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Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War (Paperback)
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From the author of What This Cruel War Was Over, a vivid portrait of the Union army’s escaped-slave refugee camps and how they shaped the course of emancipation and citizenship in the United States.
Chandra Manning casts in a wholly original light what it was like to escape slavery, how emancipation happened, and how citizenship in the United States was transformed. This reshaping of hard structures of power would matter not only for slaves turned citizens, but for all Americans. Integrating a wealth of new findings, this vivid portrait of the Union army’s escaped-slave refugee camps shows how they shaped the course of emancipation and citizenship in the United States.
Drawing on records of the Union and Confederate armies, the letters and diaries of soldiers, transcribed testimonies of former slaves, and more, Manning allows us to accompany the black men, women, and children who sought out the Union army in hopes of achieving autonomy for themselves and their communities. It also raised, for the first time, humanitarian questions about refugees in wartime and legal questions about civil and military authority with which we still wrestle, as well as redefined American citizenship, to the benefit, but also to the lasting cost of, African Americans.
About the Author
CHANDRA MANNING graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College, received the M.Phil. from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and took her Ph.D. at Harvard University. She has taught at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, and served as Special Advisor to the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for two years. She is Professor of History at Georgetown University, and divides her time between there and Braintree, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and children.
“Striking. . . . Manning’s highly engaging narrative tells a sobering yet uplifting story of the journey toward freedom. In her superb telling we learn something invaluable about the fragile and chaotic nature of the coming of freedom and the enduring dignity and courage of the people who secured it.” –Mark Smith, The Wall Street Journal
“A vitally important book [that] settles the long-standing issue of the freedmen’s own role in exiting slavery. . . . Manning’s emphasis on the camps is novel . . . and [her] research is extraordinary. . . . An essential contribution to the history of the Civil War and its aftermath.” –Booklist (starred review)
“Manning offers a vivid, compelling view of the struggles undertaken by escaped slaves during the Civil War [and] conveys in gritty detail the fraught alliance between refugees and their military protectors” –Kirkus (starred review)
“Excellent. . . . [A] refreshing work . . . in great detail, the author successfully proves that the road from slavery to freedom was both complex and personal.” –Library Journal
“The end of slavery came through an unplanned alliance between the Union army and black refugees from slavery who came within the army's lines during the Civil War. Digging deeply into a wealth of sources, Chandra Manning has provided a powerful new account of how emancipation actually proceeded on the ground and how former slaves and the army forged a new order of freedom and black citizenship.” –James M. McPherson
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