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History > U.S. History > Civil War Era

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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.

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.

The Civil War in Missouri Cover

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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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