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David Schenck and the Contours of a Confederate Identity




Steward, Rodney

Type of Degree





The purpose of this dissertation is twofold. First, it serves to shed light on the life of North Carolinian David Schenck (1835-1902), whose extensive diaries have been a wellspring of information for historians for decades, yet whose biography remains unwritten. Second, it uses the life of Schenck as a powerful lens through which to view and challenge dominant interpretations of the regarding broadly defined questions such as the make-up of Confederate identity; who were the secessionists; the Civil War home front experience, and the direct connections between Confederate home front policies and the Ku Klux Klan. Schenck’s close involvement with the revolutionary States’ Rights Party of North Carolina, his service to the Confederacy as a Receiver under the Act of Sequestration, and his involvement with the Ku Klux Klan during Reconstruction sheds new light on these and other areas of Civil War, Reconstruction, and New South studies.