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A native of Marion, Virginia, Sheffey provides an invaluable picture of socio-military affairs in the overlooked western and southwestern regions of the state. Popular Features.
New Releases. Notify me. Description Far more than a mere documentation of the horrors and banality of the Civil War, John Preston Sheffey's literate and even macabrely witty writings demonstrate his ardor for battle, his love of his home state of Virginia, and his passion in waging a most arduous and suspenseful campaign: to win Josephine Spiller of Wytheville, Virginia, as his wife. Superbly edited by James I. Robertson, Jr. A native of Marion, Virginia, Sheffey provides an invaluable picture of socio-military affairs in the overlooked western and southwestern regions of the state.
Too mountainous to be neutralized by Union military efforts, southwest Virginia's communities harbored resources of coal, lead, and salt as well as the only rail line connecting Richmond and the Western theater of the war - all of which were indispensable to any possibility of success for the Confederacy. Sheffey's combination of intimate minute-to-minute, day-to-day recording and larger insight into the dynamics of men, terrain, supplies, and protocol make this collection unique.
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Acknowledgement I first would like to thank my family for all the long days and late nights I had to spend away from them working. I love you! I would also like to acknowledge and thank my Father who offered his generosity and financial support which allowed me to start my degree. I certainly kept them busy asking for piece after piece of historical evidence.
I would like to thank Dr. Matthew Turner who served as my writing partner and helped me stay diligent to the task at hand. I would also like to thank Officer Barry Hale whose love for history and his willingness to stand out in the cold talking about it gave me the desire to press forward. Their expertise in history has taught me a lot and helped me develop as a writer. I would like to specifically thank Dr. Mark Bowles who has given very insightful guidance and advice on this project.
Finally, I would like to thank my Father in Heaven who makes all things possible. To understand the strength of the Confederacy and how it was able to sustain such a long war one needs to look no further than the rural Southwest Virginia. Southwest Virginia was a region of the Confederacy whose make up was very different from other parts of the South.
Slavery was uncommon and the farms were small but their loyalty to the Southern way of life was strong. Resources are important to the sustaining of a lengthy war and the most vital area of resources for the Confederacy was Southwest Virginia. With its abundance of lead, salt, coal, and iron mines, Southwest Virginia would fuel the fires of rebellion throughout the entire war. Southwest Virginia also housed the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad which was an important line that connected Richmond to the western part of the Confederacy.
The people of this region were very loyal to the Confederacy, despite the fact that they lived close to Union Border States. This paper will prove that Southwest Virginia was the most important area to the Confederacy, as it pertains to the sustaining of the war. He also gives unique perspectives on various aspects of the war that are best looked at through the eyes of a soldier including recruiting, fighting, and even being a prisoner of war.
With his love of Smyth County, which is deep in the heart of Southwest Virginia, he is able to help the reader see the connections the war makes to that area. Though combing through its thousands of pages is not an easy task, it does allow the reader to see the importance Southwest Virginia had on the Confederacy by reading all the correspondences, letters, orders, and acts of both Union and 1 John Preston Sheffey Edited by James I.
Robertson Jr. Compared to other areas of the Civil War, the amount of literature is not as prevalent, however, there are some very valuable and well written pieces of literature. Robert C.
Whisonant is a geologist, so it is not surprising that he also focused much of his attention on the mines, the quality of material and the usefulness of them. He is also able to explain the usefulness of the minerals to the Confederate Army but an area in which he falls short is the specific numbers of the amount of product was shipped and used by the Confederacy. He also makes the point that the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad was an important part of Southwest Virginia.
Marrs focusing much of his work on the business end of the Railroad and the impact they had on the evolution of antebellum life. Using his work, allows historians to understand the influence the railroads had on a region. It also allows for the study of the items that were shipped on the railroad, the prices of each, how they were categorized which can teach historians a lot about the lives of people in a specific region. Thomas is able to cover the transformation of 3 Robert C.
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London, Springer Interanational, Baltimore,Johns Hopkins University Press, London, Yale University Press, His work allows for the comparison of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad compared to other railroads in the South as well as the North. Both works are very useful in the study of the railroad in Southwest Virginia, but in order to learn about the conflicts revolving around the railroad and the cause for the conflicts, one must seek out other sources, both primary and secondary, to find that information. The work that was the inspiration for this paper was Gary C.
The book is broken up by year and covers many of the main events that occurred during the Civil War in Southwest Virginia. Using a lot of primary sources such as war department records, journal entries, and newspapers, Walker is able to express the magnificent story of the Civil War in Southwest Virginia. He covers in great detail the many stories and battles that occurred in that region along with the details that would be lost to the average reader.
One can tell through his work that he comes from Southwest Virginia due to his passion for the content, which is expressed in his writing. The one area in which he does accomplish is identifying of the importance of Southwest Virginia to the Confederacy, something which this paper seeks to do. Introduction 6 Walker, Gary C. The War in Southwest Virginia: The United States of America was born out of the idea that all men are created equal and that the power of government comes from the people.
It was the interpretation of these rights and powers that brought out the opposition that would grip the country in war for over 4 years. Prior to the commencement of hostilities and marched out of the fort Sunday afternoon the fourteenth inst. From the beginning the Confederacy was at a disadvantage.
The North would have all the advantages; industry, population, active harbors, stronger navy, more rail lines, and the existence of an already formed standing army. With the prospect of victory leaning so much in favor of the North, how did the South sustain such a large scale war for 4 years? The answer comes from Southwest Virginia. Other than Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, there was no other region more important to the success of the Confederacy than the Southwest Region of Virginia. Compared to other parts of the South, Southwest Virginia was not the most populated and much of it was hidden away in the Appalachian Mountains.
These mountains can act as an impenetrable shield against progress and information. This paper will set out to prove that if it was not for the resources found in Southwest Virginia the Confederacy would not have had the ability to sustain open war with the North. It has been virtually overlooked since. The large battles and campaigns that determined the fate of the Union and Confederacy were fought elsewhere…the counties they [Southwestern soldiers] came from and the battles in those counties were very important to the outcome of the war.
The War in Southwest Virginia, 1. Places like Manassas Bull Run , Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Antietam, and Chancellorsville will find their way into all the history books, and rightfully so due to the magnificent impact they had on the outcome of the war. The overall casualty number for the Civil War stands around ,, which almost equals the number of casualties in all the other conflicts that America has been involved in.
Lee who would impact the country far beyond their life span. Other names like Stonewall Jackson, and Ulysses S. Grant will reach the ranks of hero for their efforts in the war. The Civil War also brought new technologies in communication, transportation, and weaponry that would give shape to the future of the United States of America. With all the horrific battle scenes, the rise and in some cases fall of great men, and the technological changes that took place during the war, it should not be surprising that a place like Southwest Virginia would never dominate the headlines and many of the people and actions that took place there would all but be forgotten by many people.
The large battles that would determine the fate of the United States would be fought in other places, but the goings on in Southwest Virginia would have a major impact none the less.