Tuesday, May 29, 2012

North Carolina In The Civil War, Michael C. Hardy, History Press, 160 pp, 73 illustrations, bibliography, 19.99.

Clear and concise, North Carolina In The Civil War covers the essentials of a Confederate state with conflicting loyalties.  Organized chronologically, Hardy's work flows smoothly from 1861 to 1865, the Reconstruction Era, and the Memorial Era. Tucked in between chapters 5 [1865] and 7 [Reconstruction] is a chapter entitled Tar Heels To Front.  Chapter 6, tightly organized, covers quite a bit of ground regarding North Carolina's regiments.  Certainly a quite a bit more could be stated regarding the Old North State's soldiers but the publisher sets the page count.  The concluding chapter, 'Looking for the Civil War in North Carolina Today' is helpful.

 North Carolina In The Civil War offers a wide range of topics such as the blockade and blockade runners, dissent and desertion, and consumer prices and conscription practices. Hardy offers an even handed treatment of Confederate patriots, Union loyalists and their conflicts. He avoids discussing Tar Heels feelings on the extension of slavery into the western territories. Also, he occasionally describes political parties as being either 'liberal' or 'conservative'  that may be confusing in light of the 19th century and current understandings of the words. Helpful would have been the inclusion of  a county map, a land form and river map, and an population centers map. A final tally of military enlistments, combat deaths and damages inflicted upon civilians as compared to the other  states in the Confederacy would have been intriguing to see. Overall, though lacking footnotes or endnotes, Hardy' s North Carolina In The Civil War is a fine model for others who are seeking to write a brief history their state in the Civil War.

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