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Bitterly Divided: The South's Inner…
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Bitterly Divided: The South's Inner Civil War (original 2008; edition 2010)

by David Williams

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Member:thewingnutrva
Title:Bitterly Divided: The South's Inner Civil War
Authors:David Williams
Info:New Press, The (2010), Edition: First Trade Paper Edition, Paperback, 320 pages
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Bitterly Divided: The South's Inner Civil War by David Williams (2008)

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This is an eye-opening look at the civil war going on in the Confederate States of America at the same time that they were attempting to wage the Civil War against the North.

Williams quotes letters, diaries, newspapers, etc., to argue that most of the population of the South, possibly even among whites, opposed secession from the United States of America. The planter elite used a combination of chicanery, violence and disenfranchisement to set up a new country. As the war went on, and the wealthy planters, who were exempt from the draft, demanded enormous sacrifices from poor whites, it became clearer to the latter that it was a "rich man's war and a poor man's fight." Whether out of loyalty to the United States, class warfare or concern for the sufferings of their families, southern whites resisted the authority of the Confederate States, or fought outright for the Union, forming a quarter of the US Army.

Williams devotes separate chapters to the struggle of African Americans. He doubts that Lincoln would ever have issued the Emancipation Proclamation if the slaves hadn't force the issue by their resistance. The Native Americans, many of whom hoped to simply stay out of the conflict, died by the thousands as neither government supported them.

The book is well-written and gripping, and recommended for anyone interested in American history. ( )
2 vote juglicerr | Oct 6, 2008 |
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For Teresa Forever and Always
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A few weeks after Abraham Lincoln's election, in the Confederacy's future capital city, Virginia Unionists organized a mass meeting of the "working men of Richmond" to oppose secession.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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At the height of the Civil War, a Georgia citizen wrote to his governor that "the Southern people are fast becoming as bitterly divided against one another as the Southern and Northern people ever has been." Historian David Williams reveals just how divided the Confederacy truly was. Instead of the united front that has been passed down in Southern mythology, the South was in fact fighting two civil wars--an external one that we know so much about and an internal one about which there is scant literature and virtually no public awareness. Williams shows that from the Confederacy's very beginnings white Southerners were as likely to have opposed secession as to have supported it, and they undermined the Confederate war effort at nearly every turn. When planters grew too much cotton and tobacco and exempted themselves from the draft, plain folk called the conflict a "rich man's war" and rioted. Many formed armed anti-Confederate bands. Southern Indians too, though allied by most of their tribal governments with the Confederacy, often violently opposed Confederate authority. And Southern blacks, in what W. E. B. Du Bois called "a general strike against the Confederacy," resisted in increasingly overt ways, escaped by the thousands, and forced a change in the war's direction that led to emancipation. Shattering the myth of wartime Southern unity, this new analysis takes on the Confederacy's popular image and reveals it to be, like the Confederacy itself, a fatally fractured edifice. [from the book jacket]
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Discusses the division within the Confederacy between citizens in the Southern states who opposed secession and those who supported it, including the white poor, Southern Native Americans, and Southern free blacks.

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