In the twilight days of slavery. . . Thirteen year old Ephraim Wright suffers the depredations of war along with the white family who reared him. Raised with the family since he was two years old, he is never once required to call Jonathan Wright, his benevolent owner, “master.” His speech, manners and outlook on life are more akin to his white “siblings than the other slaves in the community who chide him for being a “pet” and “talkin’ like white folk.” He is stranded between two worlds; that of free whites, and of enslaved blacks. His life is irreversibly changed when Confederate conscript officers take the family’s oldest son at gun point and a bushwhacker gang guns down Jonathan Wright. The law forbids a slave to touch a firearm, because a “negro with a gun is a nervous thing to white folks.” But where his family is concerned, Ep is never one to care about what the slave laws say. By seeking to send men to hell, will Ephraim send himself there as well? Advance Praise for The Secret of
Many scholars believe that the existence of slavery stymied the development of the American state because slaveholding Southern politicians were so at odds with a federal government they feared would abolish their peculiar institution. David Ericson argues to the contrary, showing that over a seventy-year period slavery actually contributed significantly to the development of the American state, even as a “house divided.”
When General Ormsby Mitchel and his Third Division, Army of the Ohio, marched into North Alabama in April 1862, they initiated the first occupation of an inland region in the Deep South during the Civil War. As an occupying force, soldiers were expected to adhere to President Lincoln’s policy of conciliation, a conservative strategy based on the belief that most southerners were loyal to the Union. Confederate civilians in North Alabama not only rejected their occupiers’ conciliatory overtures, but they began sabotaging Union telegraph lines and trains, conducting guerrilla operations, and even verbally abusing troops. Confederates’ dogged resistance compelled Mitchel and his men to jettison conciliation in favor of a “hard war” approach to restoring Federal authority in the region. This occupation turned out to be the first of a handful of instances where Union soldiers occupied North
Make no mistake, the Confederacy had the will and valor to fight. But the Union had the manpower, the money, the materiel, and, most important, the generals. Although the South had arguably the best commander in the Civil War in Robert E. Lee, the North’s full house beat their one-of-a-kind. Flawed individually, the Union’s top officers nevertheless proved collectively superior across a diverse array of battlefields and ultimately produced a victory for the Union.
Be swept into this epic story about a real family and their struggle for liberty and a better life. For 16-year-old Micajah McElroy, life in Wake County, N.C., revolves around managing his inherited plantation and winning the hand of pretty Sarah Campbell. But then as Tories begin burning, stealing and hanging Patriots around him, his Scotch-Irish blood rises. He joins the bloody conflict to fight for liberty, leaving his pregnant wife at home to birth their first child. The Revolutionary War is just the beginning of a journey that takes Micajah and his family over the Appalachian Mountains and into Tennessee, and then on to Alabama. Eventually Micajah’s grandchildren’s own struggle for liberty compels them, as Confederate soldiers, to fire upon the very flag Micajah fought to defend. Read More…
It is 1844 when Alabama-born Rose begins writing a journal. She has just reluctantly agreed to marry Nathan Flowers. The years pass, and together Rose and Nathan have five children. A Chickasaw couple, kin to Nathan by marriage, lives with them and helps Rose settle in and raise a family.
Confederate cavalry has a storied and favorable relationship with the history of the Civil War. Tales of raids and daring exploits create a whiff of lingering romance about the horse soldiers of the Lost Cause. Sometimes, however, romance obscures history.
Robert E. Lee is well known as a Confederate general and as an educator later in life, but most people are exposed to the same handful of images of one of America’s most famous sons. It has been almost seven decades since anyone has attempted a serious study of Lee in photographs, and with Don Hopkins’s painstakingly researched and lavishly illustrated Robert E. Lee in War and Peace, the wait is finally over.
Originally published by UNC Press in 1952, The Railroads of the Confederacy tells the story of the first use of railroads on a major scale in a major war. Robert Black presents a complex and fascinating tale, with the railroads of the American South playing the part of tragic hero in the Civil War: at first vigorous though immature; then overloaded, driven unmercifully, starved for iron; and eventually worn out–struggling on to inevitable destruction in the wake of Sherman’s army, carrying the Confederacy down with them.
The wide-ranging and largely ignored operations around Petersburg, Virginia, were the longest and most extensive of the entire Civil War. The fighting began in June of 1864, when advance elements from the Union Army of the Potomac crossed the James River and botched a series of attacks against a thinly defended city. The fighting ended nine long months later in the first days of April of 1865. In Volume I of The Petersburg Campaign, legendary historian Edwin C. Bearss detailed the first six major engagements on the “Eastern Front,” from the initial attack on the city on June 9 through the Second Battle of Ream’s Station on August 25, 1864. In Volume II, Bearss turns his attention and pen to the final half-dozen large-scale combats in The Petersburg Campaign: The Western Front Battles… Read More….
Third in a new series of campaign studies that take a different approach toward military history, The Maps of Chickamauga explores this largely misunderstood battle through the use of 120 full-color maps, graphically illustrating the complex tangle of combat’s ebb and flow that makes the titanic bloodshed of Chickamauga one of the most confusing actions of the American Civil War. Track individual regiments through their engagements at fifteen to twenty-minute intervals or explore each army in motion as brigades and divisions maneuver and deploy to face the enemy. The Maps of Chickamauga allows readers to fully grasp the action at any level of interest.
Although often counted among the Union’s top five generals, George Henry Thomas has still not received his due. A Virginian who sided with the North in the Civil War, he was a more complicated commander than traditional views have allowed. Brian Wills now provides a new and more complete look at the life of a man known to history as “The Rock of Chickamauga,” to his troops as “Old Pap,” and to General William T. Sherman as a soldier who was “as true as steel.”
On May 16, 1861, the Kentucky state legislature passed an ordinance declaring its neutrality, which the state’s governor, Beriah Magoffin, confirmed four days later. Kentucky’s declaration and ultimate support for the Union stood at odds with the state’s social and cultural heritage. After all, Kentucky was a slave state and enjoyed deep and meaningful connections to the new Confederacy. Much of what has been written to explain this curious choice concludes Kentucky harbored strong Unionist feelings. James Finck’s freshly written and deeply researched Divided Loyalties: Kentucky’s Struggle for Armed Neutrality in the Civil War shatters this conclusion.
John Bell Hood was one of the Confederacy’s most enigmatic generals. He died at 48 after a brief illness in August of 1879, leaving behind the first draft of his memoirs Advance and Retreat: Personal Experiences in the United States and Confederate States Armies. Published posthumously the following year, the memoirs immediately became as controversial as their author. A careful and balanced examination of these “controversies,” however, coupled with the recent discovery of Hood’s personal papers (which were long considered lost) finally sets the record straight in John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General.
The battles depicted in this comprehensive book had in impact on the outcome of the Civil War. Through firsthand documents, maps, and more than 150 photographs, the historical significance of each site is emphasized. Details on the level of preservation of each battlefield, including Shiloh and Chattanooga, are included.
In the decades preceding the Civil War, the South struggled against widespread negative characterizations of its economy and society as it worked to match the North’s infrastructure and level of development. Recognizing the need for regional reform, James Dunwoody Brownson (J. D. B.) De Bow began to publish a monthly journal―De Bow’s Review― to guide Southerners toward a stronger, more diversified future. His periodical soon became a primary reference for planters and entrepreneurs in the Old South, promoting urban development and industrialization and advocating investment in schools, libraries, and other cultural resources. Later, however, De Bow began to use his journal to manipulate his readers’ political views. Read More…
Robert S. Chambers is a former high-school teacher and parks manager in the Cleveland, Ohio area where he has lived for the past twenty years. A self-professed student of the American Civil War for the past three decades, in this, his first novel, he has used the construct of a soldier’s letters home to bring the sterling career of Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest to life. Concentrating on the period between December 1861 and August 1865, this book chronicles Forrest and his “Critter Cavalry’s” activities through a series of letters from the protagonist of the book, Henry Wylie, to his wife Elizabeth. These letters were, as Wylie points out in an early missive, written “whenever he had a moment off the saddle.”
Reconstruction chronicles the way in which Americans—black and white—responded to the unprecedented changes unleashed by the war and the end of slavery. It addresses the quest of emancipated slaves’ searching for economic autonomy and equal citizenship, and describes the remodeling of Southern society; the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations; and the emergence of a national state possessing vastly expanded authority and one committed, for a time, to the principle of equal rights for all Americans.
The Western theater of the Civil War, rich in agricultural resources and manpower and home to a large number of slaves, stretched 600 miles north to south and 450 miles east to west from the Appalachians to the Mississippi. If the South lost the West, there would be little hope of preserving the Confederacy. Earl J. Hess’s comprehensive study of how Federal forces conquered and held the West examines the geographical difficulties of conducting campaigns in a vast land, as well as the toll irregular warfare took on soldiers and civilians alike. Hess balances a thorough knowledge of the battle lines with a deep understanding of what was happening within the occupied territories. Read More…
The battle of Chickamauga brought an early fall to the Georgia countryside in 1863, where men fell like autumn leaves in some of the heaviest fighting of the war. The battlefield consisted of a nearly impenetrable, vine-choked forest around Chickamauga Creek. Unable to see beyond their immediate surroundings, officers found it impossible to exercise effective command, and the engagement deteriorated into what many participants later called “a soldier’s battle.” It was, explained Union General John Turchin, “Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale.”
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.
The Maps of the Bristoe Station and Mine Run Campaigns is the fifth installment in the Savas Beatie Military Atlas Series.
Few historians have examined what happened to the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac during the critical months following Gettysburg, when both armies assumed the offensive in a pair of fascinating campaigns of thrust and counter-thrust. This careful study breaks down these campaigns (and all related operational maneuvers) into 13 map sets or “action-sections” enriched with 87 original full-page color maps. These spectacular cartographic creations bore down to the regimental and battery level.
Battle of Big Bethel: Crucial Clash in Early Civil War Virginia by J. Michael Cobb, Edward B. Hicks, and Wythe Holt is the first full-length treatment of the small but consequential June 10, 1861, battle that reshaped both Northern and Southern perceptions about what lay in store for the divided nation. In the spring of 1861, many people in the North and South imagined that the Civil War would be short and nearly bloodless. The first planned engagement of the war at Big Bethel, however, provided undeniable evidence of just how wrong popular opinion could be.
In this brilliant narrative, Amanda Foreman tells the fascinating story of the American Civil War—and the major role played by Britain and its citizens in that epic struggle. Between 1861 and 1865, thousands of British citizens volunteered for service on both sides of the Civil War. From the first cannon blasts on Fort Sumter to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, they served as officers and infantrymen, sailors and nurses, blockade runners and spies. Through personal letters, diaries, and journals, Foreman introduces characters both humble and grand, while crafting a panoramic yet intimate view of the war on the front lines, in the prison camps, and in the great cities of both the Union and the Confederacy. In the drawing rooms of London and the offices of Washington, on muddy fields and aboard packed ships, Foreman reveals the decisions made, the beliefs held and contested, and the personal triumphs and sacrifices that ultimately led to the reunification of America.
I could not pass this book up, for reasons easily guessed from its title. And the book is exactly as described by that title. It is a compilation of 75 questions spread over 8 subjects pertaining to various aspects of the Civil War. Its purpose and format is much the same as our Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table uses to set up our monthly Little Round Table discussion groups: a series of topical questions to stimulate thought, each with a substantive answer. The questions cover the gamut of the war: causes, trends, casualties, leaders, battles, events, and its end.
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