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Jacqueline Glass Campbell, When Sherman Marched North from the Sea (2003)


Jacqueline Glass Campbell, When Sherman Marched North from the Sea (2003)


In her 2003 book, When Sherman Marched North from the Sea, Jacqueline Campbell, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut, analyzed Sherman and his army’s march through parts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. The research and analysis of Sherman’s campaign composed by Campbell differs from the typical research on the subject that generally deals with military aspects. In her book, Campbell not only examines the resistance and accounts of various women and others that encountered Sherman and his troops on their march through the southeast, but also the accounts of the Yankee troops and the resistance they faced. Through her studies, Campbell shows that many women led fierce resistance on the home front, and even rekindled some flames of Confederate nationalism, particularly in North Carolina, as the Civil War ended.


In her first chapter, Campbell focuses on Savannah, Georgia, and the great support that a large population of women exhibited for the Confederacy. In chapters two and three, Campbell discusses the march through South Carolina, the cradle of secession. Campbell concludes in these chapters that civilians, particularly women, showed more resistance to Sherman and his army than previously thought. Another focus in these chapters were the reactions by slaves to Sherman’s army, which showed not all slaves were positive towards or treated properly by the Union army. The fourth chapter deals with North Carolina and the renewed resistance, which emerged among those on the home front in North Carolina. Before Sherman came through North Carolina, North Carolinians on the home front were not seen as being truly united for the cause, with heavy differences among citizens. The argument Campbell makes in the chapter dealing with North Carolina is particularly interesting. In the start of the chapter she makes it clear that North Carolina was not a hotbed for support for the war. However, by the end of the chapter it seems as if North Carolina, particularly the women, were just as willing to fight for the cause as those in South Carolina. Campbell’s closing chapter deals with the end of the Civil War and the South’s want for a moral victory and the demonization of Sherman, which continued Confederate nationalism at home.


Campbell uses numerous manuscripts from universities and state archives in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia for evidence. Campbell used a wide variety of published primary sources from inhabitants of all three states. The secondary sources provided in Campbell’s research do a great job of introducing other scholarship on the Civil War, particularly Sherman’s campaigns, using sources by prominent Civil War historians such as John Barrett and James McPherson.


Campbell, Jacqueline Glass


Jacqueline Campbell, When Sherman Marched North from the Sea: Resistance on the Confederate Home Front, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003), 3,6.



Original Format



By integrating evidence from soldiers and civilians, black and white, at a moment when home front and battlefront merged, Sherman's March becomes a far more complex story-one that illuminated the importance of culture for determining the limits of war and how it is fought. If we understand war as culturally sanctioned violence, we can place a military campaign in a much broader social context, one that takes into account a wider array of behavioral patters. These patterns include racial attitudes, gender ideology, and perceptions of the military as a cultural entity . . . . The North Carolina home front has most often been the focus of studies of conflict within the Confederacy, particularly along class lines. In Chapter 4, I argue that, although many North Carolinians protested the burdens of war, this did not necessarily mean that they were disloyal; rather, they sought to negotiate a moral economy of war by which hardships would be more equitably distributed. The arrival of Sherman's forces in the state served as a catalyst to redirect these resentments toward the enemy. Consequently, many citizens proved more loyal than previous studies suggest.


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Campbell, Jacqueline Glass , Jacqueline Glass Campbell, When Sherman Marched North from the Sea (2003), Civil War Era NC, accessed July 12, 2024,