By January 1865, most of Virginia's schools were closed, many newspapers had ceased publication, businesses suffered, and food was scarce. Having endured major defeats on their home soil and the loss of much of the state's territory to the Union army, Virginia's Confederate soldiers began to desert at higher rates than at any other time in the war, returning home to provide their families with whatever assistance they could muster. It was a dark year for Virginia.
Virginia at War, 1865 closely examines the end of the Civil War in the Old Dominion, delivering a striking depiction of a state ravaged by violence and destruction. In the final volume of the Virginia at War series, editors William C. Davis and James I. Robertson Jr. have once again assembled an impressive collection of essays covering topics that include land operations, women and families, wartime economy, music and entertainment, the demobilization of Lee's army, and the war's aftermath. The volume ends with the final installment of Judith Brockenbrough McGuire's popular and important Diary of a Southern Refugee during the War. Like the previous four volumes in the series, Virginia at War, 1865 provides valuable insights into the devastating effects of the war on citizens across the state.
"This manuscript breathes life into history by focusing on the struggle of Virginians to survive in the time of defeat, hunger, and deprivation in the closing months of the Civil War." -- James A. Ramage, author of Gray Ghost: The Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby
"There is no other state series like this one on teh Old Dominion. It is unlikely to have a rival. One hopes that anyone interested in the Civil War, the South, or Virginia... will read this engrossing volume." -- The Civil War Monitor
"This is a fine contribution to the literature on how the war affected what was arguably the Confederacy's most influential state." -- America's Civil War
" Virginia at War, 1865 is a worthy conclusion to the previous four works edited by Davis and Robertson. The essays are well researched.... The series and this volume are welcome contributions to the literature of the American Civil War as Virginians experienced it." -- Brian S. Wills, Journal of Southern History
"All in all, for coverage by qualified authors of such important topics in essay format, this is an excellent volume and companion, this reviewer is sure, to the others in this series and is recommended to the readership. One cannot and should not expect any less from Messrs. Davis and Robertson. -- The Journal of America's Military Past" -- Stuart McClung, The Journal of America's Military Past