The New York Times: Disunion: Modern Historians Revisit and Reconsider the Civil War from Lincoln's Election to the Emancipation Proclamation

The New York Times: Disunion: Modern Historians Revisit and Reconsider the Civil War from Lincoln's Election to the Emancipation Proclamation

Ted Widmer, Clay Risen, George Kalogerakis

Language: English

Pages: 451

ISBN: 2:00158667

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A major new collection of modern commentary— from scholars, historians, and Civil War buffs—on the significant events of the Civil War, culled from The New York Times' popular Disunion on-line journal

Since its debut on November 6, 2010, Disunion, The New York Times' acclaimed journal about the Civil War, has published hundreds of original articles and won multiple awards, including "Best History Website" from the New Media Institute and the History News Network. Following the chronology of the secession crisis and the Civil War, the contributors to Disunion, who include modern scholars, journalists, historians, and Civil War buffs, offer ongoing daily commentary and assessment of the Civil War as it unfolded.

Now, for the first time, this fascinating and historically significant commentary has been gathered together and organized in one volume. In The New York Times: Disunion, historian Ted Widmer, has selected more than 100 articles that cover events beginning with Lincoln's presidential victory through the Emancipation Proclamation. Topics include everything from Walt Whitman's wartime diary to the bloody guerrilla campaigns in Missouri and Kansas. Esteemed contributors include William Freehling, Adam Goodheart, and Edward Ayers, among others.

The book also compiles new essays that have not been published on the Disunion site by contributors and well-known historians such as David Blight, Gary Gallagher, and Drew Gilpin Faust. Topics include the perspective of African-American slaves and freed men on the war, the secession crisis in the Upper South, the war in the West (that is, past the Appalachians), the war in Texas, the international context, and Civil War–era cartography. Portraits, contemporary etchings, and detailed maps round out the book.

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had fought heroic wars in Mexico, Sherman stewed in California, where most of his troops deserted his unit for the lures of the gold fields. Later, out of the Army, although backed by the powerful political forces of his family and wealthy supporters in St. Louis, his bank failed in San Francisco in the Panic of 1857. Subsequently, he bounced forlornly around Kansas and Ohio, achieving little worldly success. When the war began, Sherman resigned his recently assumed presidency of the Louisiana

15, 1861, Army Capt. Montgomery C. Meigs, the engineer in charge of the project, ordered construction suspended for the duration of the war. For the rest of the year, marble porticoes for the new Senate and House sat unfinished, and most of the new one-piece marble columns that were to girdle the new construction had not arrived. Terraces and steps still needed to be added in several locations. There was too much else to do, too many other places to spend money and too many terrible things to

Tennessee. But if the war was truly to be a fight to complete surrender, as that summer’s battles implied, then many in the North began to feel it had to be about something more than mere reunification. The cost in blood had to buy much more. The end of slavery, long imagined, was suddenly a realistic possibility. Ironically, the Southern show of strength that summer, by steeling Union resolve for a long and total fight, made the end of the slave power more, not less, likely. Much depended on

headway,” declared one newspaper with satisfaction. Another hailed an effort by New York State Democrats to present themselves under a new label as an “anti-politician” movement. In some places these Union parties were little more than the old Republican organization in new garb. But often they were more than that. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, an important faction of Democrats joined Republicans in creating a Union party, and some prominent Democratic leaders abandoned their old party decisively.

rolled, glued, and smoothed to the external form and gloss of cloth.” One writer for The New York Tribune painted an equally graphic picture: “Shoddy” was, he wrote, poor sleezy stuff, woven open enough for seives [sic], and then filled with shearman’s dust. Soldiers, on the first day’s march or in the earliest storm, found their clothes, overcoats, and blanket, scattering to the wind in rags or dissolving into their primitive elements of dust under the pelting rain. The same story played out

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