Synopses & Reviews
The American Civil War was a crucial event in the development of Chicago as the metropolis of the heartland. Not only did Chicagoans play an important role in the politics of the conflict, encouraging emancipation and promoting a hard war” policy against Southern civilians, but they supported the troops materially through production of military supplies and foodstuffs as well as morally and spiritually through patriotic publications and songs.
The Civil War transformed Chicago from a mere commercial center to an industrial power as well as the nations railroad hub and busiest port. The war also divided Chicago, however, between Lincoln supporters and Copperheads, whites and blacks, workers and owners, natives and newcomers. The city played a key role in elevating Abraham Lincoln to the Republican presidential nomination in 1860, yet only four years later a Chicago politician s influence was key in declaring the war a failure and promoting a platform of peace with the Confederacy.
Using seldom seen or newly uncovered sources, this book tells the story of the Civil War through the eyes of those who lived that history. Photographs thoughout the book effectively convey the geography of events in this pivotal period of Chicagos history, and the editors have provided a useful driving guide to Civil War sites in and around the city.
This illustrated history for students, scholars, and general readersuses primary sources to reveal Chicago’s role in the Civil War, looking at citizens’ attitudes towards the war, towards Southerners,towards blacks and whites, and toward President Lincoln. Other themes include ties between the home front and the battlefield,Confederate prisoners of war, the politics of war, the business of war, and the end of the war and its aftermath. Each thematic chapteropens with a detailed introduction, then presents excerpts and complete primary sources. The edited documents were chosen to reflectthe fears, hopes, and challenges of Chicago-area men and women during the Civil War and to highlight how opinion was shaped in thepress. The book’s final chapter offers a guide to the city’s Civil War sites. B&w historical photos and illustrations are included, along with contemporary photos of historical sites.Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
About the Author
Eileen M. McMahon
is a professor of history at Lewis University. She holds a doctorate in history from Loyola University Chicago and is the author of What Parish Are You From: A Chicago Irish Community and Race Relations,
coauthor of North Woods River: The St. Croix Valley in Upper Midwest History,
and editor of the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.
Theodore J. Karamanski is a professor of history at Loyola University Chicago, where he founded and directs the Public History Program. He is the author of seven books, including Rally Round the Flag: Chicago and the Civil War, Schooner Passage: Sailing Ships and the Lake Michigan Frontier, and most recently Blackbirds Song: Andrew J. Blackbird and the Odawa People.