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Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2016
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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. Even before shots were fired at Fort Sumter, slaves recognized that their bondage was at the root of the war they knew was coming, and they began running to the Union army. By the war's end, nearly half a million had taken refuge behind Union lines in improvised "contraband camps." These were crowded and dangerous places, with conditions approaching those of a humanitarian crisis. Yet families and individuals—some 12 to 15 percent of the Confederacy's slave population—took unimaginable risks to reach them, and they became the first places where many Northerners would come to know former slaves en masse, with reverberating consequences for emancipation, its progress, and the Reconstruction that followed.Drawing on records of the Union and Confederate armies, the letters and diaries of soldiers, transcribed testimonies of former slaves, and more, Chandra 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. Ranging from the stories of individuals to those of armies on the move to debates in the halls of Congress, Troubled Refuge probes the particular and deeply significant reality of the contraband camps: what they were really like and how former slaves and Union soldiers warily united there, forging a dramatically new but highly imperfect alliance between the government and African Americans. That alliance, which would outlast the war, helped destroy slavery and warded off the very acute and surprisingly tenacious danger of re-enslavement. 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. Integrating a wealth of new findings, Manning casts in 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.From the Hardcover edition.
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Street Date:
08/16/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101947791
ASIN:
B018CHH2I0
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APA Citation (style guide)

Chandra Manning. (2016). Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Chandra Manning. 2016. Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Chandra Manning, Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Chandra Manning. Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • value: refugees
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      • role: Author
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      • bioText: CHANDRA MANNING graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College in 1993 and received the M.Phil from the National University of Ireland, Galway, in 1995. She took her Ph.D. at Harvard in 2002. She has taught history at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, and was Associate Professor of History at Georgetown University. Currently, she serves as Special Advisor to the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She lives in Braintree, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.
      • name: Chandra Manning
imprint
Vintage
publishDate
2016-08-16T00:00:00-04:00
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title
Troubled Refuge
fullDescription
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.
Even before shots were fired at Fort Sumter, slaves recognized that their bondage was at the root of the war they knew was coming, and they began running to the Union army. By the war's end, nearly half a million had taken refuge behind Union lines in improvised "contraband camps." These were crowded and dangerous places, with conditions approaching those of a humanitarian crisis. Yet families and individuals—some 12 to 15 percent of the Confederacy's slave population—took unimaginable risks to reach them, and they became the first places where many Northerners would come to know former slaves en masse, with reverberating consequences for emancipation, its progress, and the Reconstruction that followed.
Drawing on records of the Union and Confederate armies, the letters and diaries of soldiers, transcribed testimonies of former slaves, and more, Chandra 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. Ranging from the stories of individuals to those of armies on the move to debates in the halls of Congress, Troubled Refuge probes the particular and deeply significant reality of the contraband camps: what they were really like and how former slaves and Union soldiers warily united there, forging a dramatically new but highly imperfect alliance between the government and African Americans. That alliance, which would outlast the war, helped destroy slavery and warded off the very acute and surprisingly tenacious danger of re-enslavement. 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.
Integrating a wealth of new findings, Manning casts in 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 23, 2016
        Many readers are familiar with the idea that the emancipation of American slaves came as the result of the Civil War, but Manning (What This Cruel War Was Over), an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University, illustrates in this enlightening study that many enslaved men, women, and children—nearly half a million people—took advantage of wartime chaos and the proximity of Union forces to escape their owners and seek refuge among the soldiers. These “contrabands,” as they came to be called, experienced what was for many their first contact with the federal government. The relationship between these fugitives and the Union Army was unequal, yet based on mutual need: a sanctuary from enslavement for the former, and services for the latter, including laundry, nursing, and ditch digging. As Manning makes clear, “freed people enjoyed more success in obtaining their objectives under military authority than they did under civil authority,” and thus the war’s end in 1865 did not see the great majority of enslaved people gain their freedom. But when the former Confederate states were unwilling to transform slaves into citizens, Manning shows how the memory of the wartime alliance between contrabands and the Union Army made the federal government at least an occasional supporter of black rights over the next 100 years.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2016
        A history of slaves who took refuge with the Union Army on their journey to freedom.Drawing on abundant archival sources--military records, soldiers' correspondence and diaries, maps, telegrams, and "countless scraps of paper"--historian Manning (Special Adviser to the Dean/Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard Univ.; What This Cruel War Was Over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War, 2007) offers a vivid, compelling view of the struggles undertaken by escaped slaves during the Civil War. She focuses on contraband camps, first set up at Fort Monroe in Virginia to protect three slaves from the belligerent slaveholder who insisted on their return. The camps spread wherever the Union Army encamped: on the eastern front, where the Army maintained posts for the duration of the war, camps offered stability; in the West, camps tracked railroads and rivers, making life for refugees "extraordinarily precarious" since they "were constantly on the move." Refugees in the western theater "often floated in and out of multiple camps, but never out of danger." Contraband camps could offer only makeshift housing and scarce food and water. In Vicksburg, "hunger drove former slaves to the desperate act of boiling mud in hopes of extracting some nutrient from it." Disease spread rapidly. After the Army enlisted black men into its ranks, the camp population skewed to women, children, the old, and the sick. Their numbers swelled after news of the Emancipation Proclamation became known in September 1862. By the end of the war, Manning writes, more than 400,000 slaves had taken refuge in the camps: the federal government, formerly the defender of slaveholders, suddenly became former slaves' "most efficacious--if often wary and tragically imperfect--ally in the pursuit and protection of the basic rights that gave their lives meaning." Blacks' contributions to the war effort--men as soldiers, women by cooking, nursing, and sewing--gave them roles as citizens. Manning conveys in gritty detail the fraught alliance between refugees and their military protectors.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        May 1, 2016

        Historian Manning (What This Cruel War Was Over) explores the relationship between so-called "contraband camps" in the U.S. Civil War and the complex issues of emancipation and civil rights. She begins by examining in great detail life in the camps; later chapters focus on the connection between freedom and citizenship. The author successfully proves that the road from slavery to freedom was both complex and personal. How a slave might undertake emancipation depended in large part upon the region where they lived, the individual union officers they encountered on their way, and the nature of the centers where they sought shelter. Manning does an excellent job of placing events within their historical context without falling into the trap of tying 21st-century morality into 19th-century situations. VERDICT This refreshing work will appeal to those who appreciated David Cecelski's The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves' Civil War, which seeks to give former slaves credit for their role in both securing their freedom and ensuring Union victory.--Michael Farrell, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, FL

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from May 1, 2016
        The acclaimed author of What This Cruel War Was Over (2007) turns here mostly to the contraband camps established during the Civil Warand continuing later, at the very beginnings of Reconstructionto care for escaping slaves. The emphasis on the camps (dozens of themin many cases, army bases, notably Fortress Monroe) is novel, and Manning's research is extraordinary. She distinguishes carefully between camps in different regions, not all of them sharing crucial components, such as fresh water, medical supplies, and access to clothing. This is a vitally important book, and it settles the long-standing issue of the freedmen's own role in exiting slavery. The Union army and other agencies played a part, to be sure, but freedmen's early role in their own future has never been dealt with to anything like this extent. Death or recapture by Confederates was still a possibility, especially before Appomattox. Despite those dangers, the slaves made a way for themselves, often working or farming without due compensation during a time when eventual citizenship was unclear, military emancipation varied widely, and struggle was inherent in the path to freedom. An essential contribution to the history of the Civil War and its aftermath.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
A fascinating and original portrait of the escaped-slave refugee camps and how they shaped the course of emancipation and black citizenship.
By the end of the Civil War, nearly half a million slaves had taken refuge behind Union lines, in what became known as "contraband camps." These were crowded, dangerous places, yet some 12-15 percent of the Confederacy's slave population took almost unimaginable risks to reach them, and they became the first places Northerners came to know former slaves en masse. Ranging from stories of individuals to those of armies on the move to the debates in Congress, Troubled Refuge probes what the camps were really like and how former slaves and Union soldiers warily united there. This alliance, which would outlast the war, helped to destroy slavery and ward off the surprisingly tenacious danger of re-enslavement. But it also raised unsettling questions about the relationship between American civil and military authority, and reshaped...
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