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First published by the University of South Carolina in 1952, Ersatz in the Confederacy remains the definitive study of the South's desperate struggle to overcome critical shortages of food, medicine, clothing, household goods, farming supplies, and tools during the Civil War. Mary Elizabeth Massey's seminal work carefully documents the ingenuity of the Confederates as they coped with shortages of manufactured goods and essential commodities—including grain, coffee, sugar, and butter—that previously had been imported from the northern states or from England. Creative Southerners substituted sawdust for soap, pigs' tails and ears for Christmas tree ornaments, leaves for mattress stuffing, okra seeds for coffee beans, and gourds for cups. Women made clothing from scraps of material, blankets from carpets, shoes from leather saddles and furniture, and battle flags from wedding dresses. Despite the Confederates' penchant for "making do" and "doing without," Massey's research reveals the devastating impact of war's shortages on the South's civilian population. Overly optimistic that they could easily transform a rural economy into a self-sufficient manufacturing power, Southerners suffered from both disappointment and hardship as it became clear that their expectations were unrealistic. Ersatz in the Confederacy's lasting significance lies in Masseys clearly documented conclusion that despite the resourcefulness of the Southern people, the Confederate cause was lost not at Gettysburg nor in any other military engagement but much earlier and more decisively in the homefront battle against scarcity and deprivation.
“A handy, all-in-one reference on the Confederate capitals . . . Rich details and effective anecdotes . . . evok[e] a real sense of the people, places, and events” (The Civil War Monitor). The Confederate States of America boasted five capital cities in four years. The center of the Confederate government moved from one Southern city to another, including Montgomery, Richmond, Danville, Greensboro, and Charlotte. From the heady early days of the new country to the dismal last hours of a transient government, each city played a role in the Confederate story. While some of these sites are commemorated with impressive monuments and museums, others offer scant evidence of their importance in Civil War history. Join award-winning historian Michael C. Hardy as he recounts the harrowing history of the capitals of the Confederacy. Includes photos!
Robert Toombs of Georgia stands as one of the most fiery and influential politicians of the nineteenth century. Sarcastic, charming, egotistical, and gracious, he rose quickly from state office to congressman to senator in the decades before the Civil War. Though he sought sectional reconciliation throughout the 1840s and 1850s, he eventually became one of the South’s most ardent secessionists. This thorough biography chronicles his days as a student and young lawyer in Georgia, his boisterous political career, his appointment as the Confederacy’s first Secretary of State, his unsuccessful stint as a Confederate general, and his role as a proud, unreconstructed rebel after the war. An exploration of Toombs’ career reveals the political forces and missteps that drove him—and people like him—to want to secede from the United States.