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The Civil War: The Second Year Told By Those Who Lived It (2012)

by Stephen W. Sears (Editor)

Other authors: Henry Livermore Abbott (Contributor), Jacob Bates Abbott (Illustrator), Charles Francis Adams, Jr. (Contributor), Louisa May Alcott (Contributor), Edward Porter Alexander (Contributor)87 more, Ephraim Anderson (Contributor), John Russell Bartlett (Contributor), Clara Barton (Contributor), Edward Bates (Contributor), August Belmont (Contributor), Francis Preston Blair (Contributor), John Boston (Contributor), James Richmond Boulware (Contributor), Cyrus F. Boyd (Contributor), Braxton Bragg (Contributor), Sallie Brock (Contributor), Orville H. Browning (Contributor), Ambrose E. Burnside (Contributor), Francis B. Carpenter (Contributor), John Hampden Chamberlayne (Contributor), Salmon P. Chase (Contributor), Jefferson Davis (Contributor), Rufus R. Dawes (Contributor), George W. Dawson (Contributor), Emily Dickinson (Contributor), Frederick Douglass (Contributor), Thomas H. Dudley (Contributor), J. Price Edwards (Contributor), Ralph Waldo Emerson (Contributor), John Kennedy Farris (Contributor), Samuel W. Fiske (Contributor), Jacob G. Forman (Contributor), Ulysses S. Grant (Contributor), Henry W. Halleck (Contributor), Nathaniel Hawthorne (Contributor), John Hay (Contributor), Charles B. Haydon (Contributor), Julia Ward Howe (Contributor), David Hunter (Contributor), Pearl P. Ingalls (Contributor), Oscar L. Jackson (Contributor), Harriet Jacobs (Contributor), Clifton Johnson (Contributor), Catesby ap Roger Jones (Contributor), John B. Jones (Contributor), Orpheus C. Kerr (Contributor), Charles B. Labruzan (Contributor), Elizabeth Blair Lee (Contributor), Robert E. Lee (Contributor), Abraham Lincoln (Contributor), William Thompson Lusk (Contributor), Dabney H. Maury (Contributor), George B. McClellan (Contributor), Judith W. McGuire (Contributor), George Gordon Meade (Contributor), Herman Melville (Contributor), Mary Bedinger Mitchell (Contributor), Thomas O. Moore (Contributor), John Lothrop Motley (Contributor), Ira S. Owens (Contributor), Charles A. Page (Contributor), Henry John Temple Palmerston (Contributor), George Hamilton Perkins (Contributor), Benjamin Rush Plumly (Contributor), John Pope (Contributor), Fitz John Porter (Contributor), Sara Agnes Pryor (Contributor), Whitelaw Reid (Contributor), Henry Ropes (Contributor), Earl John Russell Russell (Contributor), Samuel Sawyer (Contributor), William T. Sherman (Contributor), George W. Smalley (Contributor), Asa D. Smith (Contributor), Lewis H. Steiner (Contributor), George E. Stephens (Contributor), Kate Stone (Contributor), George Templeton Strong (Contributor), Charles Sumner (Contributor), Richard Taylor (Contributor), David L. Thompson (Contributor), Charles S. Wainwright (Contributor), Henry Walke (Contributor), Lew Wallace (Contributor), Sam R. Watkins (Contributor), Gideon Welles (Contributor), Garland H. White (Contributor), L.A. Whitely (Contributor), Walt Whitman (Contributor), Alpheus S. Williams (Contributor), J. Montgomery Wright (Contributor), Lot D. Young (Contributor)

Series: The Civil War: Told By Those Who Lived It (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1401148,100 (4.5)4
Covers the Civil War from January 1862 to January 1863, describing the events of that year through messages, proclamations, newspaper articles, letters, diaries, and poems from people who lived through it.

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» See also 4 mentions

The second year of the Civil War saw significant changes in both the military and political aspects of the war. It became the first industrial war fought on a national level. Politically the war changed from a struggle to maintain the Union to a war fought to destroy slavery. These changes provide the background for the 148 selections in this volume.
The growth in the military activity was illustrated by two battles. In April of 1862 there were more casualties in the Battle of Shiloh than had been incurred in all of the battles involving American soldiers up to that time. In September of 1862 in the Battle of Antietam more Americans were casualties than in any battle before or since. The focus of the political changes in the war was the issuance of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862.
The selections in the book provide a wide variety of points of view concerning many different aspects of the war and how it affected many different people all across the country. I can only imagine the vast amount of documents that the editor went through to arrive at his selections. It gave me a great opportunity to play amateur historian reading through this collection of writings from the past. Each selection centered on a brief moment in time and helped give me a much better understanding of the flow of the chronology of events.
Excerpts from the book Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott was one of my favorite selections. Her selection is extremely well written describing the day to day activities of a nurse. She carried a bottle of lavender water which she used liberally to fight the combination of vile odors that filled her ward. Her descriptions of the wounded men brought to life the true horror of war. Helping with amputations she admired the courage of her patients. Her many conversations with the soldiers brought them to life as individuals.
There was humor in the war as illustrated by selections about the problems that Union military men had in New Orleans shortly after it was captured. Many of the women in New Orleans treated the men with disgust and after a chamber pot was emptied over the head of Admiral Farragut the military governor, Ben Butler, issued a general order. He declared that any woman showing disrespect to Union men in uniform "shall be treated as a woman of the town, plying her avocation and arrested". This brought on a letter from the British Prime Minister to the American Ambassador expressing his disgust over Butler's order.
A turn in the war brought on by the Emancipation Proclamation was well illustrated in several letters from members of the British Cabinet. In September of 1862 after a Union defeat they discussed offering mediation to the United States Government with a view to the recognition of the independence of the Confederacy. I was surprised that this action had been considered so seriously. In October after a Confederate defeat and the issuance of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation the Prime Minister wrote that he had a change of opinion and England would continue to be merely onlookers.
It is very unpleasant at times to read military history. But these events are part of our past and show the lives of men at their best and worst. I enjoyed the book very much and award it five stars. ( )
1 vote wildbill | Mar 15, 2014 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sears, Stephen W.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abbott, Henry LivermoreContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abbott, Jacob BatesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adams, Charles Francis, Jr.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alcott, Louisa MayContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexander, Edward PorterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson, EphraimContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartlett, John RussellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barton, ClaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bates, EdwardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Belmont, AugustContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blair, Francis PrestonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boston, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boulware, James RichmondContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyd, Cyrus F.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bragg, BraxtonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brock, SallieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Browning, Orville H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burnside, Ambrose E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carpenter, Francis B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chamberlayne, John HampdenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chase, Salmon P.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, JeffersonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dawes, Rufus R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dawson, George W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dickinson, EmilyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Douglass, FrederickContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dudley, Thomas H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Edwards, J. PriceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emerson, Ralph WaldoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Farris, John KennedyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fiske, Samuel W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Forman, Jacob G.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grant, Ulysses S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Halleck, Henry W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawthorne, NathanielContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hay, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Haydon, Charles B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Howe, Julia WardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hunter, DavidContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ingalls, Pearl P.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, Oscar L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacobs, HarrietContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Johnson, CliftonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, Catesby ap RogerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, John B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kerr, Orpheus C.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Labruzan, Charles B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, Elizabeth BlairContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lee, Robert E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lincoln, AbrahamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lusk, William ThompsonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maury, Dabney H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McClellan, George B.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McGuire, Judith W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Meade, George GordonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Melville, HermanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, Mary BedingerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, Thomas O.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Motley, John LothropContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Owens, Ira S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Page, Charles A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Palmerston, Henry John TempleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perkins, George HamiltonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Plumly, Benjamin RushContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pope, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porter, Fitz JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pryor, Sara AgnesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reid, WhitelawContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ropes, HenryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Russell, Earl John RussellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, SamuelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sherman, William T.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smalley, George W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, Asa D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Steiner, Lewis H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stephens, George E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stone, KateContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strong, George TempletonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sumner, CharlesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thompson, David L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wainwright, Charles S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walke, HenryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wallace, LewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Watkins, Sam R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Welles, GideonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
White, Garland H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitely, L.A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitman, WaltContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, Alpheus S.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wright, J. MontgomeryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Young, Lot D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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Covers the Civil War from January 1862 to January 1863, describing the events of that year through messages, proclamations, newspaper articles, letters, diaries, and poems from people who lived through it.

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