LSU Press has released Dr. J. Matthew Ward’s book, Garden of Ruins: Occupied Louisiana in the Civil War.

Garden of Ruins: Occupied Louisiana in the Civil War is a history of how the Union military occupied Louisiana during the Civil War, how the Confederate state government responded, and how common people living in the state related to both Union and Confederate powers during the war.

“Most of the time when people think about the Civil War, they think about famous generals and big battles, but many people experienced the war in a far more local sense,” said Ward. “My book is an overview of the everyday activities and policies of military officials and common civilians in hopes of understanding the war on a more local level. From this perspective we can understand that household issues and domestic life were of utmost concern to soldiers and civilians.”

Ward explains that ultimately, the war was a profoundly personal event for people in occupied territory. “The Civil War was not just about grand victories on a distant battlefield, but also a daily struggle for what life would look like in America in the years to come.”


Dr. Ward will be participating in a Facebook Live Authors Series on Wednesday, June 5 at 2pm at


Here is the link to purchase the book:

It’s also available at most bookstores.

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