10 books like Apostles of Disunion

By Charles B. Dew,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Apostles of Disunion. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Hospital Sketches

By Louisa May Alcott,

Book cover of Hospital Sketches

Early in the war, writer Louisa May Alcott journeyed to the nation’s capital to care for sick and wounded soldiers. Over a period of six weeks, she experienced firsthand the rigors of life in crowded hospital wards as a nurse to men suffering from disease and wounds. She recorded her observations in a series of accounts printed in a Boston newspaper. These writings formed the basis of Hospital Sketches. Published a month after the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, when the outcome of the war remained uncertain, Alcott’s words encouraged other women to support the U.S. war effort, and remind us today of the critical role of nurses in times of conflict.

Hospital Sketches

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Hospital Sketches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Complete and unabridged paperback edition.

Collection of short stories.

First published in 1863.


Union Must Stand

By Mark Grimsley,

Book cover of Union Must Stand: Civil War Diaries John Quincy Adams Campbell

A soldier in an Iowa infantry regiment, John Quincy Adams Campbell spent the conflict in the war’s western theater, present at, among other things, the fall of Vicksburg on July 4,1863, which even at the time he recognized as a turning point of the war. His diary, interlaced with some letters that he wrote to his hometown during the war, comments incisively on the military progress of war in the Mississippi Valley from the perspective of one infantrymen, offering today’s readers insights into the immediacy and also the limits of the view of one person actually living through the alternating boredom of camp life and terror of battle. Campbell also commented astutely on social conditions, on the motivations of his fellow soldiers and of the populations they met in the South, and on all that he saw at stake in the war. His first-hand account offers sharp insight into the…

Union Must Stand

By Mark Grimsley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Union Must Stand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Only rarely does a Civil War diarist combine detailed observations of events with an intelligent understanding of their significance. John Campbell, a newspaperman before the war, left such a legacy. A politically aware Union soldier with strong moral and abolitionist beliefs, Campbell recorded not only his own reflections on wartime matters but also those of his comrades and the southerners-soldiers, civilians, and slaves-that he encountered.

Campbell served in the Fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry from 1861 to 1864. He participated in the war's major theaters and saw early action at Island No. 10, Iuka, and Corinth. His diary is especially valuable…


The Harriet Jacobs Family Papers

By Joseph M Thomas, Scott Korb, Jean Fagan Yellin

Book cover of The Harriet Jacobs Family Papers

As the Union Army penetrated into Confederate territory, enslaved men, women, and children fled bondage to take refuge with the army. Roughly half a million formerly enslaved people exited slavery in this way, spending the war in encampments appended to the army or in Union occupied cities. They influenced the progress and outcome of the war as well as emancipation. They also encountered conditions that amounted to a humanitarian crisis, one that soldiers tasked with fighting a war were ill-equipped to meet. Civilians from the North made their way to camps and occupied cities to serve as relief workers. Harriet Jacobs headed South as just such a worker. Jacobs herself had been born a slave and made a harrowing escape decades earlier, but when war broke out, she braved the South again. She made her way to Alexandria, Virginia where she worked among the many freedom seekers who came to…

The Harriet Jacobs Family Papers

By Joseph M Thomas, Scott Korb, Jean Fagan Yellin

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Harriet Jacobs Family Papers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the only collection of papers of an African American woman held in slavery.Although millions of African American women were held in bondage over the 250 years that slavery was legal in the United States, Harriet Jacobs (1813-97) is the only one known to have left papers testifying to her life. Her autobiography, ""Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl"", holds a central place in the canon of American literature as the most important slave narrative by an African American woman.Born in Edenton, North Carolina, Jacobs escaped from her owner in her mid-twenties and hid in the cramped…


Brokenburn

By John Q. Anderson,

Book cover of Brokenburn: The Journal of Kate Stone, 1861-1868

Kate Stone was 20 years old when the Civil War came, living as a cherished daughter in a large, loving, wealthy Louisiana family headed by her indomitable widowed mother. The war up-ended Kate’s world. Beloved brothers joined the Confederate Army. First luxuries and then necessities dried up. Union forces helped themselves to Kate’s favorite horse. Neighbors and relations died or left. Eventually Kate and her family did, too, “refugeeing” to Texas where they did not always mingle smoothly with the locals. Meanwhile, the same forces that shattered Kate’s world opened the doors to a new one for the many enslaved people on whom Kate and her family relied. Kate’s marvelously eloquent diary offers readers a front-row seat into the drama of the Confederate homefront as a young woman on the cusp of adulthood experienced it, and from the corner of the reader’s eye, we also see glimpses of enslaved people…

Brokenburn

By John Q. Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brokenburn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This journal records the Civil War experiences of a sensitive, well-educated, young southern woman. Kate Stone was twenty when the war began, living with her widowed mother, five brothers, and younger sister at Brokenburn, their plantation home in northeastern Louisiana. When Grant moved against Vicksburg, the family fled before the invading armies, eventually found refuge in Texas, and finally returned to a devastated home.

Kate began her journal in May, 1861, and made regular entries up to November, 1865. She included briefer sketches in 1867 and 1868. In chronicling her everyday activities, Kate reveals much about a way of life…


Confederate Slave Impressment in the Upper South

By Jaime Amanda Martinez,

Book cover of Confederate Slave Impressment in the Upper South

The Confederacy relied extensively on slave labor throughout the Civil War. The Confederate War Department and Engineer Bureau utilized enslaved labor to construct fortifications at key sites, build and repair railroad lines, and manufacture war materiel in places like Richmond’s Tredegar Iron Works. According to historian Jaime Martinez, this impressed labor forced slaveowners into close cooperation with an increasingly centralized Confederate government that struggled to conduct a war against an enemy that enjoyed advantages in manpower and other resources. One of the most valuable aspects of this book is its coverage of the conditions that slaves operated under while on military duty. Many became sick and died while others took their chances to escape to the Union army. Finally, Martinez argues convincingly that the Confederacy’s impressment policies influenced the timing of Lincoln’s push toward emancipation as a way to undermine the Confederate mobilization of slave labor.

Confederate Slave Impressment in the Upper South

By Jaime Amanda Martinez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Confederate Slave Impressment in the Upper South as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Under policies instituted by the Confederacy, white Virginians and North Carolinians surrendered control over portions of their slave populations to state authorities, military officials, and the national government to defend their new nation. State and local officials cooperated with the Confederate War Department and Engineer Bureau, as well as individual generals, to ensure a supply of slave labor on fortifications. Using the implementation of this policy in the Upper South as a window into the workings of the Confederacy, Jaime Amanda Martinez provides a social and political history of slave impressment. She challenges the assumption that the conduct of the…


Marching Masters

By Colin Edward Woodward,

Book cover of Marching Masters: Slavery, Race, and the Confederate Army During the Civil War

Most Confederate soldiers were not slaveholders, but as historian Colin Woodward argues, all of them were products of a slaveholding culture and, as a result, fought to maintain the rigid racial hierarchy that had come to define their respective communities. Appreciating the central place that the defense of slavery occupied for most Confederates helps us to better understand why the war lasted as long as it did. Some of the most interesting chapters in this book explore the roles played by thousands of body servants that accompanied officers from the slaveholding class. Enslaved men performed a wide range of jobs, including cooking meals, washing clothes, and digging ditches. Their presence served as a constant reminder of the army’s reliance on enslaved labor and its broader significance as the Confederacy’s “cornerstone.”

Marching Masters

By Colin Edward Woodward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marching Masters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Confederate army went to war to defend a nation of slaveholding states, and although men rushed to recruiting stations for many reasons, they understood that the fundamental political issue at stake in the conflict was the future of slavery. Most Confederate soldiers were not slaveholders themselves, but they were products of the largest and most prosperous slaveholding civilization the world had ever seen, and they sought to maintain clear divisions between black and white, master and servant, free and slave.

In Marching Masters Colin Woodward explores not only the importance of slavery in the minds of Confederate soldiers but…


Lee and Jackson's Bloody Twelfth

By Johnnie Perry Pearson (editor),

Book cover of Lee and Jackson's Bloody Twelfth: The Letters of Irby Goodwin Scott, First Lieutenant, Company G, Putnam Light Infantry, Twelfth Georgia Volunteer Infantry

Over one million men served in the Confederate army between 1861 and 1865. Their letters and diaries offer insight into every aspect of military service, including their views on slavery. Irby Goodwin Scott’s published letters track his movements in the Army of Northern Virginia and include detailed coverage of some of the bloodiest battles of the war. They also offer a window into the relationship between one officer and two body servants that accompanied him at different times during the war. Scott relied on his body servants in camp, on the march, and even on the battlefield, but he also acknowledged a shared experience brought on by the exigency of war. Together master and slave experienced being away from family, suffered through inclement weather, and bouts of sickness. The relationship between master and slave evolved over the course of the war, based on a wide range of factors. Violence was…

Lee and Jackson's Bloody Twelfth

By Johnnie Perry Pearson (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lee and Jackson's Bloody Twelfth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Offering a fascinating look at an ordinary soldier's struggle to survive not only the horrors of combat but also the unrelenting hardship of camp life, Lee and Jackson's Bloody Twelfth brings together for the first time the extant correspondence of Confederate lieutenant Irby Goodwin Scott, who served in the hard-fighting Twelfth Georgia Infantry.

The collection begins with Scott's first letter home from Richmond, Virginia, in June 1861, and ends with his last letter to his father in February 1865. Scott miraculously completed the journey from naive recruit to hardened veteran while seeing action in many of the Eastern Theatre's most…


Confederate Emancipation

By Bruce Levine,

Book cover of Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves During the Civil War

The Confederacy was consistent throughout most of the war that Black men could not be recruited to serve in the army as soldiers. This was a war to preserve slavery and white supremacy and Black enlisted men would have undermined the very justification for secession and the creation of a new nation. As the war entered its fourth year, however, more and more people realized that this policy was no longer tenable. Historian Bruce Levine offers a thorough analysis of the very public and bitterly divisive debate that took place throughout the Confederacy in 1864 over whether slaves could be recruited as soldiers. Confederates debated this subject in the capital of Richmond, in the army, and in countless newspapers. The question was clear: Should the Confederacy recruit Black men as a way to avoid defeat? That it took the Confederate government until mid-March 1865 to finally approve slave enlistment—much too…

Confederate Emancipation

By Bruce Levine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Confederate Emancipation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In early 1864, as the Confederate Army of Tennessee licked its wounds after being routed at the Battle of Chattanooga, Major-General Patrick Cleburne (the "Stonewall of the West") proposed that "the most courageous of our slaves" be trained as soldiers and that "every slave in the South who shall remain true to the Confederacy in this war" be freed.
In Confederate Emancipation, Bruce Levine looks closely at such Confederate plans to arm and free slaves. He shows that within a year of Cleburne's proposal, which was initially rejected out of hand, Jefferson Davis, Judah P. Benjamin, and Robert E. Lee…


Killers of the Dream

By Lillian Smith,

Book cover of Killers of the Dream

This autobiography of white Civil Rights activist Lillian Smith unpacks the society that shaped her as she struggled against her childhood lessons about how to interact with Whites and Blacks in the South. Smith deftly immerses you into her world with anecdotes, leading the reader through the interactions that shaped her and other white children across the South, including her experiences with racial violence and racism. Despite being written more than half a century ago, connections remain to our world. My recommendation is to read the 1994 version with an updated introduction placing the work into context.

Killers of the Dream

By Lillian Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Killers of the Dream as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Published to wide controversy, it became the source (acknowledged or unacknowledged) of much of our thinking about race relations and was for many a catalyst for the civil rights movement. It remains the most courageous, insightful, and eloquent critique of the pre-1960s South.

"I began to see racism and its rituals of segregation as a symptom of a grave illness," Smith wrote. "When people think more of their skin color than of their souls, something has happened to them." Today, readers are rediscovering in Smith's writings a forceful analysis of the dynamics of racism, as well as her prophetic understanding…


Deep Roots

By Avidit Acharyo, Matthew Blackwell, Maya Sen

Book cover of Deep Roots: How Slavery Still Shapes Southern Politics

I love this book because it’s political science at its best; it uses a lot of great data to study how history affects us in the present; it shows us how hard change is and also what makes it possible. It’s depressing and hopeful and super smart. It’s social science but it’s also very readable.

Deep Roots

By Avidit Acharyo, Matthew Blackwell, Maya Sen

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Deep Roots as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lasting effects of slavery on contemporary political attitudes in the American South

Despite dramatic social transformations in the United States during the last 150 years, the South has remained staunchly conservative. Southerners are more likely to support Republican candidates, gun rights, and the death penalty, and southern whites harbor higher levels of racial resentment than whites in other parts of the country. Why haven't these sentiments evolved? Deep Roots shows that the entrenched views of white southerners are a direct consequence of the region's slaveholding history. Today, southern whites who live in areas once reliant on slavery-compared to areas…


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