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Bluecoats and Tar Heels: Soldiers and Civilians in Reconstruction North Carolina

by Mark L Bradley

Availablepaperback$35.00 978-0-8131-3385-0
Availablecloth$70.00 978-0-8131-2507-7
New Directions in Southern History
382 pages  Pubdate: 04/01/2011  6 x 9 x 1.0625  22

In Bluecoats and Tar Heels: Soldiers and Civilians in Reconstruction North Carolina, Mark L. Bradley examines the complex relationship between U.S. Army soldiers and North Carolina civilians after the Civil War. Postwar violence and political instability led the federal government to deploy elements of the U.S. Army in the Tar Heel State, but their twelve-year occupation was marked by uneven success: it proved more adept at conciliating white ex-Confederates than at protecting the civil and political rights of black Carolinians. Bluecoats and Tar Heels is the first book to focus on the army’s role as post-bellum conciliator, providing readers the opportunity to discover a rich but neglected chapter in Reconstruction history.

Mark L. Bradley, staff historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C., is the author of This Astounding Close: The Road to Bennett Place, which was a finalist for the Lincoln Prize in 2001.

Blue Coats and Tar Heels: Soldiers and Civilians in Reconstruction North Carolina is an important and enduring contribution to the study of Reconstruction. -- Gordon McKinney, Professor of History at Berea College and author of Zeb Vance: North Carolina's Civil War Governor & Gilded Age Political Leader

Bradley is an extraordinary researcher and a very good writer, both of which come through in a book that brings attention to the reactionary and often unintended consequences of military and political moderation during Reconstruction. -- Peter S. Carmichael, Eberly Professor of Civil War Studies, West Virginia University, author of The Last Generation: Young Virginias in Peace, War, and Reunion

Mark Bradley’s balanced, incisive study has broad implications for future research in the other southern states. Bluecoats and Tar Heels is one of the most important books on Reconstruction to appear in years. -- John David Smith, Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

A meticulously-documented history of civil-military relations in Reconstruction-era North Carolina. -- Raleigh News & Observer

The subject is well covered by Bradley...covers in detail the usual suspects, the Ku Klux Klan, who murdered and intimidated freedmen during the postwar period. -- Civil War News

Bradley makes an important contribution to the historiography of both North Carolina and the Reconstruction era...No book has looked so closely at the role of the U.S. Army in the post-Civil War South. -- Journal of American History

The question of how to return the Southern states to their proper relationship to the Union caused divisions in the country almost as deep and bitter as those caused by the war. Bradley’s book is the result of careful study of original, primary, and secondary sources pertinent to that process in North Carolina. -- Choice

Books on military-civil relations often contain ponderous writing with excessive information about policy formation. Bradley avoids this pitfall, and his detailed narrative is well crafted and should appeal to both general and scholarly readers. -- Journal of America's Military Past

Bradley’s book is vigorously researched, finely written, and carefully argued. Bluecoats and Tar Heels is an important contribution to military history, Reconstruction history, and the history of a still largely unknown era in the Old North State. -- Robert Weldon Whalen -- Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians

Bluecoats and Tar Heels is a wellspring of useful information and a valuable contribution to Reconstruction studies. -- Rodney Steward, H-Net Reviews

With this examination of the interactions between civilians and the Union military forces in post-Civil War North Carolina, Bradley has written a useful work that fills many historiographical voids. His book serves as a corrective to outdated early-twentieth century works on Reconstruction in North Carolina. -- Journal of Southern History

Bradley’s study examines military efforts to stabilize the region in the face of the opposition from both ordinary citizens and terrorist organizations such as the Regulators and the Ku Klux Klan. -- Lone Star Book Review

Historians have always recognized the importance of the army during Reconstruction, but they relegate it to the sidelines far too often. Mark L. Bradley puts it front and center. Drawing on an impressive research base. . . Bradley has produced a compelling and well-written study of the army's role in reconstructing one former Confederate state. -- The Historian

Winner of the North Caroliniana Book Award.

A scrupulously researched, deftly organized monograph. -- HistoryNet

Winner of the North Caroliniana Book Award given by the North Caroliniana Society