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A Nation Divided: Studies in the Civil War Era

This series seeks out the best new scholarship on the U.S. Civil War era, particularly works that connect the war to the major themes of the era and that integrate the social, political, economic, and cultural experiences of the period with military events.

Series Editors: Orville Vernon Burton and Elizabeth R. Varon


Daydreams and Nightmares

Brent Tarter

The decision of the eventual Confederate states to secede from the Union set in motion perhaps the most dramatic chapter in American history, and one that has typically been told on a grand scale. In Daydreams and Nightmares, however, historian Brent Tarter shares the story of one Virginia... More


Lincoln's Dilemma

Paul D. Escott

The Civil War forced America finally to confront the contradiction between its founding values and human slavery. At the center of this historic confrontation was Abraham Lincoln. By the time this Illinois politician had risen to the office of president, the dilemma of slavery had expanded... More


Apostles of Disunion

Charles Dew

Charles Dew’s Apostles of Disunion has established itself as a modern classic and an indispensable account of the Southern states’ secession from the Union. Addressing topics still hotly debated among historians and the public at large more than a century and a half after the Civil War, the... More


The First Republican Army

John H. Matsui

Although much is known about the political stance of the military at large during the Civil War, the political party affiliations of individual soldiers have received little attention. Drawing on archival sources from twenty-five generals and 250 volunteer officers and enlisted men, John... More


War upon Our Border

Stephen I. Rockenbach

War upon Our Border examines the experiences of two Ohio River Valley communities during the turmoil and social upheaval of the American Civil War. Although on opposite sides of the border between slavery and freedom, Corydon, Indiana, and Frankfort, Kentucky, shared a legacy of white... More


Gold and Freedom

Nicolas Barreyre. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer

Historians have long treated Reconstruction primarily as a southern concern isolated from broader national political developments. Yet at its core, Reconstruction was a battle for the legacy of the Civil War that would determine the political fate not only of the South but of the nation... More


Intimate Reconstructions

Catherine A. Jones

In Intimate Reconstructions, Catherine Jones considers how children shaped, and were shaped by, Virginia’s Reconstruction. Jones argues that questions of how to define, treat, reform, or protect children were never far from the surface of public debate and private concern in post–Civil War... More


Slavery and War in the Americas

Vitor Izecksohn

In this pathbreaking new work, Vitor Izecksohn attempts to shed new light on the American Civil War by comparing it to a strikingly similar campaign in South America--the War of the Triple Alliance of 1864-70, which galvanized four countries and became the longest large-scale international... More


Marching Masters

Colin Edward Woodward

The Confederate army went to war to defend a nation of slaveholding states, and although men rushed to recruiting stations for many reasons, they understood that the fundamental political issue at stake in the conflict was the future of slavery. Most Confederate soldiers were not... More


Confederate Visions

Ian Binnington

Nationalism in nineteenth-century America operated through a collection of symbols, signifiers citizens could invest with meaning and understanding. In Confederate Visions, Ian Binnington examines the roots of Confederate nationalism by analyzing some of its most important symbols:... More


Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass. Edited by L. Diane Barnes

Frederick Douglass was born enslaved in February 1818, but from this most humble of beginnings, he rose to become a world-famous orator, newspaper editor, and champion of the rights of women and African Americans. He not only survived slavery to live in freedom but also became an outspoken... More


Worth a Dozen Men

Libra R. Hilde

In antebellum society, women were regarded as ideal nurses because of their sympathetic natures. However, they were expected to exercise their talents only in the home; nursing strange men in hospitals was considered inappropriate, if not indecent. Nevertheless, in defiance of tradition,... More


A Separate Civil War

Jonathan Dean Sarris

Most Americans think of the Civil War as a series of dramatic clashes between massive armies led by romantic-seeming leaders. But in the Appalachian communities of North Georgia, things were very different. Focusing on Fannin and Lumpkin counties in the Blue Ridge Mountains along Georgia’s... More


Reconstructing the Campus

Michael David Cohen

The Civil War transformed American life. Not only did thousands of men die on battlefields and millions of slaves become free; cultural institutions reshaped themselves in the context of the war and its aftermath. The first book to examine the Civil War’s immediate and long-term impact on... More


Civil War Talks

George S. Bernard. Edited by Hampton Newsome, John Horn, and John G. Selby

George S. Bernard was a Petersburg lawyer and member of the 12th Virginia Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Over the course of his life, Bernard wrote extensively about his wartime experiences and collected accounts from other veterans. In 1892, he published War Talks of Confederate... More


The Enemy Within

Michael Thomas Smith

Stoked by a series of major scandals, popular fears of corruption in the Civil War North provide a unique window into Northern culture in the Civil War era. In The Enemy Within, Michael Thomas Smith relates these scandals—including those involving John C. Frémont’s administration in Missouri... More


The Big House after Slavery

Amy Feely Morsman

The Big House after Slavery examines the economic, social, and political challenges that Virginia planter families faced following Confederate defeat and emancipation. Amy Feely Morsman addresses how men and women of the planter class responded to postwar problems and how their adaptations... More


Take Care of the Living

Jeffrey W. McClurken

Take Care of the Living assesses the short- and long-term impact of the war on Confederate veteran families of all classes in Pittsylvania County and Danville, Virginia. Using letters, diaries, church minutes, and military and state records, as well as close analysis of the entire 1860 and... More


Civil War Petersburg

A. Wilson Greene

Few wartime cities in Virginia held more importance than Petersburg. Nonetheless, the city has, until now, lacked an adequate military history, let alone a history of the civilian home front. The noted Civil War historian A. Wilson Greene now provides an expertly researched, eloquently... More


Lincoln's Tragic Admiral

Kevin J. Weddle

Once revered as one of the finest officers in the U.S. Navy, Rear Admiral Samuel Francis Du Pont is now, when remembered at all, criticized for resisting technological advancement and for half-heartedly leading the disastrous all-ironclad Union naval attack on Charleston. Although his... More


The War Hits Home

Brian Steel Wills

In 1863 Confederate forces under Lieutenant General James Longstreet, while scouring Southside Virginia for badly needed supplies, threatened the Union garrison in Suffolk. For the residents of surrounding Nansemond, Isle of Wight, and Southampton Counties, the Suffolk campaign followed an... More


Ashe County's Civil War

Martin Crawford

Distinguished from traditional historical narrative by its balanced portrayal of wartime experiences both at home and on the battlefield and flavored by its vivid portrayal of a divided Appalachian community, Ashe County's Civil War: Community and Society in the Appalachian South breaks new... More


Exile in Richmond

Michael Bedout Chesson and Leslie Jean Roberts, eds.

Expelled from occupied New Orleans by Federal forces after refusing to pledge loyalty to the Union, Henri Garidel remained in exile from his home and family from 1863 to 1865. Lonely, homesick, and alienated, the French-Catholic Garidel, a clerk in the Confederate Bureau of Ordnance, was a... More


Southern Rights

Mark E. Neely, Jr.

On the day Fort Sumter surrendered to Confederate authorities, General Braxton Bragg reacted to a newspaper report that might have revealed the position of gun emplacements by placing the correspondent, a Southern loyalist, under arrest. Thus the Confederate army's first detention of a... More


Lee's Young Artillerist

Peter S. Carmichael

William R. J. Pegram forged a record as one of the most prominent artillerists in the Army of Northern Virginia. He participated in every major battle in Virginia and rose form sergeant to full colonel by the end of the war. Neither zealot nor fanatic, Pegram shared the values of the South's... More


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