By Stephen V. Ash
A 12 months within the South is ready 4 traditional humans in a rare time. They lived within the South in the course of 1865 -- a 12 months that observed conflict, disunion, and slavery collapse to peace, reconstruction, and emancipation. One was once a slave decided to realize freedom, one a widow scuffling with poverty and melancholy, one a guy of God and planter’s son grappling with religious and worldly issues, and one a former accomplice soldier looking a brand new existence. among January and December 1865 they witnessed, from very diverse vantage issues, the dying of the outdated South and the delivery of the recent South. Civil struggle historian Stephen V. Ash reconstructs their day-by-day lives, their fears and hopes, and their frustrations and triumphs in brilliant element, telling a dramatic tale of genuine humans in a time of serious upheaval and delivering a clean point of view on a pivotal second in heritage.
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Extra resources for A Year in the South: Four Lives in 1865
The rebel states, battered relentlessly by the Yankee army and navy and disintegrating internally, were sinking to their knees. The success of Superintendent Brooks and Commissioner Woolsey was remarkable considering the problems they faced, particularly the scarcity of black laborers. The two managers beneﬁted in one sense from the Confederacy’s military reverses, for every advance of the Yankee army drove more slave LOUIS HUGHES 25 owners into the Confederate interior seeking a safe place to put their slaves to work; still, the number of slaves the saltworks gained thereby was not enough.
But the real source of Lexington’s glory was its association with the legendary Stonewall Jackson, martyred hero of the Confederacy. 5 The two-hundred-mile-long Shenandoah Valley had been ravaged since the war began, but mostly in the lower counties in the northern part of the state, which Union troops had marched through many times. 6 Had some of Cornelia’s kinfolk prevailed, she would not have stayed in Lexington. In the days following the death of her husband, Angus, in Richmond—it had occurred just a month before, on December 1, 1864— she had talked with relatives in that city about her future.
22 Cornelia’s soul-searching was short-lived. ” So, for three or four hours in the mornings, she taught drawing in her parlor. The same acquaintance who arranged this found two other young ladies who wanted advanced French lessons, and they began coming in the afternoons to read poetry and history. 23 Another bit of luck took care of the problem of winter fuel. Firewood cost more than thirty dollars a cord in Lexington, and the big drafty house on Main Street demanded a lot of it now that the weather had turned cold.