Covers new and classic American Civil War books and media.
Lincoln and the Natural Environment, James Tackach, 150pp., 8 illustrations, bibliographic notes, bibliography, index, Southern Illinois University Press, 2019 $24.95
Lincoln's life occurred during an era of transition from when most individuals were farmers who lived in relatively new states to a time when metropolitan regions and webs of commerce began to dominate the natural environment. During the early decades of Lincoln's life water powered then steam powered mills began to produce clothing, farm tools and machines, and domestic goods. The first half of the 1800s most citizens lived on farms and in small communities. By mid-century, farmers and industrial workers had both come to dominate the interactions of the economy with the natural environment.
On the eve of the Civil War, more than 70 percent of Americans lived on farms or in small farm towns, and agriculture was the nation's largest and fastest-growing business.
Additional review at H-Net:https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showpdf.php?id=53544
Like camps holding Union prisoners in the South, Fort Delaware, located on the Delaware River, was not a pleasant place. More than 40,000 Confederate prisoners of war cycled through the brick-walled prison between 1862 and 1865. Overcrowding, poor handling of sanitation, and short rations resulted in the deaths of many prisoners. Astonishingly, 56,000 men fighting on both sides died while imprisoned during the conflict. The paper numbers four pages in total.
Despite these conditions, the men at Fort Delaware evolved an informal economy, staged entertainments, and formed clubs. This newspaper was mostly concerned with covering these aspects of the prison experience. In their introductory column, the editors of the paper warn the reader that “nothing political will be indulged in” and promise instead to promote “public improvements, the Fine Arts, and Advancement of Literature.”
The “ancient toast” printed in the central column refers to “the old chivalric time.” Southerners before and after the Civil War were particularly intrigued by chivalry, knighthood, and the literature of Sire Walter Scott and this offering reflects that taste. The newspaper also carries paid advertisements for barbershops, “washing and ironing,” dental services, and music instruction. If the first issue is any indication, the editors had no problem finding prisoners willing to underwrite this venture with their advertising dollars.
In The Civil War in 50 Objects, historian Harold Holzer wrote about this newspaper and surmises that this edition of the Prison Times was probably one of very few produced. Vol. 1, No. 1 was “printed” the same month that the war ended.
Source: Slate, The Vault