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Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War by David Silkenat (review)

Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War by David Silkenat (review) Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War. By David Silkenat. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. Pp. 368. Cloth, $39.95.) Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant did not have to improvise at Appomattox. The surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia was neither the first nor the last capitulation, and it drew from an evolving discourse on when and how honorable surrender took place. “Far from neophytes to surrender,” David Silkenat writes in Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War , “both armies at Appomattox brought a profound understanding and appreciation of how surrender worked and what raising the white flag meant” (190). According to Silkenat, histori - ans have trivialized this most famous surrender as either the “bang” that ended the bloodshed or the “whimper” that marked only a shift in conflict that continued throughout Reconstruction. In contrast, Silkenat consid- ers this event as just one of “a succession of negotiated settlements, each dependent on particular local circumstances and the idiosyncratic desires and objectives of Confederate and Union officers” (221). The evolving dis - course on surrender began before Fort Sumter and extended well beyond Appomattox. Surrender http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War by David Silkenat (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 10 (2) – Jun 1, 2020

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

Abstract

Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War. By David Silkenat. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019. Pp. 368. Cloth, $39.95.) Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant did not have to improvise at Appomattox. The surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia was neither the first nor the last capitulation, and it drew from an evolving discourse on when and how honorable surrender took place. “Far from neophytes to surrender,” David Silkenat writes in Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War , “both armies at Appomattox brought a profound understanding and appreciation of how surrender worked and what raising the white flag meant” (190). According to Silkenat, histori - ans have trivialized this most famous surrender as either the “bang” that ended the bloodshed or the “whimper” that marked only a shift in conflict that continued throughout Reconstruction. In contrast, Silkenat consid- ers this event as just one of “a succession of negotiated settlements, each dependent on particular local circumstances and the idiosyncratic desires and objectives of Confederate and Union officers” (221). The evolving dis - course on surrender began before Fort Sumter and extended well beyond Appomattox. Surrender

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 1, 2020

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