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1 Burnside Military- Civil War

The Civil War: The First Year of the Conflict Told by Those Who Lived It


The Civil War: The First Year of the Conflict Told by Those Who Lived It Cover

ISBN13: 9781598530889
ISBN10: 1598530887
Condition: Ex-Library
Dustjacket: Ex-library
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

After 150 years the Civil War is still our greatest national drama, at once heroic, tragic, and epic-our Iliad, but also our Bible, a story of sin and judgment, suffering and despair, death and resurrection in a "new birth of freedom." Drawn from letters, diaries, speeches, articles, poems, songs, military reports, legal opinions, and memoirs, The Civil War: The First Year gathers over 120 pieces by more than sixty participants to create a unique firsthand narrative of this great historical crisis. Beginning on the eve of Lincoln's election in November 1860 and ending in January 1862 with the appointment of Edwin M. Stanton as secretary of war, this volume presents writing by figures well-known-Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Mary Chesnut, Frederick Douglass, and Lincoln himself among them-and less familiar, like proslavery advocate J.D.B. DeBow, Lieutenants Charles B. Haydon of the 2nd Michigan Infantry and Henry Livermore Abbott of the 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and plantation mistresses Catherine Edmondston of North Carolina and Kate Stone of Mississippi. Together, the selections provide a powerful sense of the immediacy, uncertainty, and urgency of events as the nation was torn asunder. Includes headnotes, a chronology of events, biographical and explanatory endnotes, full-color hand-drawn endpaper maps, and an index. Companion volumes will gather writings from the second, third, and final years of the conflict.


America's greatest conflict comes to life in this 150th anniversary collection of diaries, letters, and eyewitness accounts that chronicle the first year of the war.

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KwanTi, August 16, 2011 (view all comments by KwanTi)
While all the commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the events of the Civil War have been going on, and while they will be going on for the next few years, we should try to set aside some of the mythology that has grown up about the conflict and the reasons behind it to understand just what the participants in that great national conflict thought at the time. This book gives us some of the tools to reach that understanding. The Library of America and editor Brooks Simpson have collected a mass of primary source materials from the North and the South to give the reader a chance to see what people thought and wrote about events at the time. Letters and diary entrys from a range of sources spreading from normal people to the political elite of both sides provide a window into what people thought the war would bring and how it would play out at the start. Of all those writings, only one seemed to me to have a real hint of the long, destructive process that would wear down the ability and will of the South to fight. The official and legislative pronouncements are valuable to go back to in order to understand the reasons the States believed the war necessary. To understand the causes of the conflict, the reader has to get past the "Lost Cause" and "State's Rights" arguments that prospered in the South in the wake of the Civil War. By looking to the primary sources, the reader can really see how the States of the South validated their secession from the Union and what they believed the reasons for their secession were.

At the same time, letters and reports from the military leaders of both sides show how people reacted to the call to arms and how both sides began to marshall their forces to prosecute the war. The center piece of the military writings are the reports of the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) and the defeat there of the Union Army. In those reports and that story, we can see a hint of how bloody the war was to become (and of the lack of skill that would plague the Army of the Potomac for the first years of the war).

This is the first of four annual volumes that will cover the Civil War through primary source materials from the actual participants and reports year by year. I'm eagerly looking forward to collecting the series and learning more about the Civil War.
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Product Details

Simpson, Brooks
Library of America
Sears, Stephen
Aaron, Sheehan-Dean
Simpson, Brooks D.
Sears, Stephen W.
Sears, Stephen
Aaron, Sheehan-Dean
United States - Civil War
Military - United States
US History-1800 to Civil War
United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
8.11 x 5.11 x 1.38 in 1.52 lb
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Civil War » General
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » US History » 1800 to Civil War

The Civil War: The First Year of the Conflict Told by Those Who Lived It Used Hardcover
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Product details 640 pages Library of America - English 9781598530889 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , America's greatest conflict comes to life in this 150th anniversary collection of diaries, letters, and eyewitness accounts that chronicle the first year of the war.
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