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Recruited as sharpshooters and clothed in distinctive uniforms with green trim, the hand-picked regiment of the Ninth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry was renowned and admired far and wide. The only New Jersey regiment to reenlist for the duration of the Civil War at the close of its initial three-year term, the Ninth saw action in forty-two battles and engagements across three states. Throughout the South, the regiment broke up enemy camps and supply depots, burned bridges, and destroyed railroad tracks to thwart Confederate movements and suffered disease and starvation as POWs at the notorious Andersonville prison camp in Georgia. Recruited largely from socially conservative cities and villages in northern and central New Jersey, the Ninth Volunteer Infantry consisted of men with widely differing opinions about the Union and their enemy. Edward G. Longacre unearths these complicated political and social views, tracing the history of this esteemed regiment before, during, and after the war-from recruitment at Camp Olden to final operations in North Carolina.
Colonel Frank Wolford, the acclaimed Civil War colonel of the First Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry, is remembered today primarily for his unenviable reputation. Despite his stellar service record and widespread fame, Wolford ruined his reputation and his career over the question of emancipation and the enlistment of African Americans in the army. Unhappy with Abraham Lincoln's public stance on slavery, Wolford rebelled and made a series of treasonous speeches against the president. Dishonorably discharged and arrested three times, Wolford, on the brink of being exiled beyond federal lines into the Confederacy, was taken in irons to Washington DC to meet with Lincoln. Lincoln spared Wolford, however, and the disgraced colonel returned to Kentucky, where he was admired for his war record and rewarded politically for his racially based rebellion against Lincoln. Although his military record established him as one of the most vigorous, courageous, and original commanders in the cavalry, Wolford's later reputation suffered. Dan Lee restores balance to the story of a crude, complicated, but talented man and the unconventional regiment he led in the fight to save the Union. Placing Wolford in the context of the political and cultural crosscurrents that tore at Kentucky during the war, Lee fills out the historical picture of Old Roman Nose.
Since 1982, the renowned Civil War historian James I. "Bud" Robertson's "Civil War Sites in Virginia: A Tour Guide" has enlightened and informed Civil War enthusiasts and scholars alike. The book expertly explores the commonwealth's Civil War sites for those hoping to gain greater insight and understanding of the conflict. But in the years since the book's original publication, accessibility to many sites and the interpretive material available have improved dramatically. In addition, new historical markers have been erected, and new historically significant sites have been developed, while other sites have been lost to modern development or other encroachments. The historian Brian Steel Wills offers here a revised and updated edition that retains the core of the original guide, with its rich and insightful prose, but that takes these major changes into account, introducing especially the benefits of expanded interpretation and of improved accessibility. The guide incorporates new information on the lives of a broad spectrum of soldiers and citizens while revisiting scenes associated with the era's most famous personalities. New maps and a list of specialized tour suggestions assist in planning visits to sites, while three dozen illustrations, from nineteenth-century drawings to modern photographs, bring the war and its impact on the Old Dominion vividly to life. With the sesquicentennial remembrances of the American Civil War heightening interest and spurring improvements, there may be no better time to learn about and visit these important and moving sites than now.
This sweeping new history recognizes that the Civil War was not just a military conflict but also a moment of profound transformation in Americans' relationship to the natural world. To be sure, environmental factors such as topography and weather powerfully shaped the outcomes of battles and campaigns, and the war could not have been fought without the horses, cattle, and other animals that were essential to both armies. But here Judkin Browning and Timothy Silver weave a far richer story, combining military and environmental history to forge a comprehensive new narrative of the war's significance and impact. As they reveal, the conflict created a new disease environment by fostering the spread of microbes among vulnerable soldiers, civilians, and animals; led to large-scale modifications of the landscape across several states; sparked new thinking about the human relationship to the natural world; and demanded a reckoning with disability and death on an ecological scale. And as the guns fell silent, the change continued; Browning and Silver show how the war influenced the future of weather forecasting, veterinary medicine, the birth of the conservation movement, and the establishment of the first national parks. In considering human efforts to find military and political advantage by reshaping the natural world, Browning and Silver show not only that the environment influenced the Civil War's outcome but also that the war was a watershed event in the history of the environment itself.
From the earliest stirrings of southern nationalism to the defeat of the Confederacy, analysis of European nationalist movements played a critical role in how southerners thought about their new southern nation. Southerners argued that because the Confederate nation was cast in the same mold as its European counterparts, it deserved independence. In Newest Born of Nations, Ann Tucker utilizes print sources such as newspapers and magazines to reveal how elite white southerners developed an international perspective on nationhood that helped them clarify their own national values, conceive of the South as distinct from the North, and ultimately define and legitimize the Confederacy. While popular at home, claims to equivalency with European nations failed to resonate with Europeans and northerners, who viewed slavery as incompatible with liberal nationalism. Forced to reevaluate their claims about the international place of southern nationalism, some southerners redoubled their attempts to place the Confederacy within the broader trends of nineteenth-century nationalism. More conservative southerners took a different tack, emphasizing the distinctiveness of their nationalism, claiming that the Confederacy actually purified nationalism through slavery. Southern Unionists likewise internationalized their case for national unity. By examining the evolution of and variation within these international perspectives, Tucker reveals the making of a southern nationhood to be a complex, contested process.
"The Battlefields of the Civil War" tells the stories of thirteen of the most important battles, including First Manassas, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and the Wilderness.
William C. Davis not only describes the events and outcomes of those great engagements, but also delves into the characters of the army commanders, revealing in many cases just how much their personalities influenced the actions of their subordinates - and ultimately the outcome of the battles themselves. Rounding out the narrative are 35 full-page color photograph spreads of Civil War artifacts (including flags, uniforms, artillery projectiles, and arms), 28 color paintings of soldiers in various regiment uniforms, and 166 historical photographs.
Manassas, Hampton Roads, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Brandy Station, Spotsylvania, New Market, Cedar Creek, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Appomattox Courthouse are names that remain synonymous with valour, sacrifice and finally, defeat during the Civil War. These sites comprise but a handful of the more than 200 military engagements that took place in Virginia, the largest and richest of the Southern states. Nowhere in the nation was the full fury of the Civil War felt as it was in Virginia which saw the death, wounding and capture of over half a million men and the end of institutions that had helped perpetuate an outmoded economic system which had enslaved millions. Noted Civil War historian, James I. Robertson Jr, presents an overview of the pivotal state, caught in the midst of the most traumatic of national events.
Leading politicians, diplomats, clerics, planters, farmers, manufacturers, and merchants preached a transformative, world-historical role for the Confederacy, persuading many of their compatriots to fight not merely to retain what they had but to gain their future empire. Impervious to reality, their vision of future world leadership-territorial, economic, political, and cultural-provided a vitally important, underappreciated motivation to form an independent Confederate republic.In Colossal Ambitions, Adrian Brettle explores how leading Confederate thinkers envisioned their postwar nation-its relationship with the United States, its place in the Americas, and its role in the global order. Brettle draws on rich caches of published and unpublished letters and diaries, Confederate national and state government documents, newspapers published in North America and England, conference proceedings, pamphlets, contemporary and scholarly articles, and more to engage the perspectives not only of modern historians but some of the most salient theorists of the Western World in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. An impressive and complex undertaking, Colossal Ambitions concludes that while some Confederate commentators saw wartime industrialization as pointing towards a different economic future, most Confederates saw their society as revolving once more around coercive labor, staple crop production, and exports in the war's wake.
As the sectional crisis gripped the United States, the rancor increasingly spread to the halls of Congress. Preston Brooks's frenzied assault on Charles Sumner was perhaps the most notorious evidence of the dangerous divide between proslavery Democrats and the new antislavery Republican Party. But as disunion loomed, rifts within the majority Democratic Party were every bit as consequential. And nowhere was the fracture more apparent than in the raging debates between Illinois's Stephen Douglas and Mississippi's Jefferson Davis. As leaders of the Democrats' northern and southern factions before the Civil War, their passionate conflict of words and ideas has been overshadowed by their opposition to Abraham Lincoln. But here, weaving together biography and political history, Michael E. Woods restores Davis and Douglas's fatefully entwined lives and careers to the center of the Civil War era. Operating on personal, partisan, and national levels, Woods traces the deep roots of Democrats' internal strife, with fault lines drawn around fundamental questions of property rights and majority rule. Neither belief in white supremacy nor expansionist zeal could reconcile Douglas and Davis's factions as their constituents formed their own lines in the proverbial soil of westward expansion. The first major reinterpretation of the Democratic Party's internal schism in more than a generation, Arguing until Doomsday shows how two leading antebellum politicians ultimately shattered their party and hastened the coming of the Civil War.
When a Civil War substitute broker told business associates that "Men is cheep here to Day," he exposed an unsettling contradiction at the heart of the Union's war effort. Despite Northerners' devotion to the principles of free labor, the war produced rampant speculation and coercive labor arrangements that many Americans labeled fraudulent. Debates about this contradiction focused on employment agencies called "intelligence offices," institutions of dubious character that nevertheless served the military and domestic necessities of the Union army and Northern households. Northerners condemned labor agents for pocketing fees above and beyond contracts for wages between employers and employees. Yet the transactions these middlemen brokered with vulnerable Irish immigrants, Union soldiers and veterans, former slaves, and Confederate deserters defined the limits of independence in the wage labor economy and clarified who could prosper in it. Men Is Cheap shows that in the process of winning the war, Northerners were forced to grapple with the frauds of free labor. Labor brokers, by helping to staff the Union military and Yankee households, did indispensable work that helped the Northern state and Northern employers emerge victorious. They also gave rise to an economic and political system that enriched the managerial class at the expense of laborers--a reality that resonates to this day.
A powerful account of a surprisingly forgotten tragedy of the Civil War
A stunning wartime account of human endurance and adventure, and an exploration of just how much the human body and mind can take, "Sultana" follows several young Union soldiers through the Civil War and what was, for them, its unimaginably disastrous aftermath. We see them enlist and then almost immediately be plunged into a cascading series of wartime horrors: Battle, trauma, prison camp, and, finally, the sinking of the "Sultana," the steamboat that was taking them back home.
On an April night in 1865, the "Sultana" slowly moved up the dark Mississippi, its overtaxed engines straining under the weight of a human cargo that included an estimated twenty-four hundred passengers--more than six times the number it was designed to carry. Most were weak, emaciated Union soldiers, recently paroled from Confederate prison camps, on their way home after enduring the violence of war. At two a.m., three of "Sultana"'s four boilers exploded. Within twenty minutes, it went down in fire and water, taking an estimated seventeen hundred lives.
The sinking of the "Sultana" remains the worst maritime disaster in American history, yet due to a confluence of contemporary events (Lincoln had recently been assassinated and the war had ended), it soon faded into relative obscurity. Now Alan Huffman presents this harrowing story against the backdrop of the endless suffering already endured by its survivors. Using contemporary research as well as digging deep into archives and family keepsakes, Huffman paints a gripping portrait of the young men who made it home alive.
Abraham Lincoln's two great legacies to history--his extraordinary power as a writer and his leadership during the Civil War--come together in this close study of the President's use of the telegraph. Invented less than two decades before he entered office, the telegraph came into its own during the Civil War. In a jewel-box of historical writing, Wheeler captures Lincoln as he adapted his folksy rhetorical style to the telegraph, creating an intimate bond with his generals that would ultimately help win the war.
Few wartime cities in Virginia held more importance than Petersburg. Nonetheless, the city has, until now, lacked an adequate military history, let alone a history of the civilian home front. The noted Civil War historian A. Wilson Greene now provides an expertly researched, eloquently written study of the city that was second only to Richmond in size and strategic significance. Industrial, commercial, and extremely prosperous, Petersburg was also home to a large African American community, including the state's highest percentage of free blacks. On the eve of the Civil War, the city elected a conservative, pro-Union approach to the sectional crisis. Little more than a month before Virginia's secession did Petersburg finally express pro-Confederate sentiments, at which point the city threw itself wholeheartedly into the effort, with large numbers of both white and black men serving. Over the next four years, Petersburg's citizens watched their once-beautiful city become first a conduit for transient soldiers from the Deep South, then an armed camp, and finally the focus of one of the Civil War's most protracted and damaging campaigns. (The fall of Richmond and collapse of the Confederate war effort in Virginia followed close on Grant's ultimate success in Petersburg.) At war's end, Petersburg's antebellum prosperity evaporated under pressures from inflation, chronic shortages, and the extensive damage done by Union artillery shells. Greene's book tracks both Petersburg's civilian experience and the city's place in Confederate military strategy and administration. Employing scores of unpublished sources, the book weaves a uniquely personal story of thousands of citizens--free blacks, slaves and their holders, factory owners, merchants--all of whom shared a singular experience in Civil War Virginia.
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