Barton Myers

Military Historian & Author

Executing Daniel Bright: Race, Loyalty, and Guerrilla Violence in a Coastal Carolina Community, 1861-1865

Critical Acclaim

“Barton Myers’ Executing Daniel Bright is microhistory at its finest, for it too engages these big questions of Civil War historiography in a focused study of a local guerrilla conflict in North Carolina’s Great Dismal Swamp region.” Reviews in American History

“Barton A. Myers’s Executing Daniel Bright brings to mind Charles W. Joyner’s admonition that historians “ask big questions about life in small places.” In his compact, fast-paced, well-researched microhistory, Myers employs a fine lens and a subtle touch to examine the vicissitudes of war in a small place (Pasquotank County in northeastern North Carolina) at a specific time (December 1863).” Journal of American History

“Civil War historians today are focusing on guerrilla warfare and detailed community studies as a way to illuminate the dynamics of loyalty and dissent, conflict and violence in the Civil War South. They are recognizing the prevalence and importance of guerrilla warfare and using “microhistory” – or small-scale, local studies – to try to plumb the values and dynamics of Confederate culture. Barton Myers brings both these trends together in his thoroughly researched and prize-winning study of violence in the no-man’s-land of northeastern coastal North Carolina, a region invaded by Union forces as early as August 1861 and subject to destructive raids by both sides thereafter…Barton Myers has scrupulously mined every apparent source of evidence on these events…Myers shows that this kind of irregular violence grew out of the military situation but equally out of southern culture’s propensity for retaliatory violence, dueling, and “the sort of individualized combat that one historian has called ‘personal warfare.’”…What Myers has shown about the vicious, vengeful nature of guerrilla warfare is as impressive as it is sobering. Violence and retaliation by both sides made life in this no-man’s-land painful and intolerable.” Civil War Book Review

“Myers adds significantly to the increasingly diverse mosaic of community studies that have helped scholars understand the deep social impact of the Civil War He reminds us that internal divisions were not limited to the well-known mountainous frontier of the Confederacy.” Journal of Southern History

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