General John A. Wickham, commander of the famous 101st Airborne Division in the 1970s and subsequently Army Chief of Staff, once visited Antietam battlefield. Gazing at Bloody Lane where, in 1862, several Union assaults were brutally repulsed before they finally broke through, he marveled,
You couldn't get American soldiers today to make an attack like that. Why did those men risk certain death, over and over again, through countless bloody battles and four long, awful years ? Why did the conventional wisdom -- that soldiers become increasingly cynical and disillusioned as war
progresses -- not hold true in the Civil War?
conflict. Motivated by duty and honor, and often by religious faith, these men wrote frequently of their firm belief in the cause for which they fought: the principles of liberty, freedom, justice, and patriotism. Soldiers on both sides harkened back to the Founding Fathers, and the ideals of the
American Revolution. They fought to defend their country, either the Union--the best Government ever made--or the Confederate states, where their very homes and families were under siege. And they fought to defend their honor and manhood. I should not lik to go home with the name of a couhard,
one Massachusetts private wrote, and another private from Ohio said, My wife would sooner hear of my death than my disgrace. Even after three years of bloody battles, more than half of the Union soldiers reenlisted voluntarily. While duty calls me here and my country demands my services I should
be willing to make the sacrifice, one man wrote to his protesting parents. And another soldier said simply, I still love my country. McPherson draws on more than 25,000 letters and nearly 250 private diaries from men on both sides. Civil War soldiers were among the most literate soldiers in history, and most of them wrote home frequently, as it was the only way for them to keep in touch with homes that many of them had left for
the first time in their lives. Significantly, their letters were also uncensored by military authorities, and are uniquely frank in their criticism and detailed in their reports of marches and battles, relations between officers and men, political debates, and morale. For Cause and Comrades lets
these soldiers tell their own stories in their own words to create an account that is both deeply moving and far truer than most books on war. Battle Cry of Freedom, McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times, called history writing of the highest order. For Cause and Comrades deserves similar accolades, as McPherson's masterful prose and the soldiers'
own words combine to create both an important book on an often-overlooked aspect of our bloody Civil War, and a powerfully moving account of the men who fought it.
"One of the most unflinching studies of war in our literature." --William McFeeleyAmong the autobiographies of great military figures, Ulysses S. Grant's is certainly one of the finest, and it is arguably the most notable literary achievement of any American president: a lucid, compelling, and brutally honest chronicle of triumph and failure. From his frontier boyhood to his heroics in battle to the grinding poverty from which the Civil War ironically "rescued" him, these memoirs are a mesmerizing, deeply moving account of a brilliant man, told with great courage as he reflects on the fortunes that shaped his life and his character. Written under excruciating circumstances (as Grant was dying of throat cancer), encouraged and edited from its very inception by Mark Twain, it is a triumph of the art of autobiography. The books in the Modern Library War series have been chosen by series editor Caleb Carr according to the significance of their subject matter, their contribution to the field of military history, and their literary merit.
Following a skirmish on June 28, 1864, a truce is called so the North can remove their dead and wounded. For two hours, Yankees and Rebels mingle, with some of the latter even assisting the former in their grisly work. Newspapers are exchanged. Northern coffee is swapped for Southern tobacco. Yanks crowd around two Rebel generals, soliciting and obtaining autographs.
Hailed as prophet of modern war and condemned as a harbinger of modern barbarism, William Tecumseh Sherman is the most controversial general of the American Civil War. "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it," he wrote in fury to the Confederate mayor of Atlanta, and his memoir is filled with dozens of such wartime exchanges. With the propulsive energy and intelligence that marked his campaigns, Sherman describes striking incidents and anecdotes and collects dozens of his incisive and often outspoken wartime orders and reports. This complex self-portrait of an innovative and relentless American warrior provides firsthand accounts of the war's crucial events--Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, the Atlanta campaign, the marches through Georgia and the Carolinas.LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Osprey's study of the most famous battle of the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). Waterloo holds a special place among the great battles of history. The climax of more than twenty years of war, it was indeed a close-run affair, matching two of the world's greatest generals - Napoleon and Wellington. This volume covers the entire campaign including the battles of Quatre Bras, Ligny and Wavre, with five full-colour maps and three highly detailed bird's eye views showing decisive moments in the action. An excellent sense of the closeness of the battle is communicated - Wellington himself claimed it was the nearest thing you ever saw in your life - and this gripping account shows the full justice of that statement.
. . . detailed, well-written and thoroughly documented. --The Journal of Military History
. . . comprehensive, well-written, and thoroughly researched . . . --Booklist
. . . the definitive work on the life of Winfield Scott Hancock . . . --Blue and Gray
At last we have a complete life of [Hancock], and it, too, is superb. --The Philadelphia Inquirer
Jordan's careful attention to detail and excellent use of sources highlight a lively writing style to make a highly readable book. --America's Civil War
Jordan's study of Hancock is an important contribution to both military and political history. --Journal of Southern History
Deserve[s] a place on every Civil War bookshelf.--New York Times Book Review
[Trulock] brings her subject alive and escorts him through a brilliant career. One can easily say that the definitive work on Joshua Chamberlain has now been done.--James Robertson, Richmond Times-Dispatch
An example of history as it should be written. The author combines exhaustive research with an engaging prose style to produce a compelling narrative which will interest scholars and Civil War buffs alike.--Journal of Military History
A solid biography. . . . It does full justice to an astonishing life.--Library Journal
This remarkable biography traces the life and times of Joshua L. Chamberlain, the professor-turned-soldier who led the Twentieth Maine Regiment to glory at Gettysburg, earned a battlefield promotion to brigadier general from Ulysses S. Grant at Petersburg, and was wounded six times during the course of the Civil War. Chosen to accept the formal Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Chamberlain endeared himself to succeeding generations with his unforgettable salutation of Robert E. Lee's vanquished army. After the war, he went on to serve four terms as governor of his home state of Maine and later became president of Bowdoin College. He wrote prolifically about the war, including The Passing of the Armies, a classic account of the final campaign of the Army of the Potomac.