For forty years, Charles Whilden lived a life noteworthy for failure. Then, in a remarkable chain of events, this aging, epileptic desk clerk from Charleston found himself plunged into the brutal battlefields of the Wilderness (May 57, 1864) and Spotsylvania Court House (May 820, 1864). In an astonishing act of bravery, he wrapped the flag around his body and led a charge that won critical ground for the Confederates, changing the course of one of the war's most significant battles.Gordon C. Rhea combines his deep knowledge of Civil War history with original sources, such as a treasure trove of letters written by Charles Whilden, to tell the story of this unusual life. Growing up in a prominent family that had fallen on hard times, Charles received a good education, and his letters reveal flashes of intelligence. But he failed at the practice of law in his home state and in his endeavors elsewhere, including copper speculation, real estate ventures, and farming. After the attack on Fort Sumter, Charles returned to Charleston to enlist in Confederate service, only to be turned down until the rebellion was on its last legs. Even then he saw only a few weeks of combat. But in that time, he discovered a bravery within himself that nothing in his former existence suggested he had.
The first major modern edition of the wartime correspondence of General William T. Sherman, this volume features more than 400 letters written between the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 and the day Sherman bade farewell to his troops in 1865. Together, they trace Sherman's rise from obscurity to become one of the Union's most famous and effective warriors.
Arranged chronologically and grouped into chapters that correspond to significant phases in Sherman's life, the letters--many of which have never before been published--reveal Sherman's thoughts on politics, military operations, slavery and emancipation, the South, and daily life in the Union army, as well as his reactions to such important figures as General Ulysses S. Grant and President Lincoln.
Lively, frank, opinionated, discerning, and occasionally extremely wrong-headed, these letters mirror the colorful personality and complex mentality of the man who wrote them. They offer the reader an invaluable glimpse of the Civil War as Sherman saw it.
No American president has enjoyed as intimate a relationship with the soldiers in his army as did the man they called "Father Abraham." In Lincoln's Men, historian William C. Davis draws on thousands of unpublished letters and diaries -- the voices of the volunteers -- to tell the hidden story of how a new and untested president became "Father" throughout both the army and the North as a whole.
How did Lincoln inspire the faith and courage of so many shattered men, as they wandered the inferno of Shiloh or were entrenched in the siege of Vicksburg? Why did soldiers visiting Washington feel free to stroll into the White House as if it were their own home? In this through and authoritative work, Davis removes layers of mythmaking to recapture the real moods and feelings of an army facing one of history's bloodiest conflicts. Lincoln's Men casts a new light on our most famous president and on America's revolution -- on our country's father and its rebirth.
Now, for the first time, an insider's look at an Air Force combat wing -- the planes, the technology, and the people . . . with Tom Clancy as your guide.
Tom Clancy's previous explorations of America's armed forces, Submarine and Armored Cav, revealed exclusive, never-before-seen information an the people and technology that protect our nation. Now, the acclaimed author of Clear and Present Danger and Debt of Honor takes to the skies with the U. S. Air Force's elite: the Fighter Wing.
With his compelling style and unerring eye for detail, Clancy captures the thrill of takeoff, the drama of the dogfight, and the relentless dangers our fighter pilots face every day of their lives . . . showing readers what it "really" means to be the best of the best.
Fighter Wing includes:
Detailed analyses of the Air Force's premier fighter planes, including the F-15 Eagle
Exclusive photographs, illustrations, and diagrams
An insider's look at the people behind the planes and weapons
Combat strategies and training techniques used by the U. S. Air Force
Infinitely readable and absorbing, Bruce Catton's The Civil War is one of the most widely read general histories of the war available in a single volume.
Introduced by the critically acclaimed Civil War historian James M. McPherson, The Civil War vividly traces one of the most moving chapters in American history, from the early division between the North and the South to the final surrender of Confederate troops. Catton's account of battles is a must-read for anyone interested in the war that divided America, carefully weaving details about the political activities of the Union and Confederate armies and diplomatic efforts overseas.
A group at the headquarters, near Fairfax Court-House, taken in June, 1863. Thoughtful and erect, the most prominent figure is Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, then a Captain on the Staff of General Meade. Handsome, chivalric, one of the bravest to the brave, his character was fitly compared to that of the good knight, the Chevalier Bayard, and like him, he was truly "sans peur et sans reproche." So noble a man, that all the heroes who have perished for the nation, his loss is the hardest to realize. The story of his short but brilliant career has been written by abler hands, and is now a "household word." Of its closing scenes, the writer narrowly escaped being a witness, having been invited to accompany the Colonel on that ill-starred expedition by which his life was sacrificed. Just recovering from the loss of his leg, and suffering acutely from any physical exertion, his active spirit could not be controlled, when the thought of his brothers in arms pining under the cruelties of Libby and Belle Isle. No ruthless raid was his, but a Christian effort to help the despairing Union Prisoners. None, who knew him, need be told how false was the document, claimed to have been found upon his person. General Meade, suspecting his inability to undergo the fatigues of an expedition in the inclement weather of February, was disinclined to give his permission, but Dahlgren, determined on his purpose, mounted his horse, and proceeding to a review of the Second Corps, rode fearlessly over the fields, and under his frank smile, so well hid all traces of bodily suffering, that the General reluctantly permitted him to depart. After the review, when he came over (for the retirement it offered) to the writer'stent, it was too evident how fearful had been the effort of his will.
For almost 100 years, analysis of the Gettysburg Campaign has been centered around a set of commonly held beliefs, among them an oversimplified view of Confederate general Robert E. Lee's goals for the battle. Author and Gettysburg National Military Park historian Troy D. Harman believes this view is misinformed. Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg presents a provocative new theory regarding Lee's true tactical objectives during this pivotal battle of the American Civil War.
Every aspect of the common sailor's life in the Union navy--from recruiting, clothing, training, shipboard routine, entertainment, and wages to diet, health, and combat experience--is addressed in this study, the first to examine the subject in rich detail. The wealth of new facts it provides allows the reader to take a fresh look at nineteenth-century social history, including issues like racial integration in the military. As he examines daily life in the Union navy, Dennis Ringle also calls attention to the enlisted sailor's enormous contributions to the development of the U.S. Navy as it moved from wood and sail to steam and iron.
A marine engineer with more than twenty years of naval experience, Ringle describes the lives of the steam engineers whose work later proved critical to the success of the ironclad monitors and the development of the powerful predreadnought warships. His focus is on the sailors assigned to the western river vessels, the ships enforcing the blockade, and those dispatched to destroy Confederate commerce raiders. To reconstruct daily life, he draws on a large number of published and unpublished diaries, journals, and letters. To put the information in context, he compares the sailor's life to that of a soldier's, including health conditions to explain why, for example, fewer sailors died from disease than soldiers.
Ringle's efforts to gain respect for the courageous Union sailors who helped save the nation are certain to bring them recognition, just as Bell Wiley's landmark studies Billy Yank and Johnny Reb did for the Civil War soldiers.