Date: May 2006
Creator: Clampitt, Brad R.
Description: This dissertation is a study of morale in the western Confederacy from early 1864 until the Civil War's end in spring 1865. It examines when and why Confederate morale, military and civilian, changed in three important western states, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Focusing on that time frame allows a thorough examination of the sources, increases the opportunity to produce representative results, and permits an assessment of the lingering question of when and why most Confederates recognized, or admitted, defeat. Most western Confederate men and women struggled for their ultimate goal of southern independence until Federal armies crushed those aspirations on the battlefield. Until the destruction of the Army of Tennessee at Franklin and Nashville, most western Confederates still hoped for victory and believed it at least possible. Until the end they drew inspiration from battlefield developments, but also from their families, communities, comrades in arms, the sacrifices already endured, simple hatred for northerners, and frequently from anxiety for what a Federal victory might mean to their lives. Wartime diaries and letters of western Confederates serve as the principal sources. The dissertation relies on what those men and women wrote about during the war - military, political, social, or otherwise - ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries