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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


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

Previous 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, revealing how Lincoln came to be the... 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


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


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


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


The Struggle for Equality
Essays on Sectional Conflict, the Civil War, and the Long Reconstruction

Edited by Orville Vernon Burton, Jerald Podair, and Jennifer L. Weber

This collection of essays, organized around the theme of the struggle for equality in the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, also serves to honor the renowned Civil War historian James McPherson. Complete with a brief interview with the celebrated scholar, this volume... More


America on the Eve of the Civil War


edited by Edward L. Ayers and Carolyn R. Martin

"This remarkable publication provides a captivating and brilliantly executed series of conversations among seventeen most impressive historians. These participants in a daylong conference focusing on the extraordinary years leading to the Civil War provide an incredible range of historical... More


Radical Reform
Interracial Politics in Post-Emancipation North Carolina

Deborah Beckel

Radical Reform describes a remarkable chapter in the American pro-democracy movement. It portrays the largely unknown leaders of the interracial Republican Party who struggled for political, civil, and labor rights in North Carolina after the Civil War. In so doing, they paved the way for the... More


Showdown in Virginia
The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union

edited by William W. Freehling and Craig M. Simpson

In the spring of 1861, Virginians confronted destiny—their own and their nation’s. Pivotal decisions awaited about secession, the consequences of which would unfold for a hundred years and more. But few Virginians wanted to decide at all. Instead, they talked, almost interminably. The remarkable... More


Murder, Honor, and Law
Four Virginia Homicides between Reconstruction and Great Depression

Richard F. Hamm

In 1868 a scion of one of the leading families of Richmond, Virginia, ambushed and killed the city’s most controversial journalist over an article that had dishonored the killer’s family. In 1892 a Democratic politician killed a crusading Danville minister after a dispute at the polls. In 1907 a... More


Freedom's Promise
Ex-Slave Families and Citizenship in the Age of Emancipation

Elizabeth Regosin

Emancipation and the citizenship that followed conferred upon former slaves the right to create family relationships that were sanctioned, recognized, and regulated by the laws that governed the families of all American citizens. Elizabeth Regosin explores what the acquisition of this legal... More


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