New Bedford's Civil War

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-05-01
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • View Upgraded Edition
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $60.00 Save up to $1.80
  • Buy New
    Add to Cart Free Shipping


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


New Bedford's Civil Warexamines the social, political, economic, and military history of New Bedford, Massachusetts, in the nineteenth century, with a focus on the Civil War homefront from 1861 to 1865 and on the city's black community, soldiers, and veterans. Earl Mulderink's engaging work contributes to the growing body of Civil War studies that analyzes the "war at home" by focusing on the bustling center of the world's whaling industry in the nineteenth century. Using a broad chronological framework of the 1840s through the 1890s, this book contextualizes the rise and fall of New Bedford's whaling enterprise and details the war's multifaceted impacts between 1861 and 1865. A major goal of this book is to explore the war's social history by examining how the conflict touched the city's residents-both white and black. Known before the war for both its wealth and its antislavery fervor, New Bedford offered a congenial home for a sizeable black community that experienced a "different Civil War" than did native-born whites. Drawing upon military pension files, published accounts, and welfare records, this book pays particular attention to soldiers and families connected with the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the "brave black regiment" (made famous by the Academy Award-winning 1989 film Glory) that helped shape national debates over black military enlistment, equal pay, and notions of citizenship. New Bedford's enlightened white leaders, many of them wealthy whaling merchants with Quaker roots, actively promoted military enlistment that pulled 2,000 local citizen-soldiers (about 10 percent of the city's total population) into the Union ranks. As the Whaling City gave way to a postwar landscape marked by textile manufacturing and heavy foreign immigration, the black community fought to keep alive the meaning and history of the Civil War. Joining their one-time neighbor Frederick Douglass, New Bedford's black veterans used the memory of the war and their participation in it to push for full equality-a losing battle by the turn of the twentieth century.

Author Biography

EARL F. MULDERINK III is Professor of History at Southern Utah University.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
"A Burning and Shining Light": Prosperity and Enlightened Governance in Antebellum New Bedfordp. 10
"The Nearest Approach to Freedom and Equality": African Americans in Antebellum New Bedfordp. 32
"Suppression of an Unholy Rebellion": Wartime Mobilization on the Home Frontp. 53
"Citizen-Soldiers of Massachusetts": New Bedford's Volunteers in the Civil Warp. 77
"Boys, I Only Did My Duty": New Bedford's Black Soldiers in the Fifty-Fourth Massachusettsp. 99
"Worthy Recipients": New Bedford's Black Veterans and the Web of Social Welfarep. 119
"Business Is Extremely Dull": Whaling and Manufacturing in Wartime New Bedfordp. 138
"The Position of Our City Has Materially Changed": Public Costs and Municipal Governance during the Civil Warp. 164
"The Great Hope for the Future": New Bedford in the Postbellum Erap. 184
"On the Alter of Our Common Country": Contested Commemorations of the Civil Warp. 201
Epiloguep. 219
Notesp. 223
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Rewards Program

Write a Review