A Year in the South: Four Lives in 1865 by Stephen V. Ash

By Stephen V. Ash

A 12 months within the South is ready 4 usual humans in a unprecedented time. They lived within the South in the course of 1865 -- a yr that observed conflict, disunion, and slavery crumple to peace, reconstruction, and emancipation. One used to be a slave decided to realize freedom, one a widow scuffling with poverty and depression, one a guy of God and planter’s son grappling with non secular and worldly issues, and one a former accomplice soldier looking a brand new existence. among January and December 1865 they witnessed, from very diversified vantage issues, the loss of life of the outdated South and the delivery of the recent South. Civil battle historian Stephen V. Ash reconstructs their day-by-day lives, their fears and hopes, and their frustrations and triumphs in brilliant element, telling a dramatic tale of actual humans in a time of significant upheaval and providing a clean viewpoint on a pivotal second in background.

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To him the cabinet was a wondrous thing, and when his master was practicing his healing craft, he seemed immensely wise and gentle. Patiently Boss taught Lou how to identify all the potions by sight and smell, and how to prepare each one and measure out the proper dosage. In this way Lou mastered the mysteries of ipecac and castor oil, Cook’s pills and mustard baths. He learned also about the medicinal herbs that grew plentifully in the South and before long he was going into the woods himself to gather slippery elm and the root of alum, poplar, and wild cherry.

Meanwhile, some of his troops roamed the county destroying mills, warehouses, bridges, and ironworks and running off cattle and horses. 38 If the Yankees came again and Early’s little remnant of an army failed to stop them, Rockbridge would be at their mercy. A local-defense force was now being organized in the county, but it was symbolic more than anything else: no one really believed it could stand up to a Union force of any size. There were hardly any able-bodied white men of military age left in the county now, at least any who would willingly report for local-defense duty.

To Lou she seemed “a sad picture to look at. . ” Her grief eventually subsided, and her blossoming relationship with Lou no doubt brought her much joy and comfort. 24 The marriage of Matilda and Lou was in some ways a union of opposites. They had very different temperaments, for one thing. Lou was about as bold and resourceful as a slave could get away with being; Matilda was timid and tended to go to pieces in a crisis. They had spiritual differences, too. ” Lou was not exactly a skeptic, but neither was he deeply religious.

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