American Heritage History of the Civil War
James M. McPherson, Bruce Catton
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Here is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Bruce Catton's unsurpassed account of the Civil War, one of the most moving chapters in American history.
Introduced by Pulitzer Prize-winner James M. McPherson, the book vividly traces the epic struggle between the Blue and Gray, from the early division between the North and South to the final surrender of Confederate troops.
actions, the state was plagued for the rest of the war by the most virulent kind of partisan warfare. But Missouri did not leave the Union, which was all that Washington cared about at the moment. Legally or otherwise, the Federal government was making the border secure. But if the Border States had been held, the gain was negative. The South seemed unworried, and it was visibly building up its strength. Richmond now was the capital, new troops were pouring in for its defense, and cadets from
freedom, were fighting off invaders. The ordinary Confederate soldier might know little and care less about the intricacies of the states’ rights argument, but he did feel that he was protecting his home against people who wanted to despoil it, and that was enough for him. By contrast, the Federal government seemed to be fighting for an abstraction. The call to make war for the Union did, indeed, arouse deep feelings of patriotism, but as the hard months passed and the casualty lists grew longer
doomed attack on the central Federal position on Cemetery Ridge. The attack almost succeeded, but “almost” was not good enough. Broken apart and staggered by enormous losses, the assaulting column fell back to the Confederate lines, and the Battle of Gettysburg was over. The Federals had lost 23,000 men, and the Confederates at least that many - which meant that Lee had lost nearly a third of his whole army. He could do nothing now but retreat. Meade followed, but his own army was too mangled,
began, and when Grant took control of the Union armies, he refused to put it in repair. The North now held more prisoners than the South, and the manpower shortage was hurting the Confederacy much more than it hurt the Union. With lucid but pitiless logic, Grant argued that to resume exchanges would simply reinforce the Confederate armies. (It would also reinforce Federal armies, but these would be reinforced anyway, and the Confederate armies would not.) Unionists in Southern prison camps,
had got any farther on his way than Washington, Thomas struck, the ice at last having melted. On December 15 and 16, the Unionists attacked Hood’s army, crushed it, and drove it south in headlong retreat. A rearguard of 5,000 men under Forrest fought a series of delaying actions, and the remnants of Hood’s command got to safety south of the Tennessee River, but the Confederacy’s great Army of Tennessee was no longer an effective fighting force. Hood was relieved from a command that had ceased to