Union forces marched into Craven and Carteret counties in North Carolina in the spring of 1862, which would spark an occupation that would last until the end of the war. Judkin Browning focuses on the social, political, and cultural identities found in a divergent area of the state. Eastern North Carolinians were more susceptible to pro-union tendencies than their inland brethren. However, Browning's book offers new insight into the sense of southern nationalism felt by many of these same people towards the end of the war. Browning looks into the livelihood of African Americans in the region, providing the notion that the union occupation provided added security benefits and allowed African Americans to assert themselves socially. Overall, Browning sheds light on a region filled with people who were searching for an identity in a rapidly changing country.
A Southern Mind Under Union Control
At the start of the Civil War, James Rumley lived pretty well in Beaufort, N.C. He was well educated, led a good life as county clerk, and owned property and a couple of slaves. Unmarried, he had no family to support.He was an ardent Southerner, but at age 50 did not have to enlist for military service. The Union army would arrive, against Rumley's wishes, and start to transform the landscape of east North Carolina. The Southern Mind under Union Rule is Rumley’s diary from March 1862 to August 1865. It was the arrival of Federal forces at Beaufort that prompted Rumley to begin writing.
Rumley, James. The Southern Mind under Union Rule: The Diary of James Rumley, Beaufort, North Carolina, 1862-1865. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 2009. Print.
Browning, Judkin. Shifting Loyalties: The Union Occupation of Eastern North Carolina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2011. Print.Book
Judkin Browning. The Southern Mind under Union Rule: The Diary of James Rumley, Beaufort, North Carolina, 1862-1865. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 2009. Print.