconvenient truth that anti-Southern historians must face if they sincerely want to be objective chroniclers of our nation’s history.


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Clash of Extremes

By Marc Egnal

Clash of Extremes

Why this book?

Egnal shows that the causes of the war were indeed complex and multifaceted rather than resting on a single simplistic issue. His is a thorough treatment of the many economic factors involved in the war that resulted.


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Ersatz in the Confederacy: Shortages and Substitutes on the Southern Homefront

By Mary Elizabeth Massey

Ersatz in the Confederacy: Shortages and Substitutes on the Southern Homefront

Why this book?

Economic issues, including shortages of staple consumer goods, plagued the South throughout the war. Wherever a shortage existed, however, so did Southern efforts to find substitutes to meet the needs. Some of those substitutes were quite surprising and innovative.


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Confederate Industry: Manufacturers and Quartermasters in the Civil War

By Harold S. Wilson

Confederate Industry: Manufacturers and Quartermasters in the Civil War

Why this book?

Although the South was not considered an industrial power, depending as it did on a primarily agricultural economy, the necessities of the war forced it to move toward greater and various emphases on industries and manufacturing. The strides it made, especially given the strictures of war, including a manpower shortage and a shrinking geographical base, are truly remarkable.


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Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War

By Traci Nichols-Belt

Onward Southern Soldiers: Religion and the Army of Tennessee in the Civil War

Why this book?

Although many (even most) historians relegate religion to the periphery of the history of the war, Nichols-Belt shows it to be a critical ingredient of that history. Moreover, although historians who admit the importance of religion to the South’s conduct of the war, most of them focus primarily on the armies in the East. Nichols-Belt shines a light on the just-as-important influence of religion in the armies of the Western theater, specifically the Army of Tennessee.


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