Case 2: 1860 - 1865

The war-torn South managed to publish books for children as well. Confederate publishers primarily produced school primers and religious publications. Historian James Marten describes the push behind Confederate juveniles: "the need to instill southern nationalism in their children and pupils, to free the South from the grip of perverted northern textbooks, spawned the Confederacy's more important literary tradition: primers, spellers, and readers at least partly devoted to the political socialization of the Confederacy's children," (Marten, 1998).

"Boy adventure" books were published during this time, but a few publications featured female main characters. While they did engage in some adventure, girls were portrayed in perpetual need of male protection. Illustrations accompanying these books in many cases depict male characters, in spite of book titles that refer to female characters.

African-American characters were routinely portrayed, in both Northern and Southern publications, as childlike and ignorant. Books presenting the Confederate point of view emphasized the benevolence of the master and unwavering devotion of the slave. Historian Alice Fahs observes in her book, The Imagined Civil War, that "this literature was a conduit for the replication of adult racial attitudes in the young," (Fahs, 2001).


Fahs, Alice. The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861 - 1865. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

MacCann, Donnarae. White Supremacy in Children's Literature: Characterizations of African Americans, 1830-1900. New York: Garland Publishing, 1998.

Marten, James. The Children's Civil War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.


1. Boykin, Edward M. Boys and Girls Stories of the War. Richmond: West & Johnston, 1863.
Photograph courtesy of the New York Historical Society.

2. Kate Morgan and Her Soldiers. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, 1862. Williamson Collection PS 911 A1 K37 1862.

3. Austin, Jane G. Dora Darling: The Daughter of the Regiment. Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1864.Williamson Collection PS 1052 D67 1864.

4. Trowbridge, J. T. Cudjo's Cave. New York: Hurst, 1893. Williamson Collection PS 3097 C84.
(First edition published in 1864; reissued in 2001-see Case 12)

Blue and Gray for Boys and Girls Home Case 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

United States Civil War Center, LSU Libraries Special Collections, 2002