Awarded the Certificate of Commendation of the American Association for State and Local History
In this collection of letters written by members of a prominent Maryland family on the eve of and during the Civil War, David Hein has found gold in the mine of his state's historical society. This book immerses the reader in civilian life as civil war approached, fiercely as a wind-driven wildfire-civilian life personified by the family of Allen Bowie Davis, a prosperous farmer-legislator from Montgomery County, north of Washington, D.C.
These letters capture the complexity of the Civil War in a state of abolitionists, pro-slavery unionists, anti-slavery southern sympathizers, and non-slaveholding secessionists. We see a pivotal Maryland through the eyes of adults and children, and we witness the consequences of war for familial relationships, religious values, and educational institutions. David Hein's crisp editorial commentary knits these letters together, enabling the Davis family to tell of life in the tumultuous middle of the nineteenth century.
We are in the debt of this book and its editor for reminding us that a history with leaders and battles is incomplete without the testimony of sons and daughters, of mothers and fathers.
From the Foreword by Charles W. Mitchell, editor of Maryland Voices of the Civil War
Endorsements & Reviews-
"This book offers a window into this period for both the political and the religious historian…. In a thorough introduction Hein sets the scene for the correspondence…. A welcome addition to the literature of the field."
Robert Bruce Mullin, Anglican and Episcopal History
"The problems of the Episcopal Church, a pioneering educational venture, and a substantial Maryland family caught up in the throes and ambivalences of the Civil War are vividly portrayed through the letters, which are skillfully used to bring out the personalities, concerns, and deeply held religious convictions of the persons involved. I commend the editor and his book."
Richard Porter Thomsen, Maryland Historical Magazine
"David Hein has unearthed and edited a series of letters [which] give a brief, tantalizing glimpse of a student, a college, and a country on the brink of catastrophe. This book is as moving as it is informative."
Ronald Reed, Vitae Scholasticae
David Hein is Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Hood College. He is the author of Geoffrey Fisher: Archbishop of Canterbury, 1945-1961 (Pickwick Publications), coauthor of The Episcopalians, and coauthor with Hans J. Morgenthau of Essays on Lincoln's Faith and Politics.