Arming the Confederacy: How Virginia's Minerals Forged the Rebel War Machine by Robert C. WhisonantArming the Confederacy: How Virginia's Minerals Forged the Rebel War Machine by Robert C. Whisonant

Arming the Confederacy: How Virginia's Minerals Forged the Rebel War Machine

byRobert C. Whisonant

Hardcover | March 20, 2015

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This is a fresh look at the American Civil War from the standpoint of the natural resources necessary to keep the armies in the field. This story of the links between minerals, topography, and the war in western Virginia now comes to light in a way that enhances our understanding of America's greatest trial. Five mineral products - niter, lead, salt, iron, and coal - were absolutely essential to wage war in the 1860s. For the armies of the South, those resources were concentrated in the remote Appalachian highlands of southwestern Virginia. From the beginning of the war, the Union knew that the key to victory was the destruction or occupation of the mines, furnaces, and forges located there, as well as the railroad that moved the resources to where they were desperately needed. To achieve this, Federal forces repeatedly advanced into the treacherous mountainous terrain to fight some of the most savage battles of the War.

A native of Gaffney, South Carolina, Robert C. Whisonant holds degrees in geology from Clemson University (B.S., 1963) and Florida State University (M.S., 1965, Ph.D., 1967). He has authored or co-authored over 100 professional publications and consulted on a number of engineering geology projects and in 1993 won the Neil Miner Award g...
Title:Arming the Confederacy: How Virginia's Minerals Forged the Rebel War MachineFormat:HardcoverDimensions:206 pagesPublished:March 20, 2015Publisher:Springer-Verlag/Sci-Tech/TradeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:331914507X

ISBN - 13:9783319145075

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Table of Contents

Preface.- Acknowledgements.- Introduction.- Minerals and Warfare.- Terrain and a Tale of Two Nations.- The Land They Fought For.- Niter and Gunpowder.- Bullets, Firearms, and Colonel Chiswell's Mines.- The Lead Mines Under Attack.- The Saltville Salt Works.- Two Battles and a Massacre.- Iron, Civilizations, and War.- Virginia's Iron Industry in the Civil War.- Coal, Confederate Mines, and the CSS Virginia.- Confederate Railroads.- Union Raiders in the New River Valley.- Epilogue.- Bibliography.- Index.

Editorial Reviews

"This is a well-produced and well-priced book, and I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the topic. It draws upon many useful sources and adds its own to the literature of the America Civil War-and of the application of military geology." (Geology Today, Vol. 32 (1), January-February, 2016)"Provides much useful information about the role of the western part of the state in that divisive war 150 years ago." (George Kegley, The Roanoke Times,, June, 2015)