August 25, 2020
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v2.1 Reference

Writing War and Reunion

Selected Civil War and Reconstruction Newspaper Editorials by William Gilmore Simms

A collection of newspaper editorials written by one of the South's premier literary figures of the nineteenth century

William Gilmore Simms (1806–1870) was a novelist, poet, and essayist and was considered the South's premier literary figure at the height of his popularity. No less an authority than Edgar Allen Poe remarked of Simms that "he has surpassed, we think, any of his countrymen" as a novelist. Simms's literary achievements include more than twenty major novels, several volumes of poetry, and biographies of important figures in American history.

Perhaps the least considered parts of Simms's overall body of writings are those he did for newspapers, the most interesting of which are from the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Writing War and Reunion offers a selection of the best of those so that we can track Simms's thoughts about, and reactions to, the conflict, from its beginnings through to its conclusion and into the early years of Reconstruction. These works provide a valuable insight into how a prominent southern intellectual interpreted and participated in these momentous events in U.S. history.

In the decades following the Civil War, Simms's reputation suffered a steady decline. Because of his associations with the antebellum South, slavery, and Confederate defeat, as well as changes in literary tastes, Simms came to be regarded as a talented but failed Southern author of a bygone era. Today a robust scholarly literature exists that has reexamined Simms, his literary works, and previous scholarly judgments and finds him to have been an important figure in the development of nineteenth-century American literature and worthy of serious study.

About the Author

Jeffery J. Rogers is a professor of history at Gordon State College in Barnesville, Georgia, and is the author of A Southern Writer and the Civil War: The Confederate Imagination of William Gilmore Simms.


"This expertly curated new collection brings together Simms's writings on the Civil War and its immediate aftermath. This valuable assemblage will aid modern scholars immensely as they seek to understand how the region's preeminent novelist and journalist thought about the future of the region even as his own reputation was beginning to fade into the past."—Jonathan Daniel Wells, University of Michigan

"The many facets of Simms's complex mind are on full display here—all recorded in Simms's inimitable style, and all superbly edited and contextualized."—John Mayfield, Samford University

"Writing War and Reunion fills a major gap in the record of an important American writer. War, defeat, and Reconstruction were more than a subject for Simms; they were an existential crisis that tested his prose, his imagination, and his moral character."—John Grammer, University of the South, Sewanee

"Jeffery Rogers has done commendable work editing Simms's Civil War-era editorials and placing them in the proper historical context. Writing War and Reunion is essential reading for anyone interested in the American Civil War."—Sean R. Busick, Athens State University

"Jeffery Rogers shines welcome light on a long neglected period of a prolific writer's life."—America's Civil War

9781643360898 : writing-war-and-reunion-rogers
240 Pages
$59.99 USD

Other Titles by Jeffery J. Rogers

The Army Correspondence of Colonel John Laurens

William Gilmore Simms, introduction by Jeffery J. Rogers
Mar 2016 - University of South Carolina Press
$31.99 USD - Paperback / softback

The Remains of Maynard Davis Richardson

William Gilmore Simms, introduction by Jeffery J. Rogers
Feb 2016 - University of South Carolina Press
$31.99 USD - Paperback / softback

The Life of the Chevalier Bayard

William Gilmore Simms, introduction by Jeffery J. Rogers
Oct 2013 - University of South Carolina Press
$36.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from William Gilmore Simms Initiatives

Honorable and Brilliant Labors

edited by John D. Miller
Jun 2024 - University of South Carolina Press
$59.99 USD - Hardback
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Pirates & Devils

edited by Nicholas G. Meriwether, David W. Newton
Jul 2015 - University of South Carolina Press
$26.99 USD - Hardback

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Camp Nelson, Kentucky

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Dec 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
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