A Broken Regiment

Author: Lesley J. Gordon
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807157325
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A Broken Regiment recounts the tragic history of one of the Civil War's most ill-fated Union military units. Organized in the late summer of 1862, the 16th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was unprepared for battle a month later, when it entered the fight at Antietam. The results were catastrophic: nearly a quarter of the men were killed or wounded, and Connecticut's 16th panicked and fled the field. In the years that followed, the regiment participated in minor skirmishes before surrendering en masse in North Carolina in 1864. Most of its members spent months in southern prison camps, including the notorious Andersonville stockade, where disease and starvation took the lives of over one hundred members of the unit. The struggles of the 16th led survivors to reflect on the true nature of their military experience during and after the war, and questions of cowardice and courage, patriotism and purpose, were often foremost in their thoughts. Over time, competing stories emerged of who they were, why they endured what they did, and how they should be remembered. By the end of the century, their collective recollections reshaped this troubling and traumatic past, and the "unfortunate regiment" emerged as the "Brave Sixteenth," their individual memories and accounts altered to fit the more heroic contours of the Union victory. The product of over a decade of research, Lesley J. Gordon's A Broken Regiment illuminates this unit's complex history amid the interplay of various, and often competing, voices. The result is a fascinating and heartrending story of one regiment's wartime and postwar struggles.

War Upon the Land

Author: Lisa M. Brady
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820343838
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this first book-length environmental history of the American Civil War, Lisa M. Brady argues that ideas about nature and the environment were central to the development and success of Union military strategy. From the start of the war, both sides had to contend with forces of nature, even as they battled one another. Northern soldiers encountered unfamiliar landscapes in the South that suggested, to them, an uncivilized society's failure to control nature. Under the leadership of Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip Sheridan, the Union army increasingly targeted southern environments as the war dragged on. Whether digging canals, shooting livestock, or dramatically attempting to divert the Mississippi River, the Union aimed to assert mastery over nature by attacking the most potent aspect of southern identity and power--agriculture. Brady focuses on the siege of Vicksburg, the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign, marches through Georgia and the Carolinas, and events along the Mississippi River to examine this strategy and its devastating physical and psychological impact. Before the war, many Americans believed in the idea that nature must be conquered and subdued. Brady shows how this perception changed during the war, leading to a wider acceptance of wilderness. Connecting environmental trauma with the onset of American preservation, Brady pays particular attention to how these new ideas of wilderness can be seen in the creation of national battlefield memorial parks as unaltered spaces. Deftly combining environmental and military history with cultural studies, War upon the Land elucidates an intriguing, largely unexplored side of the nation's greatest conflict.

Beyond Redemption

Author: Carole Emberton
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022602427X
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In the months after the end of the Civil War, there was one word on everyone’s lips: redemption. From the fiery language of Radical Republicans calling for a reconstruction of the former Confederacy to the petitions of those individuals who had worked the land as slaves to the white supremacists who would bring an end to Reconstruction in the late 1870s, this crucial concept informed the ways in which many people—both black and white, northerner and southerner—imagined the transformation of the American South. Beyond Redemption explores how the violence of a protracted civil war shaped the meaning of freedom and citizenship in the new South. Here, Carole Emberton traces the competing meanings that redemption held for Americans as they tried to come to terms with the war and the changing social landscape. While some imagined redemption from the brutality of slavery and war, others—like the infamous Ku Klux Klan—sought political and racial redemption for their losses through violence. Beyond Redemption merges studies of race and American manhood with an analysis of post-Civil War American politics to offer unconventional and challenging insight into the violence of Reconstruction.

Citizen Officers

Author: Andrew S. Bledsoe
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807160725
Format: PDF, Docs
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From the time of the American Revolution, most junior officers in the American military attained their positions through election by the volunteer soldiers in their company, a tradition that reflected commitment to democracy even in times of war. By the outset of the Civil War, citizen-officers had fallen under sharp criticism from career military leaders who decried their lack of discipline and efficiency in battle. Andrew S. Bledsoe’s Citizen­-Officers explores the role of the volunteer officer corps during the Civil War and the unique leadership challenges they faced when military necessity clashed with the antebellum democratic values of volunteer soldiers. Bledsoe’s innovative evaluation of the lives and experiences of nearly 2,600 Union and Confederate company-grade junior officers from every theater of operations across four years of war reveals the intense pressures placed on these young leaders. Despite their inexperience and sometimes haphazard training in formal military maneuvers and leadership, citizen-officers frequently faced their first battles already in command of a company. These intense and costly encounters forced the independent, civic-minded volunteer soldiers to recognize the need for military hierarchy and to accept their place within it. Thus concepts of American citizenship, republican traditions in American life, and the brutality of combat shaped, and were in turn shaped by, the attitudes and actions of citizen-officers. Through an analysis of wartime writings, post-war reminiscences, company and regimental papers, census records, and demographic data, Citizen­-Officers illuminates the centrality of the volunteer officer to the Civil War and to evolving narratives of American identity and military service.

Hood s Texas Brigade

Author: Susannah J. Ural
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807167606
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The Texas Brigade of the Army of Northern Virginia was one of the best units to fight on either side in the American Civil War. Three factors made that success possible: their strong self-identity as Confederates, the mutual respect shared between the brigade's junior officers and their men, and a constant desire to maintain their reputation not just as Texans, but also as the best soldiers in Robert E. Lee's army and all the Confederacy. Hood's Texas Brigade is a study of the soldiers and families of this elite unit that challenges key historical arguments about soldier motivation, volunteerism and desertion, home front morale, and veterans' postwar adjustment.

The Civil War Guerrilla

Author: Joseph M. Beilein Jr.
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813165334
Format: PDF, ePub
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Most Americans are familiar with major Civil War battles such as Manassas (Bull Run), Shiloh, and Gettysburg, which have been extensively analyzed by generations of historians. However, not all of the war's engagements were fought in a conventional manner by regular forces. Often referred to as "the wars within the war," guerrilla combat touched states from Virginia to New Mexico. Guerrillas fought for the Union, the Confederacy, their ethnic groups, their tribes, and their families. They were deadly forces that plundered, tortured, and terrorized those in their path, and their impact is not yet fully understood. In this richly diverse volume, Joseph M. Beilein Jr. and Matthew C. Hulbert assemble a team of both rising and eminent scholars to examine guerrilla warfare in the South during the Civil War. Together, they discuss irregular combat as practiced by various communities in multiple contexts, including how it was used by Native Americans, the factors that motivated raiders in the border states, and the women who participated as messengers, informants, collaborators, and combatants. They also explore how the Civil War guerrilla has been mythologized in history, literature, and folklore. The Civil War Guerrilla sheds new light on the ways in which thousands of men, women, and children experienced and remembered the Civil War as a conflict of irregular wills and tactics. Through thorough research and analysis, this timely book provides readers with a comprehensive examination of the guerrilla soldier and his role in the deadliest war in U.S. history.

Shades of Green

Author: Ryan W. Keating
Publisher: North's Civil War (Fup)
ISBN: 9780823276592
Format: PDF, ePub
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Drawing on records of about 5,500 soldiers and veterans, Shades of Green traces the organization of Irish regiments from the perspective of local communities in Connecticut, Illinois, and Wisconsin and the relationships between soldiers and the home front. Research on the impact of the Civil War on Irish Americans has traditionally fallen into one of two tracks, arguing that the Civil War either further alienated Irish immigrants from American society or that military service in defense of the Union offered these men a means of assimilation. In this study of Irish American service, Ryan W. Keating argues that neither paradigm really holds, because many Irish Americans during this time already considered themselves to be assimilated members of American society. This comprehensive study argues that the local community was often more important to ethnic soldiers than the imagined ethnic community, especially in terms of political, social, and economic relationships. An analysis of the Civil War era from this perspective provides a much clearer understanding of immigrant place and identity during the nineteenth century. With a focus on three regiments not traditionally studied, the author provides a fine-grained analysis revealing that ethnic communities, like other types of communities, are not monolithic on a national scale. Examining lesser-studied communities, rather than the usual those of New York City and Boston, Keating brings the local back into the story of Irish American participation in the Civil War, thus adding something new and valuable to the study of the immigrant experience in America's bloodiest conflict. Throughout this rich and groundbreaking study, Keating supports his argument through advanced quantitative analysis of military-service records and an exhaustive review of a massive wealth of raw data; his use of quantitative methods on a large dataset is an unusual and exciting development in Civil War studies. Shades of Green is sure to "shake up" several fields of study that rely on ethnicity as a useful category for analysis; its impressive research provides a significant contribution to scholarship.

Border War

Author: Stanley Harrold
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807834319
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Noted historian Harrold examines the nation's fight over slavery that occurred before the Civil War.

The Emancipation Proclamation

Author: Harold Holzer
Publisher: LSU Press
ISBN: 0807155497
Format: PDF, Docs
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The Emancipation Proclamation is the most important document of arguably the greatest president in U.S. history. Now, Edna Greene Medford, Frank J. Williams, and Harold Holzer -- eminent experts in their fields -- remember, analyze, and interpret the Emancipation Proclamation in three distinct respects: the influence of and impact upon African Americans; the legal, political, and military exigencies; and the role pictorial images played in establishing the document in public memory. The result is a carefully balanced yet provocative study that views the proclamation and its author from the perspective of fellow Republicans, antiwar Democrats, the press, the military, the enslaved, free blacks, and the antislavery white establishment, as well as the artists, publishers, sculptors, and their patrons who sought to enshrine Abraham Lincoln and his decree of freedom in iconography.Medford places African Americans, the people most affected by Lincoln's edict, at the center of the drama rather than at the periphery, as previous studies have done. She argues that blacks interpreted the proclamation much more broadly than Lincoln intended it, and during the postwar years and into the twentieth century they became disillusioned by the broken promise of equality and the realities of discrimination, violence, and economic dependence. Williams points out the obstacles Lincoln overcame in finding a way to confiscate property -- enslaved humans -- without violating the Constitution. He suggests that the president solidified his reputation as a legal and political genius by issuing the proclamation as Commander-in-Chief, thus taking the property under the pretext of military necessity. Holzer explores how it was only after Lincoln's assassination that the Emancipation Proclamation became an acceptable subject for pictorial celebration. Even then, it was the image of the martyr-president as the great emancipator that resonated in public memory, while any reference to those African Americans most affected by the proclamation was stripped away.This multilayered treatment reveals that the proclamation remains a singularly brave and bold act -- brilliantly calculated to maintain the viability of the Union during wartime, deeply dependent on the enlightened voices of Lincoln's contemporaries, and owing a major debt in history to the image-makers who quickly and indelibly preserved it.

New Men

Author: John Casey
Publisher:
ISBN: 0823265390
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This intriguing exploration of the post-Civil War period through its fiction and nonfiction illuminates how the era spawned a new understanding of war veterans that lives on today. Scholars of the Civil War era have commonly assumed that veterans of the Union and Confederate armies effortlessly melted back into society and that they adjusted to the demands of peacetime with little or no difficulty. Yet the path these soldiers followed on the road to reintegration was far more tangled. New Men unravels the narrative of veteran reentry into civilian life and exposes the growing gap between how former soldiers saw themselves and the representations of them created by late-nineteenth century American society. In the early years following the Civil War, the concept of the "veteran" functioned as a marker for what was assumed by soldiers and civilians alike to be a temporary social status that ended definitively with army demobilization and the successful attainment of civilian employment. But in later postwar years this term was reconceptualized as a new identity that is still influential today. It came to be understood that former soldiers had crossed a threshold through their experience in the war, and they would never be the same: They had become new men. Uncovering the tension between veterans and civilians in the postwar era adds a new dimension to our understanding of the legacy of the Civil War. Reconstruction involved more than simply the road to reunion and its attendant conflicts over race relations in the United States. It also pointed toward the frustrating search for a proper metaphor to explain what soldiers had endured. A provocative engagement with literary history and historiography, New Men challenges the notion of the Civil War as "unwritten" and alters our conception of the classics of Civil War literature. Organized chronologically and thematically, New Men coherently blends an analysis of a wide variety of fictional and nonfictional narratives. Writings are discussed in revelatory pairings that illustrate various aspects of veteran reintegration, with a chapter dedicated to literature describing the reintegration experiences of African Americans in the Union Army. New Men is at once essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the origins of our concept of the "veteran" and a book for our times. It is an invitation to build on the rich lessons of the Civil War veterans' experiences, to develop scholarship in the area of veterans studies, and to realize the dream of full social integration for soldiers returning home.