When the Yankees Come: Former South Carolina Slaves Remember Sherman’s Invasion (Voices from the Dust Book 1)
Paul C. Graham
Reviewed by J. Keith Jones
There really is no better foundation for understanding history than reading source material. It is important to hear all the voices before condensing it down to the big picture. The Slave Narratives recorded by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Work Progress Administration are a much overlooked source.
Paul Graham has sorted through this database and compiled all the entries containing any reference to the slave experience in relation to Sherman’s army. He was not selective and allows the subjects to speak to you directly. As with most things, their opinions differed. Some had good experiences and saw the Yankees as liberators, while many others had negative experiences and feared and disdained the Yankees as much as the white people did. Of course, there were numerous neutral experiences too.
This volume is a great addition to any historian’s bookshelf or Kindle, especially South Carolina or the Southern experience in the war.