Shopping cart

Conflict & Command

Civil War History Readers, Volume 1

Civil War Era, Civil War History Readers


Fifteen groundbreaking essays from Albert Castel, Gary Gallagher, Mark Neely, Richard M. McMurry, and others

For more than sixty years the journal Civil War History has presented the best original scholarship in the study of America’s greatest struggle. The Kent State University Press is pleased to present a multivolume series reintroducing the most influential of the more than 500 articles published in the journal. From military command, strategy, and tactics, to political leadership, abolitionism, the draft, and women’s issues, from the war’s causes to its aftermath and Reconstruction, Civil War History has published pioneering and provocative analyses of the determining aspects of the Middle Period.

In this inaugural volume historian John T. Hubbell, editor of Civil War History for thirty-five years until 2000, has selected fifteen seminal articles that treat military matters in a variety of contexts, including leadership, strategy, tactics, execution, and outcomes. He begins the volume with a general introduction and introduces each piece with an assessment of its enduring contribution to our understanding.

Those with an interest in the officers and men, logistics and planning, and execution and outcomes of the battles in America’s bloodiest conflict will welcome this essential collection.


  • Was the Civil War a Total War? by Mark Neely Jr.
  • A “Face of Battle” Needed: An Assessment of Motives and Men in Civil War Historiography by Marvin R. Cain
  • The Confederacy’s First Shot by Grady McWhiney
  • The Professionalization of George B. McClellan and Early Field Command by Edward Hagerman
  • McClellan and Halleck at War: The Struggle for the Union War Effort in the West, November 1861–March 1862 by Ethan S. Rafuse
  • Pinkerton and McClellan: Who Deceived Whom? by Edwin C. Fishel
  • Jefferson Davis’s Pursuit of Ambition: The Attractive Features of Alternative Decisions by Richard E. Beringer
  • “The Enemy at Richmond”: Joseph E. Johnston and the Confederate Government by Richard M. McMurry
  • Joseph E. Johnston and the Virginia Railways, 1861–62 by Jeffrey Lash
  • An Old Fashioned General in a Modern War? Robert E. Lee as Confederate General by Gary W. Gallagher
  • Marse Robert and the Fevers: A Note on the General as Strategist and on Medical Ideas as a Factor in Civil War Decision Making by Richard M. McMurry
  • The Army of Northern Virginia in May 1864: A Crisis of High Command by Gary W. Gallagher
  • Everyman’s War: A Rich and Poor Man’s Fight in Lee’s Army by Joseph T. Glatthaar
  • Mars and the Reverend Longstreet: Or, Attacking and Dying in the Civil War by Albert Castel
  • Who Whipped Whom? Confederate Defeat Reexamined by Grady McWhiney


John T. Hubbell is professor emeritus of history at Kent State University and director emeritus of the Kent State University Press. He was editor of Civil War History for thirty-five years, from 1965 to 1999.