A People at War: Civilians and Soldiers in America's Civil War
Claiming more than 600,000 lives, the American Civil War had a devastating impact on countless numbers of common soldiers and civilians, even as it brought freedom to millions. This book shows how average Americans coped with despair as well as hope during this vast upheaval. A People at War brings to life the full humanity of the war's participants, from women behind their plows to their husbands in army camps; from refugees from slavery to their former masters; from Mayflower descendants to freshly recruited Irish sailors. We discover how people confronted their own feelings about the war itself, and how they coped with emotional challenges (uncertainty, exhaustion, fear, guilt, betrayal, grief) as well as physical ones (displacement, poverty, illness, disfigurement). The book explores the violence beyond the battlefield, illuminating the sharp-edged conflicts of neighbor against neighbor, whether in guerilla warfare or urban riots. The authors travel as far west as China and as far east as Europe, taking us inside soldiers' tents, prisoner-of-war camps, plantations, tenements, churches, Indian reservations, and even the cargo holds of ships. They stress the war years, but also cast an eye at the tumultuous decades that preceded and followed the battlefield confrontations. An engrossing account of ordinary people caught up in life-shattering circumstances, A People at War captures how the Civil War rocked the lives of rich and poor, black and white, parents and children--and how all these Americans pushed generals and presidents to make the conflict a people's war.
What people are saying - Write a review
A people at war: civilians and soldiers in America's Civil War, 1854-1877User Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
In a crowded field of books on the Civil War era, Nelson (Steel Drivin' Man ) and Sheriff (The Artificial River: The Erie Canal and the Paradox of Progress, 1817-1862 ), historians at the College of ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
abolitionism abolitionists African American American Civil American Civil War April arms battle became black soldiers British called camp cities citizens Civil War Documentary civilians Colin Clarke Confederacy Confederate army Confederate soldiers Congress cotton Court death declared Democrats deserters draft Drew Gilpin Faust election emancipation Emancipation Proclamation enlisted families farm fear federal fight forces Fort Sumter governor guerrillas Ibid immigrants Indians Jefferson Davis John Kansas labor land Lee’s Lieber Code Lincoln lives March McPherson military militia Mississippi Missouri navy Negro North Carolina Northern officers organized percent plantations planters political President prisoners Quoted raids railroad Rebellion Reconstruction recruits regiment Republican Party sailors secession Silber and Sievens slaveholders slaveowners slavery slavery’s South Tennessee territory thousand tion took Tourgée Union army Union soldiers Unionist University Press violence Virginia volunteers vote voters war’s wartime West western Whigs white Southerners William women workers wounded wrote Yankee York