Of Times and Race

Of Times and Race: Essays Inspired by John F. Marszalek

Michael B. Ballard
Mark R. Cheathem
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 176
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt24hxvh
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  • Book Info
    Of Times and Race
    Book Description:

    Of Times and Racecontains eight essays on African American history from the Jacksonian era through the early twentieth century. Taken together, these essays, inspired by noted scholar John F. Marszalek, demonstrate the many nuances of African Americans' struggle to grasp freedom, respect, assimilation, and basic rights of American citizens.

    Essays include Mark R. Cheathem's look at Andrew Jackson Donelson's struggle to keep his plantations operating within the ever-growing debate over slavery in mid-nineteenth century America. Thomas D. Cockrell examines Southern Unionism during the Civil War and wrestles with the difficulty of finding hard evidence due to sparse sources. Stephen S. Michot examines issues of race in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, and finds that blacks involved themselves in both armies, curiously clouding issues of slavery and freedom. Michael B. Ballard delves into how Mississippi slaves and Union soldiers interacted during the Vicksburg campaign. Union treatment of freedmen and of U. S. colored troops demonstrated that blacks escaping slavery were not always welcomed. Horace Nash finds that sports, especially boxing, played a fascinating role in blending black and white relations in the West during the early twentieth century. Timothy Smith explores the roles of African Americans who participated in the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the creation of the Shiloh National Military Park. James Scott Humphreys analyzes the efforts of two twentieth-century historians who wished to debunk the old, racist views of Reconstruction known as the Dunning school of interpretation. Edna Green Medford provides a concluding essay that ties together the essays in the book and addresses the larger themes running throughout the text.

    eISBN: 978-1-62103-052-2
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. 1. SLAVERY, PLANTATION LIFE, AND DEBT IN TENNESSEE AND MISSISSIPPI The Example of Andrew Jackson Donelson
    (pp. 3-30)
    MARK R. CHEATHEM

    AS ANDREW JACKSON DONELSON WALKED ALONG THE HUSHPUCKENA River bordering his plantation in Bolivar County, Mississippi, he contemplated suicide. It would be so easy to slide into the water, he thought to himself; Elizabeth and the children would undoubtedly be better off. As he later recounted these thoughts to his wife, he assured her that he had been able to shake off his depression by reminding himself that he could still prove “useful to you & the dear children.” Donelson was not able, however, to avoid reminding both himself and Elizabeth that their future depended upon remedying poor decisions that...

  5. 2. PATRIOTS OR TRAITORS Unionists in Civil War Mississippi
    (pp. 31-54)
    THOMAS D. COCKRELL

    AFTER EXTENSIVE STUDY OF MOST ALL OTHER AREAS OF THE AMERICAN Civil War, a small group of historians are giving more attention to the topic of Unionism and the activities of Unionists in the southern states. At present, there seems to be somewhat of a dearth of published information, most of which originated three decades ago, maybe one of the earliest being Georgia Lee Tatum’sDisloyalty in the Confederacy(1934). Therefore, this chapter is not intended to exhaust every aspect of Unionists in Mississippi or reach any definitive conclusions. The purpose is to cover, to some degree, those areas of...

  6. 3. THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE IN LOUISIANA’S LAFOURCHE REGION DURING THE CIVIL WAR
    (pp. 55-68)
    STEPHEN S. MICHOT

    IF THE ABUNDANCE OF LITERATURE AND POPULARITY WERE THE SOLE measure, the American Civil War was principally fought and won east of the Appalachian Mountain chain. Granted, new attention in recent years has been devoted to military operations west of the Appalachians, and there is perhaps even a consensus now among Civil War scholars that the Civil War was actually won and lost in the western theater of operations. Still, the amount of attention the western theater receives, not to mention the Trans-Mississippi, has been minuscule in comparison to the attraction of Robert E. Lee’s battles and campaigns in the...

  7. 4. UNION SOLDIERS REACT TO SLAVES, SLAVERY, FREEDMEN, AND COLORED U.S. TROOPS DURING THE VICKSBURG CAMPAIGN
    (pp. 69-88)
    MICHAEL B. BALLARD

    MANY HISTORIANS AGREE THAT BY THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR A large number of white Union soldiers had accepted freedom for slaves, and many had come to admire “colored” men as good combat soldiers. This generality is subject to debate, not because it lacks truth, but because it is difficult to know how widespread these attitudes were. Many federal soldiers viewed colored troops as laborers, freeing white soldiers from digging entrenchments and other physical tasks. Some rightly believed that freeing slaves weakened the South’s ability to carry on agriculturally, thus hastening the economic breakdown of the Confederacy.

    Union soldier...

  8. 5. TOWN AND SWORD Black Boxers at Columbus, New Mexico, 1916–1922
    (pp. 89-114)
    HORACE NASH

    DURING THE POST–CIVIL WAR YEARS FROM RECONSTRUCTION TO THE turn of the twentieth century, the nation struggled with the proper place for newly freed black Americans. This concern was especially evident in the important debate on the African American role in the postwar U.S. Army. Shortly after the Civil War, primarily motivated by a need for manpower, Congress established six regular army regiments consisting of black enlisted men and white officers. Two of these units were cavalry regiments (Ninth and Tenth) and four were infantry regiments (Thirty-eighth, Thirty-ninth, Fortieth, and Forty-first). In 1869, Congress passed an army reorganization bill...

  9. 6. BLACK SOLDIERS AND THE CCC AT SHILOH NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
    (pp. 115-128)
    TIMOTHY B. SMITH

    THE CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS (CCC) CAMP AT SHILOH NATIONAL Military Park in Tennessee looked the same as any other camp of the era. The living quarters were neatly arranged. There were latrines, cooking areas, parking areas for wheeled vehicles, commissary, quartermaster, and medical facilities. The men milled around, going about their business under watchful supervision of the officers. Above it all flew the United States flag. Nothing was out of the ordinary except the men themselves. This camp, situated near Pittsburg Landing on the battlefield of Shiloh, was for African American veterans.¹

    The year was 1934, and the federal government...

  10. 7. CHALLENGING THE DUNNING ORTHODOXY The Reconstruction Revisionism of Francis Butler Simkins and Robert Hilliard Woody
    (pp. 129-146)
    JAMES SCOTT HUMPHREYS

    “I AM DELIGHTED TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE WORKING WITH SO MUCH interest and pleasure in a new book,” the Brazilian scholar Gilberto Freyre wrote to Francis Butler Simkins in August 1927. The “new book” was a projected study of the Reconstruction era in South Carolina, a project Simkins had been researching since the previous summer. Officials at Farmville State Teacher’s College granted him a year’s leave of absence for the 1929–1930 academic year, and he and coauthor Robert Woody also received a Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council to help fund their work. The two scholars...

  11. 8. CONFRONTING RACE IN AMERICAN HISTORY
    (pp. 147-160)
    EDNA GREENE MEDFORD

    IN THE ACCLAIMED 1903 COLLECTION OF ESSAYS,THE SOULS OF BLACK Folk, the eminent African American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois suggested that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”¹ The pronouncement should have surprised no one; it was not as if some new condition had befallen black people. Du Bois was simply acknowledging an immutable fact: the influence of race in American history. The “problem” was a long-standing one; it predated the nation’s founding and grew in complexity with shifting economic and political currents.

    As Du Bois recognized, the great challenge of...

  12. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 161-162)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 163-164)