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Lincolnites and Rebels A Divided Town in the American Civil War by Robert Tracy (Associate Professor of History, University of Washington) McKenzie


Lincolnites and Rebels A Divided Town in the American Civil War by Robert Tracy (Associate Professor of History, University of Washington) McKenzie

At the start of the American Civil War, Knoxville, Tennessee, with a population of just over 4,000, was considered a prosperous metropolis little reliant on slavery. Although the surrounding countryside was predominantly Unionist in sympathy, Knoxville itself was split down the middle as Union and Confederate supporters held political rallies at opposite ends of the town's main street. Following Tennessee's secession, Knoxville soon became famous (or infamous) as a stronghold of stalwart Unionism, thanks to the efforts of a small cadre who persisted in openly denouncing the Confederacy. Throughout the course of the Civil War, Knoxville endured military occupation for all but three days, hosting Confederate troops during the first half of the conflict and Union forces throughout the remainder, with the transition punctuated by an extended siege and bloody battle during which nearly forty thousand soldiers fought over the town. In Lincolnites and Rebels: A Divided Town in the American Civil War, Robert Tracy McKenzie tells the story of Civil War Knoxville-a perpetually occupied, bitterly divided Southern town where neighbor fought against neighbor. McKenzie documents the loyalties of more than half of the townspeople and explores the agonizing personal decisions that war made inescapable. Mining a treasure-trove of manuscript collections and civil and military records, McKenzie reveals the complex ways in which allegiance altered the daily routine of a town gripped in a civil war within the Civil War. Following the course of events leading up to the war, occupation by Confederate and then Union soldiers, and the troubled peace that followed the war, Lincolnites and Rebels delves right into the heart of a divided town caught between North and South in the Civil War.


An important addition to our understanding of the Civil War in the Appalachian South.... It appears unlikely to this reviewer that this study will be superseded. -Gordon McKinney, Civil War Book Review Knoxville, Tennessee, in the 1860s was a deeply divided town in a deeply divided region, a place where the dictates of conscience collided repeatedly with the constraints of power. Tracy McKenzie has brilliantly illuminated the complex issues of loyalty and dissent in the Civil War South. This book is essential reading for anyone who seeks a richer understanding not only of the Civil War but also of the moral crisis faced by people of any time or place who find themselves living under enemy rule. -Stephen V. Ash, University of Tennessee An unusually well written, solid, scholarly study, filled with colorful vignettes.... Highly recommended. -CHOICE McKenzie vividly portrays Knoxville as a microcosm of the Civil War as a brothers
war, dividing families, friends, and neighbors

.... An excellent contribution to the socio-political understanding of border state communities in the Civil War. From the pages of Lincolnites and Rebels emerges a clear image of a complex issue underlying the heart of the Civil War. The division of a nation would not be, indeed could not be, accomplished with surgical precision. -Sharon A. Roger Hepburn, Reviews in American History This thoughtful work unquestionably reaches important new conclusions. -John Cimprich, American Historical Review Robert Tracy McKenzie's excellent study of wartime Knoxville reinforces that recent scholarship with exhaustive research and interpretive verve.... Lincolnites and Rebels deserves to find an audience among all scholars of the war, not just those who look to the mountains. -Kenneth W. Noe, Civil War History Lincolnites and Rebels is based on a vast array of original source material, and it is well organized and well written. Knoxville's Civil War story is full of economic and sociopolitical twists and turns and interesting, opinioned characters. McKenzie does an outstanding job of bringing all facets of this narrative together. -Ben Wynne, The North Carolina Historical Review

About the Author

Robert Tracy McKenzie is Associate Professor of History at the University of Washington. He is the author of One South or Many? Plantation Belt and Upcountry in Civil War-Era Tennessee, which received awards from the American Historical Association's Pacific Coast Branch and the Agricultural History Society.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st November 2009


Robert Tracy (Associate Professor of History, University of Washington) McKenzie

More books by Robert Tracy (Associate Professor of History, University of Washington) McKenzie
Author 'Like for Like'


Oxford University Press Inc


320 pages


History of the Americas
Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900
American Civil War



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