I’m pleased to announce that my current book-in-progress has a new title. Southern Communities at War: Essays in Civil War Dissent and Its Legacies, is now The Long Shadow of the Civil War: Southern Dissent and Its Legacies.
I love the new title, suggested by book-launch wizards at the University of North Carolina Press to give a more accurate sense of the book’s breadth. (Several essays extend well beyond the Civil War, although all connect to the war.)
If you’re unfamiliar with my new work, click here for an overview. For the table of contents, click here, for an excerpt from the introduction, here.
A few more months, and The Long Shadow of the Civil War will be a finished product!
Perry Lentz has published a new novel that you might find of interest — Perish From The Earth. In it, the Civil War finds a different conclusion (and casts a different shadow) by virtue of the instigation of a northerner turned Confederate, who manages to turn the 1863 Manhattan draft riots into a war-ending conflagration. You can find Perish From The Earth at the publisher’s website (http://xoxoxpress.com) and at Amazon.
I saw a review of Free State of Jones through one of the many Google Alerts I have delivered to my inbox every day. Of course I had to look it up at Amazon, justifying using work time because I’m an “almost librarian” charged with keeping track of Reader’s Advisory. But let’s keep that between us.
A native of Mississippi (though I grew up and still live in Illinois), with the maiden name Collins, I was intrigued to see that surname listed in the description of your book. Of course, it’s a common name, and I haven’t researched that side of the family, mostly because I don’t speak to them anymore. Long story.
Anyway, I’m thrilled to see you’re publishing another book. Though my reading/reviewing pile has now officially hit my 7′ ceiling (several times over, actually) I want to read both your books. When I do I may ask you most humbly for an interview.
I see now this rambling comment really has no point, save “You go, girl!” Hopefully that’s encouraging.
Bravo Vikki! I look forward to the new book and reading the essays. In the ten years or so I spent on desertion I ran across hundreds of little stories of people in places no one has ever heard of who paid the price for a war in ways that few people really understand. Have also enjoyed the “Jones County Wars” of late.
Perry, thanks for the heads up on the new Civil War novel; sounds interesting.
Lisa, I appreciate your interest in the Free State of Jones and the upcoming Long Shadow of the Civil War. You really ought to check out those Collins connections! Be happy to have that interview after you’ve read the books.
Mark, it’s so nice to hear from an illustrious Texas State University (then Southwest Texas State) alum, and I welcome your support! For those who don’t know, Mark Weitz is today a historian of the Civil War, and author of More Damning Than Slaughter: Desertion in the Confederate Army.
As I researched my family history I learned that my 3rd great grandfather was Dr. Stark P. Porter. He was born in Union District, South Carolina, in 1824 and moved to Chickasaw County, Mississippi, with his parents in the 1840s. After his marriage to Martha A. R. Griffin in 1846 and the birth of four children in Chickasaw County, he migrated to Texas in about 1854. The family resided at Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas, until about 1859 when they moved to Goliad County, Texas. In 1862 Dr. Porter was elected sheriff of Goliad County. During the Civil War his wife gave birth to a son who was named Samuel Houston Porter. This provided me with the first indication that Dr. Porter may have been a Unionist since the famous Sam Houston was driven out of the governorship of Texas for his pro-Union stance. The fact that Dr. Porter named his son for Sam Houston at a time when Houston was almost persona non grata in Texas, led me to suspect that Porter was a Unionist as well. From a biographical sketch written by Dr. Porter’s son Lake Newell Porter appearing in The Trail Drivers of Texas I learned that Dr. Porter was killed in Gonzales, Texas, near the end of the Civil War. Later I found the following article in the Galveston Daily News issue of 2 May 1865: “We learn that Dr. Porter, sheriff of Goliad county, was killed the other day. The cause of the affair was the utterance by him of expressions against the Southern Confederacy. He had recently been a state prisoner.” The Victoria Advocate was cited as the source. Unfortunately there are no extant copies of the Victoria Advocate for that period of time. Family records indicate that his death occurred on 18 March 1865. If he was a state prisoner, where would he have been held? Does anyone know of any records of Texas Unionist prisoners?
Mr. Soward, It’s great to have this additional story of a Texas Unionist. Dr. Porter’s migration patterns are very similar to those of the Jones County, MS, settlers, and particularly the Collinses who moved on from Jones Co. to Hardin County, Texas. I like the way that you lay out the investigative process you used to determine that your ancestor was indeed a Unionist during the Civil War. Perhaps there’s a reader out there who can answer you question about state prisons in Texas where Unionists might have been held. I’ll try to look into that myself.
Thank you very much for your response. Since you mentioned the Collins family I would like to add that Dr. Porter’s son William S. Porter (1852-1905) married Carrie Eliza Collins (1849-1914) in Gonzales County, Texas, in 1874. Carrie was a daughter of James P. Collins and Eliza G. Ainsworth Collins who migrated to the Republic of Texas from Mississippi in 1838. James P. Collins was a son of Christopher Collins and Rachel Hendrick of Wayne County, Mississippi, and Mobile County, Alabama. William S. Porter and Carrie Eliza Collins Porter were my great great grandparents and are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas.
Now THAT is really fascinating! James P. Collins was related to the both the Collinses of Mississippi’s Free State of Jones, and those of the Big Thicket jayhawkers in East Texas. Eliza G. Ainsworth was related to the Ainsworths of Jones County, Mississippi, including the multiracial branch that descended from Sampson Ainsworth and his slave, Martha Ann Ainsworth.
See Yvonne Bivins’s and my posts on this multiracial branch elsewhere on this blog, and see also Shirley Insall Pieratt’s book, THE AINSWORTH-COLLINS CLAN IN TEXAS, 1838, which traces James and Eliza’s family lines (unfortunately, Shirley’s book is not available online).
I have long found the connections of Unionism and kinship across state lines one of the most fascinating aspects of southern Unionism (these connections stimulated me to write my forthcoming book, THE LONG SHADOW OF THE CIVIL WAR), and I so thank you for adding even more to our knowledge of both!