The New York Times: Disunion: Modern Historians Revisit and Reconsider the Civil War from Lincoln's Election to the Emancipation Proclamation
Ted Widmer, Clay Risen, George Kalogerakis
A major new collection of modern commentary— from scholars, historians, and Civil War buffs—on the significant events of the Civil War, culled from The New York Times' popular Disunion on-line journal
Since its debut on November 6, 2010, Disunion, The New York Times' acclaimed journal about the Civil War, has published hundreds of original articles and won multiple awards, including "Best History Website" from the New Media Institute and the History News Network. Following the chronology of the secession crisis and the Civil War, the contributors to Disunion, who include modern scholars, journalists, historians, and Civil War buffs, offer ongoing daily commentary and assessment of the Civil War as it unfolded.
Now, for the first time, this fascinating and historically significant commentary has been gathered together and organized in one volume. In The New York Times: Disunion, historian Ted Widmer, has selected more than 100 articles that cover events beginning with Lincoln's presidential victory through the Emancipation Proclamation. Topics include everything from Walt Whitman's wartime diary to the bloody guerrilla campaigns in Missouri and Kansas. Esteemed contributors include William Freehling, Adam Goodheart, and Edward Ayers, among others.
The book also compiles new essays that have not been published on the Disunion site by contributors and well-known historians such as David Blight, Gary Gallagher, and Drew Gilpin Faust. Topics include the perspective of African-American slaves and freed men on the war, the secession crisis in the Upper South, the war in the West (that is, past the Appalachians), the war in Texas, the international context, and Civil War–era cartography. Portraits, contemporary etchings, and detailed maps round out the book.
in the ranks. During a raid outside Petersburg in December 1864, “The roads were covered with snow and ice, and the suffering of the men was great, for many were without shoes, and the broken ice lacerated their feet most painfully. Dr. Whistler gave up his horse to one of these wretched men, and marched on foot with the line. He walked for miles by the side of the writer.” Whistler entertained his companions with stories of his boyhood adventures in Russia and other experiences. “In bivouac and
spiral on the projectile and thereby gave it its greater range and accuracy. In 1855, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis adopted the rifle musket and Burton’s improved Minié ball, or bullet, for the United States Army. The intent of the designers of the rifle musket/Minié ball combination was to increase the firepower of the individual soldier, and in this quest they succeeded. But in developing a defender’s dream they also created a nightmare, not just for the men felled by the bullet, but for
the country through sectional crisis. The years that followed his graduation, however, were full of disappointment. He studied law, only to decide that he did not wish to practice. After traveling around Europe, he bought a sugar cane plantation near his father’s land southwest of New Orleans, but could not make a profit and found the neighbors distasteful. Almost as soon as Gibson returned to Louisiana from Yale, he embraced an uncompromising Southern position on slavery, declaring his opinions
to being shaken down by commissaries collecting foodstuffs for the armies in the field). The Confederate government did try to encourage plantation owners to curtail cotton production and shift over to food crops. While it had some limited success in this endeavor, the nature of the secessionist government, with its states’ rights-centered constitution, was such that it did not force the issue, and most planters followed what they thought was still the path to profit and continued to grow
because he must have believed that it was obvious that Frémont should have consulted him before making such a monumental decision. But beyond that, and unusually for him, he let his hair down when the moderate Republican, Illinois Senator Orville H. Browning, one of his oldest and closest friends and supporters, wrote him on September 17 defending Frémont’s declaration—a telling demonstration of just what a chord Frémont had struck. Your letter “astonishes me,” Lincoln responded. Nothing about