Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Civil War (The Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series)

by Paul A. Cimbala

From the publisher:
From the initial enlistment and recruitment of men for the opposing armies, through their demobilization during the spring, summer, and fall of 1865, Paul A. Cimbala always places the soldier at the center of the story. This book shows how the men who signed up with the Union and the Confederacy fought their way through the bloody U.S. fields, how they adjusted to peace (often badly wounded and scarred), and how they remembered their experiences.

How did they cope with wounds and disease in the 1860s? What was the role of black soldiers on both the Union and Confederate sides? In wartime politics, why and how did soldiers continue to participate in the electoral process and what did they think about their politicians? Relying on his primary research on such topics as invalid soldiers and postwar experiences, Cimbala presents a vivid picture of the Civil War soldier's life. Highlights include: Motivations for men to enlist, and why blacks and other ethnic groups joined up.
- The mental and physical consequences to soldier survivors
- Drug and alcohol addiction in the Civil War
- Women's contributions on both sides of the war
- Daily life in the camp: letter writing; crazes to newspapers, camp followers and sex
- Prisoners' and guards' lives
- The Freedmen's Bureau
- Veterans, including black veterans, and organizations, including the Ku Klux Klan

The book also includes a timeline to put dates and events in better perspective; a comprehensive, topically arranged bibliography of primary and secondary sources; and a comprehensive index.

PAUL A. CIMBALA is Professor of History, Fordham University, and author of a number of books, including Under the Guardianship of the Nation: The Freedmen's Bureau and the Reconstruction of Georgia, 1865-1870; An Uncommon Time: The Civil War and the Northern Home Front (with Randall M. Miller); and Historians and Race: Autobiography and the Writing of History (with Robert F. Himmelberg).