Synopses & Reviews
In the spring of 1862, Union forces marched into neighboring Carteret and Craven Counties in southeastern North Carolina, marking the beginning of an occupation that would continue for the rest of the war. Focusing on a wartime community with divided allegiances, Judkin Browning offers new insights into the effects of war on southerners and the nature of civil-military relations under long-term occupation, especially coastal residents' negotiations with their occupiers and each other as they forged new social, cultural, and political identities.
Unlike citizens in the core areas of the Confederacy, many white residents in eastern North Carolina had a strong streak of prewar Unionism and appeared to welcome the Union soldiers when they first arrived. By 1865, however, many of these residents would alter their allegiance, developing a strong sense of southern nationalism. African Americans in the region, on the other hand, utilized the presence of Union soldiers to empower themselves, as they gained their freedom in the face of white hostility. Browning's study ultimately tells the story of Americans trying to define their roles, with varying degrees of success and failure, in a reconfigured country.
"Reflecting very wide and deep reading and research across multiple disciplines, Shifting Loyalties
provides a comprehensive and compelling look at how North Carolinians responded to federal military occupation during the Civil War, as well as fresh insight into the dynamics of occupation in general."--John David Smith, co-editor of Undaunted Radical: The Selected Writings and Speeches of Albion W. Tourgee
"On the stage of a Carolina coastal neighborhood occupied by the Union Army, a carnival mix of cantankerous Confederates and exuberant freedpeople try to dance to the tune of a new social order, attended by a chorus of bemused or exasperated Yankee soldiers. This is Civil War history at its most personal and pungent."--Roy Parker Jr., military historian for the The Fayetteville Observer
Focusing on the Union occupation of Carteret and Craven Counties in southeastern North Carolina, Browning offers new insights into the effects of war on southerners and the nature of civil-military relations under long-term occupation, especially coastal residents' negotiations with their occupiers and each other as they forged new social, cultural, and political identities.
About the Author
Judkin Browning is assistant professor of history at Appalachian State University.