James M. McPherson, author of The War That Forged a Nation: Why the Civil War Still Matters and other classic books about the Civil War, believes people are continually interested in this period of American history because it is hard to resist the larger-than-life individuals on both sides of the conflict. Find out what he’s talking about with a book from the Lititz Public Library.
Grant by Ron Chernow
Typically characterized as a chronic loser and inept businessman, Grant realized his remarkable potential in war, becoming Lincoln’s most trusted general, the strategic genius of the war effort and a two-term president.
The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America by Edward L. Ayers
The drama of the war is viewed from two counties in the Great Appalachian Valley, Augusta, Virginia and Franklin Pennsylvania, nearby communities divided by the Mason-Dixon Line.
Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery and the Civil War by Fred Kaplan
The differing experiences and viewpoints of two Presidents shaped slavery and race relations in America for more than a century.
Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee by Michael Korda
The preeminent military leader man turned down command of the Union army in 1861 because he could not fight against his family and neighbors.
Lincoln’s Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac by Stephen W. Sears
President Lincoln commanded an unruly team of generals stabilized by an unsung supporting cast of corps, division and brigade generals.
Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls’ Escape from Slavery to Union Hero by Cate Lineberry
In 1862, a twenty-three-year-old slave seized a Confederate steamer, and with his wife and two young children hidden on board, ran a gauntlet of armed fortifications and delivered the vessel to nearby Union forces.
The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan
Following a failed uprising against British rule and escape from a Tasmanian prison colony, Thomas Francis Meagher was heralded on the streets of New York and led a newly formed Irish Brigade in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War.
Heroines of Mercy Street: The Real Nurses of the Civil War by Pamela D. Toler, PhD
Among the doctors, wounded men from both sides, freed slaves, politicians, speculators and spies who passed through the Alexandria, Virginia mansion turned war-time hospital were nurses who gave their time freely and willingly to save lives and aid the wounded.
Lincoln’s Greatest Journey: Sixteen Days that Changed a Presidency, March 24-April 8, 1865 by Noah Andre Trudeau
At the invitation of General Grant, in late March 1865, Lincoln escaped the constant interruptions in the nation’s capital and traveled to City Point, Virginia, where he made peace with the past, returning to Washington with a new sense of purpose, urgency and direction.
Battle Lines: A Graphic History of the Civil War by Ari Kelman
Collaboration between a historian and a graphic novelist highlights objects, soldiers, farmers, slaves and well-known figures from the conflict, tracing events that extend from the rumblings of secession to the years of Reconstruction.
Six Encounters with Lincoln: A President Confronts Democracy and Its Demons by Elizabeth Brown Pryor
Six mostly unknown encounters Lincoln had with his constituents reveal his character and opinions in unexpected ways, illustrating his difficulties in managing a republic and creating a presidency.
Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson by S.C. Gwynne
Jackson was an early master of mobile warfare who reinvigorated the stagnant Confederate war effort in the spring of 1862 and became one of the most famous military figures in the Western World.
The State of Jones: The Small Southern County that Seceded from the Confederacy by Sally Jenkins
A Mississippi farmer led his neighbors, white and black alike, in an insurrection against the Confederacy at the height of the Civil War.
December 29, 2017