For Cause and Comrades
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|Author||: James M. McPherson|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
General John A. Wickham, commander of the famous 101st Airborne Division in the 1970s and subsequently Army Chief of Staff, once visited Antietam battlefield. Gazing at Bloody Lane where, in 1862, several Union assaults were brutally repulsed before they finally broke through, he marveled, "You couldn't get American soldiers today to make an attack like that." Why did those men risk certain death, over and over again, through countless bloody battles and four long, awful years ? Why did the conventional wisdom -- that soldiers become increasingly cynical and disillusioned as war progresses -- not hold true in the Civil War? It is to this question--why did they fight--that James McPherson, America's preeminent Civil War historian, now turns his attention. He shows that, contrary to what many scholars believe, the soldiers of the Civil War remained powerfully convinced of the ideals for which they fought throughout the conflict. Motivated by duty and honor, and often by religious faith, these men wrote frequently of their firm belief in the cause for which they fought: the principles of liberty, freedom, justice, and patriotism. Soldiers on both sides harkened back to the Founding Fathers, and the ideals of the American Revolution. They fought to defend their country, either the Union--"the best Government ever made"--or the Confederate states, where their very homes and families were under siege. And they fought to defend their honor and manhood. "I should not lik to go home with the name of a couhard," one Massachusetts private wrote, and another private from Ohio said, "My wife would sooner hear of my death than my disgrace." Even after three years of bloody battles, more than half of the Union soldiers reenlisted voluntarily. "While duty calls me here and my country demands my services I should be willing to make the sacrifice," one man wrote to his protesting parents. And another soldier said simply, "I still love my country." McPherson draws on more than 25,000 letters and nearly 250 private diaries from men on both sides. Civil War soldiers were among the most literate soldiers in history, and most of them wrote home frequently, as it was the only way for them to keep in touch with homes that many of them had left for the first time in their lives. Significantly, their letters were also uncensored by military authorities, and are uniquely frank in their criticism and detailed in their reports of marches and battles, relations between officers and men, political debates, and morale. For Cause and Comrades lets these soldiers tell their own stories in their own words to create an account that is both deeply moving and far truer than most books on war. Battle Cry of Freedom, McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times, called "history writing of the highest order." For Cause and Comrades deserves similar accolades, as McPherson's masterful prose and the soldiers' own words combine to create both an important book on an often-overlooked aspect of our bloody Civil War, and a powerfully moving account of the men who fought it.
|Author||: James M. McPherson|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press, USA|
Drawing on thousands of letters and diaries by soldiers on both sides, shows how the soldiers remained firmly committed to their ideals throughout the Civil War.
|Author||: James M. McPherson|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry--and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself--the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory. The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war--slavery--and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict. This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.
|Author||: Gabor S. Boritt|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
After the Civil War, someone asked General Pickett why the Battle of Gettysburg had been lost: Was it Lee's error in taking the offensive, the tardiness of Ewell and Early, or Longstreet's hesitation in attacking? Pickett scratched his head and replied, "I've always thought the Yankees had something to do with it." This simple fact, writes James McPherson, has escaped a generation of historians who have looked to faulty morale, population, economics, and dissent as the causes of Confederate failure. These were all factors, he writes, but the Civil War was still a war--won by the Union army through key victories at key moments. With this brilliant review of how historians have explained the Southern defeat, McPherson opens a fascinating account by several leading historians of how the Union broke the Confederate rebellion. In every chapter, the military struggle takes center stage, as the authors reveal how battlefield decisions shaped the very forces that many scholars (putting the cart before the horse) claim determined the outcome of the war. Archer Jones examines the strategy of the two sides, showing how each had to match its military planning to political necessity. Lee raided north of the Potomac with one eye on European recognition and the other on Northern public opinion--but his inevitable retreats looked like failure to the Southern public. The North, however, developed a strategy of deep raids that was extremely effective because it served a valuable political as well as military purpose, shattering Southern morale by tearing up the interior. Gary Gallagher takes a hard look at the role of generals, narrowing his focus to the crucial triumvirate of Lee, Grant, and Sherman, who towered above the others. Lee's aggressiveness may have been costly, but he well knew the political impact of his spectacular victories; Grant and Sherman, meanwhile, were the first Union generals to fully harness Northern resources and carry out coordinated campaigns. Reid Mitchell shows how the Union's advantage in numbers was enhanced by a dedication and perseverance of federal troops that was not matched by the Confederates after their home front began to collapse. And Joseph Glatthaar examines black troops, whose role is entering the realm of national myth. In 1960, there appeared a collection of essays by major historians, entitled Why the North Won the Civil War, edited by David Donald; it is now in its twenty-sixth printing, having sold well over 100,000 copies. Why the Confederacy Lost provides a parallel volume, written by today's leading authorities. Provocatively argued and engagingly written, this work reminds us that the hard-won triumph of the North was far from inevitable.
|Author||: Morten G. Ender|
American Soldiers in Iraq offers a unique snapshot of American soldiers in Iraq, analyzing their collective narratives in relation to the military sociology tradition. Grounded in a century-long tradition of sociology offering a window into the world of American soldiers, this volume serves as a voice for their experience. It provides the reader with both a generalized and a deep view into a major social institution in American society and its relative constituents-the military and soldiers-during a war. In so doing, the book gives a backstage insight into the U.S. military and into the experiences and attitudes of soldiers during their most extreme undertaking-a forward deployment in Iraq while hostilities are intense. The author triangulates qualitative and quantitative field data collected while residing with soldiers in Iraq, comparing and contrasting various groups from officers to enlisted soldiers, as well as topics such as boredom, morale, preparation for war, day-to-day life in Iraq, attitudes, women soldiers, communication with the home-front, "McDonaldization" of the force, civil-military fusion, the long-term impact of war, and, finally, the socio-demographics of fatalities. The heart of American Soldiers in Iraq captures the experiences of American soldiers deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom at the height of the conflict in a way unprecedented in the literature to date. This book will be essential reading for students of military studies, sociology, American politics and the Iraq War, as well as being of much interest to informed general readers.
|Author||: Aaron Sheehan-Dean|
Despite the massive volume of writing on the American Civil War, one of the fundamental questions about it continues to bedevil us. Why did nonslaveholders sacrifice so much to build a slave republic? Nonslaveholders' commitment was not marginal; they formed the vast majority of soldiers who fought on behalf of the Confederacy. Nor was slavery a tangential concern to the conflict; the political debate over slavery and its expansion drove the North and South to arms, and the shift to emancipation by the North ensured a desolating war. Though relatively brief in comparison to other nineteenth-century wars, the Civil War generated catastrophic losses for both sides. What facilitated the level of division and destruction witnessed in this war? In what follows, I answer this question by exploring the inspirations that compelled Confederate soldiers into the war and sustained them in the face of horrific losses. Inspirations is not too strong or romantic a word; southern white men felt moved to enlist by a host of personal, familial, communal, religious, and national obligations. Similarly, the decision to reenlist or remain in service was not undertaken lightly. Southern men drew on a variety of motivations when they considered why they needed to resist the North's efforts to recreate the Union. Understanding how those motivations developed offers insight into what leads human beings to support a war and fight in it.----Introduction
|Author||: Charles Minor Blackford|
|Editor||: U of Nebraska Press|
Charles Minor Blackford was a Virginia aristocrat who fought for the Confederacy as much out of obligation to his class and region as for political reasons. Letters from Lee's Army presents the correspondence between Captain Blackford and his wife, Susan Leigh Blackford, during the war. While Captain Blackford writes of the rigors of campaigning-the dramatically bad food, the constant dysentery, the cold and wet-we see the stoic Susan Blackford gradually relying less and less on her husband to make decisions. During the course of the war Susan Blackford lost her home, three children, and her belongings to the struggle, all without the camaraderie and sustaining sense of purpose known to the soldier. These letters emphasize the stresses that war and separation can place on a marriage. Blackford enlisted in the Second Virginia Cavalry at the outset of the war and in 1863 was posted to Longstreet's Corps. Most of his service was in northern Virginia around the Rappahannock and the Rapidan Rivers, in the Shenandoah Valley, and with Lee's army at Gettysburg. In 1864 Blackford went west with Longstreet's army to Chattanooga, and he returned with Longstreet for the war's final days. This Bison Books edition is introduced by Gordon C. Rhea, the author of The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864 and The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern.
|Author||: Philip Roessler,Harry Verhoeven|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press, USA|
In October 1996, a group of ageing Marxists and unemployed youth coalesced to revolt against Mobutu Seso Seko, president of Zaire/Congo since 1965. Backed by a Rwanda-led regional coalition that drew support from Asmara to Luanda, the rebels of the AFDL marched over 1500 kilometers inseven months to crush the dictatorship. To the Congolese rebels and their Pan-Africanist allies, the vanquishing of the Mobutu regime represented nothing short of a "second independence" for Congo and Central Africa as a whole and the dawning of a new regional order of peace and security. Within fifteen months, however, Central Africa's "liberation peace" would collapse, triggering a cataclysmic fratricide between the heroes of the war against Mobutu and igniting the deadliest conflict since World War II. This book gives an account Africa's Great War. It argues that the seeds of Africa's Great War were sown in the revolutionary struggle against Mobutu- the way the revolution came together, the way it was organized, and, paradoxically, the very way it succeeded. In particular, the book argues that the overthrow of Mobutu proved a Pyrrhic victory because the protagonists ignored the philosophy of Julius Nyerere, the father of Africa's liberation movements: they put the gun before the unglamorous but essential task of building the domestic and regional political institutions and organizational structures necessary to consolidate peace after revolution.
|Author||: Stephanie McCurry|
|Editor||: Harvard University Press|
Pulitzer Prize Finalist Winner of the Frederick Douglass Prize Winner of the Merle Curti Prize “Perhaps the highest praise one can offer McCurry’s work is to say that once we look through her eyes, it will become almost impossible to believe that we ever saw or thought otherwise.”—Drew Gilpin Faust, The New Republic The story of the Confederate States of America, the proslavery, antidemocratic nation created by white Southern slaveholders to protect their property, has been told many times in heroic and martial narratives. Now, however, Stephanie McCurry tells a very different tale of the Confederate experience. When the grandiosity of Southerners’ national ambitions met the harsh realities of wartime crises, unintended consequences ensued. Although Southern statesmen and generals had built the most powerful slave regime in the Western world, they had excluded the majority of their own people—white women and slaves—and thereby sowed the seeds of their demise. Wartime scarcity of food, labor, and soldiers tested the Confederate vision at every point and created domestic crises to match those found on the battlefields. Women and slaves became critical political actors as they contested government enlistment and tax and welfare policies, and struggled for their freedom. The attempt to repress a majority of its own population backfired on the Confederate States of America as the disenfranchised demanded to be counted and considered in the great struggle over slavery, emancipation, democracy, and nationhood. That Confederate struggle played out in a highly charged international arena. The political project of the Confederacy was tried by its own people and failed. The government was forced to become accountable to women and slaves, provoking an astounding transformation of the slaveholders’ state. Confederate Reckoning is the startling story of this epic political battle in which women and slaves helped to decide the fate of the Confederacy and the outcome of the Civil War.
|Author||: James M. McPherson|
|Editor||: UNC Press Books|
Although previously undervalued for their strategic impact because they represented only a small percentage of total forces, the Union and Confederate navies were crucial to the outcome of the Civil War. In War on the Waters, James M. McPherson has crafted an enlightening, at times harrowing, and ultimately thrilling account of the war's naval campaigns and their military leaders. McPherson recounts how the Union navy's blockade of the Confederate coast, leaky as a sieve in the war's early months, became increasingly effective as it choked off vital imports and exports. Meanwhile, the Confederate navy, dwarfed by its giant adversary, demonstrated daring and military innovation. Commerce raiders sank Union ships and drove the American merchant marine from the high seas. Southern ironclads sent several Union warships to the bottom, naval mines sank many more, and the Confederates deployed the world's first submarine to sink an enemy vessel. But in the end, it was the Union navy that won some of the war's most important strategic victories--as an essential partner to the army on the ground at Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, Mobile Bay, and Fort Fisher, and all by itself at Port Royal, Fort Henry, New Orleans, and Memphis.
|Author||: Jodi Dean|
|Editor||: Verso Books|
When people say 'comrade', they change the world Between mass participation in two world wars and mass participation in Communist parties, in the 20th century millions of people across the globe addressed each other as 'comrade'. Now, it's more common to hear talk of 'allies' on the left than it is of comrades. In Comrade, Jodi Dean insists that this shift exemplifies the key problem with the contemporary left: the substitution of political identity for a relation of political belonging that must be built, sustained, and defended. In Comrade, Dean offers a theory of the comrade as a mode of address, figure of belonging, and carrier of expectations for action. Comrades are equals on the same side of a political struggle. Voluntarily coming together in the struggle for justice, their relation is characterized by discipline, joy, courage, and enthusiasm. Considering the generic egalitarianism of the comrade in light of differences of race and gender, Dean draws from an array of historical and literary examples such as Harry Haywood, CLR James, Alexandra Kollontai, and Doris Lessing. She argues that if we are to be a Left at all, we have to be comrades.
|Author||: George Orwell|
|Editor||: Arcturus Publishing|
'Above all, there was a belief in the revolution and the future, a feeling of having suddenly emerged into an era of equality and freedom.' In late 1936, the idealistic young George Orwell set out for Spain to join the Republican Army in its battle against the fascists. There he encountered a country in chaos. From the heady promises of revolutionary Barcelona to the betrayals, logistical nightmares, and petty factional conflicts, Orwell describes the war in all its gruesome detail with his characteristic flair for language. A fascinating, deeply personal account of how a movement gave up its ideals in pursuit of a victory that never came, the Homage to Catalonia is a remarkable chronicle of the Spanish Civil War. ABOUT THE SERIES: Arcturus Essential Orwell presents George Orwell's most acclaimed fiction and non-fiction titles with striking contemporary cover-designs. These unique paperback editions are wonderful collectibles which celebrate one of the most important voices of the 20th century.
|Author||: Major William Watson|
|Editor||: Pickle Partners Publishing|
“From September 1862 until May 1865, Major William Watson served as surgeon with the 105th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, which fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and elsewhere. Over the course of three years at war, he wrote 91 letters to his family, in which he describes his own war against death and disease. This well-educated and sensitive young man has left us a variety of impressions of camp life, marches, and battles; of a soldier’s matter-of-fact willingness to accept-though not without grumbling-the rigors of his lot, of concern with the job at hand and with immediate needs like food and shelter; and of a veteran’s indifference to the flag-waving of professional patriots. In spite of his often acute criticisms of the Union’s military leadership, Watson never faltered in his belief in the Union cause and the ultimate outcome of the war nor in his dedication to Lincoln’s major goals.”-Print ed.
|Author||: Chandra Manning|
Drawing on the diaries and letters of soldiers on both sides of the conflict, a close-up look at the meaning of slavery to Union and Confederate troops reveals how Union soldiers called for emancipation long before the Emancipation Proclamation and how Confederate soldiers believed that abolition would destroy the very fabric of Southern society. Reprint.
|Author||: Earl J. Hess|
With its relentless bloodshed, devastating firepower, and large-scale battles often fought on impossible terrain, the Civil War was a terrifying experience for a volunteer army. Yet, as Earl Hess shows, Union soldiers found the wherewithal to endure such terrors for four long years and emerge victorious. A vivid reminder that the business of war is killing, Hess's study plunges us into the hellish realms of Civil War combat - a horrific experience crowded with brutalizing sights, sounds, smells, and textures. Drawing extensively upon the letters, diaries, and memoirs of Northern soldiers, Hess reveals their deepest fears and shocks, and also their sources of inner strength. By identifying recurrent themes found in these accounts, Hess constructs a multilayered view of the many ways in which these men coped with the challenges of battle. He shows how they were bolstered by belief in God and country, or simply by their sense of duty; and how they came to rely on the support of their comrades; and how they learned to muster self-control in order to persevere from one battle to the next.
|Author||: John Hill Brinton|
|Editor||: SIU Press|
John Hill Brinton (1832-1907) met, observed, and commented on practically the entire hierarchy of the Union army; serving as medical director for Ulysses S. Grant, he came into contact with Philip H. Sheridan, John C. Frémont, Henry W. Halleck, William A. Hammond, D. C. Buell, John A. Rawlins, James Birdseye McPherson, C. F. Smith, John A. McClernand, William S. Rosecrans, and his first cousin George Brinton McClellan. John Y. Simon points out in his foreword that Brinton was one of the first to write about a relatively obscure Grant early in the war: "Brinton found a quiet and unassuming man smoking a pipe--he could not yet afford cigars-- and soon recognized a commander with mysterious strength of intellect and character." Positioned perfectly to observe the luminaries of the military, Brinton also occupied a unique perspective from which to comment on the wretched state of health and medicine in the Union army and on the questionable quality of medical training he found among surgeons. With both A.B. and A.M. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and postgraduate training in Paris and Vienna at a time when most medical schools required only a grammar school education, Brinton was exceptional among Civil War doctors. He found, as John S. Haller, Jr., notes in his preface, "the quality of candidates for surgeon's appointments was meager at best." As president of the Medical Examining Board, Brinton had to lower his standards at the insistence of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Haller points out that one "self-educated candidate for an appointment as brigade surgeon explained to the board that he could do 'almost anything, from scalping an Indian, up and down.'" Brinton assigned this singular candidate to duty in Kansas "where Brinton hoped he would do the least amount of damage." Throughout the war, the dearth of qualified surgeons created problems. Brinton's memoirs reveal a remarkable Civil War surgeon, a witness to conditions in Cairo, the Battle of Belmont, and the Siege of Fort Donelson who encountered almost every Union military leader of note. Brinton wrote his memoirs for the edification of his family, not for public consumption. Yet he was, as Haller notes, a "keen observer of character." And with the exception of Brinton's acceptance of late nineteenth-century gossip favorable to his cousin General McClellan, Simon finds the memoirs "remarkable for accuracy and frankness." His portrait of Grant is vivid, and his comments on the state of medicine during the war help explain, in Haller's terms, why the "Civil War was such a medical and human tragedy."