The first volume in this comprehensive history of Virginia during the Civil War examines the early phases of secession, struggle and conflict.
Several Southern states preceded Virginia in seceding from the Union, but until Virginia joined them in April 1861, the Confederacy lacked cohesion. Richmond was immediately named the capital of the fledgling nation. By the end of spring, Virginia had become the primary political and military theater of the Civil War.
The first in a series of five volumes examining Virginia's years as a Confederate state, Virginia at War, 1861, vividly portrays the process of secession, the early phases of conflict, and the struggles of ordinary Virginians to weather the brutal storms of war. Essays by eight noted Civil War scholars provide a comprehensive view of Virginians' experiences during the first year of the War Between the States.
In addition to recounting the military events taking place in Virginia in 1861, this collection examines a civilian population braced for war but divided on crucial questions, an economy pressed to cope with the demands of combat, and a culture that strained to reconcile its proud heritage with its uncertain future. In exacting detail, Virginia at War, 1861 examines the earliest challenges of the Civil War, the changes war wrought, and the ways in which Virginians withstood and adapted to this profound, irrevocable upheaval.