Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Decision in the Heartland: The Civil War in the West

by Steven E. Woodworth

From the publisher:
The verdict is in: the Civil War was won in the "West"--that is, in the nation's heartland, between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. Yet, a person who follows the literature on the war might still think that it was the conflict in Virginia that ultimately decided the outcome. Each year sees the appearance of new books aimed at the popular market that simply assume that it was in the East, often at Gettysburg, that the decisive clashes of war the took place.

For decades, serious historians of the Civil War have completed one careful study after another, nearly all tending to indicate the pivotal importance of what people during the war referred to as "the West." In this fast paced overview, Woodworth presents his case for the decisiveness of the theater. Overwhelming evidence now indicates that it was battles like Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Chattanooga, and Atlanta that sealed the fate of the Confederacy-not the nearly legendary clashes at Bull Run or Chancellorsville or the mythical "high-water mark" at Gettysburg.

The western campaigns cost the Confederacy vast territories, the manufacturing center of Nashville, the financial center of New Orleans, communications hubs such as Corinth, Chattanooga, and Atlanta, along with the agricultural produce of the breadbasket of the Confederacy. They sapped the morale of Confederates and buoyed the spirits of Unionists, ultimately sealing the northern electorate's decision to return Lincoln to the presidency for a second term and thus to see the war through to final victory. Detailing the "Western" clashes that proved so significant, Woodworth contends that it was there alone that the Civil War could be--and was--decided.

STEVEN E. WOODWORTH is Professor of History at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. He received his Ph.D. in history from Rice University in 1987 and has taught at colleges in Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. He has authored, co-authored, or compiled twenty-six books, including Nothing but Victory; While God is Marching On; and Jefferson Davis and His Generals.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Escape on the Pearl: The Heroic Bid for Freedom on the Underground Railroad

by Mary Kay Ricks

From the publisher:
On the evening of April 15, 1848, seventy-seven slaves attempted one of history's most audacious escapes--and put in motion a furiously fought battle over slavery in America that would consume Congress, the streets of the capital, and the White House itself. Setting sail from Washington, D.C., on a schooner named the Pearl, the fugitives began a daring 225-mile journey to freedom in the North. Mary Kay Ricks's unforgettable chronicle brings to life the Underground Railroad's largest escape attempt, the seemingly immutable politics of slavery, and the individuals who struggled to end it. All the while, Ricks focuses her narrative on the intimate story of two young sisters who were onboard the Pearl, and sets their struggle for liberation against the powerful historical forces that would nearly tear the country apart.

After a terrifyingly calm night, the wind came up as the sun rose the next morning, and the small schooner shot off down the Potomac River. Hours later, stunned owners--including a former first lady, a shipping magnate, a former congressman, a federal marshal, and a Baptist minister--raised the alarm. Authorities quickly formed a posse that chased the fugitives down the river. But with a head start and a robust wind that filled their sails, the Pearl raced ahead--unaware that a violent squall was moving into their path and would halt their bid for freedom.

Escape on the Pearl reveals the incredible odyssey of those who were onboard, including the remarkable lives of fugitives Mary and Emily Edmonson, the two sisters at the heart of the story, who would trade servitude in elite Washington homes for slave pens in three states. Through the efforts of the sisters' father and the northern "conductor" who had helped organize the escape, an abolitionist outcry arose in the North, calling for the two girls to be rescued. Ultimately, Mary and Emily would go on to stand shoulder to shoulder with such abolitionist luminaries as Frederick Douglass and attend Oberlin College under the sponsorship of Harriet Beecher Stowe.

A story of courage and determination, Escape on the Pearl revives one of the most poignant chapters of U.S. history. The Edmonsons, the other fugitives of the Pearl, and those who helped them can now take their rightful place as American heroes.

Mary Kay Ricks has written about Washington history in numerous publications including the Washington Post. A former attorney at the Department of Labor, Ricks is the founder of Tour DC (, which features in-depth walking tours in the nation's capital. Her walks have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Southern Living, Washingtonian, and many other publications. She lives with her husband and two children outside of Washington, D.C.

28th North Carolina Infantry: A Civil War History and Roster

by Frances H. Casstevens

From the publisher:
In April 1861, public opinion in North Carolina was divided between Union and secession supporters. It was only after President Lincoln issued his call to arms to subdue the rebel state of South Carolina that North Carolina seceded, primarily in protest of the order to fight her sister state. Beginning with a look at the prevailing atmosphere in North Carolina in the spring of 1861, this volume provides an in-depth history of one Confederate infantry regiment, the 28th North Carolina, which was comprised primarily of units from the central and southwestern parts of the state. It discusses the various battles in which the 28th North Carolina was involved, including Hanover Court House, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Chapin’s Farm and Appomattox. Special emphasis is placed on the thoughts and surviving accounts provided by those soldiers who witnessed firsthand the atrocities of war. Appendices contain (among other items) a chronology of the 28th North Carolina; a list of casualties among officers; a list of casualties in the 28th from 1862 through 1864; and the full text of letters from two members of the 28th, the Harding brothers.

Retired from Wake Forest University,Frances H. Casstevens is also the author of Tales from the North and the South (2007), “Out of the Mouth of Hell” (2005), George W. Alexander and Castle Thunder (2004, softcover in 2008), Edward A. Wild and the African Brigade in the Civil War (2003), Clingman’s Brigade in the Confederacy, 1862–1865 (2002) and The Civil War and Yadkin County, North Carolina (1997, softcover in 2005). She lives in Yadkinville, North Carolina.

The 11th Alabama Volunteer Regiment in the Civil War

by Ronald G. Griffin

From the publisher:
From inception to the final roll call, this regimental history traces the 11th Regiment of Alabama Volunteers from its 1861 creation to the Confederate surrender at Appomattox. The work follows the 11th Alabama through various battles including Manassas, Fredericksburg, Salem Church and Gettysburg. Drawing on personal correspondence such as letters and diaries, it presents the soldiers as individuals and contributes to the dialogue on why the typical Southern soldier fought in the war. The geographical movement of the regiment throughout the war, its key leaders and the organization of its companies are also discussed in detail. There are 81 period photographs that add to the story of this remarkable unit.

Ronald G. Griffin lives in Theodore, Alabama.

The Ninth Vermont Infantry: A History and Roster

by Paul G. Zeller

From CWBN:
This work follows the Ninth Vermont from the horrors of its first combat and humiliating capture at Harpers Ferry in September 1862 to its triumphal march into Richmond in April 1865. Through diaries and letters written by members of the unit, one relives the riveting day-by-day account of the men as they were in battle, on the march, and in camp. With seldom seen photos of many of the regiment’s members, detailed maps, and a complete regimental roster, this book tells a compelling story.

Paul G. Zeller is also the author of The Second Vermont Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1861–1865 (2002). A retired United States Army Reserve colonel, he lives in Williamstown, Vermont.

The Seventh Rhode Island Infantry in the Civil War

by Robert Grandchamp

From the publisher:
Suffering a casualty rate of more than 80 percent by the war’s end, the Seventh Rhode Island participated in some of the fiercest battles of the Civil War. From its muster in the fall of 1862 through the death of the Seventh’s last surviving veteran in 1939, this regimental history follows the Seventh from Providence, Rhode Island, through the swamps of the Mississippi to the grueling Overland Campaign, providing a gripping historical narrative enlivened by the words of those who were actually present. Researched primarily from firsthand sources such as letters and diaries, it includes period photographs, portraits and sketches.

Robert Grandchamp is the author of numerous articles on Rhode Island’s Civil War past. A graduate student at Rhode Island College in Providence, he resides in Warwick.

Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion: Moorman's and Hart's Batteries

by Robert J. Trout, ed.

From the publisher:
Until recently, it has been difficult for anyone with an interest in the Army of Northern Virginia's horse artillery, which served under legendary cavalry commander J. E. B. Stuart, to envision what the men of the battalion endured. With the publication in 2002 of Robert Trout's seminal book, Galloping Thunder: The Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion, the endeavors of the unit were rescued from obscurity.

In Memoirs of the Stuart Horse Artillery Battalion, Trout provides readers with complete versions of three important primary documents, written by soldiers of the battalion.

Lt. Lewis T. Nunnelee's history of Moorman's Battery is based on a seven-volume diary that Nunnelee kept during the war and features near daily entries of the battery's actions. His extraordinary attention to detail offers readers an opportunity to follow the movements of the battery virtually hoofstep by hoofstep through the campaigns in which he participated.

The “History of Hart's Battery,” as told by Maj. James F. Hart, Dr. Levi C. Stephens, Louis Sherfesee, and Charles H. Schwing, is, as Trout puts it, “a cannon of a different caliber.” It recounts in broader terms the battery's history from its inception before the war to its surrender as the last horse artillery in the field. The authors offer rare glimpses into the development of tactics learned from the “school of the battlefield.”

Finally, Louis Sherfesee's “Reminiscences of A Color-Bearer” fleshes out many of the stories in the history that he co-wrote with Hart and his fellow soldiers. Filled with short vignettes, it offers a behind-the-scenes look at the battery in action.

Together, these rich documents provide welcome insights into the day-to-day experiences of the often overlooked Confederate horse artillery, which played an important role in cementing Stuart's reputation as one of the most outstanding cavalry commanders in the Civil War.

Robert J. Trout is a retired schoolteacher. He lives in Myerstown, Pennsylvania, where he taught fourth and fifth grade for thirty-three years. He is the author of They Followed the Plume: The Story of J.E.B. Stuart and His Staff and the editor of With Pen and Saber: The Letters and Diaries of J. E. B. Stuart's Staff Officers.

Abolitionist Politics and the Coming of the Civil War

by James Brewer Stewart

From the publisher:
Before the Civil War, slaveholders made themselves into the most powerful, most deeply rooted, and best organized private interest group within the United States. Not only did slavery represent the national economy's second largest capital investment, exceeded only by investment in real estate, but guarantees of its perpetuation were studded throughout the U.S. Constitution. The vast majority of white Americans, in North and South, accepted the institution, and pro-slavery presidents and congressmen consistently promoted its interests.

In Abolitionist Politics and the Coming of the Civil War, James Brewer Stewart explains how a small group of radical activists, the abolitionist movement, played a pivotal role in turning American politics against this formidable system. He examines what influence the movement had in creating the political crises that led to civil war and evaluates the extent to which a small number of zealous reformers made a truly significant political difference when demanding that their nation face up to its most excruciating moral problem.

In making these assessments, Stewart addresses a series of more specific questions: What were the abolitionists actually up against when seeking the overthrow of slavery and white supremacy? What motivated and sustained them during their long and difficult struggles? What larger historical contexts (religious, social, economic, cultural, and political) influenced their choices and determined their behavior? What roles did extraordinary leaders play in shaping the movement, and what were the contributions of abolitionism's unheralded “foot soldiers”? What factors ultimately determined, for better or worse, the abolitionists' impact on American politics and the realization of their equalitarian goals?

“Jim Stewart is one of the foremost scholars of American abolitionism and the most astute analyst of the relationship between the abolition movement and party politics. In this remarkably coherent and cohesive volume of essays, he convincingly overturns the idea that the abolitionist movement was largely a white one, as well as the notion that abolitionism was marginal to political parties and did little or nothing to bring about secession and the eventual end of slavery.” - John Stauffer, Harvard University

“Abolitionist Politics and the Coming of the Civil War is not simply a useful work that could easily be incorporated into graduate or advanced undergraduate courses on abolitionism and African American history, it is also a statement of the remarkable work and career of one abolitionism's finest modern students.” - Patrick Rael, Bowdoin College

James Brewer Stewart is James Wallace Professor of History at Macalester College and author of Holy Warriors: Abolitionists and American Slavery and other works on the history of abolitionism.

Civil War Tours of the Low Country: Beaufort, Hilton Head, and Bluffton, South Carolina

by David D'Arcy, Ben Mammina (Photographer)

From the publisher:
Take an extraordinary and unique series of walking and driving tours of beautiful towns that were once plunged into the heart of the maelstrom that was the American Civil War.

David D'Arcy leads you through struggles on Hilton Head, St. Helena, and Daufuskie islands, and the burning of Bluffton.

See pivotal sites in Beaufort, from its days at the heart of the Southern Secession Movement to Union occupation and the battle for control of the Charleston & Savannah Railroad.

Over 140 photos, both historic and modern, bring the stories to life. Useful tour maps are included, along with historical quotes from soldiers, civilians, and slaves who lived through the struggles. This book is an invaluable guide to Civil War enthusiasts and tourists alike.

Bloody Shirt: Terror after Appomattox

by Stephen Budiansky

From the publisher:
From 1866 to 1876, more than three thousand free African Americans and their white allies were killed in cold blood by terrorist organizations in the South.

Over the years this fact would not only be forgotten, but a series of exculpatory myths would arise to cover the tracks of this orchestrated campaign of atrocity and violence. Little memory would persist of the simple truth: that a well-organized and directed terrorist movement, led by ex-Confederates who refused to accept the verdict of Appomattox and the enfranchisement of the freedmen, succeeded in overthrowing the freely elected representative governments of every Southern state.

Stephen Budiansky brings to life this largely forgotten but epochal chapter of American history through the intertwining lives of five courageous men who tried to stop the violence and keep the dream of freedom and liberty alive. They include James Longstreet, the ablest general of the Confederate army, who would be vilified and ostracized for insisting that the South must accept the terms of the victor and the enfranchisement of black men; Lewis Merrill of the 7th Cavalry, who fought the Klan in South Carolina; and Prince Rivers, who escaped from slavery, fought for the Union, became a state representative and magistrate, and died performing the same menial labor he had as a slave. Using letters and diaries left by these men as well as startlingly hateful diatribes published in Southern newspapers after the war, Budiansky proves beyond a doubt that terrorism is hardly new to America.

Stephen Budiansky is a journalist and military historian whose writings frequently appear in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic Monthly. His previous books include Her Majesty's Spymaster, Air Power, and Battle of Wits. He lives in Virginia.

Budiansky brings the unpleasant details of the era alive in a smoothly written narrative. - Publishers Weekly

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Place Called Appomattox

by William Marvel

From the publisher:
To tell the story of Appomattox Court House, Marvel says, is to tell the history of the South in the Civil War - a struggle that lasted not four years but a lifetime, between the first sectional rumblings and the last gasp of reactionary rhetoric.

Marvel draws on original documents, diaries, and letters composed as the events unfolded to produce a clear and credible portrait of this place and the galvanizing events that unfolded there that is both typical and extraordinary. He depicts a village where black and white, rich and poor followed the fortunes of tobacco culture, and where - contrary to the Lost Cause image - rich and influential men managed to avoid the front if they preferred, leaving their poorer, older, and sometimes disabled neighbors to bear the battle for those who had begun it.

Marvel also scrutinizes Appomattox the national symbol, exposing many of the cherished myths surrounding the events there. In particular, he challenges the long-accepted view of the surrender, first perpetuated by Joshua Chamberlain and John B. Gordon, that enemies who had battled each other for four years suddenly laid down their arms and welcomed each other as brothers, setting aside political and philosophical differences that had fermented into hatred.

William Marvel's many books include the award-winning Andersonville: The Last Depot and The Alabama and the Kearsarge: The Sailor's Civil War. He lives in South Conway, New Hampshire.

From the critics:
Marvel's thoroughly researched and handsomely illustrated work is recommended for Civil War collections and most libraries. - Library Journal

... perhaps his best book to date - Publishers Weekly

From CWBN:
This is the first paperback edition of a hardcover book.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War

by Tom Wheeler

From the publisher:
The Civil War was the first "modern war." Because of the rapid changes in American society, Abraham Lincoln became president of a divided United States during a period of technological and social revolution. Among the many modern marvels that gave the North an advantage was the telegraph, which Lincoln used to stay connected to the forces in the field in almost real time.

No leader in history had ever possessed such a powerful tool to gain control over a fractious situation. An eager student of technology, Lincoln (the only president to hold a patent) had to learn to use the power of electronic messages. Without precedent to guide him, Lincoln began by reading the telegraph traffic among his generals. Then he used the telegraph to supplement his preferred form of communication - meetings and letters. He did not replace those face-to-face interactions. Through this experience, Lincoln crafted the best way to guide, reprimand, praise, reward, and encourage his commanders in the field.

Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails tells a big story within a small compass. By paying close attention to Lincoln's "lightning messages," we see a great leader adapt to a new medium. No reader of this work of history will be able to miss the contemporary parallels. Watching Lincoln carefully word his messages - and follow up on those words with the right actions - offers a striking example for those who spend their days tapping out notes on computers and BlackBerrys.

An elegant work of history, Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails is an instructive example of timeless leadership lessons.

From CWBN:
This is the first paperback edition of a hardcover book.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Long Pursuit: Abraham Lincoln's Thirty-Year Struggle with Stephen Douglas for the Heart and Soul of America

by Roy Morris Jr.

From the publisher:
In this compelling narrative, renowned historian Roy Morris, Jr., expertly offers a new angle on two of America's most towering politicians and the intense personal rivalry that transformed both them and the nation they sought to lead in the dark days leading up to the Civil War.

For the better part of two decades, Stephen Douglas was the most famous and controversial politician in the United States, a veritable "steam engine in britches." Abraham Lincoln was merely Douglas's most persistent rival within their adopted home state of Illinois, known mainly for his droll sense of humor, bad jokes, and slightly nutty wife.

But from the time they first set foot in the Prairie State in the early 1830s, Lincoln and Douglas were fated to be political competitors. The Long Pursuit tells the dramatic story of how these two radically different individuals rose to the top rung of American politics, and how their personal rivalry shaped and altered the future of the nation during its most convulsive era. Indeed, had it not been for Douglas, who served as Lincoln's personal goad, pace horse, and measuring stick, there would have been no Lincoln-Douglas debates in 1858, no Lincoln presidency in 1860, and perhaps no Civil War six months later. For both men—and for the nation itself—the stakes were that high.

Not merely a detailed political study, The Long Pursuit is also a compelling look at the personal side of politics on the rough-and-tumble western frontier. It shows us a more human Lincoln, a bare-knuckles politician who was not above trading on his wildly inaccurate image as a humble "rail-splitter," when he was, in fact, one of the nation's most successful railroad attorneys. And as the first extensive biographical study of Stephen Douglas in more than three decades, the book presents a long-overdue reassessment of one of the nineteenth century's more compelling and ultimately tragic figures, the one-time "Little Giant" of American politics.

Roy Morris Jr., is the editor of Military Heritage magazine and the author of four books on the Civil War and post-Civil War eras, including Fraud of the Century: Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876, which the Wall Street Journal hailed as "bravely nonconformist and greatly entertaining"; The Better Angel: Walt Whitman in the Civil War, which the New York Times praised as "a thrilling narrative told with empathy and vast learning"; and Ambrose Bierce: Alone in Bad Company, which the Washington Post called "a rousingly good life." Roy Morris lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Ezra A. Carman's Definitive Study of the Union and Confederate Armies at Antietam

by Ezra Carman, Joseph Pierro (editor)

From the publisher:
Completed in the early 1900s, The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 is still the essential source for anyone seeking understanding of the bloodiest day in all of American history. As the U.S. War Department's official expert on the Battle of Antietam, Ezra Carman corresponded with and interviewed hundreds of other veterans from both sides of the conflict to produce a comprehensive history of the campaign that dashed the Confederacy's best hope for independence and ushered in the Emancipation Proclamation.

Nearly a century after its completion, Carman's manuscript has finally made its way into print, in an edition painstakingly edited, annotated, and indexed by Joseph Pierro. The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 is a crucial document for anyone interested in delving below the surface of the military campaign that forever altered the course of American history.

"The Ezra Carman manuscript is the definitive study of that bloody September day in 1862. By editing it Joseph Pierro has done a tremendous service to the field of Civil War studies. Indeed, this work is one of the most important Civil War publications to come out in decades." - Ted Alexander, Chief Historian, Antietam National Battlefield

"Many accounts of Civil War battles were written in the decades after the war by soldiers who had participated in them. None rivals in accuracy and thoroughness Ezra Carmen's study of the battles of South Mountain and Antietam, in which he fought as colonel of the 13th New Jersey. Students of the 1862 Maryland campaign have long relied on this manuscript as a vital source; Joseph Pierro's scrupulous editorial work has now made this detailed narrative accessible to everyone. A splendid achievement." - James M. McPherson

From CWBN:
This item was originally scheduled for release on October 26 and appeared in this space on that date. January 16 is the date currently shown on Amazon, so we have re-run this item today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Rescue of Joshua Glover: A Fugitive Slave, the Constitution, and the Coming of the Civil War

by H. Robert Baker

From the publisher:
On March 11, 1854, the people of Wisconsin prevented agents of the federal government from carrying away the fugitive slave, Joshua Glover.

Assembled in mass outside the Milwaukee courthouse, they demanded that the federal officers respect his civil liberties as they would those of any other citizen of the state. When the officers refused, the crowd took matters into its own hands and rescued Joshua Glover. The federal government brought his rescuers to trial, but the Wisconsin Supreme Court intervened and took the bold step of ruling the Fugitive Slave Act unconstitutional.

The Rescue of Joshua Glover delves into the courtroom trials, political battles, and cultural equivocation precipitated by Joshua Glover's brief, but enormously important, appearance in Wisconsin on the eve of the Civil War. H. Robert Baker articulates the many ways in which this case evoked powerful emotions in antebellum America, just as the stage adaptation of Uncle Tom's Cabin was touring the country and stirring antislavery sentiments.

Terribly conflicted about race, Americans struggled mightily with a revolutionary heritage that sanctified liberty but also brooked compromise with slavery. Nevertheless, as The Rescue of Joshua Glover demonstrates, they maintained the principle that the people themselves were the last defenders of constitutional liberyt even as Glover's rescue raised troubling questions about citizenship and the place of free blacks in America.

H. Robert Baker is a visiting assistant professor in history at Marquette University.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rousing Songs and True Tales of the Civil War

by Wayne Erbsen

From the publisher:
Here are the songs and stories that made history. Includes lyrics, music, chords, song histories, trivia, humor plus 100 Civil War photographs and illustrations. 5½" x 8½", 72 pages.

"Wayne Erbsen has produced a rare piece of work-something new and fresh relating to the Civil War. Fun and fresh facts can be found on nearly every page." - Webb Garrison, Civil War Authority"

"Perfectly captures the spirit of a troubled and transforming era with vintage songs, anecdotes and just plain eye-popping tales from the American Civil War." - Midwest Book Review

All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight, Battle Cry of Freedom, Battle Hymn of the Republic, The Bonnie Blue Flag, Dixie's Land, The Faded Coat of Blue, Goober Peas, Hard Crackers Come Again No More, Home! Sweet Home!, Here's Your Mule, Just Before the Battle Mother, Lorena, Maryland, My Maryland, Marching Through Georgia, O I'm a Good Old Rebel, Tenting on the Old Camp Ground, Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!, The Vacant Chair, Weeping, Sad and Lonely, When Johnny Comes Marching Home.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this January title is unknown.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Lincoln's Legacy: Ethics and Politics

by Phillip Shaw Paludan (ed.)

From the publisher:
Understanding Lincoln's influence on twenty-first century law and politics

The four new essays in Lincoln's Legacy depict major problems that the sixteenth president navigated and what can be learned from how he did so. Along with Phillip Shaw Paludan, three other distinguished and award-winning Lincoln scholars--William Miller, Mark E. Neely Jr., and Mark Summers--describe how Abraham Lincoln contended with questions of politics, law, constitutionalism, patronage, and democracy. These focused essays include an assessment of Lincoln's virtues in the presidency; the first study on Lincoln and patronage in more than a decade; a challenge to the cliché of Lincoln the democrat; and a study of habeas corpus, Lincoln, and state courts.

On the eve of the bicentennial celebration of Lincoln's birth, Lincoln's Legacy highlights his relevance to contemporary issues of law, politics, equality, the rule of law, and political and constitutional leadership. Among the problems he encountered were corruption in government ranks, political disagreements rooted in regionalism, wartime quarrels with the judiciary and legislative branches, and disputes concerning moral obligations. Although Lincoln would be unlikely to recognize many aspects of modern America, a surprising number of issues that he faced during his tumultuous presidency still resonate in twenty-first century politics.

"Lincoln's Legacy includes essays by four renowned scholars of Lincoln and the Civil War. The essays are each outstanding in their own right and offer fresh new perspectives on Lincoln's leadership, the role of patronage and spoils, Lincoln's ideas on democracy, and the role of freedom of speech and the judiciary in the Civil War."--Ronald C. White Jr., author of The Eloquent President: A Portrait of Lincoln Through His Words

"Readers who may be wary of books about Lincoln's 'legacy,' which often feature an overdose of apologetics and adulation, will be agreeably surprised and much enlightened by these authoritative and highly readable essays."--Douglas L. Wilson, codirector of the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, and author of Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words

Philip Paludan is the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois, Springfield, and author of War and Home: The Civil War Encounter. He is also the winner of the Barondess/Lincoln Award and the Lincoln Prize.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this January title is unknown.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War

by Drew Gilpin Gilpin Faust

From the publisher:
An illuminating study of the American struggle to comprehend the meaning and practicalities of death in the face of the unprecedented carnage of the Civil War.

During the war, approximately 620,000 soldiers lost their lives. An equivalent proportion of today’s population would be six million. This Republic of Suffering explores the impact of this enormous death toll from every angle: material, political, intellectual, and spiritual.

The eminent historian Drew Gilpin Faust delineates the ways death changed not only individual lives but the life of the nation and its understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. She describes how survivors mourned and how a deeply religious culture struggled to reconcile the slaughter with its belief in a benevolent God, pondered who should die and under what circumstances, and reconceived its understanding of life after death.

Faust details the logistical challenges involved when thousands were left dead, many with their identities unknown, on the fields of places like Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg. She chronicles the efforts to identify, reclaim, preserve, and bury battlefield dead, the resulting rise of undertaking as a profession, the first widespread use of embalming, the gradual emergence of military graves registration procedures, the development of a federal system of national cemeteries for Union dead, and the creation of private cemeteries in the South that contributed to the cult of the Lost Cause. She shows, too, how the war victimized civilians through violence that extended beyond battlefields—from disease, displacement, hardships, shortages, emotional wounds, and conflictsconnected to the disintegration of slavery.

Throughout, the voices of soldiers and their families, of statesmen, generals, preachers, poets, surgeons, and nurses, of northerners and southerners, slaveholders and freedpeople, of the most exalted and the most humble are brought together to give us a vivid understanding of the Civil War’s most fundamental and widely shared reality.

Were he alive today, This Republic of Suffering would compel Walt Whitman to abandon his certainty that the “real war will never get in the books.”

Drew Gilpin Faust is president of Harvard University, where she also holds the Lincoln Professorship in History. Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study from 2001 to 2007, she came to Harvard after twenty-five years on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of five previous books, including Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War, which won the Francis Parkman Prize and the Avery Craven Prize. She and her husband live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

From Midnight to Dawn: The Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad

by Jacqueline L. Tobin

This extraordinary narrative offers a fresh perspective on the Underground Railroad as it traces the perilous journeys of fugitive ex-slaves from the United States to free black settlements in Canada.

The Underground Railroad was the passage to freedom for many slaves, but it was rife with dangers. There were dedicated conductors and safe houses, but also arduous nights in the mountains and days in threatening towns. For those who made it to Midnight (the code name given to Detroit), the Detroit River became a River Jordan--and Canada became their land of Canaan, the Promised Land where they could live freely in black settlements under the protection of British law. One of these settlements was known as Dawn.

In prose rich in detail and imagery, From Midnight to Dawn presents compelling portraits of the men and women who established the Railroad, and of the people who traveled it to find new lives in Canada. Some of the figures are well known, like Harriet Tubman and John Brown. But there are equally heroic, less familiar figures here as well, like Mary Ann Shadd, who became the first black female newspaper editor in North America, and Osborne Perry Anderson, the only black survivor of the fighting at Harpers Ferry.

From Midnight to Dawn evokes the turmoil and controversies of the time, reveals the compelling stories behind events such as Harpers Ferry and the Christian Resistance, and introduces the reader to the real-life “Uncle Tom” who influenced Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

An extraordinary examination of a part of American history that transcends national borders,From Midnight to Dawn will captivate readers with its tales of hope, courage, and a people’s determination to live equal under the law.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Go if You Think It Your Duty: A Minnesota Couple's Civil War Letters

by Andrea R. Foroughi

During the American Civil War, James Madison Bowler and Elizabeth Caleff Bowler courted, married, became parents, and bought a farm. They attended dances, talked politics, and confided their deepest fears. Because of the war, however, they experienced all of these events separately, sharing them through hundreds of letters from 1861 to 1865 while Madison served in the Third Minnesota Volunteer Regiment. The couple’s separation—which led Madison to battle in the Tennessee Surrender and the Dakota War of 1862—challenged their commitment to the war and to each other.

These poignant letters provided them a space to voice their fear for and frustration with each other, and they now provide readers with a window into one couple’s Civil War.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this January title is unknown.

Friday, January 4, 2008

John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry: A Brief History with Documents

by Jonathan Earle

From the publisher:
Despised and admired during his life and after his execution, the abolitionist John Brown polarized the nation and remains one of the most controversial figures in U.S. history. His 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, failed to inspire a slave revolt and establish a free Appalachian state but became a crucial turning point in the fight against slavery and a catalyst for the violence that ignited the Civil War.

Jonathan Earle’s volume presents Brown as neither villain nor martyr, but rather as a man whose deeply held abolitionist beliefs gradually evolved to a point where he saw violence as inevitable. Earle’s introduction and his collection of documents demonstrate the evolution of Brown’s abolitionist strategies and the symbolism his actions took on in the press, the government, and the wider culture. The featured documents include Brown’s own writings, eyewitness accounts, government reports, and articles from the popular press and from leading intellectuals. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions for consideration, a list of important figures, and a selected bibliography offer additional pedagogical support.

"Up until now there has been no easily accessible volume on the Harper’s Ferry raid. Earle’s brief history of Brown’s curious career and his well-chosen selection of primary sources should find an eager audience. Earle has done a superb job with a difficult topic." — Amy Greenberg, Pennsylvania State University

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Counter-Thrust: From the Peninsula to the Antietam

by Benjamin F. Cooling

From the publisher:
During the summer of 1862, a Confederate resurgence threatened to turn the tide of the Civil War. When the Union’s earlier multitheater thrust into the South proved to be a strategic overreach, the Confederacy saw its chance to reverse the loss of the Upper South through counteroffensives from the Chesapeake to the Mississippi. Benjamin Franklin Cooling tells this story in Counter-Thrust, recounting in harrowing detail Robert E. Lee’s flouting of his antagonist George B. McClellan’s drive to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond and describing the Confederate hero’s long-dreamt-of offensive to reclaim central and northern Virginia before crossing the Potomac.

Counter-Thrust also provides a window into the Union’s internal conflict at building a successful military leadership team during this defining period. Cooling shows us Lincoln’s administration in disarray, with relations between the president and field commander McClellan strained to the breaking point. He also shows how the fortunes of war shifted abruptly in the Union’s favor, climaxing at Antietam with the bloodiest single day in American history—and in Lincoln’s decision to announce a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Here in all its gritty detail and considerable depth is a critical moment in the unfolding of the Civil War and of American history.

Benjamin Franklin Cooling is a professor of national security studies and former Associate Dean of Academic Programs at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, DC. He is a well-known author in military, naval, and air history and specializes in Civil War history, including studies of the conflict in Tennessee and Kentucky and defending Washington, DC.