By James M. McPherson
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James McPherson (Battle Cry of Freedom) attracts at the letters or diaries of approximately 1,000 Union and accomplice infantrymen in investigating what influenced those that fought the Civil warfare. the result's either a magnificent scholarly travel de strength and a hugely obtainable account of the feelings of either side of the clash.
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This diary is without doubt one of the most original produced in the course of the Civil warfare since it comprises little or no approximately army existence. Early within the battle Van Buskirk deserted his regiment, operating as a schoolmaster, farm hand, and informal laborer. He wrote of the affliction civilians continued by the hands of contending armies.
"The Diary of a Public Man," released anonymously in different installments within the North American overview in 1879, claimed to provide verbatim bills of mystery conversations with Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, and Stephen A. Douglas--among others--in the determined weeks in advance of the beginning of the Civil battle.
“Were the result of the Civil struggle worthy its large expense in lives and assets? The favorite historians during this thought-provoking quantity lay a company basis for answering the query within the affirmative. ”—James M. McPherson, writer of Abraham Lincoln “These perceptive essays remind smooth american citizens why Abraham Lincoln and the Civil conflict occupy a crucial position in our broader nationwide background.
In the course of the Civil conflict period, no different white American spoke extra powerfully opposed to slavery and for the beliefs of racial democracy than did Wendell Phillips. Nationally recognized as "abolition's golden trumpet," Phillips grew to become the North's most generally hailed public lecturer, even supposing he espoused principles such a lot considered as deeply threatening -- the abolition of slavery, equality between races and sessions, and women's rights.
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Additional info for What they fought for, 1861-1865
5 But why did these soldiers think that the "infernal rebellion" jeopardized the survival of the glorious republic? Why could they not, as Confederate War Department clerk John Jones suggested, merely return home to a northern nation and leave the South alone so that the two republics could live in peace as dual heirs of the Revolution? Because, said northern soldiers almost as if in echo of Abraham Lincoln, once admit that a state can secede at will, and republican government by majority rule would come to an end.
The answer is yeswith some qualifications. Of 374 Confederate soldiers whose letters and diaries I have read, two-thirds expressed patriotic motives. The proportion that discoursed in more depth on ideological issues such as liberty, constitutional rights, resistance Page 14 to tyranny, and so on was smaller40 percent. That does not mean that those who made no references to these matters were unmoved by them. By their nature, most personal letters or diary entries were descriptive rather than reflective, concerned with day-to-day events in the army and at homewith the weather, food, sickness, and other mundane concerns.
They "played off" (shirked) or played sick when battle impended. They seemed to melt away when bullets started flying, only to reappear the next day. Some deserted for good. Some really were sick much of the time. Others got what combat soldiers called "bombproof" jobs a safe distance behind the linesheadquarters clerk, quartermaster sergeant, wagon-train guard, teamster, hospital attendant, and the like. My sample is biased toward genuine fighting soldiers. What is the evidence for that statement?