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"This remarkable publication provides a captivating and brilliantly executed series of conversations among seventeen most impressive historians. These participants in a daylong conference focusing on the extraordinary years leading to the Civil War provide an incredible range of historical information that is both educational and exciting. Here is an opportunity to draw on a lively exchange between a substantial number of knowledgeable and entertaining scholars."--James Oliver Horton, author of "Landmarks of African American History"
In The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston and introduces us to cosmopolitan residents who elude the racial categories the rest of America takes for granted. Before the Civil War, these free, openly mixed-race urbanites enjoyed some rights of citizenship and the privileges of wealth and social status. But after Emancipation, as former slaves move to assert their rights, the black-white binary that rules the rest of the nation begins to intrude. During Reconstruction, a movement arises as mixed-race elites make common cause with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness in a bid to achieve political and social equality for all. In some areas, this coalition proved remarkably successful. Activists peacefully integrated the streetcars of Charleston and New Orleans for decades and, for a time, even the New Orleans public schools and the University of South Carolina were educating students of all backgrounds side by side. Tragically, the achievements of this movement were ultimately swept away by a violent political backlash and expunged from the history books, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalise segregation for a half century and usher in the binary racial regime that rules us to this day. The Accident of Color revisits a crucial inflection point in American history. By returning to the birth of our nation's singularly narrow racial system, which was forged in the crucible of opposition to civil rights, Brook illuminates the origins of the racial lies we live by.
Alabamians in Blue offers an in-depth scholarly examination of Alabama's black and white Union soldiers and their contributions to the eventual success of the Union army in the western theater. Christopher M. Rein contends that the state's anti-Confederate residents tendered an important service to the North, primarily by collecting intelligence and protecting logistical infrastructure. He highlights an underappreciated period of biracial cooperation, underwritten by massive support from the federal government. Providing a broad synthesis, Rein's study demonstrates that southern dissenters were not passive victims but rather active participants in their own liberation. Ecological factors, including agricultural collapse under levies from both armies, may have provided the initial impetus for Union enlistment. Federal pillaging inflicted further heavy destruction on plantation agriculture. The breakdown in basic subsistence that ensued pushed Alabama's freedmen and Unionists into federal camps in garrison cities in search of relief and the opportunity for revenge. Once in uniform, Alabama's Union soldiers served alongside northern regiments and frustrated Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest's attempts to interrupt the Union supply efforts in the 1864 Atlanta campaign, which led to the collapse of Confederate arms in the western theater and the eventual Union victory. Rein describes a ""hybrid warfare"" of simultaneous conventional and guerilla battles, where each significantly influenced the other. He concludes that the conventional conflict both prompted and eventually ended the internecine warfare that largely marked the state's experience of the war. A comprehensive analysis of military, social, and environmental history, Alabamians in Blue uncovers a past of biracial cooperation in the American South, and in Alabama in particular, that postwar adherents to the ""Myth of the Lost Cause"" have successfully suppressed until now.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, contemporary narratives about the American South pointed to the perceived lack of industrial development in the region to explain why the Confederacy succumbed to the Union. Even after the cliometric revolution of the 1970s, when historians first began applying statistical analysis to reexamine antebellum manufacturing output, the pervasive belief in the region's backward-ness prompted many scholars to view slavery, not industry, as the economic engine of the South. In Industrial Development and Manufacturing in the Antebellum Gulf South, historian Michael S. Frawley engages a wide variety of sources- including United States census data, which many historians have underutilized when gauging economic growth in the prewar South- to show how industrial development in the region has been systematically minimized by scholars. In doing so, Frawley reconsiders factors related to industrial production in the prewar South, such as the availability of natural resources, transportation, markets, labor, and capital. He contends that the Gulf South was far more industrialized and modern than suggested by census records, economic historians like Fred Bateman and Thomas Weiss, and contemporary travel writers such as Frederick Law Olmsted. Frawley situates the prewar South firmly in a varied and widespread industrial context, contesting the assumption that slavery inhibited industry in the region and that this lack of economic diversity ultimately prevented the Confederacy from waging a successful war. Though southern manufacturing firms could not match the output of northern states, Industrial Development and Manufacturing in the Antebellum Gulf South proves that such entities had established themselves as vital forces in the southern economy on the eve of the Civil War.
Between the end of May and the beginning of August 1864, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee oversaw the transition between the Overland campaign - a remarkable saga of maneuvering and brutal combat - and what became a grueling siege of Petersburg that many months later compelled Confederates to abandon Richmond. Although many historians have marked Grant's crossing of the James River on June 12-15 as the close of the Overland campaign, this volume interprets the fighting from Cold Harbor on June 1-3 through the battle of the Crater on July 30 as the last phase of an operation that could have ended without a prolonged siege. The contributors assess the campaign from a variety of perspectives, examining strategy and tactics, the performances of key commanders on each side, the centrality of field fortifications, political repercussions in the United States and the Confederacy, the experiences of civilians caught in the path of the armies, and how the famous battle of the Crater has resonated in historical memory. As a group, the essays highlight the important connections between the home front and the battlefield, showing some of the ways in which military and nonmilitary affairs played off and influenced one another. Contributors include Keith S. Bohannon, Stephen Cushman, M. Keith Harris, Robert E. L. Krick, Kevin M. Levin, Kathryn Shively Meier, Gordon C. Rhea, and Joan Waugh.
Learn about the President, generals, soldiers, spies, mothers, wives, children, doctors, nurses, and brothers-fighting-brothers during this tumultuous time in U.S. history.
How did Civil War soldiers endure the brutal and unpredictable existence of army life during the conflict? This question is at the heart of Peter S. Carmichael's sweeping new study of men at war. Based on close examination of the letters and records left behind by individual soldiers from both the North and the South, Carmichael explores the totality of the Civil War experience-the marching, the fighting, the boredom, the idealism, the exhaustion, the punishments, and the frustrations of being away from families who often faced their own dire circumstances. Carmichael focuses not on what soldiers thought but rather how they thought. In doing so, he reveals how, to the shock of most men, well-established notions of duty or disobedience, morality or immorality, loyalty or disloyalty, and bravery or cowardice were blurred by war. Digging deeply into his soldiers' writing, Carmichael resists the idea that there was ""a common soldier"" but looks into their own words to find common threads in soldiers' experiences and ways of understanding what was happening around them. In the end, he argues that a pragmatic philosophy of soldiering emerged, guiding members of the rank and file as they struggled to live with the contradictory elements of their violent and volatile world. Soldiering in the Civil War, as Carmichael argues, was never a state of being but a process of becoming.
William Tecumseh Sherman, a West Point graduate and veteran of the Seminole War, became one of the best-known generals in the Civil War. His March to the Sea, which resulted in a devastated swath of the South from Atlanta to Savannah, cemented his place in history as the pioneer of total war. In The Scourge of War, preeminent military historian Brian Holden Reid offers a deeply researched life and times account of Sherman. By examining his childhood and education, his business ventures in California, his antebellum leadership of a military college in Louisiana, and numerous career false starts, Holden Reid shows how unlikely his exceptional Civil War career would seem. He also demonstrates how crucial his family was to his professional path, particularly his wife's intervention during the war. He analyzes Sherman's development as a battlefield commander and especially his crucial friendships with Henry W. Halleck and Ulysses S. Grant. In doing so, he details how Sherman overcame both his weaknesses as a leader and severe depression to mature as a military strategist. Central chapters narrate closely Sherman's battlefield career and the gradual lifting of his pessimism that the Union would be defeated. After the war, Sherman became a popular figure in the North and the founder of the school for officers at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, known as the "intellectual center of the army." Holden Reid argues that Sherman was not hostile to the South throughout his life and only in later years gained a reputation as a villain who practiced barbaric destruction, particularly as the neo-Confederate Lost Cause grew and he published one of the first personal accounts of the war. A definitive biography of a preeminent military figure by a renowned military historian, The Scourge of War is a masterful account of Sherman' life that fully recognizes his intellect, strategy, and actions during the Civil War.
This book examines what the citizen soldiery of the mid-Atlantic states wore when they marched off to save the Union in 1861. An exhaustive search of thousands of newspapers has provided a myriad of reports and personal accounts from soldiers' letters, which offer a hitherto unpublished view of the stirring events during the first few months of the Civil War. Combined with fascinating detail from numerous diaries and regimental histories, this has helped reconstruct the appearance of the Union volunteers of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. The book is enhanced by photographs of original items of uniforms from private collections, plus imagery of the day, which show with remarkable clarity the great variety of clothing and headgear worn. Sponsored by the Company of Military Historians, this is an essential reference for collectors, living historians, modelers, and curators, as well as anyone with a general interest in the Civil War.
In his masterpiece, Jefferson Davis, American, William J. Cooper, Jr., crafted a sweeping, definitive biography and established himself as the foremost scholar on the intriguing Confederate president. Cooper narrows his focus considerably in Jefferson Davis and the Civil War Era, training his expert eye specifically on Davis's participation in and influence on events central to the American Civil War. Nine self-contained essays address how Davis reacted to and dealt with a variety of issues that were key to the coming of the war, the war itself, or in memorializing the war, sharply illuminating Davis's role during those turbulent years.
Cooper opens with an analysis of Davis as an antebellum politician, challenging the standard view of Davis as either a dogmatic priest of principle or an inept bureaucrat. Next, he looks closely at Davis's complex association with secession, which included, surprisingly, a profound devotion to the Union. Six studies explore Davis and the Confederate experience, with topics including states' rights, the politics of command and strategic decisions, Davis in the role of war leader, the war in the West, and the meaning of the war. The final essay compares and contrasts Davis's first inauguration in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1861 with a little-known dedication of a monument to Confederate soldiers in the same city twenty-five years later. In 1886, Davis -- an old man of seventy-eight and in poor health -- had himself become a living monument, Cooper explains, and was an essential element in the formation of the Lost Cause ideology.
Cooper's succinct interpretations provide straightforward, compact, and deceptively deep new approaches to understanding Davis during the most critical time in his life. Certain to stimulate further thought and spark debate, Jefferson Davis and the Civil War Era offers rare insight into one of American history's most complicated and provocative figures.
The Battle of Gettyburg remains one of the most controversial military actions in America's history, and one of the most studied. Professor Coddington's is an analysis not only of the battle proper, but of the actions of both Union and Confederate armies for the six months prior to the battle and the factors affecting General Meade's decision not to pursue the retreating Confederate forces. This book contends that Gettyburg was a crucial Union victory, primarily because of the effective leadership of Union forces--not, as has often been said, only because the North was the beneficiary of Lee's mistakes.
An in-depth political study of Alabama's government during the Civil War. Alabama's military forces were fierce and dedicated combatants for the Confederate cause. In his new study of Alabama during the Civil War, Ben H. Severance argues that Alabama's electoral and political attitudes were, in their own way, just as unified in their support for the cause of southern independence. To be sure, the civilian populace often expressed unease about the conflict, as did a good many of its legislators, but the majority of government officials and military personnel displayed pronounced patriotism and a consistent willingness to accept a total war approach in pursuit of their new nation's aims; as Severance puts it, Alabama was a 'war state all over.' In his innovative study, Severance examines the state's political leadership at every level of governance - congressional, gubernatorial, and legislative - and orients much of its analysis around the state elections of 1863. Coming at the war's midpoint, these elections provide an invaluable gauge of popular support for Alabama's role in the Civil War, particularly at a time when the military situation for Confederate forces was looking bleak. The results do not necessarily reflect a society that was unreservedly prowar, but they clearly establish a polity that was committed to an unconditional Confederate victory, in spite of the probable costs. A War State All Over: Alabama Politics and the Confederate Cause focuses on the martial character of Alabama's polity while simultaneously acknowledging the widespread angst of Alabama's larger culture and society. In doing so, it puts a human face on the election returns by providing detailed character sketches of the principal candidates that illuminate both their outlook on the war and their role in shaping policy.
Few historians have ever captured the drama, excitement, and tragedy of the Civil War with the headlong elan of Edwin Bearss, who has won a huge, devoted following with his extraordinary battlefield tours and eloquent soliloquies about the heroes, scoundrels, and little-known moments of a conflict that still fascinates America. Antietam, Shiloh, Gettysburg: these hallowed battles and more than a dozen more come alive as never before, rich with human interest and colourful detail culled from a lifetime of study. Illustrated with detailed maps and archival images, this 448-page volume presents a unique narrative of the Civil War's most critical battles, translating Bearss' inimitable delivery into print. As he guides readers from the first shots at Fort Sumter to Gettysburg's bloody fields to the dignified surrender at Appomattox, his engagingly plainspoken but expert account demonstrates why he stands beside Shelby Foote, James McPherson, and Ken Burns in the front rank of modern chroniclers of the Civil War, as the Pulitzer Prize-winning McPherson himself points out in his admiring Introduction.
Cathy Kaemmerlen, a renowned storyteller and historical interpreter, provides a colorful collection of tales of exceptional Georgia women who made great sacrifices in an effort to save their families and homes. From the innocent diary of a 10-year-old girl to the words of a woman who risks everything to see her husband one last time, Kaemmerlen exposes the grit and gumption of these remarkable Southern women in inspiring and entertaining fashion.
As provisional governor of Missouri during the Civil War, Hamilton Gamble (1798--1864) worked closely with the Lincoln administration to keep the state from seceding from the Union. Without Gamble and other loyal Unionist governors, the war in the West might have been lost. Dennis Boman's full-scale account of Gamble's life tells the little-known story of a prominent frontier lawyer who became chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court and boldly dissented in the infamous Dred Scott decision. Revealing how Gamble, one of the wealthiest and most renowned citizens of pre--Civil War Missouri, fought to end slavery and to protect the integrity of the Union, Lincoln's Resolute Unionist corrects prevailing notions about solidarity among the South's antebellum elite on these issues.
The slaveholding border state of Missouri figured greatly in the sectional crisis from the time of its controversial admission to the Union up through the war itself, when it was the site of internecine battles between Unionists and Confederates. The complexities of the period and of the political alliances formed then emerge clearly in Boman's biography of Gamble. A fundamental conservatism -- Gamble believed judges should interpret, not make, law -- led the southern slave owner to dissent from his colleagues' proslavery decision in Scott v. Emerson. These same principles, along with Gamble's Whig affiliation and Christian convictions, made firm his antisecessionist stance despite his proslavery predilections.
Boman provides a groundbreaking analysis of Lincoln's involvement in Missouri's affairs, including his assistance to Gamble in maintaining security and passing a state ordinance for gradual emancipation. Lincoln's Resolute Unionist brings to light in a compelling fashion the meaning -- and the drama -- of the life of a key figure at a critical time in American history.
New developments in Civil War scholarship owe much to removal of artificial divides by historians seeking to explore the connections between the home front and the battlefield. Indeed, scholars taking a holistic view of the war have contributed to our understanding of the social complexities of emancipation, of freedom in a white republic, and the multifaceted experiences of both civilians and soldiers. Given these accomplishments, research focusing on military history prompts prominent and recurring debates among Civil War historians. Critics of traditional military history see it as old-fashioned, too technical, or irrelevant to the most important aspects of the war. Proponents of this area of study view these criticisms as a misreading of its nature and potential to illuminate the war. The collected essays in Upon the Fields of Battle bridge this intellectual divide, demonstrating how historians enrich Civil War studies by approaching the period through the specific but nonetheless expansive lens of military history. Drawing together contributions from Keith Altavilla, Robert L. Glaze, John J. Hennessy, Earl J. Hess, Brian Matthew Jordan, Kevin M. Levin, Brian D. McKnight, Jennifer M. Murray, and Kenneth W. Noe, editors Andrew S. Bledsoe and Andrew F. Lang present an innovative volume that deeply integrates and analyses the ideas and practices of the military during the Civil War. Furthermore, by grounding this collection in both traditional and pioneering methodologies, the authors assess the impact of this field within the social, political, and cultural contexts of Civil War studies. Upon the Fields of Battle reconceives traditional approaches to subjects like battles and battlefields, practice and policy, command and culture, the environment, the home front, civilians and combatants, atrocity and memory, revealing a more balanced understanding of the military aspects of the Civil War's evolving history.
The author, Valgene Dunham, has done an incredible job researching the material included in this work. There are quite a few photos, and it was not only interesting, but somehow ethereal to see what the land looked like during this historical period. I thought the photos added a lot to the book, allowing the reader to glimpse the world William Whitlock speaks of through his correspondence.
In September 1868, the remains of Jacob and Nancy Jane Young were found lying near the banks of Indiana's White River. It was a gruesome scene. Part of Jacob's face had been blown off, apparently by the shotgun that lay a few feet away. Spiders and black beetles crawled over his wound. Smoke rose from his wife's smoldering body, which was so badly burned that her intestines were exposed, the flesh on her thighs gone, and the bones partially reduced to powder. Suspicion for both deaths turned to Nancy Clem, a housewife who was also one of Mr. Young's former business partners. In The Notorious Mrs. Clem, Wendy Gamber chronicles the life and times of this charming and persuasive Gilded Age confidence woman, who became famous not only as an accused murderess but also as an itinerant peddler of patent medicine and the supposed originator of the Ponzi scheme. Clem's story is a shocking tale of friendship and betrayal, crime and punishment, courtroom drama and partisan politicking, get-rich-quick schemes and shady business deals. It also raises fascinating questions about women's place in an evolving urban economy. As they argued over Clem's guilt or innocence, lawyers, jurors, and ordinary citizens pondered competing ideas about gender, money, and marriage. Was Clem on trial because she allegedly murdered her business partner? Or was she on trial because she engaged in business? Along the way, Gamber introduces a host of equally compelling characters, from prosecuting attorney and future U.S. president Benjamin Harrison to folksy defense lawyer John Hanna, daring detective Peter Wilkins, pioneering "lady news writer" Laura Ream, and female-remedy manufacturer Michael Slavin. Based on extensive sources, including newspapers, trial documents, and local histories, this gripping account of a seemingly typical woman who achieved extraordinary notoriety will appeal to true crime lovers and historians alike.
Operating in the vast and varied trans-Appalachian west, the Army of Tennessee was crucially important to the military fate of the Confederacy. But under the principal leadership of generals such as Braxton Bragg, Joseph E. Johnston, and John Bell Hood, it won few major battles and many regard its inability to halt steady Union advances into the Confederate heartland as a matter of failed leadership. Here, esteemed military historian Larry J. Daniel offers a far richer interpretation. Surpassing previous work that has focused on questions of command structure and the force's fate on the fields of battle, Daniel provides the clearest view to date of the army's inner workings, from top-level command and unit cohesion to the varied experiences of common soldiers and their connections to the home front. Drawing from his mastery of the relevant sources, Daniel's book is a thought-provoking reassessment of an army's fate, with important implications for Civil War history and military history writ large.
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice In 1858, challenger Abraham Lincoln debated incumbent Stephen Douglas seven times in the race for a U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. More was at stake than slavery in those debates. In Lincoln's Tragic Pragmatism, John Burt contends that the very legitimacy of democratic governance was on the line. In a United States stubbornly divided over ethical issues, the overarching question posed by the Lincoln-Douglas debates has not lost its urgency: Can a liberal political system be used to mediate moral disputes? And if it cannot, is violence inevitable? "John Burt has written a work that every serious student of Lincoln will have to read...Burt refracts Lincoln through the philosophy of Kant, Rawls and contemporary liberal political theory. His is very much a Lincoln for our time." -Steven B. Smith, New York Times Book Review "I'm making space on my overstuffed shelves for Lincoln's Tragic Pragmatism. This is a book I expect to be picking up and thumbing through for years to come." -Jim Cullen, History News Network "Burt treats the [Lincoln-Douglas] debates as being far more significant than an election contest between two candidates. The debates represent profound statements of political philosophy and speak to the continuing challenges the U.S. faces in resolving divisive moral conflicts." -E. C. Sands, Choice
Trained as a physician and ordained an Episcopal priest, Charles Todd Quintard (1824--1898) was a remarkable man by the standard of any generation. Born, raised, and educated in the North, he migrated to the South to pursue a medical career but was inspired by the bishop of Tennessee to serve the church. When Tennessee seceded from the Union in May 1861, Quintard joined the Confederate 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment as its chaplain and during the maelstrom of the Civil War kept a diary of his experiences. He later penned a memoir, which was published posthumously in 1905.
Sam Davis Elliott combines a previously unpublished portion of the diary with Quintard's memoir in Doctor Quintard, Chaplain C.S.A. and Second Bishop of Tennessee. Quintard offers an unusual perspective and insightful observations gained from ministering to soldiers and civilians as both a priest and a physician. With thoughtful editing and annotating, Quintard's writings provide a valuable window into the high command of the Army of Tennessee at some of its more critical junctures and substantial detail of the last eight months of the war in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.
Quintard was present during the early fighting in Virginia, marched into Kentucky with Braxton Bragg, attended to the wounded at Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, witnessed two Confederate retreats from Middle Tennessee, and watched the Federal armies overrun the Deep South in the spring of 1865. He met such diverse personages as Robert E. Lee and Federal Major General James H. Wilson; prayed with Bragg, Leonidas Polk, and John Bell Hood; shared a bed once with Nathan Bedford Forrest; and performed the sad duty of conducting the funerals of Patrick Cleburne and others killed at Franklin, Tennessee. Throughout his military service, he organized hospitals and relief efforts, filled in as a parish priest, and served as chaplain at large of the Army of Tennessee.
After the war, Quintard became the prime mover in the revival of Leonidas Polk's dream of an Episcopal Church--sponsored University of the South, and in 1865 he was consecrated bishop of Tennessee, a position he held until his death. These interesting and lively war-year remembrances of one of the Confederacy's most exceptional characters shed new light on the little-known western theater's military, civilian, and religious fronts.
In a grand and immemsely readable synthesis of historical, political, cultural, and economic analysis, a prize-winning historian depicts much more than a break with England. He gives readers a revolution that transformed an almost feudal society into a democratic one, whose emerging realities sometimes baffled and disappointed its founding fathers.
In this engaging and nuanced political history of Northern communities in the Civil War era, Adam I. P. Smith offers a new interpretation of the familiar story of the path to war and ultimate victory. Smith looks beyond the political divisions between abolitionist Republicans and Copperhead Democrats to consider the everyday conservatism that characterized the majority of Northern voters. A sense of ongoing crisis in these Northern states created anxiety and instability, which manifested in a range of social and political tensions in individual communities. In the face of such realities, Smith argues that a conservative impulse was more than just a historical or nostalgic tendency; it was fundamental to charting a path to the future. At stake for Northerners was their conception of the Union as the vanguard in a global struggle between democracy and despotism, and their ability to navigate their freedoms through the stormy waters of modernity. As a result, the language of conservatism was peculiarly, and revealingly, prominent in Northern politics during these years. The story this book tells is of conservative people coming, in the end, to accept radical change.
Consigned to illiteracy, American slaves left little record of their thoughts and feelings-or so we have believed. But a few learned to use pen and paper to make sense of their experiences, despite prohibitions. These authors' perspectives rewrite the history of emancipation and force us to rethink the relationship between literacy and freedom.
On July 20, 1864, the Civil War struggle for Atlanta reached a pivotal moment. As William T. Sherman's Union forces came ever nearer the city, the defending Confederate Army of Tennessee replaced its commanding general, removing Joseph E. Johnston and elevating John Bell Hood. This decision stunned and demoralized Confederate troops just when Hood was compelled to take the offensive against the approaching Federals. Attacking northward from Atlanta's defenses, Hood's men struck George H. Thomas's Army of the Cumberland just after it crossed Peach Tree Creek on July 20. Initially taken by surprise, the Federals fought back with spirit and nullified all the advantages the Confederates first enjoyed. As a result, the Federals achieved a remarkable defensive victory. Offering new and definitive interpretations of the battle's place within the Atlanta campaign, Earl J. Hess describes how several Confederate regiments and brigades made a pretense of advancing but then stopped partway to the objective and took cover for the rest of the afternoon on July 20. Hess shows that morale played an unusually important role in determining the outcome at Peach Tree Creek - a soured mood among the Confederates and overwhelming confidence among the Federals spelled disaster for one side and victory for the other.
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