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Confederate Rage, Yankee Wrath

Confederate Rage, Yankee Wrath

No Quarter in the Civil War

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George S. Burkhardt


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
384 pages, 6 x 9, 31 illustrations


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About the Book

This provocative study proves the existence of a de facto Confederate policy of giving no quarter to captured black combatants during the Civil War—killing them instead of treating them as prisoners of war. Rather than looking at the massacres as a series of discrete and random events, this work examines each as part of a ruthless but standard practice.

Author George S. Burkhardt details a fascinating case that the Confederates followed a consistent pattern of murder against the black soldiers who served in Northern armies after Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. He shows subsequent retaliation by black soldiers and further escalation by the Confederates, including the execution of some captured white Federal soldiers, those proscribed as cavalry raiders, foragers, or house-burners, and even some captured in traditional battles.  

Further disproving the notion of Confederates as victims who were merely trying to defend their homes, Burkhardt explores the motivations behind the soldiers’ actions and shows the Confederates’ rage at the sight of former slaves—still considered property, not men—fighting them as equals on the battlefield.

Burkhardt’s narrative approach recovers important dimensions of the war that until now have not been fully explored by historians, effectively describing the systemic pattern that pushed the conflict toward a black flag, take-no-prisoners struggle.


George S. Burkhardt, a former news reporter and writer, is the author of Double Duty in the Civil War, which received the 2009–10 Founders Award from the Museum of the Confederacy.


“This book reads with all the intensity and relentlessness of a hurricane: It is a horrifying reality, and yet far too interesting, compelling and edifying to ignore.”  —The Free Lance-Star
“This book should be essential reading for anyone who is tired of viewing the Civil War as a sanitized historical pageant and ready to explore it as the tragic social revolution that it actually was.”—American Historical Review