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History > U.S. History > Civil War Era

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A Civil War Gunboat in Pacific Waters Cover

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A Civil War Gunboat in Pacific Waters

Life Aboard the USS Saginaw

Hans Konrad Van Tilburg

The USS Saginaw was a Civil War gunboat that served in Pacific and Asian waters between 1860 and 1870. During this decade, the crew witnessed the trade disruptions of the Opium Wars, the Taiping Rebellion, the transportation of Confederate sailors to Central America, the French intervention in Mexico, and the growing presence of American naval forces in Hawaii.

In 1870, the ship sank at one of the world's most remote coral reefs; her crew was rescued sixty-eight days later after a dramatic open-boat voyage. More than 130 years later, Hans Van Tilburg led the team that discovered and recorded the Saginaw's remains near the Kure Atoll reef.

Van Tilburg's narrative provides fresh insights and a vivid retelling of a classic naval shipwreck. He provides a fascinating perspective on the watershed events in history that reshaped the Pacific during these years. And the tale of archaeological search and discovery reveals that adventure is still to be found on the high seas.

Civil War Heavy Explosive Ordnance Cover

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Civil War Heavy Explosive Ordnance

A Guide to Large Artillery Projectiles, Torpedoes, and Mines

Jack Bell

Civil War Heavy Explosive Ordnance is the definitive reference book on Union and Confederate large caliber artillery projectiles, torpedoes, and mines. Some of these projectiles are from the most famous battles of the Civil War, such as those at Fort Sumter, Charleston, Vicksburg, and Richmond. Others were fired from famous cannon, such as the “Swamp Angel” of Charleston and “Whistling Dick” of Vicksburg. And some were involved in torpedo attacks against major warships. Jack Bell covers more than 360 projectiles from public and private collections in smoothbore calibers of 32-pounder and up, rifled projectiles of 4-inch caliber and larger, and twenty-one Union and Confederate torpedoes and mines. Each data sheet shows multiple views of the projectile or torpedo (using more than 1,000 photos) with data including diameter, weight, gun used to fire it, rarity index, and provenance. This comprehensive volume will be of great interest to Civil War historians, museum curators, field archaeologists, private collectors, dealers, and consultants on unexploded ordnance. “This will become a required reference guide at every Civil War site and related museum.”--Wayne E. Stark, Civil War artillery historian

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Civil War History

Vol. 1 (1955) through current issue

Civil War History is the foremost scholarly journal of the sectional conflict in the United States, focusing on social, cultural, economic, political, and military issues from antebellum America through Reconstruction. Articles have featured research on slavery, abolitionism, women and war, Abraham Lincoln, fiction, national identity, and various aspects of the Northern and Southern military. Published quarterly in March, June, September, and December.

Civil War Humor Cover

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Civil War Humor

In Civil War Humor author Cameron C. Nickels examines the various forms of comedic popular artifacts produced in America from 1861 to 1865, and looks at how wartime humor was created, disseminated, and received by both sides of the conflict. Song lyrics, newspaper columns, sheet music covers, illustrations, political cartoons, fiction, light verse, paper dolls, printed envelopes, and penny dreadfuls--from and for the Union and the Confederacy--are analyzed at length. Nickels argues that the war coincided with the rise of inexpensive mass printing in the United States and thus subsequently with the rise of the country's widely distributed popular culture. As such, the war was as much a "paper war"--involving the use of publications to disseminate propaganda and ideas about the Union and the Confederacy's positions--as one taking place on battlefields. Humor was a key element on both sides in deflating pretensions and establishing political stances (and ways of critiquing them). Civil War Humor explores how the combatants portrayed Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln, life on the home front, battles, and African Americans. Civil War Humor reproduces over sixty illustrations and texts created during the war and provides close readings of these materials. At the same time, it places this corpus of comedy in the context of wartime history, economies, and tactics. This comprehensive overview examines humor's role in shaping and reflecting the cultural imagination of the nation during its most tumultuous period.

The Civil War in Georgia Cover

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The Civil War in Georgia

A New Georgia Encyclopedia Companion

Edited by John C. Inscoe

Georgians, like all Americans, experienced the Civil War in a variety of ways. Through selected articles drawn from the New Georgia Encyclopedia (www.georgiaencyclopedia.org), this collection chronicles the diversity of Georgia’s Civil War experience and reflects the most current scholarship in terms of how the Civil War has come to be studied, documented, and analyzed.

The Atlanta campaign and Sherman’s March to the Sea changed the course of the war in 1864, in terms both of the upheaval and destruction inflicted on the state and the life span of the Confederacy. While the dramatic events of 1864 are fully documented, this companion gives equal coverage to the many other aspects of the war—naval encounters and guerrilla war­fare, prisons and hospitals, factories and plantations, politics and policies— all of which provided critical support to the Confederacy’s war effort. The book also explores home-front conditions in depth, with an emphasis on emancipation, dissent, Unionism, and the experience and activity of African Americans and women.

Historians today are far more conscious of how memory—as public commemoration, individual reminiscence, historic preservation, and literary and cinematic depictions—has shaped the war’s multiple meanings. Nowhere is this legacy more varied or more pronounced than in Georgia, and a substantial part of this companion explores the many ways in which Georgians have interpreted the war experience for themselves and others over the past 150 years. At the outset of the sesquicentennial these new historical perspectives allow us to appreciate the Civil War as a complex and multifaceted experience for Georgians and for all southerners.

A Project of the New Georgia Encyclopedia; Published in Association with the Georgia Humanities Council and the University System of Georgia/GALILEO.

The Civil War in Kentucky Cover

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The Civil War in Kentucky

Lowell Harrison

" The Civil War scene in Kentucky, site of few full-scale battles, was one of crossroad skirmishes and guerrilla terror, of quick incursions against specific targets and equally quick withdrawals. Yet Kentucky was crucial to the military strategy of the war. For either side, a Kentucky held secure against the adversary would have meant easing of supply problems and an immeasurably stronger base of operations. The state, along with many of its institutions and many of its families, was hopelessly divided against itself. The fiercest partisans of the South tended to be doubtful about the wisdom of secession, and the staunchest Union men questioned the legality of many government measures. What this division meant militarily is made clear as Lowell H. Harrison traces the movement of troops and the outbreaks of violence. What it meant to the social and economic fabric of Kentucky and to its postwar political stance is another theme of this book. And not forgotten is the life of the ordinary citizen in the midst of such dissension and uncertainty.

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The Civil War in Missouri

A Military History

Louis S. Gerteis

Guerrilla warfare, border fights, and unorganized skirmishes are all too often the only battles associated with Missouri during the Civil War. Combined with the state’s distance from both sides’ capitals, this misguided impression paints Missouri as an insignificant player in the nation’s struggle to define itself. Such notions, however, are far from an accurate picture of the Midwest state’s contributions to the war’s outcome. Though traditionally cast in a peripheral role, the conventional warfare of Missouri was integral in the Civil War’s development and ultimate conclusion. The strategic battles fought by organized armies are often lost amidst the stories of guerrilla tactics and bloody combat, but in The Civil War in Missouri, Louis S. Gerteis explores the state’s conventional warfare and its effects on the unfolding of national history.

 

Both the Union and the Confederacy had a vested interest in Missouri throughout the war. The state offered control of both the lower Mississippi valley and the Missouri River, strategic areas that could greatly factor into either side’s success or failure. Control of St. Louis and mid-Missouri were vital for controlling the West, and rail lines leading across the state offered an important connection between eastern states and the communities out west. The Confederacy sought to maintain the Ozark Mountains as a northern border, which allowed concentrations of rebel troops to build in the Mississippi valley. With such valuable stock at risk, Lincoln registered the importance of keeping rebel troops out of Missouri, and so began the conventional battles investigated by Gerteis.

 

The first book-length examination of its kind, The Civil War in Missouri: A Military History dares to challenge the prevailing opinion that Missouri battles made only minor contributions to the war. Gerteis specifically focuses not only on the principal conventional battles in the state but also on the effects these battles had on both sides’ national aspirations. This work broadens the scope of traditional Civil War studies to include the losses and wins of Missouri, in turn creating a more accurate and encompassing narrative of the nation’s history.

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The Civil War in Popular Culture

Memory and Meaning

edited by Lawrence A. Kreiser Jr. and Randal Allred

Dividing the nation for four years, the American Civil War resulted in 750,000 casualties and forever changed the country's destiny. The conflict continues to resonate in our collective memory, and U.S. economic, cultural, and social structures still suffer the aftershocks of the nation's largest and most devastating war. Nearly 150 years later, portrayals of the war in books, songs, cinema, and other cultural media continue to draw widespread attention and controversy.

In The Civil War in Popular Culture: Memory and Meaning, editors Lawrence A. Kreiser Jr. and Randal Allred analyze American depictions of the war across a variety of mediums, from books and film, to monuments and battlefield reunions, to reenactments and board games. This collection examines how battle strategies, famous generals, and the nuances of Civil War politics translate into contemporary popular culture. This unique analysis assesses the intersection of the Civil War and popular culture by recognizing how memories and commemorations of the war have changed since it ended in 1865.

Civil War in the West Cover

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Civil War in the West

The Civil War from the Mississippi to the Mountains

Earl J. Hess

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.

Civil War Leadership and Mexican War Experience Cover

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Civil War Leadership and Mexican War Experience

A great many commanders in the American Civil War (1861-1865) served in the Mexican War (1846-1848). Civil War Leadership and Mexican War Experience explores the influence of the earlier war on those men who would become leaders of Federal and Confederate forces. Military historian Kevin Dougherty sets the context with a discussion of professional soldiering before both wars. He then depicts the unique experiences of twenty-six men in Mexico, thirteen who would later serve the Confederacy and thirteen who would remain with the Union. He traces how tactics they used and reactions they had to Civil War combat reveal a remarkable connection to what they learned campaigning against Santa Anna and other Mexican generals. Personalities discussed range from well-known leaders such as Ulysses S. Grant to lesser-known figures such as John Winder; from geniuses such as Robert E. Lee to mediocrities such as Gideon Pillow; and from aged heroes such as Winfield Scott to developing practitioners such as William Sherman. No other volume so exclusively and thoroughly focuses on connections of service in both wars. Two appendixes in the book list 194 Federal generals and 142 Confederate generals who served in Mexico. The impact of these experiences on major tactical decisions in the Civil War is far-reaching. A retired U.S. Army officer, Kevin Dougherty teaches history at the University of Southern Mississippi. His books include The Coastal War in North and South Carolina.

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