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Civil War History: Archive

September 2013, Volume 59, No. 3

May 30th, 2013



By: Troy Smith

In 1861, the leaders of the “Five Civilized Tribes” in Indian Territory (Cherokees, Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaws and Seminoles) officially allied with the Confederacy. Several different concepts of nationhood were colliding in the area: the U.S. and Confederacy models, as well as the indigenous peoples’ recently constructed modern governments. The Native American leaders stressed cultural and economic ties to the South, and to the institution of slavery they had adopted; many of their citizens, however, maintained traditional views of race and nation, and resisted both the Confederacy and their leaders’ political vision. Confederate representatives wooed the tribes with recognition of their sovereignty, which fit into the Confederate governmental approach, while exerting pressure on those indigenous leaders who hesitated. The execution of the war not only deeply divided the nations of Indian Territory, it enabled the Five Tribes’ political and economic elites to solidify their modernist vision.

By: Michael J. Turner

From the Revolutionary era onwards, ideas about America were of special importance to British reform movements. Most British radicals praised and respected the United States and regarded it as a model of freedom, progress, and opportunity, and they made a case for change at home by comparing Britain unfavorably with the “great republic.” For a variety of radicals, and despite their differences in time, place, ideas, and support base, there was an essential continuity. Some were more negative and skeptical than others, however, and the diverse and shifting nature of perceptions of America is best observed in the 1860s, when the Civil War and Reconstruction raised serious questions about America’s past, present, and future. Debate about the true meaning of America intensified. Just as North and South pondered over the image they were presenting to foreign observers, so British radicals reassessed the notion that America was created to exhibit the blessings of liberty and pass them on to other nations. A useful case study is provided by the career of Thomas Perronet Thompson (1783-1869), the radical writer, MP, and political economist, whose thoughts about America offer valuable insights into the role of American themes in nineteenth–century British radicalism and, more specifically, into opinions that were current during the Civil War and Reconstruction.


Troy Smith earned his doctorate in 2011 at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and currently has a visiting position at Tennessee Tech University. His 2001 Civil War novel, Bound for the Promise-Land, won the Western Writers of America’s Spur Award for fiction.

Michael J. Turner is Roy Carroll Distinguished Professor of British History at Appalachian State University, North Carolina. He has published widely in the fields of modern British reform politics and foreign policy. His next book, about the role of America in nineteenth-century British radicalism, is forthcoming from Lexington Books.


Media Reviews:

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov. Produced by Timur Bekmambetov and Tim Burton. Twentieth Century Fox, 2012. 105 min. Reviewed by W. Scott Poole.

Book Reviews:

Goldfield, David. America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation. Reviewed by Carl E. Kramer.

Nelson, Megan Kate. Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War. Reviewed by Judith Giesberg.

Brooke, John L. Columbia Rising: Civil Life on the Upper Hudson from the Revolution to the Age of Jackson. Reviewed by Lawrence Frederick Kohl.

Quigley, Paul. Shifting Grounds: Nationalism and the American South, 1848–1865. Reviewed by Andre M. Fleche.

Doyle, Don H. Ed. Secession as an International Phenomenon: From America’s Civil War to Contemporary Separatist Movements. Reviewed by Stuart McConnell.

Fleche, Andre. The Revolution of 1861: The American Civil War in the Age of Nationalist Conflict. Reviewed by Christopher Childers.

Holzer, Harold. Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory. Reviewed by Daniel Rosenberg.

Burlingame, Michael. Abraham and Mary Lincoln. Kenneth J. Winkle; Lincoln and the Civil War. Reviewed by Brian Dirck.

Reardon, Carol. With a Sword in One Hand and Jomini in the Other: The Problem of Military Thought in the Civil War North. Reviewed by Kathleen Logothetis.

Gourley, Bruce T. Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia during the Civil War. Reviewed by Sean A. Scott.

Burton, Orville Vernon, Jerald Podair, and Jennifer L. Weber. Ed. The Struggle for Equality: Sectional Conflict, the Civil War, and the Long Reconstruction. Reviewed by Edward R. Crowther.

Dickson, Keith D. Sustaining Southern Identity: Douglas Southall Freeman and Memory in the Modern South. Reviewed by C. David Dalton.

Davis, William C. and James I. Robertson Jr. Ed.Virginia at War, 1865. Reviewed by Amy Morsman.

Ponce, Pearl T. Ed. Kansas’s War: The Civil War in Documents. Reviewed by Bruce D. Mactavish.

Desjardin, Thomas. Ed. Joshua L. Chamberlain: A Life in Letters. Reviewed by Jonathan T. Engel.

Book Notes:

Hubbell, John T. Ed. Conflict and Command.

Books Received:

Allgor, Catherine. Dolley Madison: The Problem of National Unity.

Ashworth, John. The Republic in Crisis, 1848–1861.

Bush, David R. I Fear I Shall Never Leave this Island: Life in a Civil War Prison.

Coddington, Ronald S. African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album.

Cooper, Edward S. Louis Trezevant Wigfall: The Disintegration of the Union and Collapse of the Confederacy.

Dull, Jonathan R. American Naval History, 1607–1865: Overcoming the Colonial Legacy.

Flood, Charles Bracelen. Grant’s Final Victory: Ulysses S. Grant’s Heroic Last Year.

Fritsch, James T. The Untried Life: The 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War.

Gagnon, Michael J. Transition to an Industrial South: Athens, Georgia, 1830–1870.

Guntzelman, John C. The Civil War in Color: A Photographic Reenactment of the War between the States.

Hayes-Bautista, David E. El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition.

Hearn, Chester G. Lincoln and McClellan at War.

Junne, George H. Jr. A History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Colored Infantry in the Civil War: The Real Story behind the Movie Glory.

Kalasky, Robert J. Shadows of Antietam.

Kelbaugh, Ross J. Maryland’s Civil War Photographs: The Sesquicentennial Collection.

LaRocca, Charles J. The 124th New York State Volunteers in the Civil War: A History and Roster.

Leonard, Elizabeth D. Men of Color to Arms! Black Soldiers, Indian Wars, and the Quest for Equality.

Lundstrom, John B. One Drop in a Sea of Blue: The Liberators of the Ninth Minnesota.

McMichael, Kelly. Sacred Memories: The Civil War Monument Movement in Texas.

Mahood, Wayne. Fight All Day, March All Night: A Medal of Honor Recipient’s Story.

Moss, Marissa. A Soldier’s Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero.

Samuels, Shirley. Ed. The Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln.

Shaw, Madelyn and Lynne Zacek Bassett. Home Front and Battlefield: Quilts and Context in the Civil War.

Schumacher, Ryan R. Ed. The Great Hanging at Gainesville, 1862: The Accounts of Thomas Barrett and George Washington Diamond.

Stauffer, John and Zoe Trodd. Ed. The Tribunal: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid.

Stephens, John Richard. Commanding the Storm: Civil War Battles in the Words of the Generals Who Fought Them.

Teed, Paul E. A Revolutionary Conscience: Theodore Parker and Antebellum America.

Witt, John Fabian. Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History.