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Embattled Freedom

Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

The Civil War was just days old when the first enslaved men, women, and children began fleeing their plantations to seek refuge inside the lines of the Union army as it moved deep into the heart of the Confederacy. In the years that followed, hundreds of thousands more followed in a mass exodus from slavery that would destroy the system once and for all. Drawing on an extraordinary survey of slave refugee camps throughout the country, Embattled Freedom reveals as never before the everyday experiences of these refugees from slavery as they made their way through the vast landscape of army-supervised camps that emerged during the war. Amy Murrell Taylor vividly reconstructs the human world of wartime emancipation, taking readers inside military-issued tents and makeshift towns, through commissary warehouses and active combat, and into the realities of individuals and families struggling to survive physically as well as spiritually. Narrating their journeys in and out of the confines of the camps, Taylor shows in often gripping detail how the most basic necessities of life were elemental to a former slave's quest for freedom and full citizenship.

The stories of individuals--storekeepers, a laundress, and a minister among them--anchor this ambitious and wide-ranging history and demonstrate with new clarity how contingent the slaves' pursuit of freedom was on the rhythms and culture of military life. Taylor brings new insight into the enormous risks taken by formerly enslaved people to find freedom in the midst of the nation's most destructive war.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 29, 2018 – American popular culture often depicts enslaved African-Americans during the Civil War as either remaining loyally on plantations or running away to join the Union Army, but, in this excellent work, Taylor illuminates a very different experience had by hundreds of thousands of people. Aware that "if freedom was going to come during the Civil War, it was not going to come directly to them," many slaves made their way to Union lines and often to slave refugee camps. Taylor focuses on the experiences of a few refugees: Edward and Emma Whitehurst, who established a small store in the ruins of Hampton, Va.; Eliza Bogan, who struggled to survive in a camp in Helena, Ark., awaiting her soldier husband's return and the rescue of her enslaved children; and the preacher Gabriel Burdett, who could in a Kentucky camp "worship openly and freely in a way he never could while enslaved." Gracefully written and exhaustively researched, Taylor's book offers the reader a vivid and convincing narrative of these slave refugee camps as "an elemental part of the story of slavery's destruction in the United States," one that deserves a broad readership among not only Civil War enthusiasts but anyone interested in the history of race and slavery in the United States.
Embattled Freedom
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  • $27.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: United States
  • Published: Oct 26, 2018
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Seller: Ingram DV LLC
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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