THIS HALLOWED GROUND The Story of the Union Side of the Civil War

THIS HALLOWED GROUND The Story of the Union Side of the Civil War

Language: English

Pages: 437


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

First published in 1955, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Bruce Catton's classic account of the Civil War simultaneously captures the dramatic scope and intimate experience of that epic struggle in one brilliant volume. Covering events from the prelude of the conflict to the death of Lincoln, Catton blends a gripping narrative with deep, yet unassuming, scholarship to bring the war alive on the page in an almost novelistic way. It is this gift for narrative that led contemporary critics to compare this book to War and Peace, and call it a "modern Iliad." Now over fifty years old, This Hallowed Ground remains one of the best-loved and admired general Civil War books: a perfect introduction to readers beginning their exploration of the conflict, as well as a thrilling analysis and reimagining of its events for experienced students of the war.

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his men (whom he rapidly outdistanced) guffawed and pointed and cried: “My God, Look at the captain!”6 McCook’s corps was routed, all of Rosecrans’s right wing had vanished, and now everything was up to Pap Thomas, who had his two divisions posted on high ground near a railroad crossing and a four-acre plot of dark cedars known locally as “the round forest.” Thomas was imperturbable. He got reinforcements from Crittenden’s corps (which had long since abandoned any idea of crossing the river to

from which they were in the habit of emerging at midnight, whooping and laughing, to hold a “night-shirt drill” in the town’s main street.8 At times the whole business seemed like an extended picnic. An Ohio soldier looked back, long after the war, at “those happy, golden days of camp life” and said the only worry was the fear that the war would end before the regiment had a chance to prove itself under fire. (It was a needless worry, he recalled dryly; by war’s end more than a third of the

before on the battlefield — a little common sense.” When Grant and Thomas came to the top of the ridge the men crowded about them, capering and yelling. Sherman himself was thoroughly convinced that the battle had gone exactly as Grant had planned it; to him the whole victory was simply one more testimonial to the general’s genius.10 Washington felt much the same way; but Washington also remembered that Burnside was still beleaguered in Knoxville, and when Lincoln sent a wire of congratulations

make capital for himself out of this war that cut him loose from his old moorings, a one-time friend of the South who was presently to become the most hated man in the entire Confederate legend. In Washington itself there had been uneasy moments in the days just after Fort Sumter’s surrender, when the cutting of railroad and telegraph lines through Baltimore left the capital temporarily isolated. There were hardly any soldiers in the city, and it was easy to imagine armed Virginians coming

succeeded they would break the Union army in half, Grant would have to pull his left wing back to repair the break, and the Army of Northern Virginia would have a clear road to North Carolina. They could not succeed. The forts to the right and left of Stedman held, with a sharp flurry of hand-to-hand fighting. The Confederate force that had gone on to the second line went astray and was overwhelmed by Union reserves. A Federal counterattack was launched, the men who had taken Fort Stedman found

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