Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War

From the first shot fired at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, to the last shot fired at Appomattox, food played a crucial role in the Civil War. The North mobilized its agricultural resources; the South did not. As a result, the North fed its civilians and military, and still had massive amounts of food to export toEurope, while the South starved, morale tanked, and desertions increased. The Confederacy collapsed because it couldn’t feed its armies.

            Andrew F. Smith, is the author or editor of twenty-six books, including his latest  Sugar: A Global History (Reaktion, April 2015). Mr. Smith was also the editor of  The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. He has written more than five hundred articles in academic journals, popular magazines and newspapers, and has served as a consultant to several television series, including the recent six-episode series, “Eat: The Story of Food,” that aired on the National Geographic Channel in the fall of 2014. For more about him, visit his website:

Recorded live at the Highland Park Library on June 20, 2015.