The Making of a Confederate: Walter Lenoirs Civil War

Paperback | June 15, 2008

byWilliam L. Barney

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Despite the advances of the civil rights movement, many white southerners cling to the faded glory of a romanticized Confederate past. In The Making of a Confederate, William L. Barney focuses on the life of one man, Walter Lenoir of North Carolina, to examine the origins of southern whiteidentity alongside its myriad ambiguities and complexities. Born into a wealthy slaveholding family, Lenoir abhorred the institution, opposed secession, and planned to leave his family to move to Minnesota, in the free North. But when the war erupted in 1860, Lenoir found another escape route--he joined the Confederate army, an experience that wouldradically transform his ideals. After the war, Lenoir, like many others, embraced the cult of the Lost Cause, refashioning his memory and beliefs in an attempt to make sense of the war, its causes, and its consequences. While some Southerners sank into depression, aligned with the victors, orfiercely opposed the new order, Lenoir withdrew to his acreage in the North Carolina mountains. There, he pursued his own vision of the South's future, one that called for greater self-sufficiency and a more efficient use of the land. For Lenoir and many fellow Confederates, the war never really ended. As he tells this compelling story, Barney offers new insights into the ways that (selective) memory informs history; through Lenoir's life, readers learn how individual choices can transform abstract historical processes intoconcrete actions.

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Despite the advances of the civil rights movement, many white southerners cling to the faded glory of a romanticized Confederate past. In The Making of a Confederate, William L. Barney focuses on the life of one man, Walter Lenoir of North Carolina, to examine the origins of southern whiteidentity alongside its myriad ambiguities and c...

William L. Barney is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Student Companion (OUP, 2001), The Passage of the Republic, Battleground for the Union, Flawed Victory, The Secessionist Impulse, and The Road to Secession. He is coauthor of The American Jo...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 6.75 × 4.75 × 0.68 inPublished:June 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195314344

ISBN - 13:9780195314342

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Table of Contents

ForewordAcknowledgmentsThe Lenoir FamiliesPrologue1. Dutiful Sons and a Wavering Southerner2. Confederate Soldier3. Agony at Ox Hill4. Mountain Farmer5. Unreconstructed Confederate6. Land Promoter and DreamerAfterwordRecommendations for Further ReadingIndex

Editorial Reviews

"An enormously intelligent, sensitive, interesting, [and] significant biography of a minor character that takes us inside one white Southerner's life, family, and mind."--Mina Carson, Oregon State University