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“Our Little Monitor

and | Filed under: Award Winners, Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, Military History, Naval History, Understanding Civil War History
Our Little Monitor: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War. Holloway and White. Kent State University Press

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, 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…

 


Her Voice Will Be on the Side of Right

| Filed under: American Abolitionism and Antislavery, Explore Women's History, Literature & Literary Criticism, Understanding Civil War History, Women’s Studies
Kent cover

Decades before the Civil War, the free American public was gripped by increasingly acrimonious debates about the nation’s “peculiar institution” of slavery. Ministers considered the morality of slavery from their pulpits, legislators debated it in the halls of government, professors discussed it in their classrooms, and citizens argued about it in their communities. Antislavery women wrote novels and stories designed to convince free Americans about slavery’s evils, to discuss the future of abolitionism, and to debate the proper roles of free and enslaved women in the antislavery struggle. Many antebellum writers and editors believed fiction was an especially genderappropriate medium for women to express their ideas publicly and a decidedly effective medium for reaching female readers. Believing that women were naturally more empathetic and imaginative than men, writers and editors hoped that powerfully told stories about enslaved people’s sufferings would be invaluable in converting free female readers to abolitionism.

 


Phantoms of the South Fork

| Filed under: Civil War Era, Civil War Soldiers and Strategies, History, Military History, 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, 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: African American Studies, American History, Audiobooks, 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.

 


My Gettysburg

| Filed under: Audiobooks, Civil War Era, Understanding Civil War History
Snell Cover

The Gettysburg Campaign and its culminating battle have generated more than their share of analysis and published works. In My Gettys­burg, Civil War scholar and twenty-six-year Gettysburg resident Mark Snell goes beyond the campaign itself to explore the “culture” of the battlefield. In this fascinating collection, Snell provides an intriguing interpretation of some neglected military aspects of the battle, such as a revisionist study of Judson Kilpatrick’s decision to launch “Farnsworth’s Charge” on the southern end of the Confederate line after Pickett’s Charge and the role of Union logisticians in the Northern victory.

 


Democracy and the American Civil War

and | Filed under: African American Studies, American History, Civil War Era, Discover Black History, Symposia on Democracy, Understanding Civil War History
Adams and Hudson Cover

In 1865, after four tumultuous years of fighting, Americans welcomed the opportunity to return to a life of normalcy. President Abraham Lincoln issued his emancipation decree in January 1863 and had set the stage for what he hoped would be a smooth transition from war to peace with the announcement of his reconstruction program in December 1863 and with his call of “malice toward none and charity for all” in his Second Inaugural Address in March 1865. Lincoln’s dream of completing the process of reconstructing the nation was cut short just one month later by the hand of an assassin.

 


Pure Heart

| Filed under: Award Winners, Civil War Era, Civil War in the North, History, Religion, Understanding Civil War History
Quigley cover

In the summer of 1862, as Union morale ebbed low with home front division over war costs, coming emancipation, and demoralizing battlefield losses, 24-year-old William White Dorr enlisted as a lieutenant in the 121st Pennsylvania Volunteers, a new Union regiment organizing in Philadelphia. His father, the Reverend Benjamin Dorr, rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, strived to prevent divisions in his congregation from sundering that Episcopal church historically tied to the nation’s founding.

 


Interpreting American History: Reconstruction

| Filed under: African American Studies, Discover Black History, Interpreting American History, U.S. History, Understanding Civil War History
Smith cover

Writing in 1935 in his brilliant and brooding Black Reconstruction, W. E. B. Du Bois lamented America’s post–Civil War era as a missed opportunity to reconstruct the war-torn nation in deed as well as in word. “If the Reconstruction of the Southern states, from slavery to free labor, and from aristocracy to industrial democracy, had been conceived as a major national program of America, whose accomplishment at any price was well worth the effort,” wrote Du Bois, “we should be living today in a different world.”

 


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