Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War [Andrew F. Smith] on domaine-solitude.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A historian's new look at how . The Army of the Confederacy grew thin while Union dinner tables groaned and Northern canning operations kept Grant's army strong. In Starving the South, Andrew Smith takes a gastronomical look at the war's outcome and legacy. On the th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Sumter.
View More by This Author. Description A historian's new look at how Union blockades brought about the defeat of a hungry Confederacy In April , Lincoln ordered a blockade of Southern ports used by the Confederacy for cotton and tobacco exporting as well as for the importation of food. Food historian Smith chronicles the devastation wrought by the Union blockade and the cutoff of Northern agricultural trade on the South, whose farm economy was based on cotton and tobacco.
The curtailment of salt imports alone, he notes, made meat preservation almost impossible. The resulting shortages, abetted by the Confederate government's misguided confiscations from its citizens, hobbled the Southern war effort, Smith contends surrenders at Vicksburg and Appomattox were dictated by starvation; rioting women chanted "Bread or Blood! Meanwhile, the North's booming industrialized agricultural system kept Yankees fat, Smith notes.
An civilian campaign to send every bluecoat a Thanksgiving feast succeeded lavishly, while the Southern riposte could muster only a few bites of hardtack and meat. After a brief description of the antebellum South's overreliance on staple crops and semidependency on outside foodstuffs, Smith dives into the historically contentious issue of the Union blockade's effectiveness.
The North mobilized its agricultural resources; the South did not. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I liked it and it definitely gave me some new insights but it was pretty repetitive at points. While many historians focus on the dearth of rebel foodstuffs, Smith offers readers several revealing comparisons. In Starving the South, Andrew Smith takes a gastronomical look at the war's outcome and legacy. Sherman wagons wheat women wrote York Herald.
Smith asserts the blockade was "severely felt" and correctly points out that the Confederacy suffered from its inability to freely export cotton or to continue the unimpeded import of crucial commodities like salt, which often arrived as ballast on incoming ships, and railroad equipment, which eventually contributed to the demise of the South's transportation infrastructure Smith briefly discusses some of the statistical data but bases his effectiveness argument on the number of prewar ships entering southern ports versus the number that entered the Confederacy after the blockade's implementation.
In this respect, Smith's effectiveness argument is consistent with that of many other historians who view the blockade as a self-fulfilling enterprise: Smith, however, takes the effectiveness argument one step further [End Page ] when he states that "no one can seriously believe that the North could have won the war without the blockade" The scholarly debate about the blockade's effectiveness has evolved into a more nuanced discussion of whether the blockade was an efficient use of the Union's naval resources.
Smith's interpretation is certainly valid but could be more developed.
The author does an excellent job of describing the bread riots that swept across the South in early and the continued friction between citizens and the Confederate government over access to sufficient food. Smith sums up the significance of the riots as "wake-up calls for Confederate leaders to address crucial problems confronting the Southern food system" and the ultimate failure of "proclamations and Band-Aid solutions" As Smith correctly points out, overall the South did a very poor job of converting from staple crops to consumptive products and failed to maintain a reliable distribution network for available provisions.
While many historians focus on the dearth of rebel foodstuffs, Smith offers readers several revealing comparisons. Adequate nutrition gave Union soldiers an advantage, especially late in the war, in terms of increased vitality. Apr 13, Paul Pessolano rated it liked it.
I have read many books about the Civil War and as many books as there are, there are as many reason why the North won. This is the first book that has given food as the reason for the Southern defeat. Agriculture in the North was basically food products, wheat, oats, corn, while in the South their cash crops were non-food items, such as cotton and tobacco.
This worked well for everyone until the outbreak of the Civil War. As Napolion Bonaparte said, "An army travels on its stomach. Unfortunately for the South, this did not happen due to the Northern blockade and political diplomacy. Another serious problem confronting the South was the inability to pass legislation that would have forbidden the southern growers to plant cotton and tobacco and to begin planting food products. This was due to the rich plantation owners who still saw cotton and tobacco as cash crops.
The North, finally realizing, that cutting the South's supply lines and adopting a plan of burn and pillage would bring the war to an end, began a systematic effort to destroy all food products grain and livestock and burn all facilities that stored or were used in the processing of food products. This book is well documented with a large note and bibliography section.
Oct 07, Margaret Sankey rated it liked it. A food historian considers the importance of logistics and nutrition to the outcome of the Civil War--again, not something new, but in the hands of someone more interested in the contents of the canned goods than the caliber of the bullets, this is interesting. Smith discusses the rise of commercial canning Borden milk, Underwood deviled ham , the blockade and the sharpening of class differences in the south, letter from starving people on the home front and desertions, the massive Louisville S A food historian considers the importance of logistics and nutrition to the outcome of the Civil War--again, not something new, but in the hands of someone more interested in the contents of the canned goods than the caliber of the bullets, this is interesting.
Smith discusses the rise of commercial canning Borden milk, Underwood deviled ham , the blockade and the sharpening of class differences in the south, letter from starving people on the home front and desertions, the massive Louisville Supply Depot and its cracker bakery, mule eating, the creation of Thanksgiving as a holiday of abundance and food propaganda and the huge problem that of all the staple crops, cotton is the one you just can't eat. Oct 26, Becky Diamond rated it really liked it.
I never would have thought that food played such a big role in the outcome of the Civil War. Smith's meticulously researched book provides tons of evidence to support this theory.
Lots of interesting tidbits about the strategies and tactics used by the leaders from both sides of the conflict. Jan 09, Laura rated it liked it.
This was really interesting for a big fan of Gone With the Wind - I hadn't realized how widespread the problem of starvation was or how much it impacted the end of the war. May 03, Kidada rated it liked it Shelves: Useful text for understanding issues re: Oct 30, Amy rated it liked it Shelves: Detailing the role food played in the Civil War.
I liked it and it definitely gave me some new insights but it was pretty repetitive at points. Stumblebum rated it did not like it Feb 02, Christina rated it really liked it Mar 11, Shawn Carroll rated it really liked it Feb 04,