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Cold Harbor To the CraterThe End of the Overland Campaign$
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Gary W. Gallagher and Caroline E. Janney

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469625331

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469625331.001.0001

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A War Thoroughfare

A War Thoroughfare

Confederate Civilians and the Siege of Petersburg

(p.228) A War Thoroughfare
Cold Harbor To the Crater

Caroline E. Janney

University of North Carolina Press

Caroline E. Janney’s essay directs attention away from the battlefront to the civilian experience during the siege. Giving full attention to conditions in June and July 1864, Janney also extends her analytical range beyond 1864 to the last spring of the war. She demonstrates that Petersburg’s white residents, in the line of fire and wanting for food and materials for the better part of nine months, believed they were experiencing total warfare. They bitterly concluded that both besieging Union soldiers and civilians on the northern home front approved of shelling Confederate churches and private homes—a bombardment that maimed many people and killed several civilians, black and white. Yet the siege failed to undermine the white population’s morale and faith in the Rebel cause. On the contrary, the fortitude with which civilians built bomb shelters and endured privations strengthened the resolve of Confederates within and beyond Petersburg.

Keywords:   Civilian Experience, Siege, Petersburg, Total Warfare, Morale, Cold Harbor, Overland Campaign

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