William Blair's Virginia's Private War is a close study of the home front in the Confederacy and a significant contribution to our understanding of the Confederate defeat. Blair challenges and effectively overturns the dominant assumption that internal stresses and conflicts, particularly along lines of class and race, undermined the Confederacy. Rather, he shows that for most of the South the centripetal forces of Confederate nationalism and defence of home and hearth against an invading enemy were more powerful. Internal problems, including dissent, wracked the state of Virginia, yet these private wars actually helped prolong the conflict as they forced authorities to turn the war into more of a rich man's fight.

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