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Sears describes the series of controversial events that define this crucial battle, including General Robert E. Lee's radical decision to divide his small army--a violation of basic military rules--sending Stonewall Jackson on his famous march around the Union army flank. Jackson's death--accidentally shot by one of his own soldiers--is one of the many fascinating stories included in this definitive account of the battle of Chancellorsville.
No one played as many major roles during the Civil War as General George B. McClellan, nor did any other figure write such candid letters about himself, his motivations, and his intentions. For Civil War buffs, this collection is a gold mine, revealing nuggets of fresh information on the military operations and political machinations, from the battle of Antietam through McClellan's 1864 race for the presidency. Perhaps most telling of all are the uninhibited letters he wrote to his wife, apparently meant as reminders to himself toward the writing of his memoirs. Surprisingly, well over half of these 813 letters and dispatches are being published for the first time. A Civil War expert and prize-winning author in his own right, Stephen Sears gives us a fine companion to his recent biography of McClellan, letting this man of many complexities speak for himself. A not-to-be-missed narrative of one of American history's most exciting dramas told by one of its chief actors.
After 150 years the Civil War is still our greatest national drama, at once heroic, tragic, and epic-our Iliad, but also our Bible, a story of sin and judgment, suffering and despair, death and resurrection in a "new birth of freedom." Drawn from letters, diaries, speeches, articles, poems, songs, military reports, legal opinions, and memoirs, The Civil War: The First Year gathers over 120 pieces by more than sixty participants to create a unique firsthand narrative of this great historical crisis. Beginning on the eve of Lincoln's election in November 1860 and ending in January 1862 with the appointment of Edwin M. Stanton as secretary of war, this volume presents writing by figures well-known-Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Mary Chesnut, Frederick Douglass, and Lincoln himself among them-and less familiar, like proslavery advocate J.D.B. DeBow, Lieutenants Charles B. Haydon of the 2nd Michigan Infantry and Henry Livermore Abbott of the 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and plantation mistresses Catherine Edmondston of North Carolina and Kate Stone of Mississippi. Together, the selections provide a powerful sense of the immediacy, uncertainty, and urgency of events as the nation was torn asunder. Includes headnotes, a chronology of events, biographical and explanatory endnotes, full-color hand-drawn endpaper maps, and an index. Companion volumes will gather writings from the second, third, and final years of the conflict.
The Library of America's ambitious four-volume series continues with this volume that traces events from January 1862 to January 1863, an unforgettable portrait of the crucial year that turned a secessionist rebellion into a war of emancipation. Including eleven never-before- published pieces, here are more than 140 messages, proclamations, newspaper stories, letters, diary entries, memoir excerpts, and poems by more than eighty participants and observers, among them Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, George B. McClellan, Robert E. Lee, Frederick Douglass, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Clara Barton, Harriet Jacobs, and George Templeton Strong, as well as soldiers Charles B. Haydon and Henry Livermore Abbott; diarists Kate Stone and Judith McGuire; and war correspondents George E. Stephens and George Smalley. The selections include vivid and haunting narratives of battles-Fort Donelson, Pea Ridge, the gunboat war on the Western rivers, Shiloh, the Seven Days, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Iuka, Corinth, Perryville, Fredericksburg, Stones River-as well as firsthand accounts of life and death in the military hospitals in Richmond and Georgetown; of the impact of war on Massachusetts towns and Louisiana plantations; of the struggles of runaway slaves and the mounting fears of slaveholders; and of the deliberations of the cabinet in Washington, as Lincoln moved toward what he would call "the central act of my administration and the great event of the nineteenth century": the revolutionary proclamation of emancipation.
Controversies and Commanders might well be the most intriguing book ever published about the Civil War, for it focuses on the people and events that one of our best historians has found most fascinating, including: Professor Lowe's reconnaissance balloons; the court-martial of Fitz John Porter; the Lost Order at Antietam; press coverage of the war; the looting of Fredericksburg; the Mud March; the roles of volunteers, conscripts, bounty jumpers, and foreign soldiers; the notorious General Dan Sickles, who shot his wife's lover outside the White House, and the much maligned Generals McClellan (justifiably) and Hooker (not so justifiably). The book follows the Army of the Potomac throughout the war, from 1861 to 1865, painting a remarkable portrait of the key incidents and personalities that influenced the course of our nation's greatest cataclysm.
Stephen Sears posits that "General McClellan's importance in shaping the course of the Union during the Civil War was matched only by that of President Lincoln and Generals Grant and Sherman." And yet the "Young Napoleon" has been relegated to the shadows by historians of that great conflict. The youngest in his class at West Point, McClellan was, by age thirty-five, commander of all the Northern armies; he fought the longest and largest campaign of the time and the single bloodiest battle in the nation's history; at thirty-seven, he was nominated for the presidency of the United States by the Democratic party but was soundly defeated by Abraham Lincoln, whom McClellan held in contempt. Believing beyond any doubt that Confederate forces were greater than his and that enemies at his back conspired to defeat him, he equally believed that he was God's chosen instrument to save the Union. Drawing entirely on primary sources, Stephen Sears has given us the first full picture of the contradictory McClellan, a man possessed by demons and delusions.
Stephen W. Sears has delivered a masterwork in Gettysburg, his single-volume history of the Civil War's greatest campaign. Drawing on original source material, from soldiers' letters to the Official Records of the war, Sears offers dramatic and informed accounts of every aspect of the campaign, from well-hewn portraits of the battle's leaders to detailed analyses of their strategies and tactics. Sears depicts General Meade's remarkable performance in his first week of army command and pinpoints General Lee's responsibility in the agonizing failure of the Confederate army. With characteristic style and insight, Sears brings the epic tale of the battle in Pennsylvania vividly to life.
In July 1883, just a few days after the twentieth anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, a group of editors at The Century Magazine engaged in a lively argument: Which Civil War battle was the bloodiest battle of them all? One claimed it was Chickamauga, another Cold Harbor. The argument inspired a brainstorm: Why not let the magazine's 125,000 readers in on the conversation by offering "a series of papers on some of the great battles of the war to be written by officers in command on both sides." The articles would be written by generals, Union and Confederate alike, who had commanded the engagements two decades earlier--"or, if he were not living," by "the person most entitled to speak for him or in his place." The pieces would present both sides of each major battle, and would be fair and free of politics. In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the most enduring entries from the classic four-volume series Battles and Leaders of the Civil War have now been edited and merged into one definitive volume. Here are the best of the immortal first-person accounts of the Civil War originally published in the pages of The Century Magazine more than a hundred years ago. Hearts Touched by Fire offers stunning accounts of the war's great battles written by the men who planned, fought, and witnessed them, from leaders such as General Ulysses S. Grant, General George McClellan, and Confederate captain Clement Sullivane to men of lesser rank. This collection also features new year-by-year introductions by esteemed historians, including James M. McPherson, Craig L. Symonds, and James I. Robertson, Jr., who cast wise modern eyes on the cataclysm that changed America and would go down as the bloodiest conflict in our nation's history. No one interested in our country's past will want to be without this collection of the most popular and influential first-person Civil War memoirs ever published.From the Hardcover edition.
The Civil War battle waged on September 17, 1862, at Antietam Creek, Maryland, was one of the bloodiest in the nation's history: in this single day, the war claimed nearly 23,000 casualties. In Landscape Turned Red, the renowned historian Stephen Sears draws on a remarkable cache of diaries, dispatches, and letters to recreate the vivid drama of Antietam as experienced not only by its leaders but also by its soldiers, both Union and Confederate. Combining brilliant military analysis with narrative history of enormous power, Landscape Turned Red is the definitive work on this climactic and bitter struggle.
A towering landmark in Civil War literature, long considered one of the great masterpieces of military history -- now available in a one-volume abridgment. Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command is the most colorful and popular of Douglas Southall Freeman's works. A sweeping narrative that presents a multiple biography against the flame-shot background of the American Civil War, it is the story of the great figures of the Army of Northern Virginia who fought under Robert E. Lee. Dr. Freeman describes the early rise and fall of General Beauregard, the developing friction between Jefferson Davis and Joseph E. Johnston, the emergence and failure of a number of military charlatans, and the triumphs of unlikely men at crucial times. He also describes the rise of the legendary "Stonewall" Jackson and traces his progress in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and into Richmond amid the acclaim of the South. The Confederacy won resounding victories throughout the war, but seldom easily or without tremendous casualties. Death was always on the heels of fame, but the men who survived -- among them Jackson, Longstreet, and Ewell -- developed as commanders and men. Lee's Lieutenants follows these men to the costly battle at Gettysburg, through the deepening twilight of the South's declining military might, and finally to the collapse of Lee's command and his formal surrender in 1865. To his unparalleled descriptions of men and operations, Dr. Freeman adds an insightful analysis of the lessons learned and their bearing upon the future military development of the nation. Accessible at last in a one-volume edition abridged by noted Civil War historian Stephen W. Sears, Lee's Lieutenants is essential reading for all Civil War buffs, students of war, and admirers of the historian's art as practiced at its very highest level.
To the Gates of Richmond charts the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, General George McClellan's grand scheme to march up the Virginia Peninsula and take the Confederate capital. For three months McClellan battled his way toward Richmond, but then Robert E. Lee took command of the Confederate forces. In seven days, Lee drove the cautious McClellan out, thereby changing the course of the war. Intelligent and well researched, To the Gates of Richmond vividly recounts one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
Main events in the Civil War of 1862.
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