Bradley R. Clampitt’s The Confederate Heartland examines morale in the Civil War’s western theater—the region that witnessed the most consistent Union success and Confederate failure, and the battleground where many historians contend that the war was won and lost. Clampitt’s western focus provides a glimpse into the hearts and minds of Confederates who routinely witnessed the defeat of their primary defenders, the Army of Tennessee.
This book tracks morale through highs and lows related to events on and off the battlefield, and addresses the lingering questions of when and why western Confederates recognized and admitted defeat. Clampitt digs beneath the surface to illustrate the intimate connections between battlefield and home front, and demonstrates a persistent dedication to southern independence among residents of the Confederate heartland until that spirit was broken on the battlefields of Middle Tennessee in late 1864.
The western Confederates examined in this study possessed a strong sense of collective identity that endured long past the point when defeat on the battlefield was all but certain. Ultimately, by authoring a sweeping vision of the Confederate heartland and by addressing questions related to morale, nationalism, and Confederate identity within a western context, Clampitt helps to fashion a more balanced historical landscape for Civil War studies.
Bradley R. Clampitt is an Assistant Professor of History at East Central University.