Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

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Oxford University Press, Oct 24, 2003 - History - 952 pages
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Filled 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 McPhersons 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 momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Browns raid on Harpers 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 McPhersons 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 the North and the South, and the reasons for the Unions victory. The books 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 Americas 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.
 

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Contents

2 Mexico Will Poison Us
47
3 An Empire for Slavery
78
4 Slavery Rum and Romanism
117
5 The Crime Against Kansas
145
6 Mudsills and Greasy Mechanics for A Lincoln
170
7 The Revolution of 1860
202
8 The Counterrevolution of 1861
234
The Upper Souths Dilemma
276
18 John Bulls Virginia Reel
546
19 Three Rivers in Winter 18621863
568
20 Fire in the Rear
591
The Summer of 63
626
22 Johnny Rebs Chattanooga Blues
666
23 When This Cruel War Is Over
689
24 If It Takes All Summer
718
25 After Four Years of Failure
751

10 Amateurs Go to War
308
Illustrations
332
11 Farewell to the Ninety Days War
339
The SaltWater War 18611862
369
13 The River War in 1862
392
14 The Sinews of War
428
15 Billy Yanks Chickahominy Blues
454
16 We Must Free the Slaves or Be Ourselves Subdued
490
17 Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
511
26 We Are Going To Be Wiped Off the Earth
774
27 South Carolina Must Be Destroyed
807
28 We Are All Americans
831
To the Shoals of Victory
853
Afterword
863
Abbreviated Titles
868
Bibliographic Note
870
Index
888
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

James M. McPherson is Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton University. His books include The Struggle for Equality, Marching Toward Freedom, and Ordeal by Fire.

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