In The Scalawags, James Alex Baggett ambitiously uncovers the genesis of scalawag leaders throughout the former Confederacy. Using a collective biography approach, Baggett profiles 742 white southerners who supported Congressional Reconstruction and the Republican Party. He then compares and contrasts the scalawags with 666 redeemer-Democrats who opposed and eventually replaced them. Significantly, he analyzes this rich data by region -- the Upper South, the Southeast, and the Southwest -- as well as for the South as a whole.
Baggett follows the life of each scalawag before, during, and after the war, revealing real personalities and not mere statistics. Examining such features as birthplace, vocation, estate, slaveholding status, education, political antecedents and experience, stand on secession, war record, and postwar political activities, he finds striking uniformity among scalawags. This is the first Southwide study of the scalawags, its scope and astounding wealth in quantity and quality of sources make it the definitive work on the subject.
James Alex Baggett
Brand: Louisiana State Univ Pr
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In 2000, I wrote a master's thesis on the career of a "carpetbag" Republican politician in the South, Horatio Bisbee (who after the failure of Reconstruction relocated to his native state of Maine). I picked up "The Scalawags" because 1) Southern-born white Republicans in Reconstruction were a faction I wanted more knowledge about, and 2) I was hoping for more information about the wartime role of Southern Unionists. I was disappointed in 2) but 1) was a goal this book managed to meet.
The Republican Party in the South during Reconstruction had three basic components. The largest was the recently freed African-Americans. The second largest was the carpetbaggers, white Northerners who came to the South as part of or on the heels of the advancing Union armies. The smallest, in some states fewer than 2,000, was the white men who had lived in the South prior to secession (not all of whom were born there) and became Republicans after the war for various...
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