9780195115581

The Civil War A History in Documents

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780195115581

  • ISBN10:

    0195115589

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2001-02-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

The Civil War was not only a stunning event in military history; it defined the American people by forcing them to grapple with the founding principles of the nation. Rachel Seidman brings together an array of primary sources from the antebellum period, the war, and Reconstruction to provide awell-rounded account of this pivotal era. Political debates and military developments may occupy the historical foreground, but it is the letters, diary entries, memoirs, and testimony of blacks, Native Americans, women, children, farmers, and foot soldiers in the richly textured background thatbring the Civil War to life. Ex-slave Frederick Douglass's abolitionist speeches and writings contrast with Southern magazine editor James DeBow's defense of the slave system to set the political conflict in a national context. Northern traveler Caroline Seabury's heartbreaking letter about a slave auction and Southern slavemistress Ella Thomas's conflicted diary entries about her servant Isabella detail the daily brutality of slavery. Confederate general James Longstreet's report of the Battle of Gettysburg and Union general William T. Sherman's letter to the leaders of Atlanta document tactics introduced in the CivilWar, while letters between soldiers and their families record the anguish and the courage on the battlefield and at home. A picture essay entitled "Images of War" graphically demonstrates the devastation wrought by the war through photography--a new medium in the 1860s that profoundly changedAmerican attitudes about warfare. Despite the South's surrender, violence and conflict continued during Reconstruction. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, but state-sanctioned Black Codes limited African American freedoms. At the cost of some 620,000 lives, the battles had ended, but America's struggle with the legacy of slaverywas only beginning.

Author Biography


Rachel F. Seidman holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale University. She is currently President of the Melpomene Institute of Women's Health Research in Saint Paul, MN.

Table of Contents

What is a Document? 6(8)
How to Read a Document 8(2)
Introduction A Defining Moment 10(3)
One Country, Two Worlds?
13(18)
North and South Compared
14(4)
Abolitionists Speak Out
18(4)
The Slave System
22(5)
Ex-Slaves Remember
27(4)
Expanding Boundaries, Rising Tensions
31(18)
Westward Migration
32(1)
The Mexican War
33(2)
The Fugitive Slave Law
35(5)
Popular Sovereignty
40(6)
The Dred Scott Decision
46(3)
The Rail Splitter and the Splitting Country
49(20)
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
50(3)
Harpers Ferry
53(2)
Election 1860
55(2)
Secession
57(2)
Increasing Tensions
59(6)
War
65(4)
Filling the Ranks
69(22)
A Glorious Adventure
70(3)
African-American Soldiers
73(2)
The Battle of Bull Run
75(2)
Conscription
77(3)
Abuse of Black Troops
80(1)
Camp Life
81(2)
The Battlefield
83(8)
Moving Toward Revolution
91(28)
The Crittenden-Johnson Resolutions
91(5)
Slavery Must Die
96(3)
The Battle of Antietam
99(2)
The Emancipation Proclamation
101(4)
Prejudice Overturned
105(3)
The Battle of Gettysburg
108(3)
Sherman's March to the Sea
111(8)
This Sad War is a Bad Thing
119(26)
Letters Home
120(5)
Soldiers' Families Struggle
125(1)
Women Join the Workforce
126(2)
The Volunteer Effort
128(3)
Inflation
131(2)
The Peculiar Institution Falls Apart
133(9)
Lost Interest in the ``Cause''
142(1)
Assassination of Lincoln
142(3)
Picture Essay Images of War
145(10)
A Fool's Errand?
155(41)
Planning for Reconstruction
156(4)
Radical Reconstruction
160(1)
The 13th Amendment
161(1)
The Black Codes
162(5)
Ex-Slaves Build New Lives
167(3)
African Americans Enter Politics
170(6)
Black Landowners
176(4)
The Limits of Reconstruction
180(3)
Sharecropping
183(1)
A Reign of Terror
184(10)
Reconstruction Ends
194(2)
Timeline 196(2)
Further Reading 198(1)
Text Credits 199(3)
Picture Credits 202(1)
Index 203

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