After the war : the lives and images of major Civil War by David Hardin

By David Hardin

"Show me a hero and that i will write you a tragedy," stated F. Scott Fitzgerald. maybe no occasion in American historical past larger illustrates this view than the Civil conflict and its important avid gamers within the years after the clash. the price of army glory and ties to greatness may flip towards the tragic even one of the victors—like earthquake survivors stumbling into one other international, easily attempting to make a brand new existence. Their fight will be a relentless tug again towards a destroyed prior, and a disagreement with the truth of being strangers of their personal land.

David Hardin's tales of 11 such figures are revealing and touching: the explosive romance among Jefferson Davis's daughter and the grandson of a Yankee abolitionist; the fight among the irreligious William T. Sherman and his religious Catholic spouse for the soul in their risky son; the bankrupt Ulysses Grant's heroic race to accomplish his memoirs and supply for his relations whereas loss of life of melanoma. those are one of the tales and folks in After the War, which additionally comprises the Southern diarist Mary Chesnut, the luckless accomplice John Bell Hood, the occasionally Klan chief Nathan Bedford Forrest, the shopaholic Mary Lincoln, the gentlemanly Joe Johnston, the mythological Robert E. Lee, the underappreciated Union normal George Thomas, and the plucky Libbie Custer, who defended her husband most sensible recognized for his reckless catastrophe.

Whether Northerner or Southerner, their lives didn't finish at Appomattox. Their distinct results are a ceremonial dinner of irony and, jointly, a portrait of nationwide swap. With 11 black-and-white photographs.

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He had no relish for a contest. He had little knowledge of business, and the crooked ways of mankind. And when he went to the courts, he saw lawyers wrangling over petty questions of form, and he felt himself incapable of entering into any such employment. ” In time, all was forgiven between father and son. They began exchanging letters. When Tom returned from England and they met again, Sherman cried out and threw his arms about him. All was forgiven between husband and wife too. A nephew would describe the scene when Ellen was in her final illness in 1888: “The General was seated in his office when the nurse came to the head of The Conqueror’s Son : 39 Tom Sherman, probably as a seminarian.

What must Tom have talked about? For him, perhaps very little. Sherman was at his peak, bursting with impatience and self-confidence, unlike those dark days in Kentucky. He loved Dickens and the theater and was one of the great talkers of his time. ” Depew recalled that once “I was with him from ten o’clock in the morning until six in the afternoon and he talked without cessation for the whole period. . ” He also told one audience: “War is usually made by civilians bold and defiant in the beginning but when the storm comes they generally go below.

Louis, where Sherman moved his headquarters in 1874. One gets the impression of Sherman as a blustering—yet welcome—whirlwind when home, but Ellen was the daily omnipotent presence. Despite distances, however, he always kept in touch. Perhaps Tom’s entry into Georgetown quashed any military ambitions his father had for him, but Sherman didn’t yield easily. On a trip to Egypt in 1872 he wrote to Tom, now fifteen, to grouse that he was “not satisfied that Georgetown is a College with Professors skilled in teaching modern sciences that [in] spite of all opposition are remodeling the world, but your mama thinks Religion is so important that every thing else must give place to it, and now that you are big enough to think for yourself, you must direct your mind to the acquisition of one class of knowledge or the other.

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