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Series

“The Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known”

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Forthcoming, U.S. History
Taylor Cover

In “The Most Complete Political Machine Ever Known,” Paul Taylor examines the Union League movement. Often portrayed as a mere footnote to the Civil War, the Union League’s influence on the Northern home front was far more important and consequential than previously considered. The Union League and its various offshoots spread rapidly across the North, and in this first comprehensive examination of the leagues, Taylor discusses what made them so effective, including their recruitment strategies, their use of ostracism as a way of stifling dissent, and their distribution of political propaganda in quantities unlike anything previously imagined. By the end of 1863, readers learn, it seemed as if every hamlet from Maine to California had formed its own league chapter, collectively overwhelming their Democratic foe in the 1864 presidential election.

 


Meade

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War Soldiers and Strategies, Forthcoming, Military History, U.S. History
Cover image not yet available

George Gordon Meade has not been treated kindly by history. Victorious at Gettysburg, the biggest battle of the American Civil War, Meade was the longest-serving commander of the Army of the Potomac, leading his army through the brutal Overland Campaign and on to the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox. Serving alongside his new superior, Ulysses S. Grant, in the last year of the war, his role has been overshadowed by the popular Grant. This first full-length study of Meade’s two-year tenure as commander of the Army of the Potomac brings him out of Grant’s shadow and into focus as one of the top three Union generals of the war.

 


A Family and Nation Under Fire

| Filed under: Civil War in the North, Forthcoming, Military History, U.S. History
Cover image not yet available

This collection of previously unpublished diaries and correspondence between Maj. William Medill and older brother Joseph, one of the influential owners of the Chicago Tribune, illuminates the Republican politics of the Civil War era. The brothers correct newspaper coverage of the war, disagree with official military reports, and often condemn Lincoln administration policies. When shots were fired at Fort Sumter, the Medills mobilized, unaware how their courage would be tested in the coming years.

 


The Insanity Defense and the Mad Murderess of Shaker Heights

| Filed under: Forthcoming, History, Regional Interest, True Crime, True Crime History
Tabac Cover

They have no witnesses. They have no case. With this blunt observation, Mariann Colby—an attractive, church-going Shaker Heights, Ohio, mother and housewife—bet a defense psychiatrist that she would not be convicted of murder. A lack of witnesses was not the only problem that would confront the State of Ohio in 1966, which would seek to prosecute her for shooting to death Cremer Young Jr., her son’s nine-year-old playmate: Colby had deftly cleaned up after herself by hiding the child’s body miles from her home and concealing the weapon.

 


“This Infernal War”

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Recent Releases, Understanding Civil War History
Roberts Cover

Among collections of letters written between American soldiers and their spouses, the Civil War correspondence of William and Jane Standard stands out for conveying the complexity of the motives and experiences of Union soldiers and their families. The Standards of Lewiston in Fulton County, Illinois, were antiwar Copperheads. Their attitudes toward Abraham Lincoln, “Black Republicans,” and especially African Americans are, frankly, troubling to modern readers. Scholars who argue that the bulk of Union soldiers left their families and went to war to champion republican government or to wipe out slavery will have to account for this couple’s rejection of the war’s ideals.

 


“Our Little Monitor

and | Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Military History, Naval History, Recent Releases, Understanding Civil War History
Holloway Cover

On March 9, 1862, the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia met in the Battle of Hampton Roads—the first time ironclad vessels would engage each other in combat. For four hours the two ships pummeled one another as thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers and civilians watched from the shorelines. Although the battle ended in a draw, this engagement would change the nature of naval warfare by informing both vessel design and battle tactics. The “wooden walls” of navies around the world suddenly appeared far more vulnerable, and many political and military leaders initiated or accelerated their own ironclad-building programs.

 


Interpreting American History: The New South

| Filed under: Interpreting American History, Recent Releases, U.S. History
Humphreys Cover

The concept of the “New South” has elicited fierce debate among historians since the mid-twentieth century. At the heart of the argument is the question of whether the post–Civil War South transformed itself into something genuinely new or simply held firm to patterns of life established before 1861. The South did change in significant ways after the Civil War ended, but many of its enduring trademarks, the most prominent being white supremacy, remained constant well into the twentieth century. Scholars have yet to meet the vexing challenge of proving or disproving the existence of a New South. Even in the twenty-first century, amid the South’s sprawling cities, expanding suburbia, and high-tech environment, vestiges of the Old South remain.

 


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