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Agriculture and the ConfederacyPolicy, Productivity, and Power in the Civil War South$
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R. Douglas Hurt

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469620008

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469620008.001.0001

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Western Collapse

Western Collapse

(p.222) Chapter Seven Western Collapse
Agriculture and the Confederacy

R. Douglas Hurt

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter focuses on the collapse of agriculture in the Western Confederacy as the Civil War drew to a close. As Union forces occupied more and more territory in 1864, farmers and planters could see that the end was near. Isolated Confederate forces and partisans still disrupted agriculture in some areas, but for most farmers and planters in the region the war had ended. As they turned their attention to cotton, sugar, and daily subsistence, they continued to adjust to a new system of free labor that had been instituted in 1863. The rest of this chapter discusses the improvement in the supply of agricultural commodities in the river towns from New Orleans north to Memphis where Federal soldiers controlled the river valley; the food shortages suffered by many Confederate towns in Louisiana and elsewhere; the question of agricultural labor after the war; and the increase in agricultural prices throughout the Confederacy.

Keywords:   agriculture, Western Confederacy, Civil War, Union, farmers, free labor, agricultural commodities, food shortage, agricultural labor, agricultural prices

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