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History > U.S. History > Civil War Era

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The Civil War Confiscation Acts Cover

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The Civil War Confiscation Acts

Failing to Reconstruct the South

John Syrett

This book is the first full account in more than 20 years of two significant, but relatively understudied, laws passed during the Civil War. The Confiscation Acts (1861-62) were designed to sanction slave holding states by authorizing the Federal Government to seize rebel properties (including land and other assets held in Northern and border states) and grant freedom to slaves who fought with or worked for the Confederate military. Abraham Lincoln objected to the Acts for fear they might push border states, particularly Missouri and Kentucky, into secession. The Acts were eventually rendered moot by the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment. John Syrett examines the political contexts of the Acts, especially the debates in Congress, and demonstrates how the failure of the confiscation acts during the war presaged the political and structural shortcomings of Reconstruction after the war.

The Civil War Diary of Gideon Welles, Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy Cover

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The Civil War Diary of Gideon Welles, Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy

The Original Manuscript Edition

Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles's 1861 appointment as secretary of the navy placed him at the hub of Union planning for the Civil War and in the midst of the powerful personalities vying for influence in Abraham Lincoln's cabinet. Although Welles initially knew little of naval matters, he rebuilt a service depleted by Confederate defections, planned actions that gave the Union badly needed victories in the war's early days, and oversaw a blockade that weakened the South's economy. Perhaps the hardest-working member of the cabinet, Welles still found time to keep a detailed diary that has become one of the key documents for understanding the inner workings of the Lincoln administration. In this new edition, William E. and Erica L. Gienapp have restored Welles's original observations, gleaned from the manuscript diaries at the Library of Congress and freed from his many later revisions, so that the reader can experience what he wrote in the moment. With his vitriolic pen, Welles captures the bitter disputes over strategy and war aims, lacerates colleagues from Secretary of State William H. Seward to General-in-Chief Henry Halleck, and condemns the actions of the self-serving southern elite he sees as responsible for the war. He can just as easily wax eloquent about the Navy's wartime achievements, extoll the virtues of Lincoln, or drop in a tidbit of Washington gossip. Carefully edited and extensively annotated, this edition contains a wealth of supplementary material. The several appendixes include short biographies of the members of Lincoln's cabinet, the retrospective Welles wrote after leaving office covering the period missing from the diary proper, and important letters regarding naval matters and international law.

Civil War Dynasty Cover

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Civil War Dynasty

The Ewing Family of Ohio

Kenneth Heineman

For years the Ewing family of Ohio has been lost in the historical shadow cast by their in-law, General William T. Sherman. In the era of the Civil War, it was the Ewing family who raised Sherman, got him into West Point, and provided him with the financial resources and political connections to succeed in war. The patriarch, Thomas Ewing, counseled presidents and clashed with radical abolitionists and southern secessionists leading to the Civil War. Three Ewing sons became Union generals, served with distinction at Antietam and Vicksburg, marched through Georgia, and fought guerillas in Missouri. The Ewing family stood at the center of the Northern debate over emancipation, fought for the soul of the Republican Party, and waged total war against the South.

Civil War General and Indian Fighter James M. Williams Cover

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Civil War General and Indian Fighter James M. Williams

Leader of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry and the 8th U.S. Cavalry

Robert W. Lull

The military career of General James Monroe Williams spanned both the Civil War and the Indian Wars in the West, yet no biography has been published to date on his important accomplishments, until now. From his birth on the northern frontier, westward movement in the Great Migration, rush into the violence of antebellum Kansas Territory, Civil War commands in the Trans-Mississippi, and as a cavalry officer in the Indian Wars, Williams was involved in key moments of American history. Like many who make a difference, Williams was a leader of strong convictions, sometimes impatient with heavy-handed and sluggish authority. Building upon his political opinions and experience as a Jayhawker, Williams raised and commanded the ground-breaking 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment in 1862. His new regiment of black soldiers was the first such organization to engage Confederate troops, and the first to win. He enjoyed victories in Missouri, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), and Arkansas, but also fought in the abortive Red River Campaign and endured defeat and the massacre of his captured black troops at Poison Spring. In 1865, as a brigadier general, Williams led his troops in consolidating control of northern Arkansas. Williams played a key role in taking Indian Territory from Confederate forces, which denied routes of advance into Kansas and east into Arkansas. His 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment helped turn the tide of Southern successes in the Trans-Mississippi, establishing credibility of black soldiers in the heat of battle. Following the Civil War, Williams secured a commission in the Regular Army’s 8th Cavalry Regiment, serving in Arizona and New Mexico. His victories over Indians in Arizona won accolades for having “settled the Indian question in that part of Arizona.” He finally left the military in 1873, debilitated from five wounds received at the hands of Confederates and hostile Indians.

Civil War Ghost Stories & Legends Cover

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Civil War Ghost Stories & Legends

Nancy Roberts

Few events have sparked more legends and stories of the supernatural than America's Civil War. The accounts of gallantry and heroism have spread far and wide. Nancy Roberts grew up listening to her father's stories of the War Between the States and she trekked over many battle sites with him during her childhood. After reading about General Joshua Chamberlain's supernatural experience at the Battle of Gettysburg, Roberts began to collect tales of the blue and gray and write them down. In her latest collection, the reader will visit famous Civil War sites such as Fredericksburg, Antietam, Johnson's Island, Andersonville, Fort Davis, Gaines Mill, Gettysburg, Fort Monroe, Harpers Ferry, Vicksburg, Richmond, Charleston, New Bern, and Petersburg. Through these stories, the reader will hear the voices of those brave individuals who lived through that dramatic era. Visit with Brigadier General J.E.B. Stuart on the banks of the Chickahominy River. Get the real story about John Brown's activities at Harpers Ferry. Hear the eerie whistle of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train.

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.

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