The Civil War For DummiesŪ

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John Wiley & Sons, Apr 27, 2011 - History - 408 pages
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The Civil War was America’s trial by fire; its battles forged the nation we know today. We’re still fascinated with it – the national reckoning with slavery, the legendary generals and leaders, the epic and bloody clashes of armies, the impact on the daily lives of ordinary people. We visit its battlefields – mostly idyllic patches of countryside near small towns and creeks – where more Americans died in combat than in all other wars combined, except for World War Two. And we tell its stories – of last charges, brother fighting brother, imprisonment and emancipation, and tragedy and rebirth. It is our country’s epic; the story of how we became who we are, and what price we paid.

The Civil War For Dummies is your complete introduction to this seminal conflict. Eschewing tedious historical pondering and military micro-analysis, this fun and information-rich guide gives an accurate overview of the event, from the war’s causes through the fighting to the aftermath. Inside you’ll discover:

  • 1850-1860: what led to war
  • First Bull Run: illusions lost
  • Antietam: the bloodiest day
  • The Emancipation Proclamation
  • Heroes and goats of each major battle
  • Jackson’s Valley Campaign
  • Sherman’s March to the Sea
  • Surrender at Appomattox
  • And much more

Full of sidebars and illustrations, The Civil War For Dummies brings history to life with personalities, factoids, battle reports, strategic maps, and “what ifs.” In addition to the military and political history, you’ll also find out about:

  • The African American experience in the war
  • Women and the Civil War
  • Native Americans and the war
  • The life of the common soldier
  • Banking and finance systems and the war
  • “Firsts” that make the Civil War history’s first modern war
  • Civil War food
  • Civil War tourism: the best battlefields to visit, and how to get the most out of your trip

Written in an accessible style so you can start reading at any point in the story, The Civil War For Dummies makes a great cornerstone for learning about this violent and compelling chapter of American history.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - NickHowes - LibraryThing

An excellent single-volume history of the Civil War for those that want to fill in the blanks of their education without getting bogged down in detail....its causes, its weapons, its battles, with ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Joles - LibraryThing

This book is fun and explains the Civil War in terms that anyone should be able to understand. The information is shared in a nonthreatening way and there are some very interesting facts they have dug up! Read full review


The War and Its Causes
The Five Steps to War 18501860
Secession and War 18601861
Civil War Armies Structure and Organization
Union and Confederate Strategy
Organizing and Training the Armies
Opening Moves 18611862
The Bloodiest Day Antietam Sharpsburg September 1862
Bragg Fails at Perryville
War So Terrible Fredericksburg and Murfreesboro December 1862
War to the Hilt 18631865
The Battle of Gettysburg and Vicksburg July 1863
The Battle ofChickamauga and Chattanooga AugustNovember 1863
The Confederacy at War Creating a Nation and Vying for Recognition
The Union at War Creating a New Banking System and a Strong Economy

Starting the War Bull Run First Manassas July 1861
The Road to Shiloh April 1862
Setbacks for the South MarchJuly 1862
Stonewall Jacksons Valley Campaign MarchJune 1862
The Seven Days of Robert E Lee JuneJuly 1862
Second Bull Run Manassas August 1862
The Life of the Common Soldier Women and Other Participants
The Civil War Tourist
Visiting a Civil War Battlefield
The Ten Worst Generals of the Civil
The Ten Biggest Firsts of the Civil

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About the author (2011)

Keith D. Dickson is an associate professor of Military Studies at the Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University. He earned his Ph.D. in American history at the University of Virginia and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets).

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