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Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army after 1861 - Civil War America (Paperback)
  • Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army after 1861 - Civil War America (Paperback)

Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army after 1861 - Civil War America (Paperback)

Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 01/08/2015
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After the feverish mobilization of secession had faded, why did Southern men join the Confederate army? Kenneth Noe examines the motives and subsequent performance of ""later enlisters."" He offers a nuanced view of men who have often been cast as less patriotic and less committed to the cause, rekindling the debate over who these later enlistees were, why they joined, and why they stayed and fought.

Noe refutes the claim that later enlisters were more likely to desert or perform poorly in battle and reassesses the argument that they were less ideologically savvy than their counterparts who enlisted early in the conflict. He argues that kinship and neighborhood, not conscription, compelled these men to fight: they were determined to protect their families and property and were fueled by resentment over emancipation and pillaging and destruction by Union forces. But their age often combined with their duties to wear them down more quickly than younger men, making them less effective soldiers for a Confederate nation that desperately needed every able-bodied man it could muster.

Reluctant Rebels places the stories of individual soldiers in the larger context of the Confederate war effort and follows them from the initial optimism of enlistment through the weariness of battle and defeat.

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781469626567
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 525 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 19 mm

Noe's deft analysis of primary sources...sheds light on a previously under-analyzed portion of the Confederate army....Reluctant Rebels will help readers better understand community, family, gender, and the complexity of Southern society during the Civil War.--The North Carolina Historical Review

Compelling. . . . This superb study effectively engages previous scholarship and fills a neat niche in the literature.--America's Civil War

An absorbing study. . . . Thought provoking. . . . This excellent book provides a more complete portrait of Johnny Reb. . . Highly recommended.--Choice

[Noe's] book is one to be studied and admired.--Journal of Southern History

Noe provides his insights in a fair-minded manner. . . . We need more books like this one to document facts.--The Review of Politics

Reluctant Rebels is a well-researched, highly readable book . . . . Anyone interested in Civil War history or the life of the Confederate soldier should definitely take a look at this offering.--The Historian

Noe's command of the secondary literature is impeccable and his archival research nothing less than heroic. . . . A highly readable, judiciously argued book that fills a crucial gap in the literature on Civil War soldiers. It will be of interest to Civil War scholars and buffs alike.--Journal of East Tennessee History

Noe admirably stays impartial and transparent in his research throughout. He has produced a significant study worthy of debate in the scholarship on Civil War motivations." --The Journal of American History

A must read. . . . Ground breaking . . . the best book out this year.--Authentic Campaigner

With insight and skill, Noe hands down some provocative judgments.--Civil War Book Review

Ken Noe has crafted a thought-provoking, well-researched, poignant window into a neglected topic....Noe's book is important and begs to be read....Civil War historians and educated lay readers will grapple with this book and its underlying research for years to come." --Southern Historian

An enjoyable and informative read. Noe provides outstanding historiographical commentary. . . . Also weaves in some acute insights. . . . An excellent book that both expands the debate over wartime motivation and adds further nuance to the complexity of the Confederate mindset.--American Historical Review

The writing is excellent, the research is complete and the analysis on target. . . . If you want a challenging, thought-provoking book, you will be hard pressed to find a better candidate.--TOCWOC-A Civil War Blog

Scholars and the large audience of Civil War readers will find interesting insights in [this] book.--H-Net Reviews

Reluctant Rebels adds nuance and range in its answer to the well-worn question of why soldiers fought. It reminds readers of the varied motivations and experiences of Johnny Reb.--Arkansas Historical Quarterly

This fine study . . . answers questions about motivation and enlistment that have hovered over the field for generations. . . . The strengths of Noe's book lie in his clear prose, deep research, and persuasive analysis.--Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

While broad historical generalizations remain faceless, Noe personalizes the accounts....[His] sampling serves to create a situation in which the reader can more easily empathize with the motivations and actions of the men in question....The structure of his study and the conscientious approach to his research offer an excellent model for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for independent researchers.--Virginia Libraries

Noe makes an important contribution to our understanding of Civil War soldiers in his well-written and entertaining work.--The Alabama Review

Readers will find this an interesting [study] on a previously unaddressed element of Civil War history.--The Post and Courier

Those attracted to Civil War history and those interested in the interrelationships between culture and war in varied historical contexts should find this work of interest.--The Courier

Absorbing and thought-provoking. . . . Such impressive scholarly analysis and writing, coupled with quality design and materials, make this a captivating volume that all students of the Civil War in general and the Confederacy in particular will want to read.--Civil War News

Noe has provided the Civil War enthusiast with a fascinating presentation of excellent research. His study fills a gap in our understanding of all the men who fought for the Confederacy.--New York Journal of Books

A valuable monograph, which will stand with books by James McPherson and Bell Wiley among standard studies on Confederate soldiers....We need more books like this one to document facts.--The Review of Politics

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