Reading Questions for “A Brother’s War?”

Update: Just a quick reminder that our discussion will take place on Friday.  I plan on offering some opening remarks to get the discussion going, but feel free to write-up your own assessment and post it to the comments.  We will see how things develop from there.

[See earlier post on this subject]

Our Online discussion about "A Brother's War?: Exploring Confederate Perceptions of the Enemy" by Jason Phillips will take place on August 22.  Peter Carmichael was nice enough to come up with a set of reading/interpretive questions to guide our reading and discussion.

1. In what ways did Confederates portray the enemy?  How did those representations change over the course of the war?

2. Evaluate the author’s assertion:  “As Southern men, Confederate soldiers drew their identity and authority from the submission of white women, the inferiority of blacks, and the ownership of land.  As the war worsened, the enemy threatened to topple these pillars of the Old South.” (p. 73)

3. Does the author’s of treatment of fraternizing between the lines support or weaken his argument?

4. Did Confederate elites manipulate the rank-and-file with an exaggerated and distorted picture of the enemy? Is Phillips suggesting that Confederate perceptions of the enemy were not in line with the reality of the war?

5. Did the Federal policy of hard war counter scholarly claims that Confederate officials imagined or invented a barbaric enemy?

6. What impact did the stereotype of Union soldiers have on the postwar South?  

7. What are the contributions of “A Brother’s War?”

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

Purchase your copy today!

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *