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Civil War & Reconstruction


Antebellum, Civil War & Reconstruction

The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant



Ulysses S. Grant never intended to make a career in the military, much less go into politics, but he ended up commanding the U.S. forces in perhaps the most important war America ever fought and then serving as its eighteenth president during a period of profound change.    Following... More


Colossal Ambitions

Confederate Planning for a Post–Civil War World


Adrian Brettle

Leading politicians, diplomats, clerics, planters, farmers, manufacturers, and merchants preached a transformative, world-historical role for the Confederacy, persuading many of their compatriots to fight not merely to retain what they had but to gain their future empire. Impervious to reality,... More


Newest Born of Nations

European Nationalist Movements and the Making of the Confederacy


Ann L. Tucker

From the earliest stirrings of southern nationalism to the defeat of the Confederacy, analysis of European nationalist movements played a critical role in how southerners thought about their new southern nation. Southerners argued that because the Confederate nation was cast in the same mold as its... More


The Worst Passions of Human Nature

White Supremacy in the Civil War North


Paul D. Escott

The American North’s commitment to preventing a southern secession rooted in slaveholding suggests a society united in its opposition to slavery and racial inequality. The reality, however, was far more complex and troubling. In his latest book, Paul Escott lays bare the contrast between progress... More


The False Cause

Fraud, Fabrication, and White Supremacy in Confederate Memory


Adam H. Domby

The Lost Cause ideology that emerged after the Civil War and flourished in the early twentieth century in essence sought to recast a struggle to perpetuate slavery as a heroic defense of the South. As Adam Domby reveals here, this was not only an insidious goal; it was founded on falsehoods. The... More


Slavery and War in the Americas

Race, Citizenship, and State Building in the United States and Brazil, 1861-1870


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 conflict... More


American Abolitionism

Its Direct Political Impact from Colonial Times into Reconstruction


Stanley Harrold

This ambitious book provides the only systematic examination of the American abolition movement’s direct impacts on antislavery politics from colonial times to the Civil War and after. As opposed to indirect methods such as propaganda, sermons, and speeches at protest meetings, Stanley Harrold... More


Gettysburg Contested

150 Years of Preserving America's Cherished Landscapes


Brian Black. With a battle narrative by Richard B. Megraw

After the American Revolution, sites representing key events in American history were crucial to the young nation's efforts to formalize its story. Following the Civil War, national history became a primary vehicle for patriotic and spiritual reconstruction, and sites such as historic battlefields... More


Becoming Lincoln



William W. Freehling

Shortlisted for the 2018 Lincoln PrizePrevious biographies of Abraham Lincoln—universally acknowledged as one of America’s greatest presidents—have typically focused on his experiences in the White House. In Becoming Lincoln, renowned historian William Freehling instead emphasizes the prewar years... More


The War Hits Home

The Civil War in Southeastern Virginia


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


Daydreams and Nightmares

A Virginia Family Faces Secession and War


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 family... More


Lincoln's Dilemma

Blair, Sumner, and the Republican Struggle over Racism and Equality in the Civil War Era


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 to the... More


Apostles of Disunion

Southern Secession Commissioners and the Causes of the Civil War


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 book... More


The First Republican Army

The Army of Virginia and the Radicalization of the Civil War


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 Matsui... More


A Saga of the New South

Race, Law, and Public Debt in Virginia


Brent Tarter

In the lead-up to the Civil War, Virginia, like other southern states, amassed a large public debt while striving to improve transportation infrastructure and stimulate economic development. A Saga of the New South delves into the largely untold story of the decades-long postwar controversies over... More


Gold and Freedom

The Political Economy of Reconstruction


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.In Gold and... More


Longstreet's Aide

The Civil War Letters of Major Thomas J Goree


Thomas W. Cutrer

One of the Confederacy's most loyal adherents and articulate advocates was Lieutenant Grant James Longstreet's aide-de-camp, Thomas Jewett Goree. Present at Longstreet's headquarters and party to the counsels of Robert E. Lee and his lieutenants, Goree wrote incisively on matters of strategy and... More


Intimate Reconstructions

Children in Postemancipation Virginia


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 Virginia... More


Designing Dixie

Tourism, Memory, and Urban Space in the New South


Reiko Hillyer

Although many white southerners chose to memorialize the Lost Cause in the aftermath of the Civil War, boosters, entrepreneurs, and architects in southern cities believed that economic development, rather than nostalgia, would foster reconciliation between North and South. In Designing Dixie, Reiko... More


A Fine Body of Men

The Orleans Light Horse, Louisiana Cavalry, 1861–1865


Donald Peter Moriarty, II

[Book description not available]


Marching Masters

Slavery, Race, and the Confederate Army during the Civil War


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 slaveholders... More


Confederate Visions

Nationalism, Symbolism, and the Imagined South in the Civil War


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: Confederate... More


Frederick Douglass

A Life in Documents


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 critic... More


Worth a Dozen Men

Women and Nursing in the Civil War South


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


Reconstructing the Campus

Higher Education and the American Civil War


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 higher... More


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