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Virginia Tech's Electronic Theses and Dissertations

American Civil War


Author

Bright, Eric W.

Author's email address

rericbright@usa.net

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-041999-151726/

Title

"Nothing to Fear from the Influence of Foreigners:" The Patriotism of Richmond's German-Americans during the Civil War
Date of defense

Masters: 1999, April 15

Availability

unrestricted/worldwide

Abstract

Before and during the Civil War, Richmond's German-Americans were divided by their diverse politics, economic interests, cultures, and religions. Some exhibited Confederate sentiments and others Unionist. At the start of the war, scores of Richmond's German-born men volunteered for Confederate military service while others fled to the North. Those who remained found that they were not fully accepted as members of the Confederate citizenry.

Political allegiances within the German-American community were not static. They changed during the course of the war, largely under the influence of nativism. Nativists put into practice a self-fulfilling prophecy that, by accusing the German-born of disloyalty, alienated them and discouraged their sympathies towards the Confederacy. In doing so, by constructing an image of a German antihero, the Confederacy built up its spirit of nationalism.

Although German immigrants moved to cities, in the South and in the North, primarily in order to seek economic opportunities, the immigrants who came to Richmond were different from their ethnic counterparts of the North. As they assimilated and acculturated to the South, their values, behaviors, and loyalties became diverse. By the time of the Civil War, the German-American community of Richmond was quite divided. A common ethnicity failed to hold even those hundreds of German-Americans living in Richmond to one political ideology. Their story illustrates that ethnic divisions often do not coincide with political ones.

Richmond's German-American community received, during the Civil War, a reputation for universal disloyalty. This myth continues today, though a complex analysis of the German-born does not support it.


Author

Dotson, Paul Randolph Jr.

Author's email address

rand@vt.edu

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-4019122049721391/

Title

Sisson's Kingdom: Loyalty Divisions in Floyd County, Virginia, 1861-1865

Date of defense

Masters: 1997, May 1

Availability

unrestricted/worldwide

Abstract

"Sisson's Kingdom" uses a community study paradigm to offer an interpretation of the Confederate homefront collapse of Floyd County, Virginia. The study focuses primarily on residents' conflicting loyalty choices during the war, and attempts to explain the myriad of ways that their discord operated to remove Floyd County as a positive portion of the Confederate homefront.

The study separates the "active Confederate disloyalty" of Floyd County's Unionist inhabitants from the "passive Confederate disloyalty" of relatives or friends of local Confederate deserters. It then explores the conflicting loyalties of the county's pro-Confederates, Unionists, and passive disloyalists, seeking to understand better the wide variety of loyalty choices available to residents as well as the consequences of their choices. To determine some of the significant factors contributing to the Floyd County community's response to the Confederacy and Civil War, this thesis documents the various ways residents' reactions took shape. Chapter One examines the roots of these decisions, exploring briefly Floyd County's entrance into Virginia's market economy during the 1850s and its residents' conflicting choices during Virginia's secession crisis. In the aftermath of secession, many Floyd residents embraced their new Confederate government and enlisted by the hundreds in its military units. The decision by some county soldiers to desert their units and return to Floyd caused loyalty conflicts between their supporters and the county's pro-Confederates. This conflict, and the effects of deserters living in the Floyd community, are both explored in Chapter Two. Floyd's Unionist population and its loyal Confederate residents clashed violently throughout much of the war, hastening the disintegration of the Floyd homefront. Their discord is examined in Chapter Three.


Author

Dwyer, John L.

Author's email address

dwyer_jack@dsmc.dsm.mil

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-524414252972830/

Title

Adult Education in Civil War Richmond January 1861- April 1865

Date of defense

Doctorate: 1997, April 3

Availability

restricted to VT community

Abstract

This study examines adult education in Civil War Richmond from January 1861 to April 1865. Drawing on a range of sources (including newspapers, magazines, letters and diaries, reportsschool catalogs, and published and unpublished personal narratives), it explores the types and availability of adult education activities and the impact that these activities had on influencing the mind, emotions, and attitudes of the residents.

The analysis reveals that for four years, Richmond, the Capital of the Confederacy, endured severe hardships and tragedies of war: overcrowdedness, disease, wounded and sick soldiers, food shortages, high inflationary rates, crime, sanitation deficiencies, and weakened socio-educational institutions. Despite these deplorable conditions, the examination reveals that educative systems of organizations, groups, and individuals offered the opportunity and means for personal development and growth. The study presents and tracks the educational activities of organizations like churches, amusement centers, colleges, evening schools, military, and voluntary groups to determine the type and theme of their activities for educational purposes, such as personal development, leisure, and recreation. The study examines and tracks such activities as higher education, industrial training, religious education, college-preparatory education, military training, informal education, and educational leisure and recreation, such as reading and listening to and singing music. The study concludes that wartime conditions had minimal affect on the type and availability of adult education. Based on the number and types of educational activities and participants engaged in such activities, the study concludes that adult education had influenced and contributed to the lives of the majority of Richmonders, including the thousands of soldiers convalescing in the city's hospitals. Whatever the educative system, the study finds that the people of Richmond, under tremendous stress and despondency improved themselves individually and collectively.

Thus, Civil War Richmond's adult education experience is about educative systems that gave people knowledge, comfort, and hope under extreme deprivation and deplorable conditions.


Author

Easterbrook, Richard Brian

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-032799-154323/

Title

Predictive Probability Model for American Civil War Fortifications using a Geographic Information System
Date of defense

Masters: 1999, February 26

Availability

unrestricted/worldwide

Abstract

Predictive models have established a niche in the field of archaeology. Valued as tools in predicting potential archaeological sites, their use has increased with development of faster and more affordable computer technology. Predictive models highlight areas within a landscape where archaeological sites have a high probability of occurrence. Therefore, time and resources normally expended on archaeological exploration can then be more efficiently allocated to specified locations within a study area.

In addition to the resulting predictive surface, these models also identify significant variables for site selection by prehistoric or historic groups. Relationships with the environment, whether natural or social, are extremely pertinent to strengthening the resource base. In turn, this information can be utilized to better interpret and protect valuable cultural resources.

A predictive probability model was generated to locate Union Civil War fortifications around Petersburg, Virginia. This study illustrated the ease with which such analysis can be accomplished with the integrated use of a Geographic Information System with statistical analysis. Stepwise logistic regression proved effective in selecting significant independent variables to predict probabilities of fortifications within the study area, but faired poorly when applied to areas withheld from the initial building stage of the model. Variation of battle tactics between these two separate areas proved great enough to have a detrimental effect the model's effectiveness.


Author

Hephner, Richard H.

Author's email address

rhephner@vt.edu

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-5946112339731121/

Title

"Where Youth and Laughter Go:" Trench Warfare from Petersburg to the Western Front

Date of defense

Masters: 1997, April 17

Availability

unrestricted/worldwide

Abstract

The study of soldiers' experience is important to understanding the effect that wars have on society. In the latter part of the 19th century the experience of warfare changed due to advances in weapons technology. The defensive tactic of trench warfare gained new importance. The most prolific use of trench warfare occured on the Western Front in the First World War, but it wa during the siege of Petersburg in the American Civil War that extensive trenches were first used with technologically advanced weapons. By comparing the siege of Petersburg with the Western Front, it is clear that similar conditions elicited similar emotional reactions from soldiers.

The most common reactions were fraternization and war neurosis. Fraternization was more prevelant during the siege of Petersburg than at other times during the war. Fraternization was also common on the Western Front. The reasons for this vary, but are all linked to the nature of trench warfare. War neurosis was also caused by the conditions of the trenches. It was a bigger problem at Petersburg and on the Western Front than it was for soldiers in other conflicts. Trench warfare created these emotional reactions.


Author

Jacobson, Shirley Brown

Author's email address

shirleyj@aiaa.org

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-53098-175742/

Title

History of Employer-Provided Education from the Decades following the Civil War to the Post-Industrial Era, 1865 - 1970

Date of defense

Doctorate: 1998, June 11

Availability

restricted to VT community

Abstract

Employer-sponsored programs of education for workers in the United States began to receive serious attention in the decades following the Civil War, and they continued to evolve and to expand into what is known today as human resource development. Although this form of education of workers in the United States has acquired importance and prominence and is especially crucial at this time in the countryÕs history as it shifts to an information-based economy, there has been little or no research investigating how it has evolved. This is the problem that was investigated in this study: How has employer-provided education for workers in the United States developed from the time industrialism transformed the workplace in the decades following the Civil War to the transition from an industrial to a post-industrial economy?

This exploratory, integrative study creates a synthesis which creates a more complete and accurate picture of the history of corporate education. For purposes of this study, learning was classified into four domains Ð basic education, job skills training, general education, and professional development. A main focus of the study was how economic, technical, political, societal, ideological, and structural conditions have accompanied the changes in the economic base of the United States and have been associated with programs of education in these four domains. While historians have begun to look more intently at the workplace and the changes it has undergone, there have been only limited explanations of workplace education for employees. This study addresses the history of this increasingly important practice which has yet to receive adequate historical attention.


Author

Paxton, James W. B. Jr.

Author's email address

jpaxton@vt.edu

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-52997-225557/

Title

Fighting for Independence and Slavery: Confederate Perceptions of Their War Experiences

Date of defense

Masters: 1997, June 19

Availability

unrestricted/worldwide

Abstract

It is striking that many white southerners enthusiastically went to war in 1861, and that within four years a large number of them became apathetic or even openly hostile toward the Confederacy. By far, nonslaveholders composed the greatest portion of the disaffected. This work interprets the Confederate war experience within a republican framework in order to better understand how such a drastic shift in opinion could take place.

Southern men fought for highly personal reasons--to protect their own liberty, independence, and to defend the rough equality between white men. They believed the Confederacy was the best guarantor of these ideals. Southerners' experiences differed widely from their expectations. White men perceived the war as an assault against their dominance and equality. The military was no protector of individual rights. The army expected recruits to conform to military discipline and standards. Officers oversaw their men's behavior and physically punished those who broke the rules. Southerners believed they were treated in a servile manner. Legislation from Richmond brought latent class tensions to the surface, making it clear to nonslaveholders that they were not the planters' equals. Wives, left alone to care for their families, found it difficult to live in straitened times. Increasingly, women challenged the patriarchal order by stepped outside of traditional gender roles to care for their families.

Wartime changes left many men feeling confused and emasculated. Southerners, who willingly fought the Yankees to defend their freedoms, turned against the Confederacy when it encroached upon their independence. Many withdrew their support from the war. Some hid crops from impressment agents or refused to enlist, while others actually or symbolically attacked the planter elite or deserted.


Author

Roberts, Kevin

Author's email address

kdr@vt.edu

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-041999-153416/

Title

African-Virginian Extended Kin: The Prevalence of West African Family Forms among Slaves in Virginia, 1740-1870

Date of defense

Masters: 1999, April 16

Availability

unrestricted/worldwide

Abstract

Scholarship on slave families has focused on the nuclear family unit as the primary socializing institution among slaves. Such a paradigm ignores the extended family, which was the primary form of family organization among peoples in western and central Africa. By exploring slave trade data, I argue that 85% of slave imports to Virginia in the 18th century were from only four regions. Peoples from each region-the Igbo, the Akan, Bantu speakers from Angola and Congo, and the Mande from Senegambia-were marked by the prevalence of the extended family, the centrality of women, and flexible descent systems. I contend that these three cultural characteristics were transferred by slaves to Virginia.

Runaway slave advertisements from the Virginia Gazette show the cultural makeup of slaves in eighteenth-century Virginia. I use these advertisements to illustrate the prevalence of vast inter-plantation webs of kin that pervaded plantation, county, and even state boundaries. Plantation records, on the other hand, are useful for tracking the development of extended families on a single plantation. William Massie's plantation Pharsalia, located in Nelson County, Virginia, is the focus of my study of intra-plantation webs of kin. Finally, I examine the years after the Civil War to illustrate that even under freedom, former slaves resorted to their extended families for support and survival.


Author

Russell-Porte, Evelyn Darnell

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-11182000-07450026/

Title

A History of Education for Black Students in Fairfax County Prior to 1954

Date of defense

Doctorate: 2000, July 19

Availability

unrestricted

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to give a historical account of the educational developments for black students in Fairfax County, Virginia. The research will first address a brief history of education in Virginia. The second and third chapters will respectively address education for black students in the state and pre-Civil War education in Fairfax County. Chapters four and five will focus on the formation of post-Civil War public education in Fairfax County and the education of black students within the county. The author will fit the education of Fairfax County's black students into the context of education within the state of Virginia. Comparisons and contrasts can then be made regarding the quality of education offered to black students in Fairfax County.

As with many southern communities, the growth of public education was affected by complacent attitudes, agrarian life styles, poor quality roads and lack of transportation. Fairfax County was no exception. Although numerous private and free schools existed prior to the Civil War, few received black students. The education of the black child, then, was left to the mercy and interest of those around him who chose to teach him basic reading and writing. Alexandria, for example, boasted of a large free black population--many of whom were educated in Alexandria when it was a part of Fairfax County.

Both philanthropic and missionary agencies supported education for black students. After the Civil War other schools existed such as the Freedmen's Bureau schools. These schools functioned until 1871. By this time free public education was a reality in Virginia and the issue of placing both black and white children in the same school became the major topic of educational discussion. In an effort to avoid integration black students were sent outside of Fairfax County to Manassas and Washington. After years of struggle, Luther Jackson School was built within the county to educate Fairfax County's black students. Other schools were gradually built to accommodate the educational needs of the county's black students. Even though schools were built to educate black students, there were many disparities in terms of the quality of facilities within the buildings.

Following the 1954 Brown Decision outlawing de jure segregation school assignment was not based on race for black or white children. As a result, parents could have a voice in school selection. In reality, the Brown Decision offered black parents more voice as these parents often sent their children to the formerly white schools. The general belief by whites was that black schools were inferior. Many of the formerly all-black schools eventually became administrative offices for Fairfax County Public Schools and black students began attending schools in their home districts.


Author

Stephens, Trina A. Jr.

Author's email address

ghsrph@aol.com

URL

http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-51998-15534/

Title

Twice Forty Years Of Learning: An Educational Biography of Robert Reid Howison (1820-1906)

Date of defense

Doctorate: 1998, April 18

Availability

restricted to VT community

Abstract

The two primary purposes of this study were to develop an educational biography on the life of Robert Reid Howison, a nineteenth-century Virginia lawyer, minister, historian, and author, and to examine Howison's efforts as an educator. Chapter One presents an approach to the study, guiding questions, and the research methodology of educational biography. Chapter Two examines Howison's learning experiences during his childhood and youth, from his birth in 1820 to 1841. These learning experiences were primarily connected with institutions of education, such as family, school, church, work, as well as his self-initiated learning and membership in a learning society. Chapter Two analyzes Howison's learning experiences during his prime adult years, 1841-1870, and discusses how, as an adult, family became less of an institution influencing his learning and became more of an opportunity to educate others. His self-initiated learning, coupled with institutions of education in the community, became more prominent during these years. His first book, A History of Virginia From Its Discovery and Settlement, revealed Howison both as a learner and educator as he conducted the necessary research for the book with the intent to teach the history of Virginia to the young men of the day. He also contributed other scholarship efforts such as writing a complete history of the Civil War. Chapter Four details Howison's later years, from 1870 to his death in 1906. During this time he authored two additional major works, God and Creation and A Students' History of the United States. Many of Howison's shorter works written during these years, such as newspaper and periodical articles, reveal his philosophy of education. Howison was also a lecturer on American History at Fredericksburg College, an event combining his work as an educator with his lifelong interest in reading and writing history. Chapter Five presents conclusions and recommendations to the study, particularly concerning the research methodology of educational biography as applied to the life of Robert Howison. His detailed description of his lifelong learning experiences, as described in his unpublished autobiography Twice Forty Years of American Life, were useful in establishing the significant learning experiences throughout his life as well as documenting the outcomes or results of his learning.


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