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 t 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 Chowning of Urbanna, Virginia, is an award-winning reporter who has been covering the Chesapeake Bay's fisheries for regional and national periodicals for over three decades. As field editor for National Fisherman, he has traveled extensively in Maryland and Virginia.