Synopses & Reviews
The Civil War was America’s trial by fire; its battles forged the nation we know today. We’re still fascinated with it – the national reckoning with slavery, the legendary generals and leaders, the epic and bloody clashes of armies, the impact on the daily lives of ordinary people. We visit its battlefields – mostly idyllic patches of countryside near small towns and creeks – where more Americans died in combat than in all other wars combined, except for World War Two. And we tell its stories – of last charges, brother fighting brother, imprisonment and emancipation, and tragedy and rebirth. It is our country’s epic; the story of how we became who we are, and what price we paid.
The Civil War For Dummies is your complete introduction to this seminal conflict. Eschewing tedious historical pondering and military micro-analysis, this fun and information-rich guide gives an accurate overview of the event, from the war’s causes through the fighting to the aftermath. Inside you’ll discover:
- 1850-1860: what led to war
- First Bull Run: illusions lost
- Antietam: the bloodiest day
- The Emancipation Proclamation
- Heroes and goats of each major battle
- Jackson’s Valley Campaign
- Sherman’s March to the Sea
- Surrender at Appomattox
- And much more
Full of sidebars and illustrations, The Civil War For Dummies brings history to life with personalities, factoids, battle reports, strategic maps, and “what ifs.” In addition to the military and political history, you’ll also find out about:
- The African American experience in the war
- Women and the Civil War
- Native Americans and the war
- The life of the common soldier
- Banking and finance systems and the war
- “Firsts” that make the Civil War history’s first modern war
- Civil War food
- Civil War tourism: the best battlefields to visit, and how to get the most out of your trip
Written in an accessible style so you can start reading at any point in the story, The Civil War For Dummies makes a great cornerstone for learning about this violent and compelling chapter of American history.
Includes maps of major battles and photos
The leaders, the politics, the battles, the soldiers all brought vividly to life The Civil War changed everything in America. What really happened? Packed with fascinating anecdotes, fun facts, and top ten lists, this friendly reference clues you in on the issues that caused the war and gives you the scoop on the people, politics, and battles that decided its outcome.
Discover how to: Understand the causes of the war Trace the major military campaigns Evaluate the generals and leaders Discover the war's impact on women, African Americans, and American Indians Visit battlefields and see reenactments
The Dummies Way Explanations in plain English "Get in, get out" information Icons and other navigational aids Tear-out cheat sheet Top ten lists A dash of humor and fun
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About the Author
Keith D. Dickson is an associate professor of Military Studies at the Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University. He earned his Ph.D. in American history at the University of Virginia and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets).
Table of Contents
Introduction: The First Modern War.
PART I: The War and Its Causes.
Chapter 1: How Did the War Happen?
Chapter 2: The Five Steps to War: 1850-1860.
Chapter 3: Secession and War: 1860-1861.
PART II: Making War.
Chapter 4: Civil War Armies: Structure and Organization.
Chapter 5: Union and Confederate Strategy.
Chapter 6: Organizing and Training the Armies.
Chapter 7: Weapons of the Civil War.
PART III: Opening Moves, 1861-1862.
Chapter 8: Starting the War: Bull Run (First Manassas), July 1861.
Chapter 9: The Road to Shiloh, April 1862.
Chapter 10: Setbacks for the South, March-July 1862.
Chapter 11: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, March-June 1862.
Chapter 12: The Seven Days of Robert E. Lee, June-July 1862.
Chapter 13: Second Bull Run (Manassas), August 1862.
Chapter 14: The Bloodiest Day: Antietam (Sharpsburg), September 1862.
Chapter 15: Bragg Fails at Perryville.
Chapter 16: War So Terrible: Fredericksburg and Murfreesboro, December 1862.
PART IV: War to the Hilt, 1863-1865.
Chapter 17: The Battle of Chancellorsville, May 1863.
Chapter 18: The Battle of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, July 1863.
Chapter 19: The Battle of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, August-November 1863.
Chapter 20: Lee and Grant: The Virginia Campaign, May-June 1864.
Chapter 21: The Atlanta Campaign and a Guarantee of Union Victory, May-December 1864.
Chapter 22: The Destruction of Hood's Army in Tennessee, October 1864-January 1865.
Chapter 23: A Matter of Time: Petersburg and Appomattox, January-April 1865.
PART V: Behind the Lines.
Chapter 24: The Confederacy at War: Creating a Nation and Vying for Recognition.
Chapter 25: The Union at War: Creating a New Banking System and a Strong Economy.
Chapter 26: The Life of the Common Soldier, Women, and Other Participants.
PART VI: The Civil War Tourist.
Chapter 27: Getting Ready to Travel.
Chapter 28: Visiting a Civil War Battlefield.
PART VII: The Part of Tens.
Chapter 29: The Ten Worst Generals of the Civil War.
Chapter 30: The Ten Biggest "Firsts" of the Civil War.
Chapter 31: The Ten Biggest "What Ifs" of the Civil War.
Chapter 32: The Ten Best Battlefields of the Civil War.
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