Confederate PhoenixRebel Children and Their Families in South Carolina

Confederate PhoenixRebel Children and Their Families in South Carolina

Edmund L. Drago

Print publication date: 2011

ISBN: 9780823229376

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

This book tells a story of white children and their families in the most militant Southern state in the United States (the state where the Civil War erupted). Drawing on a rich array of sources, many of them formerly untapped, the book shows how the War transformed the domestic world of the white South. Households were devastated by disease, death, and deprivation. Young people took up arms like adults, often with tragic results. Thousands of fathers and brothers died in battle; many returned home with grave physical and psychological wounds. Widows and orphans often had to fend for themselves. From the first volley at Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor to the end of Reconstruction, the book explores the extraordinary impact of war and defeat on the South Carolina home front. It covers a broad spectrum, from the effect of “boy soldiers” on the ideals of childhood and child rearing to changes in education, marriage customs, and community as well as family life. The book surveys the children's literature of the era and explores the changing dimensions of Confederate patriarchal society. By studying the implications of the War and its legacy in cultural memory, it unveils the conflicting perspectives of South Carolina children, white and black, during modern times.