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War destroys, but it also inspires, stimulates, and creates. It is, in this way, a muse, and a powerful one at that. The American Civil War was a particularly prolific muse--unleashing with its violent realities a torrent of language, from soldiers' intimate letters and diaries to everyday newspaper accounts, great speeches, and enduring literary works. In Belligerent Muse, Stephen Cushman considers the Civil War writings of five of the most significant and best known narrators of the conflict: Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, William Tecumseh Sherman, Ambrose Bierce, and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. Considering their writings both as literary expressions and as efforts to record the rigors of the war, Cushman analyzes their narratives and the aesthetics underlying them to offer a richer understanding of how Civil War writing chronicled the events of the conflict as they unfolded and then served to frame the memory of the war afterward. Elegantly interweaving military and literary history, Cushman uses some of the war's most famous writers and their works to explore the profound ways in which our nation's great conflict not only changed the lives of its combatants and chroniclers but also fundamentally transformed American letters.
The Civil War thrust Americans onto unfamiliar terrain, as two competing societies mobilized for four years of bloody conflict. Concerned Northerners turned to the print media for guidance on how to be good citizens in a war that hit close to home but was fought hundreds of miles away. They read novels, short stories, poems, songs, editorials, and newspaper stories. They laughed at cartoons and satirical essays. Their spirits were stirred in response to recruiting broadsides and patriotic envelopes. This massive cultural outpouring offered a path for ordinary Americans casting around for direction. Examining the breadth of Northern popular culture, J. Matthew Gallman offers a dramatic reconsideration of how the Union's civilians understood the meaning of duty and citizenship in wartime. Although a huge percentage of military-aged men served in the Union army, a larger group chose to stay home, even while they supported the war. This pathbreaking study investigates how men and women, both white and black, understood their roles in the People's Conflict. Wartime culture created humorous and angry stereotypes ridiculing the nation's cowards, crooks, and fools, while wrestling with the challenges faced by ordinary Americans. Gallman shows how thousands of authors, artists, and readers together created a new set of rules for navigating life in a nation at war.
As intelligence experts have long asserted, "Information in regard to the enemy is the indispensable basis of all military plans." Despite the thousands of books and articles written about Gettysburg, Tom Ryan's groundbreaking Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign: How the Critical Role of Intelligence Impacted the Outcome of Lee's Invasion of the North, June - July 1863 is the first to offer a unique and incisive comparative study of intelligence operations during what many consider the war's decisive campaign. Based upon years of indefatigable research, the author evaluates how Gen. Robert E. Lee used intelligence resources, including cavalry, civilians, newspapers, and spies to gather information about Union activities during his invasion of the North in June and July 1863, and how this information guided Lee's decision-making. Simultaneously, Ryan explores the effectiveness of the Union Army of the Potomac's intelligence and counterintelligence operations. Both Maj. Gens. Joe Hooker and George G. Meade relied upon cavalry, the Signal Corps, and an intelligence staff known as the Bureau of Military Information that employed innovative concepts to gather, collate, and report vital information from a variety of sources. The result is an eye-opening, day-by-day analysis of how and why the respective army commanders implemented their strategy and tactics, with an evaluation of their respective performance as they engaged in a battle of wits to learn the enemy's location, strength, and intentions. Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign is grounded upon a broad foundation of archival research and a firm understanding of the theater of operations that specialists will especially value. Everyone will appreciate reading about a familiar historic event from a perspective that is both new and enjoyable. One thing is certain: no one will close this book and look at the Gettysburg Campaign in the same way again.
At the outset of the American Civil War, the Union Army's sharpshooters were initially equipped with the M1855 Colt revolving rifle, but it was prone to malfunction. Instead, the North's sharpshooters preferred the Sharps rifle, an innovative breech-loading weapon capable of firing up to ten shots per minute - more than three times the rate of fire offered by the standard-issue Springfield .58-caliber rifled musket. Other Union sharpshooters were equipped with the standard-issue Springfield rifled musket or the .56-56-caliber Spencer Repeating Rifle. Conversely, the Confederacy favoured the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifled musket for its sharpshooters and also imported from Britain the Whitworth Rifle, a .45-caliber, single-shot, muzzle-loading weapon distinguished by its use of a twisted hexagonal barrel. Featuring specially commissioned artwork, this is the engrossing story of the innovative rifles that saw combat in the hands of sharpshooters on both sides during the Civil War.
Because of its clandestine nature, much of the history of the Underground Railroad remains shrouded in secrecy--so much so that some historians have even doubted its importance. After decades of research, Tom Calarco recounts his experiences compiling evidence to give credence to the legend's oral history in upstate New York. As the Civil War loomed and politicians from the North and South debated the fate of slavery, brave New Yorkers risked their lives to help fugitive slaves escape bondage. Whites and blacks alike worked together on the Underground Railroad, using ingenious methods of communication and tactics to stay ahead of the slave master and bounty hunter. Especially after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, conscientious residents doubled their efforts to help runaways reach Canada. Join Calarco on this journey of discovery of one of the noblest endeavors in American history.
During the winter of 1864, more than 3,000 Federal prisoners of warescaped from Confederate prison camps into South Carolina and NorthCarolina, often with the aid of local slaves. Their flight created, in the wordsof contemporary observers, a "Yankee plague," heralding a grim end to theConfederate cause. In this fascinating look at Union soldiers' flight for freedomin the last months of the Civil War, Lorien Foote reveals new connectionsbetween the collapse of the Confederate prison system, the large-scaleescape of Union soldiers, and the full unraveling of the Confederate States ofAmerica. By this point in the war, the Confederacy was reeling from prisonoverpopulation, a crumbling military, violence from internal enemies, andslavery's breakdown. The fugitive Federals moving across the countryside inmass numbers, Foote argues, accelerated the collapse as slaves and desertersdecided the presence of these men presented an opportune moment forescalated resistance. Blending rich analysis with an engaging narrative, Foote uses these raggedUnion escapees as a lens with which to assess the dying ConfederateStates, providing a new window into the South's ultimate defeat.
Addressing texts produced by writers who lived through the Civil War and wrote about it before the end of Reconstruction, this collection explores the literary cultures of that unsettled moment when memory of the war had yet to be overwritten by later impulses of reunion, reconciliation, or Lost Cause revisionism. The Civil War reshaped existing literary cultures or enabled new ones. Ensembles of discourses, conventions, and practices, these cultures offered fresh ways of engaging a host of givens about American character and values that the war called into question. The volume's contributors look at how literary cultures of the 1860s and 1870s engaged concepts of nation, violence, liberty, citizenship, community, and identity. At the same time, the essayists analyze the cultures themselves, which included Euroamerican and African American vernacular oral, manuscript (journals and letters), and print (newspapers, magazines, or books) cultures; overlapping discourses of politics, protest, domesticity, and sentiment; unsettled literary nationalism and emergent literary regionalism; and vernacular and elite aesthetic traditions. These essays point to the variety of literary voices that were speaking out in the war's immediate aftermath and help us understand what those voices were saying and how it was received.
This vivid history of the Civil War era reveals how unexpected bonds of union forged among diverse peoples in the Ohio-Kentucky borderlands furthered emancipation through a period of spiraling chaos between 1830 and 1865. Moving beyond familiar arguments about Lincoln's deft politics or regional commercial ties, Bridget Ford recovers the potent religious, racial, and political attachments holding the country together at one of its most likely breaking points, the Ohio River. Living in a bitterly contested region, the Americans examined here-Protestant and Catholic, black and white, northerner and southerner-made zealous efforts to understand the daily lives and struggles of those on the opposite side of vexing human and ideological divides. In their common pursuits of religious devotionalism, universal public education regardless of race, and relief from suffering during wartime, Ford discovers a surprisingly capacious and inclusive sense of political union in the Civil War era. While accounting for the era's many disintegrative forces, Ford reveals the imaginative work that went into bridging stark differences in lived experience, and she posits that work as a precondition for slavery's end and the Union's persistence.
At the beginning of the Civil War, New Brunswick was positioned at the transportation and manufacturing hub of New Jersey. Many of the city's young men exchanged manufacturing equipment for rifles, and those whom they left behind witnessed the war through letters from their sons, brothers and husbands. Patriotism, a longing to earn more money and adventure lured these "Brunswick Boys"--close friends and co-workers--to enlist. Their recollections offer insights into everyday life in New Jersey during the war--New Brunswick's factory system, education and medicine. These letters also reveal their struggles to survive amid battles and close encounters with death that so many soldiers faced, as well as their difficult transition back to civilian life. Local author Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi presents the fascinating stories of New Brunswick and the Civil War, gleaned from the letters of those who experienced it.
How did President Abraham Lincoln come to believe that slavery was "morally wrong," and that Congress needed to pass a law to abolish it once and for all? What did he do in January 1865--three months before he was assassinated--to ensure passage of the Thirteenth Amendment?
This fast-paced, riveting book answers these questions and more as it tells the story of Lincoln's life and times from his upbringing in Kentucky and Illinois, through his work as a lawyer and congressman, to his candidacies and victory in two Presidential elections. It also describes Lincoln's duties in the Civil War as Commander-in-Chief, his actions as President, and his relationships with his family, his political allies and rivals, and the public who voted for and against him. Harold Holzer makes an important era in American history come alive for readers of all ages.
An official companion to Steven Spielberg's Oscar(R) award-winning film Lincoln, the book also includes thirty historical photographs, a chronology, a cast of characters, texts of selected Lincoln writings and speeches, a bibliography, and a foreword by the author about his experience working as a consultant on the movie.
Gender and the Jubilee is a bold reconceptualization of black freedom during the Civil War that uncovers the political and constitutional claims made by African American women. By analyzing the actions of women in the urban environment of St. Louis and the surrounding areas of rural Missouri, Romeo uncovers the confluenceof military events, policy changes, and black agency that shaped the gendered paths to freedom and citizenship. During the turbulent years of the Civil War crisis, African American women asserted their vision of freedom through a multitude of strategies. They took concerns ordinarily under the jurisdiction of civil courts, such as assault and child custody, and transformed them into military matters. African American women petitioned military police for "free papers"; testified against former owners; fled to contraband camps; and "joined the army" with their male relatives, serving as cooks, laundresses, and nurses. Freedwomen, and even enslaved women, used military courts to lodge complaints against employers and former masters, sought legal recognition of their marriages, and claimed pensions as the widows of war veterans. Through military venues, African American women in a state where the institution of slavery remained unmolested by the Emancipation Proclamation, demonstrated a claim on citizenship rights well before they would be guaranteed through the establishment of the Fourteenth Amendment. The litigating slave women of antebellum St. Louis, and the female activists of the Civil War period, left a rich legal heritage to those who would continue the struggle for civil rights in the postbellum era.Millward opens with a striking discussion about how researching the life of asingle enslaved woman, Charity Folks, transforms our understanding of slaveryand freedom in Revolutionary America. For African American women suchas Folks, freedom, like enslavement, was tied to a bondwoman's reproductivecapacities. Their offspring were used to perpetuate the slave economy. Findingloopholes in the law meant that enslaved women could give birth to and raisefree children. For Millward, Folks demonstrates the fluidity of the boundariesbetween slavery and freedom, which was due largely to the gendered space occupiedby enslaved women. The gendering of freedom influenced notions of liberty,equality, and race in what became the new nation and had profound implicationsfor African American women's future interactions with the state
Engineering Victory brings a fresh approach to the question of why the North prevailed in the Civil War. Historian Thomas F. Army, Jr., identifies strength in engineering-not superior military strategy or industrial advantage-as the critical determining factor in the war's outcome. Army finds that Union soldiers were able to apply scientific ingenuity and innovation to complex problems in a way that Confederate soldiers simply could not match. Skilled Free State engineers who were trained during the antebellum period benefited from basic educational reforms, the spread of informal educational practices, and a culture that encouraged learning and innovation. During the war, their rapid construction and repair of roads, railways, and bridges allowed Northern troops to pass quickly through the forbidding terrain of the South as retreating and maneuvering Confederates struggled to cut supply lines and stop the Yankees from pressing any advantage. By presenting detailed case studies from both theaters of the war, Army clearly demonstrates how the soldiers' education, training, and talents spelled the difference between success and failure, victory and defeat. He also reveals massive logistical operations as critical in determining the war's outcome.
Reflecting on the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, this notable book brings together a range of media and perspectives that show how the conflict has been recorded and remembered over time. Fifteen essays written by leading scholars in a variety of disciplines explore visual representations of the war and its remembrance from the mid-19th century to the present. The text is organized in four sections on the themes of home, the battlefield, public space, and heroism. Within these, famous images such as Antietam battlefield photography are presented in a new light, and discussions of lesser-known works-ranging from newspaper illustrations to stained glass windows to public sculpture-underscore their contemporary relevance to the war's most problematic legacies. Four of the essays focus on one of the central commemorations of the war, Augustus Saint-Gaudens's memorial to Robert Gould Shaw in Boston, and its multiple meanings and interpretations.
An insignificant crossroads in northeast Mississippi was an unlikely battleground for one of the most spectacular Confederate victories in the western theater of the Civil War. But that is where two generals determined destiny for their men. Union general Samuel D. Sturgis looked to redeem his past military record, while hard-fighting Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest aimed to drive the Union army out of Mississippi or die trying. In the hot June sun, their armies collided for control of north Mississippi in a story of courage, overwhelming odds and American spirit. Blue Mountain College professor Stewart Bennett retells the day's saga through a wealth of first-person soldier accounts.
The men and women represented in this book had the extraordinary
opportunity of witnessing the end of a 200-year struggle for
freedom: the Civil War. Gathered here are the stirring testimonies
of many African Americans including slaves who endured their last
years of servitude before escaping from their masters, soldiers who
fought for the freedom of their brethren and for equal rights, and
reporters who covered the defeat of their oppressors. These African
American voices include the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass
on the meaning of the war; Martin R. Delany on his meeting with
Lincoln to gain permission to raise an army of African Americans;
Susie King Taylor on her life as laundress and nurse to a Union
regiment in the deep South; Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's
seamstress, on Abraham Lincoln's journey to Richmond after its
fall; Elijah P. Marrs on rising from slave to Union sergeant while
fighting for his freedom in Kentucky; and letters from black
soldiers to black newspapers. Each testimony is presented
unabridged, allowing the full flavor of these voices to be heard,
and each is supplemented with introductions and notes that provide
General Sherman's 1864 burning of Atlanta solidified his legacy as a ruthless leader. Yet Sherman proved far more complex than his legendary military tactics reveal. James Lee McDonough offers fresh insight into a man tormented by the fear that history would pass him by, who was plagued by personal debts and who lived much of his life separated from his family. As a soldier, Sherman evolved from a spirited student at West Point into a general who steered the American Civil War's most decisive campaigns, rendered here in graphic detail. Lamenting casualties, Sherman sought the war's swift end. This meticulously researched biography explores Sherman's friendship with Ulysses S. Grant and his relationship with his family. The result is a remarkable life of an American icon whose legacy resonates to this day.
During the crucial three days of combat at Gettysburg, the most nightmarish place on the entire battlefield was appropriately named the Devil's Den. This jumble of huge boulders situated at the southern end of Houck's Ridge was truly a hell on earth during the decisive afternoon of July 2, 1863. The tenacious struggle that raged beyond control at the battle-line's southern end was all-important, because the Devil's Den and Houck's Ridge anchored the left flank of the over-extended Union battle-line, before Federal troops occupied Little Round Top to the east. The battle-hardened veterans of Lieutenant General James Longstreet's First Corps captured this vital sector-- the first Union left flank--in one of the few Southern successes of the second day, after some of the war's most bitter fighting. Nevertheless, the dramatic story of the successful turning of the first Union left flank has been long overlooked and ignored largely because of the giant historical shadow cast by the more famous struggle at Little Round Top, which was only the second and last fight for the southern flank of both armies on July 2. Therefore, the important contest for possession of the first Union left flank at the Devil's Den and Houck's Ridge was crucial on the bloody afternoon that decided the fate of America.
In this pathbreaking new work, Vitor Izecksohn attempts to shed new light on the American Civil War by comparing it to a strikingly similar campaign in South America--the War of the Triple Alliance of 1864-70, which galvanized four countries and became the longest large-scale international conflict in the history of the Americas. Like the Union in its conflict with the Confederacy, Brazil was faced with an enemy of inferior resources and manpower--in their case, Paraguay--that nonetheless proved extremely difficult to defeat. In both cases, the more powerful army had to create an elaborate war machine controlled by the central state to achieve victory.While it was not the official cause of either conflict, slavery weighed heavily on both wars. When volunteers became scarce, both the Union and Brazilian armies resorted to conscription and, particularly in the case of the Union Army, the enlistment of freedmen of African descent. The consequences of the Union's recruitment of African Americans would extend beyond the war years, contributing significantly to emancipation and reform in the defeated South.Taken together, these two major powers' experiences reveal much about state building, army recruitment, and the military and social impact of slavery. The many parallels revealed by this book challenge the assumption that the American Civil War was an exceptional conflict.
A major new collection of modern commentary from scholars, historians, and Civil War buffs on the significant events of the Civil War, culled from The New York Times' popular Disunion on-line journal Since its debut on November 6, 2010, Disunion, The New York Times' acclaimed journal about the Civil War, has published hundreds of original articles and won multiple awards, including "Best History Website" from the New Media Institute and the History News Network. Following the chronology of the secession crisis and the Civil War, the contributors to Disunion, who include modern scholars, journalists, historians, and Civil War buffs, offer ongoing daily commentary and assessment of the Civil War as it unfolded.Now, for the first time, this fascinating and historically significant commentary has been gathered together and organized in one volume. In The New York Times: Disunion, historian Ted Widmer, has selected more than 100 articles that cover events beginning with Lincoln's presidential victory through the Emancipation Proclamation. Topics include everything from Walt Whitman's wartime diary to the bloody guerrilla campaigns in Missouri and Kansas. Esteemed contributors include William Freehling, Adam Goodheart, and Edward Ayers, among others.The book also compiles new essays that have not been published on the Disunion site by contributors and well-known historians such as David Blight, Gary Gallagher, and Drew Gilpin Faust. Topics include the perspective of African-American slaves and freed men on the war, the secession crisis in the Upper South, the war in the West (that is, past the Appalachians), the war in Texas, the international context, and Civil War era cartography. Portraits, contemporary etchings, and detailed maps round out the book."
Every leader needs a trusted confidant. For Nathan Bedford Forrest, one the Civil War's greatest military minds, that man was David Campbell Kelley. Kelley began adulthood in the clergy, serving for two years as a missionary in China, and returning home just a year before the Civil War. He then raised a company of cavalry from his family's large congregation, which became a part of Forrest's original regiment. Kelley quickly became Forrest's second-in-command, assisting in some of his most daring engagements, offering support in key decisions, and serving as his unofficial chaplain. Following the war, Kelley returned to preaching, helped establish Vanderbilt University, and launched a campaign for governor of Tennessee. Now, for the first time, author Michael R. Bradley brings Kelley's dynamic life to the fore.
The Granite State has a remarkable record of service during the Civil War. It supplied a total of 10,657 recruits for the infantry, cavalry and field artillery divisions in 1861, with the majority of these first recruits enlisting for three years of service. Historian Bruce Heald lets the soldiers and sailors tell their stories in their own words by weaving together the letters to those left behind--families in Portsmouth and Nashua and sweethearts in Concord and Manchester. Heald includes brief introductions to each volunteer regiment, accounts of more than one hundred personal letters and an in-depth look at camp life. This book offers a personal and intimate connection with New Hampshire during the War Between the States through the voices of its heroic sons.
"First at Bethel, farthest at Gettysburg and Chickamauga and last at Appomattox" is a phrase that is often used to encapsulate the role of North Carolina's Confederate soldiers. But the state's involvement stretched far beyond these few battles. The state was one of the last to leave the Union but contributed more men and sustained more dead than any other Southern state. Tar Heels witnessed the pitched battles of New Bern, Averysboro and Bentonville, as well as incursions like Sherman's March and Stoneman's Raid. Join Civil War scholar Michael Hardy as he delves into the story of North Carolina in the Civil War, from civilians to soldiers, as these valorous Tar Heels proved they were a force to be reckoned with.
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