United States History 1800-1900
For Cause and Comrades
Why Men Fought in the Civil War
Paperback ISBN: 0195124995
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? It is to this question--why did they fight--that James McPherson, America's preeminent Civil War historian, now turns his attention. He shows that, contrary to what many scholars believe, the soldiers of the Civil War remained powerfully convinced of the ideals for which they fought throughout the 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.
Beyond the Hundredth Meridian
John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
Paperback ISBN: 0140159940
In this book Wallace Stegner recounts the sucesses and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, the distinguished ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of Indian tribes of the American Southwest. A prophet without honor who had a profound understanding of the American West, Powell warned long ago of the dangers economic exploitation would pose to the West and spent a good deal of his life overcoming Washington politics in getting his message across. Only now, we may recognize just how accurate a prophet he was. "This book goes far beyond biography, into the nature and soul of the American West. It is Stegner at his best, assaying an entire era of our history, packing his pages with insights as shrewd as his prose." ?Ivan Doig
What They Fought for 1861-1865
Paperback ISBN: 0385476345
An analysis of the Civil War, drawing on letters and diaries by more than one thousand soldiers, gives voice to the personal reasons behind the war, offering insight into the ideology that shaped both sides. Reprint. PW.
The Red River Trails
Oxcart Routes Between St. Paul and the Selkirk Settlement, 1820-1870
Paperback ISBN: 0873511336
The many difficulties and occasional rewards of early travel and transportation in Minnesota are highlighted in this book, along with the state's relations with what became western Canada and insights into the development of business in Minnesota. The meeting of Indian and European cultures is vividly manifested by the mixed-blood Metis who became the mainstay of the Red River trade.
Nothing Like It in the World
The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863-1869
Hardcover ISBN: 0684846098
Chronicles the race to finish the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s and the exploits, sacrifices, triumphs, and tragedies of the individuals who made it happen.
The Way to the Western Sea
Lewis and Clark Across the Continent
Paperback ISBN: 0803280033
Critics have called David Lavender a "master storyteller" (Library Journal), his prose "virile, disciplined, yet personal" (New York Times), and his book "a balanced, learned, and lively history of an epochal human exploit" (Choice). Lavender sets the stage with a lucid account of the imperial rivalries between England, Spain, France, and the United States, and their role in Thomas Jefferson's decision to sponsor an expedition that might strengthen the young country's claims to lands it had purchased but never seen. Lavender then takes us through the steps that led to the selection of Meriwether Lewis and the Corps of Discovery's leader with William Clark as coleader. From there, the great adventure story unfolds and we follow Lewis and Clark and their company on their journey through vast, uncharted territory as they seek a transcontinental route to the Pacific. From its inception to its conclusion—a triumph made bittersweet by Lewis's suicide only a few years later—we witness the trials, the surprises, the natural wonders, and the successes large and small that the expedition met with day by day over the course of two years and thousands of miles. The result is a true classic of adventure writing and a marvel of historical storytelling.
Hardcover ISBN: 0670882348
Strips away the tall tales of legend to reveal the essence of Crazy Horse, profiling him as a brilliant and ascetic warrior-hero whose life encapsuled Native American tragedy and the end of the untamed West. 35,000 first printing.
Hidden in Plain View
A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad
Paperback ISBN: 0385497679
The authors reveal the secret codes woven by AfricanAmerican slaves into quilts they used to navigate their escape on the Underground Railroad, part of a wellorganized resistance movement that preceded the abolitionist crusade. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.
The Month That Saved America
Paperback ISBN: 0060930888
The author reveals why the last month of the American Civil War was so pivotal in preserving the Union, describing such key events as the fall of Richmond, Lee's retreat, the surrender at Appomattox, and Lincoln's assassination. Reprint.