Question of the Week: 5/15-5/21/17

Do you think there is a state (that was a state during the time of the Civil War) that gets neglected in Civil War history studies?

Or do you think there is a state that gets a lot of attention for its role during the conflict? Why do you suppose this happens?

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6 Responses to Question of the Week: 5/15-5/21/17

  1. Both interesting questions. If I was to pick a slightly overlooked state, I would suggest Florida and would say Virginia probably gets the most coverage. You could explain both by saying that the amount of focus relates to the weight of trauma and fighting in a given state as well as its relative strategic importance. Washington and Richmond being so close together, the fighting was always going to be heavily concentrated there, as was the politics.
    But I also believe that trauma casts a long shadow. Where the suffering from the war was the worst is where it lives the longest in the collective social memory, which in turn motivates historians and writers. When I came to right, not being from the States, I sort of had free rein and chose to write about the Western theatre and Tennessee largely because, rightly or wrongly, my perception was that the western battles had not been so heavily covered.

  2. Brian L. says:

    I would say that Virginia gets the most attention, because of the number of battles that were fought there, and also because so many of the war’s personalities took part in those battles & campaigns.

    You can make a case for a lot of states for being overlooked, but if I had to pick one, I’d say West Virginia. I don’t think the way the state was formed gets enough attention.

  3. David Lady says:

    Reading about the war in past years was like walking through Gettysburg shops even today…one wonders, “Were there any Yankees here in 1863?” At least in the last decade or two there is recognition that the war occurred elsewhere than Virginia and Charleston.

    If we look beyond battles and generals, each state has an interesting internal story, how they organized for war and met social upheavals while maintaining local political and commercial affairs.

    Maryland deserves some more attention…it was split in sympathy, but too important for sustaining the national capital to be permitted a slide into chaos or secession. It sent some thousands south, conducted espionage and smuggling links across the Potomac; enlisted even more sons as US volunteers, yet we don’t here much about these “Potomac Home” or “Eastern Shore” brigades.

  4. Charles Martin says:

    New Mexico. Sibley was on his way to California, but stopped at Glorieta Pass. Had Chivington not burned Sibley’s supply wagons, and the Confederacy offered France the portion of Mexico lost during the Mexican War, Wound Napoleon III have sent the French navy to lift the blockade?

  5. Thomas R Place Sr. says:

    West Virginia for sure . So many different stories from Harpers Ferry, rough mountain fighting, New Generals getting their feet wet so to speak ,spies, split loyals, new state { .cant succeed from the union but you can from the state } Politics,seems to have it all .
    new orleans Should BE NEGLECTED FROM NOW ON.

  6. Chris Kolakowski says:

    Most neglected = Arkansas

    A lot of attention = Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, both for the cmapaigns in each place but also its numerous units that fought.

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