Kearny's Own: The History of the First New Jersey Brigade in the Civil War by Bradley M. GottfriedFrom the first battle at Bull Run to the surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox four years later, only one federal infantry brigade experienced the entire Civil War as a cohesive unit. While most units were composed of regiments from different states that were disbanded after three years, the First New Jersey Brigade was the enduring exception. Despite the group's remarkable coherency, it started as many military units did during the early stages of the war-a disorganized ragtag outfit that was poorly trained and ill-prepared for battle. This quickly changed, however, with the appointment of General Philip Kearny in the fall of 1861. Kearny transformed the troops, making them among the most disciplined and effective commands in the Army of the Potomac. A series of notable victories earned the soldiers an impressive reputation and, with it, thousands of others voluntarily came forward to enlist. Even when they suffered heavy losses, the New Jersey regiments fought exceptionally well and served key roles in dozens of battles, including the Peninsula, Seven Days, Second Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Early's Valley, and the Petersburg Campaigns. In Kearny's Own, Bradley M. Gottfried weaves together compelling accounts of battles fought with a wealth of letters and diaries to tell the story of this famous brigade from a uniquely personal perspective. The hopes, fears, and sorrows of the men come through vividly as accounts reveal how civilians were physically and emotionally transformed into soldiers. Primary sources also provide insight to what the war meant to the men who fought for the Union. Fourteen maps illustrate the battles and marches, while detailed appendices include statistical breakdowns of losses and outline the fates of the men whose letters and diaries are used as sources. In this first book published on the subject, Gottfried not only provides a long-overdue history of the First New Jersey Brigade, he offers a human window into the turbulent and trying experiences of war.
Call Number: New Jersey Collection E521.4 .G68 2005
Publication Date: 2005-09-09
New Jerseyans in the Civil War by William J. JacksonThe Civil War divided New Jersey just as it did the nation. As a small state sandwiched between two large and powerful neighbors, New Jersey had always enthusiastically supported the creation of a strong central government. On the other hand, many New Jersey citizens did not share the anti-slavery sentiments of the North; they supported property rights of slave owners and believed in the natural inferiority of blacks. Subsequently, when southern states began to secede from the Union to form the Confederacy, New Jerseyans were left divided and confused. William J. Jackson examines the ironies, paradoxes, and contradictions that characterized New Jersey's unique historical role in the war. This is the only book to incorporate social and political history with that of military history and strategy. Civil War aficionados and historians will also welcome Jackson's analysis of the participation of New Jersey African Americans on the home front and in the military.
A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion by Dyer, Frederick H.3 volumes: v. 1. Number and organization of the armies of the United States -- v. 2. Chronological record of the campaigns, battles, engagements, actions, combats, sieges, skirmishes, etc., in the United States, 1860 to 1865 -- v.. 3. Regimental histories.
More Damning Than Slaughter: Desertion in the Confederate Army by Mark A. WeitzMore Damning than Slaughter is the first broad study of desertion in the Confederate army. Incorporating extensive archival research with a synthesis of other secondary material, Mark A. Weitz confronts a question never fully addressed until now: did desertion hurt the Confederacy? Coupled with problems such as speculation, food and clothing shortages, conscription, taxation, and a pervasive focus on the protection of local interests, desertion started as a military problem and spilled over into the civilian world. Fostered by a military culture that treated absenteeism leniently early in the war, desertion steadily increased and by 1863 reached epidemic proportions. A Union policy that permitted Confederate deserters to swear allegiance to the Union and then return home encouraged desertion. Equally important in persuading men to desert was the direct appeal from loved ones on the home front - letters from wives begging soldiers to come home for harvests, births, and other events. By 1864 deserter bands infested some portion of every Confederate state. Preying on the civilian population, many of these bands became irregular military units that frustrated virtually every effort to subdue them. Ultimately, desertion not only depleted the Confederate army but also threatened "home" and undermined civilian morale. By examining desertion, Weitz assesses how deteriorating southern civilian morale and growing unwillingness to contribute goods and services to the war led to defeat. Mark A. Weitz is the former director of the Civil War Era Studies Program at Gettysburg College. He is the author of A Higher Duty: Desertion among Georgia Troops during the American Civil War (Nebraska 2005).
Call Number: E545 .W458 2005
Publication Date: 2005-10-01
The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat by Earl J. HessThe Civil War's single-shot, muzzle-loading musket revolutionized warfare-or so we've been told for years. Noted historian Earl J. Hess forcefully challenges that claim, offering a new, clear-eyed, and convincing assessment of the rifle musket's actual performance on the battlefield and its impact on the course of the Civil War. Many contemporaries were impressed with the new weapon's increased range of 500 yards, compared to the smoothbore musket's range of 100 yards, and assumed that the rifle was a major factor in prolonging the Civil War. Historians have also assumed that the weapon dramatically increased casualty rates, made decisive victories rare, and relegated cavalry and artillery to far lesser roles than they played in smoothbore battles. Hess presents a completely new assessment of the rifle musket, contending that its impact was much more limited than previously supposed and was confined primarily to marginal operations such as skirmishing and sniping. He argues further that its potential to alter battle line operations was virtually nullified by inadequate training, soldiers' preference for short-range firing, and the difficulty of seeing the enemy at a distance. He notes that bullets fired from the new musket followed a parabolic trajectory unlike those fired from smoothbores; at mid-range, those rifle balls flew well above the enemy, creating two killing zones between which troops could operate untouched. He also presents the most complete discussion to date of the development of skirmishing and sniping in the Civil War. Drawing upon the observations and reflections of the soldiers themselves, Hess offers the most compelling argument yet made regarding the actual use of the rifle musket and its influence on Civil War combat. Engagingly written and meticulously researched, his book will be of special interest to Civil War scholars, buffs, re-enactors, and gun enthusiasts alike.
Call Number: UD383 .H47 2008
Publication Date: 2008-09-09
Bleeding Blue and Gray: Civil War Surgery and the Evolution of American Medicine by Ira M. RutkowA landmark chronicle of Civil War medicine, Bleeding Blue and Gray is a major contribution to our understanding of America’s bloodiest conflict. Indeed, eminent surgeon and medical historian Ira M. Rutkow argues that it is impossible to grasp the harsh realities of the Civil War without an awareness of the state of American medicine at the time. At the outset of the war, the use of ether and chloroform remained crude, and they were often unavailable in the hellish conditions at the front lines. As a result, many surgical procedures were performed without anesthesia in the compromised setting of a battleground or a field hospital. This meant that “clinical concerns were often of less consequence,” writes Rutkow, “than the swiftness of the surgeon’s knife.” Also, in the 1860s, the existence of pathogenic microorganisms was still unknown–many still blamed “malodorous gasses” for deadly outbreaks of respiratory influenza. As the great Civil War surgeon William Williams Keen wrote, “we used undisinfected instruments from undisinfected plush-lined cases, and still worse, used marine sponges which had been used in prior pus cases and had been only washed in tap water.” Besides the substandard quality of wartime medical supplies and techniques, the combatants’ utter lack of preparation greatly impaired treatment. In 1861, the Union’s medical corps, mostly ill-qualified and poorly trained, even lacked an ambulance system. Fortunately, some of these difficulties were ameliorated by the work of numerous relief agencies, especially the United States Sanitary Commission, led by Frederick Law Olmsted, and tens of thousands of volunteers, among them Louisa May Alcott and Walt Whitman. From the soldiers who endured the ravages of combat to the government officials who directed the war machine, from the good Samaritans who organized aid commissions to the nurses who cared for the wounded, Bleeding Blue and Gray presents a story of suffering, politics, character, and, ultimately, healing. From the Hardcover edition.
Call Number: E621 .R88 2005
Publication Date: 2005-04-19
The Union Soldier in Battle by Earl J. HessA reminder that the buisness of war is killing, this study recounts the hellish realms of Civil War combat. Drawing upon letters, diaries and memoirs of Northern soldiers, it reveals not only their deepest fears and shocks, but also their sources of inner strengths.
Call Number: E 468.9 H58 1997
Publication Date: 1997-04-01
The Library Catalog
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The American Civil War: A Military History by John KeeganFor the past half century, John Keegan, the greatest military historian of our time, has been returning to the scenes of America's most bloody and wrenching war to ponder its lingering conundrums: the continuation of fighting for four years between such vastly mismatched sides; the dogged persistence of ill-trained, ill-equipped, and often malnourished combatants; the effective absence of decisive battles among some two to three hundred known to us by name. Now Keegan examines these and other puzzles with a peerless understanding of warfare, uncovering dimensions of the conflict that have eluded earlier historiography. While offering original and perceptive insights into psychology, ideology, demographics, and economics, Keegan reveals the war's hidden shape--a consequence of leadership, the evolution of strategic logic, and, above all, geography, the Rosetta Stone of his legendary decipherments of all great battles. The American topography, Keegan argues, presented a battle space of complexity and challenges virtually unmatched before or since. Out of a succession of mythic but chaotic engagements, he weaves an irresistible narrative illuminated with comparisons to the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, and other conflicts. The American Civil War is sure to be hailed as a definitive account of its eternally fascinating subject. From the Hardcover edition.
Call Number: E470 .K255 2009
Publication Date: 2009-10-20
The Longest Night: A Military History of the Civil War by David J. Eicher; Lee Vande Visse (Illustrator); James M. McPherson (Foreword by)"The Longest Night is strictly a military history. It covers hundreds of engagements on land and sea, and along rivers. The Western theater, often neglected in accounts of the Civil War, and the naval actions along the coasts and major rivers are at last given their due. Such major battles as Gettysburg, Antietam, and Chancellorsville are, of course, described in detail, but Eicher also examines lesser-known actions such as Sabine Pass, Texas, and Fort Clinch, Florida. The result is a gripping popular history that will fascinate anyone just learning about the Civil War while at the same time offering more than a few surprises for longtime students of the War Between the States." "The Longest Night draws on hundreds of sources and includes numerous excerpts from letters, diaries, and reports by the soldiers who fought the war, giving readers a real sense of life - and death - on the battlefield. In addition to the main battle narrative, Eicher analyzes each side's evolving strategy and examines the tactics of Lee, Grant, Johnston, Sherman, and other leading figures of the war. He also discusses such militarily significant topics as prisons, railroads, shipbuilding, clandestine operations, and the expanding role of African Americans in the war."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Call Number: E470 .E35 2001
Publication Date: 2001-09-04
Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James M. McPhersonFilled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson's fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentousepisodes that preceded the Civil War - the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry - and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself - the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson's new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in theNorth and the South, and the reasons for the Union's victory. The book's title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict: the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self-determination and self-government for which their fathers had fought in 1776, while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty. Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war - slavery - and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim. This "new birth of freedom," as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America's bloodiest conflict. This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing "second American Revolution" we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty.
Call Number: E 173 O94 v.6
Publication Date: 1988-02-25
A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861-1865 by Russell F. WeigleyA Great Civil War is a major new interpretation of the events which continue to dominate the American imagination and identity nearly 150 years after the war's end. In personal as well as historical terms, more even than the war for independence, the Civil War has been the defining experience of American democracy. A lifelong student of both strategy and tactics, Weigley also brings to his account a deep understanding of the importance of individuals from generals to captains to privates. He can put the reader on the battlefield as well as anyone who has ever written about war. All of the important engagements are covered, and he does it countless times in A Great Civil War. From Fort Sumter to the early clashes in the West and border states to the naval encounters in the East and on through the great and horrible battles whose names resound in American history--Shiloh, Corinth, Bull Run, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chickamauga, Antietam, Wilderness, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Appomattox. A brilliant narrator of battle action and historical events, Weigley is never content merely to tell a good story. Every student of war will find new insights and interpretations at the strategic and the tactical level. There are firm judgments throughout of the leaders on both sides of the conflict. A Great Civil War also analyzes the politics of both sides in relationship to battlefield situations. Weigley is unique in his ability to put all of the pieces on the board at once; the reader understands as never before how war and politics (and individuals) interacted to produce the infinitely complex story which is the Civil War. As with any major work, there are themes and subtexts, explicit and implicit: Both sides began the war with strategic and tactical concepts based on Napoleon which were already obsolete because of changes in technology--and both sides struggled throughout the war to develop new strategic and tactical procedures. The Civil War was great not only in the massiveness of the slaughter and destruction. It was, for all its horror, a war about values--democracy and the freeing of the slaves--that was worth the effort. The South, despite its powerful defense, was ultimately ambivalent about leaving the Union and gave up more easily than might have been expected. Finally, there is an intimacy, a sense of personal urgency, in Weigley's grand account. He is connected by blood as well as profession. Jacob Weigley, the author's great grandfather, visited Gettysburg soon after the battle and wrote about it to his brother Francis, who was serving with the 7th Pennsylvania Cavalry; Francis later died in a Confederate prison camp. Then and now the Weigleys live in Pennsylvania, and the war and its lessons remain part of the family's living memory, as it is also the nation's.