"Unlike many of his fellows, [James Newton] was knowledgeable, intuitive, and literate; like many of his fellows he was cast into the role of soldier at only eighteen years of age. He was polished enough to write drumhead and firelight letters of fine literary style. It did not take long for this farm boy turned private to discover the grand design of the conflict in which he was engaged, something which many of the officers leading the armies never did discover."--Victor Hicken, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society "When I wrote to you last I was at Madison with no prospect of leaving very soon, but I got away sooner than I expected to." So wrote James Newton upon leaving Camp Randall for Vicksburg in 1863 with the Fourteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Newton, who had been a rural schoolteacher before he joined the Union army in 1861, wrote to his parents of his experiences at Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, on the Red River, in Missouri, at Nashville, at Mobile, and as a prisoner of war. His letters, selected and edited by noted historian Stephen E. Ambrose, reveal Newton as a young man who matured in the war, rising in rank from private to lieutenant. A Wisconsin Boy in Dixie reveals Newton as a young man who grew to maturity through his Civil War experience, rising in rank from private to lieutenant. Writing soberly about the less attractive aspects of army life, Newton's comments on fraternizing with the Rebs, on officers, and on discipline are touched with a sense of humor--"a soldier's best friend," he claimed. He also became sensitive to the importance of political choices. After giving Lincoln the first vote he had ever cast, Newton wrote: "In doing so I felt that I was doing my country as much service as I have ever done on the field of battle."
Robert Nesbit’s classic single-volume history of Wisconsin was expanded by Wisconsin State Historian William F. Thompson to include the period from 1940 to the late 1980s, along with updated bibliographies and appendices. First paperback edition.
In 1943, Bell Wiley's groundbreaking book Johnny Reb launched a new area of study: the history of the common soldier in the U.S. Civil War. This anthology brings together landmark scholarship on the subject, from a 19th century account of life as a soldier to contemporary work on women who, disguised as men, joined the army. One of the only available compilations on the subject, The Civil War Soldier answers a wide range of provocative questions: What were the differences between Union and Confederate soldiers? What were soldiers' motivations for joining the army—their "will to combat"? How can we evaluate the psychological impact of military service on individual morale? Is there a basis for comparison between the experiences of Civil War soldiers and those who fought in World War II or Vietnam? How did the experiences of black soldiers in the Union army differ from those of their white comrades? And why were southern soldiers especially drawn to evangelical preaching? Offering a host of diverse perspectives on these issues, The Civil War Soldier is the perfect introduction to the topic, for the student and the Civil War enthusiast alike. Contributors: Michael Barton, Eric T. Dean, David Donald, Drew Gilpin Faust, Joseph Allen Frank, James W. Geary, Joseph T. Glaatthaar, Paddy Griffith, Earl J. Hess, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Perry D. Jamieson, Elizabeth D. Leonard, Gerald F. Linderman, Larry Logue, Pete Maslowski, Carlton McCarthy, James M. McPherson, Grady McWhiney, Reid Mitchell, George A. Reaves, Jr., James I. Robertson, Fred A. Shannon, Maris A. Vinovskis, and Bell Irvin Wiley.
The final book by Marquette University historian Frank L. Klement (1905-1994), this is a vivid chronological narrative of Wisconsin's role in the pivotal event in American history. In this volume, Klement greatly expanded his 1962 booklet on this topic, adding new material on each of Wisconsin's fifty-three infantry regiments, political and constitutional issues, soldiers voting, women and the war, and Wisconsin's black soldiers.
Chief Daniel Bread (1800-1873) played a key role in establishing the Oneida Indians’ presence in Wisconsin after their removal from New York, yet no monument commemorates his deeds as the community’s founder. Laurence M. Hauptman and L. Gordon McLester, III, redress that historical oversight, connecting Bread’s life story with the nineteenth-century history of the Oneida Nation. Bread was often criticized for his support of acculturation and missionary schools as well as for his working relationship with Indian agents; however, when the Federal-Menominee treaties slashed Oneida lands, he fought back, taking his people’s cause to Washington and confronting President Andrew Jackson. The authors challenge the long-held views about Eleazer Williams’s leadership of the Oneidas and persuasively show that Bread’s was the voice vigorously defending tribal interests.
"Ramold disputes the old argument that citizen-soldiers in the Union Army differed little from civilians. He shows how a chasm of mutual distrust grew between soldiers and civilians during four years of fighting that led many Democratic soldiers to…build the groundwork for the postwar Republican Party. Filled with gripping anecdotes, this book makes for fascinating reading." —Scott Reynolds Nelson, College of William & Mary Union soldiers left home in 1861 with expectations that the conflict would be short, the purpose of the war was clear, and public support back home was universal. As the war continued, however, Union soldiers noticed growing disparities between their own expectations and those of their families at home with growing concern and alarm. Instead of support for the war, an extensive and oft-violent anti-war movement emerged. In this first study of the gulf between Union soldiers and northern civilians, Steven J. Ramold reveals the wide array of factors that prevented the Union Army and the civilians on whose behalf they were fighting from becoming a united front during the Civil War. In Across the Divide, Ramold illustrates how the divided spheres of Civil War experience created social and political conflict far removed from the better-known battlefields of the war. Steven J. Ramold, Associate Professor of American History at Eastern Michigan University, is the author of two previous books, Slaves, Sailors, Citizens: African Americans in the Union Navy and Baring the Iron Hand: Discipline in the Union Army. He and his wife reside in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, 1861-1868
Author: Brooks D. Simpson
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Historians have traditionally drawn distinctions between Ulysses S. Grant's military and political careers. In Let Us Have Peace, Brooks Simpson questions such distinctions and offers a new understanding of this often enigmatic leader. He argues that during the 1860s Grant was both soldier and politician, for military and civil policy were inevitably intertwined during the Civil War and Reconstruction era. According to Simpson, Grant instinctively understood that war was 'politics by other means.' Moreover, he realized that civil wars presented special challenges: reconciliation, not conquest, was the Union's ultimate goal. And in peace, Grant sought to secure what had been won in war, stepping in to assume a more active role in policymaking when the intransigence of white Southerners and the obstructionist behavior of President Andrew Johnson threatened to spoil the fruits of Northern victory.
"Ranging in scope from military to social history, this book examines formal siege operations, sharpshooting, night raids in no-man's-land, the experience of Vicksburg civilians, and other military operations connected with the final phase of the long struggle for control of the great Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River"--
Like no other conflict in our history, the Civil War casts a long shadow onto modern America," writes David Eicher. In his compelling new account of that war, Eicher gives us an authoritative modern single-volume battle history that spans the war from the opening engagement at Fort Sumter to Lee's surrender at Appomattox (and even beyond, to the less well-known but conclusive surrender of Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith in Galveston, Texas, on June 2, 1865). Although there are other one-volume histories of the Civil War -- most notably James M. McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, which puts the war in its political, economic, and social context -- The Longest Night is strictly a military history. It covers hundreds of engagements on land and sea, and along rivers. The Western theater, often neglected in accounts of the Civil War, and the naval actions along the coasts and major rivers are at last given their due. Such major battles as Gettysburg, Antietam, and Chancellorsville are, of course, described in detail, but Eicher also examines lesser-known actions such as Sabine Pass, Texas, and Fort Clinch, Florida. The result is a gripping popular history that will fascinate anyone just learning about the Civil War while at the same time offering more than a few surprises for longtime students of the War Between the States. The Longest Night draws on hundreds of sources and includes numerous excerpts from letters, diaries, and reports by the soldiers who fought the war, giving readers a real sense of life -- and death -- on the battlefield. In addition to the main battle narrative, Eicher analyzes each side's evolving strategy and examines the tactics of Lee, Grant, Johnston, Sherman, and other leading figures of the war. He also discusses such militarily significant topics as prisons, railroads, shipbuilding, clandestine operations, and the expanding role of African Americans in the war. The Longest Night is a riveting, indispensable history of the war that James McPherson in the Foreword to this book calls "the most dramatic, violent, and fateful experience in American history."
The Civil War Letters of Guy C. Taylor, Thirty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers
Author: Guy C. Taylor
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Pres
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Forgotten for more than a century in an old cardboard box, these are the letters of Guy Carlton Taylor, a farmer who served in the Thirty-Sixth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the American Civil War. From March 23, 1864, to July 14, 1865, Taylor wrote 165 letters home to his wife Sarah and their son Charley. From the initial mustering and training of his regiment at Camp Randall in Wisconsin, through the siege of Petersburg in Virginia, General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, and the postwar Grand Review of the Armies parade in Washington, D.C., Taylor conveys in vivid detail his own experiences and emotions and shows himself a keen observer of all that is passing around him. While at war, he contracts measles, pneumonia, and malaria, and he writes about the hospitals, treatments, and sanitary conditions that he and his comrades endured during the war. Amidst the descriptions of soldiering, Taylor’s letters to Sarah are threaded with the concerns of a young married couple separated by war but still coping together with childrearing and financial matters. The letters show, too, Taylor’s transformation from a lonely and somewhat disgruntled infantryman to a thoughtful commentator on the greater ideals of the war. This remarkable trove of letters, which had been left in the attic of Taylor’s former home in Cashton, Wisconsin, was discovered by local historian Kevin Alderson at a household auction. Recognizing them for the treasure they are, Alderson bought the letters and, aided by his wife Patsy, painstakingly transcribed the letters and researched Taylor’s story in Wisconsin and at historical sites of the Civil War. The Aldersons’ preface and notes are augmented by an introduction by Civil War historian Kathryn Shively Meier, and the book includes photographs, maps, and illustrations related to Guy Taylor’s life and letters.
Hoy details the efforts to convince African-Americans and immigrants of the importance of cleanliness, examining the efforts of Booker T. Washington (who preached the "gospel of the toothbrush"), Jane Addams at Hull House, and Lillian Wald at the Henry Street Settlement House. Indeed, we see how cleanliness gradually shifted from a way to prevent disease to a way to assimilate, to become American. And as the book enters the modern era, we learn how advertising for soaps, mouthwashes, toothpastes, and deodorants in mass-circulation magazines showed working men and women how to cleanse themselves and become part of the increasingly sweatless, odorless, and successful middle class. Shower for success!
In this contribution to Civil War and gender history, Lorien Foote reveals that internal battles were fought against the backdrop of manhood. Clashing ideals of manliness produced myriad conflicts when educated, refined, and wealthy officers found themselves commanding a hard-drinking group of fighters.
"When General Lee entered the room at the Appomattox Courthouse, where the terms of surrender were to be signed, he was startled by the presence of a Native American, Ely S. Parker, who was General Grant's military secretary and the man who would transcribe the historic document. Parker was almost certainly the most prominent Iroquois to serve with the Union Army, but in fact there were hundreds more who were directly involved in the Civil War itself and thousands back home who were adversely affected by its course. This is their story. Despite the perennial interest in the American Civil War, historians have not examined sufficiently how Native American communities were affected by this watershed event in U.S. history. This ground-breaking book by one of the foremost Iroquois historians significantly adds to our understanding of this subject by providing the first intimate look at the Iroquois' involvement in the American Civil War and its devastating impact on Iroquois communities"--Jacket.
One of the academy’s leading legal historians, William E. Nelson is the Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. For more than four decades, Nelson has produced some of the most original and creative work on American constitutional and legal history. His prize-winning books have blazed new trails for historians with their substantive arguments and the scope and depth of Nelson’s exploration of primary sources. Nelson was the first legal scholar to use early American county court records as sources of legal and social history, and his work (on legal history in England, colonial America, and New York) has been a model for generations of legal historians. This book collects ten essays exemplifying and explaining the process of identifying and interpreting archival sources—the foundation of an array of methods of writing American legal history. The essays presented here span the full range of American history from the colonial era to the 1980s.Each historian has either identified a body of sources not previously explored or devised a new method of interrogating sources already known.The result is a kaleidoscopic examination of the historian’s task and of the research methods and interpretative strategies that characterize the rich, complex field of American constitutional and legal history.