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Civil War Era

Crossing the Deadlines

| Filed under: Civil War Era, History, Recent Releases, U.S. History, Understanding Civil War History
Crossing the Deadlines edited by Michael P. Gray

The “deadlines” were boundaries prisoners had to stay within or risk being shot. Just as a prisoner would take the daring challenge in “crossing the deadline” to attempt escape, Crossing the Deadlines crosses those boundaries of old scholarship by taking on bold initiatives with new methodologies, filling a void in the current scholarship of Civil War prison historiography, which usually does not go beyond discussing policy, prison history and environmental and social themes. Due to its eclectic mix of contributors—from academic and public historians to anthropologists currently excavating at specific stockade sites—the collection appeals to a variety of scholarly and popular audiences. Readers will discover how the Civil War incarceration narrative has advanced to include environmental, cultural, social, religious, retaliatory, racial, archaeological, and memory approaches.

 


“This Infernal War”

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Recent Releases, Understanding Civil War History
This Infernal War Cover-Timothy Mason Roberts

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
Our Little Monitor: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War. Holloway and White

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.

 


Oliver P. Morton and the Politics of the Civil War and Reconstruction

| Filed under: Civil War Era, History, Recent Releases, Understanding Civil War History
Fuller cover

Remembered as the “Great War Governor” who led the state of Indiana during the Civil War, Oliver P. Morton has always been a controversial figure. His supporters praised him as a statesman who helped Abraham Lincoln save the Union, while his critics blasted him as a ruthless tyrant who abused the power of his office. Many of his contemporaries and some historians saw him as a partisan politician and an opportunist who shifted his positions to maintain power. Later generations treated Governor Morton as either a hero or a villain and generally forgot about his postwar career as a Radical Republican leader in the U.S. Senate…

 


Phantoms of the South Fork

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War Soldiers and Strategies, History, Military History, Recent Releases, U.S. History, Understanding Civil War History
French cover

At 3 a.m. on February 21, 1865, a band of 65 Confederate horsemen slowly made its way down Greene Street in Cumberland, Maryland. Thinking the riders were disguised Union scouts, the few Union soldiers out that bitterly cold morning paid little attention to them. In the meantime, over 3,500 Yankee soldiers peacefully slept.

 


Recollections of a Civil War Medical Cadet

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

Richard M. Reid’s introduction captures the ways the war dramatically reconfigured the American medical landscape. Prior to the war, the medical community was badly fragmented, and elite physicians felt undervalued by the American public. The war offered them the chance to assert their professional control and to make medicine more scientific and evidence-based. The introduction also includes an extensive historiographical analysis of Civil War medicine and situates Wilder’s recollections in the changing direction of the field.

 


For Their Own Cause

| Filed under: American History, Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Discover Black History, Understanding Civil War History
For Their Own Cause by Kelly Mezurek. Kent State University Press

The 27th United States Colored Troops (USCT), composed largely of free black Ohio men, served in the Union army from April 1864 to September 1865 in Virginia and North Carolina. It was the first time most members of the unit had traveled so far from home. The men faced daily battles against racism and against inferior treatment, training, and supplies. They suffered from the physical difficulties of military life, the horrors of warfare, and homesickness and worried about loved ones left at home without financial support. Yet their contributions provided a tool that allowed blacks with little military experience, and their families, to demand social acceptance and acknowledgment of their citizenship.

 


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