Large numbers of slaves worked for the Confederate war effort as wagon drivers, munitions factory workers, and officers' body servants.
But contrary to popular wisdom, the number that actually bore arms for the Confederacy was negligible. The Black Experience in the Civil War South is the first comprehensive study of the Southern blacks'wartime experience to appear in a generation.
Incorporating the most recent scholarship, this thematically organised book does justice to the richness of its subject, looking at the lives of black men, women, and children in the Confederate states and the non-seceding Southern states; at blacks on farms and plantations and in towns and cities; and at blacks employed in industry and the military. Drawing on memoirs, autobiographies, and other original source materials, Stephen V.
Ash details the experiences of blacks who took up residence in Union"contraband camps" and on free-labour plantations and those who enlisted in the Union army.
Most significantly, this revealing study deals not only with those who gained freedom during the war but also with those whose freedom came only after the conflict's end. About the AuthorSTEPHEN V. ASH is a professor of history at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
His published works include When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South, 1861-1865 (UNC Press, 1995); A Year in the South: 1865 (HarperCollins, 2004); and Firebrand of Liberty: The Story of Two Black Regiments That Changed the Course of the Civil War (W.
W. Norton, 2008). He lives in Tennessee.