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Victims: A True Story Of The Civil War
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Victims: A True Story Of The Civil War

3.14 of 5 stars 3.14  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  3 reviews
"Phillip Paludan has combined the findings of the social sciences with an exercise in la petite histoire to create an intriguing study. From his base point, the massacre of thirteen Unionist mountaineers at Shelton Laurel, North Carolina, the author expands the investigation to embrace larger issues, such as the impact of the Civil War on small communities, the causation a
Paperback, 176 pages
Published November 12th 2004 by Univ Tennessee Press (first published August 1984)
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The new preface might be the best thing about this book... I appreciated the way that Paludan focused on one event but wanted a deeper exploration of the issues of "atrocity" and torture that animate the text. I also felt that, at times, he came dangerously close to reaffirming negative stereotypes of Appalachia.

The book is clearly a product of the 1970s and, as such is a little dated. It's a fascinating product of a particular kind of politically engaged scholarship, but after 9/11, Abu Ghraib
The problem with this book isn't that for its 130 pages it's quite the dense, lumbering behemoth (reads more like a academic dissertation than anything else). The problem is that it sets out with a thesis that it then cannot prove.

The narrative starts off really strong with a very good overview of the community of Shelton Laurel, but by the time it arrives at the killings, the ambiguities of guerrilla warfare have been presented in such a way as to render me undecided on what actually went down
David Ward
Victims: A True Story of the Civil War by Phillip Shaw Paludan (The University of Tennessee Press Knoxville 1981)(973.733) recounts a lesser-known atrocity from the Civil War. It remains fascinating, disturbing and thought-provoking 150 years later.

In January of 1863, the Confederacy's North Carolina 64th regiment led by Lieutenant-Colonel James A. Keith) captured an armed band of Unionist looters in the Shelton Laurel Community of North Carolina's Madison County. Keith, like much of the 64th,

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“At least 600,000 men died in the Civil War. Major battles numbered the dead in the thousands; even minor skirmishes killed hundreds...Then why study the death of thirteen men?... Mass death numbs the mind and heart as it numbers its vast toll. Relief from the horror is less possible when we watch old Joe Woods and thirteen-year-old David Shelton plead for life - and then die.” 4 likes
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