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Common Men in Uncommon Times: Analyzing the Daily Lives of American Civil War Sailors Using Personal Narratives
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The American Civil War was a tumultuous period for the United States, forcing brother against brother in a battle over the secession of the Confederate States. To study the Civil War sailor, a wealth of archival information exists in the form of personal narratives. Like their ships, naval crews were very much a reflection of where they were built and supplied. The purpose of this thesis is to provide scholars with a collection of narratives relevant to the study of shipboard life and to annotate this list with pertinent details drawn from those sources. There is a wealth of information concerning shipboard life during the American Civil War in the form of personal narratives and primary sources, and the following collection extracts evidence for shipboard life and seeks to contextualize the daily lives of sailors within their societal framework. The primary accounts predictably reflect a standardized lifestyle, but was there any variation between Confederate and United States shipboard conditions? The American Civil War has always been a period of exceptional historical interest, especially to families whose ancestry can be traced back to that cataclysmic event. This annotated collection is meant to be a valuable resource, not just for archaeologists or historians, but for all of those interested in finding the past through the eyes and voices of those who knew it best – the sailors themselves.
Koenig, Stephanie K (2016). Common Men in Uncommon Times: Analyzing the Daily Lives of American Civil War Sailors Using Personal Narratives. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from