The Day Dixie Died is a powerful reading experience. It conveys the feeling of occupation by the North more vividly than most battle books convey their battles, and its effects are cumulative, a chapter-by-chapter buildup of gloom and horror. I have put it down more than once thinking, "This is the darkest thing I have ever read."
Not a direct polemic against the occupation, it registers its points one awful anecdote at a time. A chapter title could have served as a better book title: Death by Peace.