An Illustrated History of the Civil War

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9780737031621: An Illustrated History of the Civil War

Culled from the finest archival collections, this extraordinary assembly of photographs, maps, cartoons, sketches, and paintings vividly illustrates the everyday lives of soldiers during the Civil War - from harsh realities to baseball tournaments between regiments. AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR depicts cavalry, medicine, spies, special regiments, important political documents, the struggle for emancipation, and the dark road to peace. Includes more than 1,000 images, many of them never previously published.

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From the Publisher:

*Includes more than 1,000 images, many of them previously unpublished, of battles, military personalities, uniforms, arms, and other objects

*Beautifully designed and image-driven so that it is a "visual narrative"

*Extensive, informative introduction

*Includes complete battle ans skirmish chronology, plus an appendix on National Park Service Civil War sites

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 4: Sacred Cause

"Oh! Joyful and ever to be remembered day," wrote a Richmond, Virginia, girl on April 17, 1861. "Virginia has seceded from the abolition government." On that day, Virginians flew a Confederate flag over the state capitol, and throngs of Richmonders, the girl among them, ran to see it. "We stayed there in the rain," she wrote giddily, "jumping and clapping our hands." Two nights later, the heady enthusiasm built to a crescendo. The streets of Richmond teemed with Southern patriots who openly declared their delight in having left the Union. Celebrants packed Main Street from sidewalk to sidewalk. Rockets roared into the night sky, Roman candles showered sparks over the multitudes, and a torchlight parade more than a mile long wound through the city. Bands played the new national airs of the Confederacy and thousands of voices joined in song. It was impossible, wrote one participate, to mistake the reason of the crowd's euphoria. It was not mere excitement, but a sense of release, of fulfillment, and of the enjoyment of "real emotion, long cherished." Long cherished and long deferred, according to one Richmond lady: "The fact was, that long before secession, almost every woman in Richmond had in her possession a Confederate flag - ready, at any moment, to run it out from her window."

For months and even years, Americans North and South had hoped to avoid war. Though the two sides had widely different beliefs and neither was about to concede those beliefs, most had wished to see patience and tolerance win out over conflict and had been willing to compromise to preserve peace. Now, peace had flown from its cage, and the people of the divided nation vigorously rejected the spirit of compromise. Decades of rhetoric and appeasements had made them weary of words and eager for battles. Victories alone would satisfy them now. "Come what would," wrote a South Carolina woman, "I wanted them to fight and stop talking."

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