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Incident at the Otterville Station: A Civil War Story of Slavery and Rescue by John Christgau (review)

Incident at the Otterville Station: A Civil War Story of Slavery and Rescue by John Christgau... dizzying abundance—to support his arguments and inform his narrative of prosperity to collapse from 1861 to 1865. In 1861, Confederates’ per- ceptions of their invincibility rested largely upon an appearance of per- petual agricultural plenty. Even when this self-image was challenged and shaken by poor harvests and military events in 1862 and early 1863, faith in agriculture’s ability to quickly rebound and restore southern fortunes informed much of the optimism expressed by Confederates. But problems of climate, policy, labor, and scarcity would prove too powerful to over- come, and declining military fortunes took place against a larger backdrop of severe agricultural declension and crisis. The Confederacy’s teetering on military and political collapse by early 1865 was foreshadowed by the collapse of its agricultural capacity by harvest time the previous year. In its analysis of that arc, Hurt’s comprehensive history of Confederate agricul- ture and the shifting fortunes of Confederate power is a major contribu- tion to our understanding of the Confederacy. It belongs on the shelves of all Civil War scholars. Kevin Gannon kevin gannon is the director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and a professor of history at Grand View University. He is currently http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Incident at the Otterville Station: A Civil War Story of Slavery and Rescue by John Christgau (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 8 (4) – Dec 3, 2018

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

dizzying abundance—to support his arguments and inform his narrative of prosperity to collapse from 1861 to 1865. In 1861, Confederates’ per- ceptions of their invincibility rested largely upon an appearance of per- petual agricultural plenty. Even when this self-image was challenged and shaken by poor harvests and military events in 1862 and early 1863, faith in agriculture’s ability to quickly rebound and restore southern fortunes informed much of the optimism expressed by Confederates. But problems of climate, policy, labor, and scarcity would prove too powerful to over- come, and declining military fortunes took place against a larger backdrop of severe agricultural declension and crisis. The Confederacy’s teetering on military and political collapse by early 1865 was foreshadowed by the collapse of its agricultural capacity by harvest time the previous year. In its analysis of that arc, Hurt’s comprehensive history of Confederate agricul- ture and the shifting fortunes of Confederate power is a major contribu- tion to our understanding of the Confederacy. It belongs on the shelves of all Civil War scholars. Kevin Gannon kevin gannon is the director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and a professor of history at Grand View University. He is currently

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 3, 2018

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