The Fate of Their Country: Politicians, Slavery Extension, and the Coming of the Civil War

Michael F. Holt - 2004
    Holt convincingly offers a disturbingly contemporary answer: partisan politics. In this brilliant and succinct book, Holt distills a lifetime of scholarship to demonstrate that secession and war did not arise from two irreconcilable economies any more than from moral objections to slavery. Short-sighted politicians were to blame. Rarely looking beyond the next election, the two dominant political parties used the emotionally charged and largely chimerical issue of slavery's extension westward to pursue reelection and settle political scores, all the while inexorably dragging the nation towards disunion.Despite the majority opinion (held in both the North and South) that slavery could never flourish in the areas that sparked the most contention from 1845 to 1861-the Mexican Cession, Oregon, and Kansas-politicians in Washington, especially members of Congress, realized the partisan value of the issue and acted on short-term political calculations with minimal regard for sectional comity. War was the result.Including select speeches by Lincoln and others, The Fate of Their Country openly challenges us to rethink a seminal moment in America's history.

Reconstruction Era: A History from Beginning to End

Hourly History - 2019
     Free BONUS Inside! The American Civil War, fought from 1861 to 1865, produced casualties and destruction on an unprecedented scale. Up to 800,000 soldiers were killed, and huge swathes of the American south were devastated. However, although the defeat of the Confederate States and the end of the war brought peace of a sort, it left many unresolved issues. The period following the end of the Civil War has become known as the Reconstruction Era, and during this time there were efforts to achieve two separate goals: to reintegrate the former rebel southern states fully into the Union and to achieve not only the abolition of slavery—which had been a war aim for the north—but also the emancipation and granting of civil rights to freed slaves. The Reconstruction Era proved almost as divisive as the Civil War itself—the freeing of slaves threatened to undermine the very basis of society and many southerners resisted. For some in the north, the unwillingness of people in the south to adopt new laws and new ways of life seemed to negate the whole point of the war. After all, what was the point of fighting and winning a war if the very things that were fought for failed to happen? The Reconstruction Era was a period of turmoil and change in the United States, and it ended not with a complete victory for either side but with a compromise which satisfied no-one. However, this period did pave the way for important changes which came much later. This is the complex and sometimes confusing story of the Reconstruction Era. Discover a plethora of topics such as The End of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War Radical Reconstruction Carpetbaggers and Scalawags The Rise of the Ku Klux Klan Corruption and Recession And much more! So if you want a concise and informative book on the Reconstruction Era, simply scroll up and click the "Buy now" button for instant access!

Facts the Historians Leave Out

John S. Tilley - 1951
    Lee and Jefferson Davis, and much more.

Three Years with Quantrill: A True Story Told By His Scout

John McCorkle - 1992
    After serving briefly in the pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, he became a prominent member of William Clarke Quantrill’s infamous guerrillas, who took advantage of the turmoil in the Missouri-Kansas borderland to prey on pro-Union people.McCorkle displayed an unflinchingly violent nature while he participated in raids and engagements including the massacres at Lawrence and Baxter Springs, Kansas, and Centralia, Missouri. In 1865 he followed Quantrill into Kentucky, where the notorious leader was killed and his followers, McCorkle among them, surrendered and were paroled by Union authorities. Early in this century, having returned to farming, McCorkle told his remarkable Civil War experiences to O.S. Barton, a lawyer, who wrote this book, first published in 1914.

The True Story of Andersonville Prison: A Defense of Major Henry Wirz

James Madison Page - 1908
     Forty years later, in 1908, Page wrote this memoir to tell dispel the slanders told about Wirz. Page explains how the prison Wirz was in charge of was designed to hold, at most, 10,000 prisoners. The population quickly swelled to 30,000 prisoners, overwhelming the South's ability to feed, clothe and house the Andersonville prisoners. Over 13,000 POWs died out of 45,000 prisoners due to disease and diet, and Page claims that Wirz was made a scapegoat to appease the wrath of the families of those who had died. ‘a good read and very different than what is force fed us’ - Civil War Talk James Madison Page was born on July 22, 1839 in Crawfordville, Pennsylvania. He served in the Union army as 2d Lieutenant of Company A, Sixth Michigan Cavalry. After participating in many skirmishes and battles, including Gettysburg, Page was captured on September 21, 1863 along the Rapidan in Virginia and spent the next thirteen months in Southern military prisons, seven of which were at Camp Sumter near Andersonville, Georgia. After the war, Page was supoenaed for the war crimes trial of Major Henry Wirz, the former commandant of the prison, but after being interviewed, the prosecution decided not to call him as a witness because his testimony undermined the predetermined guilt of the accused. Having been present at the prison in the summer of 1864, when the atrocities were said to have occurred, Page denied that any of the four murders charged to Wirz had happened, which denial was supported by the fact that the alleged deceased were never named. After being dissuaded by his sister from joining the ill-fated Indian foray in the West under the command of General George Custer, Page instead moved to the Montana Territory in 1866, where he worked as a Government surveyor. The town of Pageville in Madison County was named in his honor. Page spent his final years in Long Beach, California, where he died in 1924. The True Story of Andersonville Prison was first published in 1908.

War Years with Jeb Stuart

W.W. Blackford - 1945
     A Civil Engineer by profession, by war’s end Blackford had risen from a Lieutenant of Cavalry to Lieutenant Colonel of Engineers. His skills were valuable in both of these branches of the army, and as a result War Years is unusually filled with the day-to-day accomplishments of the Engineer Troops. From Jeb Stuart’s side, Blackford observed nearly all the operations of mounted troops from June, 1861, to the end of January, 1864, when he was transferred to other responsibilities. Brought into contact with a number of legendary figures, in April, 1865, Blackford was at Appomattox when General Lee surrendered. Alongside descriptions of battles, raids and sieges are the stories of army life — little details and incidents that walk hand-in-hand with soldiering — in a thrilling yet eye-opening memoir of the American Civil War. Lieut.-Colonel William Willis Blackford (1831-1905) was an officer in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. It was his mother who encouraged him to write down his experiences while they were still fresh in his mind, and War Years with Jeb Stuart was the result. Albion Press is an imprint of Endeavour Press, the UK's leading independent digital publisher. For more information on our titles please sign up to our newsletter at Each week you will receive updates on free and discounted ebooks. Follow us on Twitter: @EndeavourPress and on Facebook via We are always interested in hearing from our readers. Endeavour Press believes that the future is now.

General Lee's Army: From Victory to Collapse

Joseph T. Glatthaar - 2008
    His army -- General Robert E. Lee's army -- was a surprise to almost everyone: With daring early victories and an invasion into the North, they nearly managed to convince the North to give up the fight. Even in 1865, facing certain defeat after the loss of 30,000 men, a Louisiana private fighting in Lee's army still had hope. "I must not despair," he scribbled in his diary. "Lee will bring order out of chaos, and with the help of our Heavenly Father, all will be well."Astonishingly, after 150 years of scholarship, there are still some major surprises about the Army of Northern Virginia. In General Lee's Army, renowned historian Joseph T. Glatthaar draws on an impressive range of sources assembled over two decades -- from letters and diaries, to official war records, to a new, definitive database of statistics -- to rewrite the history of the Civil War's most important army and, indeed, of the war itself. Glatthaar takes readers from the home front to the heart of the most famous battles of the war: Manassas, the Peninsula campaign, Antietam, Gettysburg, all the way to the final surrender at Appomattox. General Lee's Army penetrates headquarters tents and winter shanties, eliciting the officers' plans, wishes, and prayers; it portrays a world of life, death, healing, and hardship; it investigates the South's commitment to the war and its gradual erosion; and it depicts and analyzes Lee's men in triumph and defeat.The history of Lee's army is a powerful lens on the entire war. The fate of Lee's army explains why the South almost won -- and why it lost. The story of his men -- their reasons for fighting, their cohesion, mounting casualties, diseases, supply problems, and discipline problems -- tells it all.Glatthaar's definitive account settles many historical arguments. The Rebels were fighting above all to defend slavery. More than half of Lee's men were killed, wounded, or captured -- a staggering statistic. Their leader, Robert E. Lee, though far from perfect, held an exalted place in his men's eyes despite a number of mistakes and despite a range of problems among some of his key lieutenants."General Lee's Army" is a masterpiece of scholarship and vivid storytelling, narrated as much as possible in the words of the enlisted men and their officers.

Covered with Glory: The 26th North Carolina Infantry at Gettysburg

Rod Gragg - 2000
    In July 1863 the regiment's eight-hundred-plus troops--young men from North Carolina's mountains, farmlands, and hamlets--were thrust into the firestorm of Gettysburg, the greatest battle ever fought in North America. By the time the fighting ended, the 26th North Carolina had suffered what some authorities would calculate to be the highest casualties of any regiment in the Civil War.Following a bone-wearying march into Pennsylvania with the rest of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, the soldiers of the 26th found themselves in ferocious, almost face-to-face combat with some of the hardest-fighting troops in the Federal army--the heralded Iron Brigade. The bloody contest on McPherson's Ridge produced some of Gettysburg's fiercest fighting, and the troops involved--men from North Carolina, Michigan, and Indiana--established an enduring legacy of American fortitude and will.On Gettysburg's third day of battle, the 26th North Carolina was placed in the front ranks of Pickett's Charge. Following a massive artillery barrage, the tattered regiment was commanded to go the distance in what would prove to be the most famous assault of the war. At one point, as he watched the men of the 26th in battle, Brigadier General James J. Pettigrew dispatched a message to the regiment's commander: "Tell him his regiment haas covered itself with glory today."The story of the 26th North Carolina at Gettysburg is an American saga of duty performed in the worst of warfare. It unfolds through the lives of key characters--the regiment'stwenty-one year old commander, Colonel Henry K. Burgwyn, Jr.; its second-in-command, twenty-six-year-old farmer-turned-lieutenant colonel John R. Lane; twenty-two-year-old Major John Jones, who had abandoned his college studies to join the army; and common soldiers like Private Jimmie Moore, a North Carolina mountain boy who had gone to war at the age of fifteen."Covered In Glory is an intensely personal narrative based on exhaustive research into the diaries, letters, memoirs, and official records of the men who struggled on the bloody field at Gettysburg. It is a powerful, moving account of American courage and sacrifice.

The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865

Mark Grimsley - 1995
    From an initial policy of deliberate restraint, extending even to the active protection of Southerners' property and constitutional rights, Union armies gradually adopted measures that were expressly intended to demoralize Southern civilians and to ruin the Confederate economy. Yet the ultimate "hard war" policy was far from the indiscriminate fury of legend. Union policy makers promoted a program of directed severity, and Professor Grimsley demonstrates how and why it worked. This volume fits into an emerging interpretation of the Civil War that questions its status as a "total war" and instead emphasizes the survival of political logic and control even in the midst of a sweeping struggle for the nation's future: the primary goal of the Federal government remained the restoration of the Union, not the devastation of the South. Intertwined with a political logic, and sometimes indistinguishable from it, was also a deep sense of moral justice--a belief that, whatever the claims of military necessity, the innocent deserved some pity, and that even the guilty should suffer in rough proportion to the extent of their sins. Through comparisons with earlier European wars and through the testimony of Union soldiers and Southern civilians alike, Grimsley shows that Union soldiers exercised restraint even as they made war against the Confederate civilian population.

Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction

James M. McPherson - 1982
    The third edition incorporates recent scholarship and addresses renewed areas of interest in the Civil War/Reconstruction era including the motivations and experiences of common soldiers and the role of women in the war effort.

History of the Civil War, 1861-1865

James Ford Rhodes - 1918
     It would continue to rage across the states for a further four years. In this Pulitzer Prize winning history of that period James Ford Rhodes fully explains its causes, events and effects. From the moment of secession by the southern states through to Lee’s surrender, Rhodes encompasses the full narrative of the conflict in this single-volume history. Rhodes provides vivid portraits of the main leaders of the war as well as their actions, both on the battlefield and in the political discussions taking place in Washington and Richmond. Rich in scholarship and written in engrossing style History of the Civil War, 1861-1865 is essential reading for anyone with an interest nineteenth century American history. "Well worthy of the welcome." — American Historical Review James Ford Rhodes was an American industrialist and historian born in Cleveland, Ohio. After earning a fortune in the iron, coal, and steel industries by 1885, he retired from business and spent the rest of his life writing on the history of America. His most famous work was History of the Civil War, 1861-1865, which won a Pulitzer Prize, and was published in 1917. He died in 1927.

Myne Owne Ground: Race and Freedom on Virginia's Eastern Shore, 1640-1676

T.H. Breen - 1980
    Concentrating on the lives of blacks who achieved freedom, this book describes how, against formidable odds, they amassed property, established plantations, acquired dependent labourers, and lived for several generations as free and independent members of Virginia society.

Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation

John Boyko - 2013
    Many readers will be shocked by Canada's deep connection to the war--Canadians fought in every major battle, supplied arms to the South, and many key Confederate meetings took place on Canadian soil. Boyko gives Americans a new understanding of the North American context of the war, and also shows how the political climate of the time created a more unified Canada, one that was able to successfully oppose American expansion. Filled with engaging stories and astonishing facts from previously unaccessed primary sources, Boyko's fascinating new interpretation of the war will appeal to all readers of history. Blood and Daring will change our views not just of Canada's relationship with the United States, but of Confederation itself.

Mrs. Robert E. Lee: The Lady of Arlington

John Perry - 2001
    Lee, and her great-grandmother, Martha Washington; many have visited the cemetery that now occupies her family estate. But few today know much about Mary Custis Lee herself. Chronically ill and often in excruciating pain, Mary raised seven children, faithfully witnessing to her husband for years before his conversion. She retained her dignity and faith throughout a fruitless, heartbreaking attempt to win compensation for the confiscation of her home and possessions. History is never more powerful than when it provides a role model for enduring hardship with sturdy and radiant faith. Mary Custis Lee is such an example.

Controversies & Commanders: Dispatches from the Army of the Potomac

Stephen W. Sears - 1999
      From an award-winning military historian and the bestselling author of Gettysburg, this is a wide-ranging collection of essays about the Army of the Potomac, delving into such topics as Professor Lowe’s reconnaissance balloons; the court-martial of Fitz John Porter; the Lost Order at Antietam; press coverage of the war; the looting of Fredericksburg; the Mud March; the roles of volunteers, conscripts, bounty jumpers, and foreign soldiers; the notorious Gen. Dan Sickles, who shot his wife’s lover outside the White House; and two generals who were much maligned: McClellan (justifiably) and Hooker (not so justifiably).   This lively book follows the Army of the Potomac throughout the war, from 1861 to 1865, painting a remarkable portrait of the key incidents and personalities that influenced the course of our nation’s greatest cataclysm.