Civil War letters to and from Spartanburg rich with details on the battlefront and home front
Upcountry South Carolina Goes to War chronicles the lives and concerns of the Anderson, Brockman, and Moore families of piedmont South Carolina during the late-antebellum and Civil War eras through 124 letters dated 1853 to 1865. The letters provide valuable firsthand accounts of evolving attitudes toward the war as conveyed between battlefronts and the home front, and they also express rich details about daily life in both environments.
As the men of service age from each family join the Confederate ranks and write from military camps in Virginia and the Carolinas, they describe combat in some of the war's more significant battles. Though the surviving combatants remain staunch patriots to the Southern cause until the bitter end, readers witness in their letters the waning of initial enthusiasm in the face of the realities of warfare. The corresponding letters from the home front offer a more pragmatic assessment of the period and its hardships. Emblematic of the fates of many Southern families, the experiences of these representative South Carolinians are dramatically illustrated in their letters from the eve of the Civil War through its conclusion.
A descendent of both the Moore and Anderson families, Spartanburg County native Tom Moore Craig is a retired history teacher and former state legislator.
Melissa Walker is the George Dean Johnson Jr. Professor of History at Converse College in Spartanburg.
"Bolstered by a valuable introduction, the letters reveal a common focus on kinship, faith, farming, education, and the whereabouts and well-being of family and friends at war."—Courtney L. Tollison, historian, Upcountry History Museum