When it comes to learning about history, simple things can sometimes tell us as much about life during a particular time as great happenings. In the midst of the horrific battles of the Civil War, simple but significant events were going on in the lives of those who stayed behind to keep the home together. For much of the war, areas in the South were behind enemy lines, and the people left at home dealt with the constant threat of Union soldiers arriving on their doorsteps. In this compilation of stories passed down by word-of-mouth from the generation that experienced that divisive war, Larry Chowning once again shows his talent for capturing the flavor of an era and the essence of its people. In nineteen accounts he conveys a true feeling, through oral history, of what life was like at home in tidewater Virginia during the years of the War Between the States. The stories show not only the fear, but also the courage, the defiance, and the ingenuity the people displayed in difficult circumstances. This was a heartbreaking and emotional time for those on both sides. While these particular chronicles are southern, the same sort of narrative could have come from people in Pennsylvania, where southern troops roamed.
Larry S. Chowning is a reporter for the Southside Sentinel in Urbanna, Virginia. He has been covering the Chesapeake Bay? fisheries for regional and national periodicals for more than a decade. As field editor of National Fisherman, he traveled extensively in Maryland and Virginia. Besides covering the more publicized events related to the fisheries, Chowning has specialized in the human stories found on the backroads of the Chesapeake Bay region. His travels have provided the raw material for numerous articles and short stories about bay life and lore. Chowning is the author of a number of books about the Chesapeake Bay region, including Chesapeake Bay Buyboats, Chesapeake Legacy, Deadrise and Cross-planked, and Soldiers at the Doorstep.

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