Location: North Huntsville Library, 3011 Sparkman Drive, Huntsville, AL 35810
Dr. John Rison Jones Award for Southern History to be presented
Book Review by John H. Allen (11/03/2023)
The American Civil War was cataclysmic and left no Southern life untouched. Enduring Voices – Women of the Tennessee Valley: 1861-1865 contains more than thirty accounts of north Alabama women during that time. It observes their everyday goings-on from different cities and landscapes, from poorest enslaved Black women to wealthiest plantation wives.
Although women comprised half the population, their stories have been overshadowed by hundreds of books about the battles. Now, these diaries, memoirs, and letters give us a doorway into the lives of these brave, resourceful women. These writers (young girls, in some cases) give us insights on home life, school, family, neighbors, and the dreaded enemy that give present-day readers a much-needed picture of daily life during wartime in north Alabama.
Huntsville author, Mary Ann Cruse, held strong political views, and wrote that any implication that African slave trade caused the war was to imply that tea floating in the Boston Harbor caused the Revolutionary War. The Civil War’s conclusion brought little relief for Black women; the odds of success were entirely against them. The entry for Virginia Clay, whose picture adorns the cover, is entirely fascinating and by itself, is worth the price of the book. Author Nancy Rohr is prolific in her journaling of history in the Tennessee Valley; Enduring Voices is her fifth book (she has also authored numerous articles). This intensely personal work of scholarship is a treasure to read and is an important addition to any Civil War archive.
At the December Meeting, the Nomination Committee will present a ballot of individuals for the 2024-2025 term. The floor will be open for further nominations during the meeting as well. Here is the ballot as it currently stands:
President – Heather Adkins
1st Vice President – Arley McCormick
2nd Vice President – Daniel Rhodes
Treasurer – Cooper Murray
Recording Secretary – Sharon Lange
Corresponding Secretary – SueAnne Griffith
Archivist – Deane Dayton
HOPE Coordinator – Amelia Parkes
Historical Review Editor – Arley McCormick
Marker Committee Chair – Alex Luttrell
Student Resource Officer – Daniel Rhodes
AAMU Representative – Matt Bowser