Friday, November 11, 2016

Booknotes: The Yankee Plague

New Arrival:
The Yankee Plague: Escaped Union Prisoners and the Collapse of the Confederacy
by Lorien Foote (UNC Press, 2016).

In the Carolinas during the winter of 1864-65, several thousand Union POWs took advantage of a crumbling Confederacy and escaped into the countryside. "In this fascinating look at Union soldiers' flight for freedom in the last months of the Civil War, Lorien Foote reveals new connections between the collapse of the Confederate prison system, the large-scale escape of Union soldiers, and the full unraveling of the Confederate States of America." Foote's study argues that these escapees "accelerated the collapse [of the Confederacy] as slaves and deserters decided the presence of these men presented an opportune moment for escalated resistance." This sounds like an interesting new take on another aspect of the war's end game. The fact that it's a very brief study (not every book has to be 300-400 pages!) will add to my ability to squeeze it in somewhere.

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