Read The Thin Light of Freedom: Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America Online Free - Virginia’s Great Valley, prosperous in peace with a rich soil and an enslaved workforce, invited destruction in war. Voracious Union and Confederate armies ground up the valley, consuming crops, livestock, fences, and human life. Pitched battles at Gettysburg, Lynchburg, and Cedar Creek punctuated a cycle of vicious attacks and reprisals in which armies burned whole towns for retribution.
North of the Mason-Dixon line, in the Pennsylvania portion of the valley, free black families sent husbands and sons to fight with the U.S. Colored Troops. In letters home, even as Lincoln commemorated the dead at Gettysburg, they spoke movingly of a war for emancipation. As defeat and the end of slavery descended on Virginia, with the political drama of Reconstruction unfolding in Washington, the crowded classrooms of the Freedmen’s Bureau schools spoke of a new society struggling to emerge. Here is history at its best: powerful, insightful, grounded in human detail.
|Title||:||The Thin Light of Freedom: Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America|
|Number of Pages||:||640 pages|
December 25, 2017
The real plus factor for this history of the valley from mid-war into Reconstruction is its access to a digital archive of letters, diaries and the like that allows Ayers to track and illustrate the attitudes of those in two representative counties, one Union and one Confederate. These make clear...
November 11, 2017