Knights of the Quill: Confederate Correspondents and their Civil War Reporting

Knights of the Quill: Confederate Correspondents and their Civil War Reporting (Hardback)

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 Knights of the Quill: Confederate Correspondents and their Civil War Reporting
Purdue University Press
7.00" x 10.00"

Book Description

Knights of the Quill offers a unique assessment of war correspondence in Southern newspapers during the American Civil War. The men and women who covered the battles and political developments for Southern newspapers were of a different breed than those who reported the war for the North. They were doctors, lawyers, teachers, editors, and businessmen, nearly all of them with college and professional degrees. Sleeping on beds of snow, dining on raw corn and burned bread, they exhibited a dedication that laid the groundwork for news gathering in the twenty-first century. Objectivity and accuracy became important news values, as shows that Southern war correspondence easily equaled in quality the work produced by reporters for Northern newspapers. With its emphasis on primary sources, the book offers an important and enduring historical perspective on the Civil War and also meets the highest standards of historical scholarship.


Book Reviews

Book News (2011)

McNeely, Patricia G. et al. Purdue University Press, ©2010 ;729p.;$150.00 978-1-55753-566-5 While a fair amount has been written about how the U.S. Civil War was covered in the Northern press, comparatively little has been written about how Southern readers got their war news. In this unique book, three former journalists look at the correspondents who covered the war for the Southern press, and what these reporters had to do to get their stories. While a few of these correspondents were professional journalists, most came from other professions, and one or two were women. Despite this, the quality of their reporting was generally high. The authors show how, surprisingly, Southern war correspondents were censored less often than their Northern counterparts, and that the Southern press put great importance on accurately and impartially covering the war, even when the news was bad. Based largely on primary sources, this book provides a much needed re-evaluation of Southern war journalism. (Annotation ©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)


This informative, well-written volume will be a valuable resource for those interested in both journalism history and the Civil War. Summing Up: Highly recommended. *** All readers.--R. Ray, Mississippi State University

H-Net Reviews (by David Bulla, June 2012)

A wide spectrum of men and women served as the journalists who covered the war. Yet Civil War reporters are often stereotyped as rude, crude, and ill-mannered individuals or as "Bohemians" who chased armies, drank hard, and reported gossip and innuendo. Knights of the Quill chips away at these generalizations by examining representatives of Southern journalism during the war. . . . The strength of this book derives from its emphasis on portraying these journalists as ordinary professionals plying their trade during the nation's darkest political moment.

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About the Author(s):

Patricia G. McNeely is a former journalist and was a professor at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of South Carolina.


Debra Reddin van Tuyll is a professor at Augusta State University.


Henry H. Schulte is a former journalist and was a professor at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of South Carolina.