Posted on

Newly Published: Gaston County, North Carolina, in the Civil War

New on our bookshelf today:

Gaston County, North Carolina, in the Civil War
Robert C. Carpenter

Civil War histories typically center on the deeds of generals and sweeping depictions of battle. This unique study of one Southern county’s war experience tells of ordinary soldiers and their wives, mothers and children, slaves, farmers, merchants, Unionists and deserters—through an examination of tax records. The recently discovered 1863 Gaston County, North Carolina, tax list provides a detailed economic and social picture of a war-weary community, recording what taxpayers owned, cataloging slaves by name, age and monetary value, and assessing luxury items. Contemporary diaries, letters and other previously unpublished documents complete the picture, describing cotton mill operations, the lives of slaves, political disagreements, rationales for soldiers’ enlistments and desertions, and economic struggles on the home front.