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As America was torn apart by the horrors of the Civil War, no state bore the brunt of battle more than Virginia. Home to the Confederate capitol of Richmond and the linchpin of the eastern theater of the war, the state now bears a myriad of testaments to its harrowing past, waiting to be explored. With An Illustrated Guide to Virginia's Confederate Monuments, Timothy S. Sedore presents the first volume to enumerate Virginia's southern Civil War memorials marking the bloody battles that took place on Virginia soil. Sedore's illuminating and highly readable guide catalogs 360 of the state's most infamous and obscure commemorations, and provides not only a fascinating compilation of locations but also a compelling vision of the public sense of loss in the post-Civil War South.
From notorious sites such as Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Appomattox to the lesser-known locations of Sinking Spring Cemetery and Rude's Hill, Sedore leads readers on a vivid journey through Virginia's Confederate history in all its tarnished glory. Tablets, monoliths, courthouses, cemeteries, town squares, battlefields, and more are cataloged in detail throughout this compendium, accompanied by photographs and meticulous commentary. Each entry also contains descriptions, historical information, and location, providing a complete portrait of each site. Designed for the expert historian and the lay reader alike, the vast scope of these locations-from Clinch Mountain near Tennessee to the Eastern Shore, from the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., to the edge of North Carolina-is organized geographically by region for ease of use. Six maps also are provided for the reader's orientation.
Much more than a visual tapestry or a tourist's handbook, however, An Illustrated Guide to Virginia's Confederate Monuments
draws on scholarly and field research to reveal these sites not only as monuments to history but also as public efforts to reconcile mourning with Southern postwar ideologies. Unveiled here are dynamic memorials that are at once intimate and aloof, written on stone, bronze, or marble but forged from the language of suffering. Sedore analyzes in depth the nature of these attempts to publicly explain Virginia's sense of grief after the war, delving deep into the psychology of a traumatized area. Insight into these evocative elegies for lost sons, fathers, spouses, and other loved ones provides yet another dimension to this captivating volume.
The first book of its kind, An Illustrated Guide to Virginia's Confederate Monuments
will appeal to the traveler, historian, and armchair enthusiast alike. Never before has such a comprehensive collection of Virginia's Southern Civil War sites been gathered and examined in one volume. From commemorations of famous generals to memories of unknown soldiers, from the Shenandoah Valley to the Chesapeake Bay, the dead speak from the pages of this sweeping companion to history.