In this richly imagined, utterly original debut, a mother-daughter road trip leads a young girl, a precocious Civil War buff, to a hard-won understanding of the American history she loves and the personal history she inherits. Eleven-year-old Katherine McConnell is so immersed in Civil War history that she often imagines herself a general, leading troops to battle. When Kat’s beautiful, impulsive mother wakes her early one morning in the summer of 1968 to tell her they will be taking a road trip from Georgia to Maine to find antiques for a shop she wants to open, Kat sees the opportunity for adventure and a respite from her parents’ troubled marriage. Armed with a road atlas and her most treasured history books, Kat cleverly charts a course that will take them to battlefields and historic sites and, for her mother’s sake she hopes, bring them home a success. But as the trip progresses, Kat’s experiences test her faith in her mother and her loyalty to the South, bringing her to a difficult new awareness of her family and the history she reveres. And when their journey comes to an abrupt and devastating halt in Gettysburg, Kat must make an irrevocable choice about their ultimate destination. Deftly narrated with the beguiling honesty of a child’s perspective and set against the rich backdrop of the South during the 1960s, The Confederate General Rides North gracefully blends a complex mother-daughter relationship, the legacy of the Civil War, and the ache of growing up too soon.
This collection continues the conversation Warren began fifty years ago, although taking it in unorthodox and challenging directions, to offer fresh and stimulating perspectives on the war’s presence in the collective imagination of the nation.
This first collection of the essays of the late T. Harry Williams brings together some of the best shorter works of a man who was, by any standard, one of the finest historians of our time. Spanning the range of Williams’ interests, this volume contains essays on the Civil War, Reconstruction, the ear of the world wars, military affairs, the craft of the historian, and the careers of Abraham Lincoln, Huey Long, and Lyndon Johnson. Williams’ reputation rests on such large-scale works as Lincoln and His Generals and the Pulitzer-Prize winning biography Huey Long—exhaustively researched studies, monumental in their scope and ambition. Providing Williams with the chance to let his gaze probe beyond the fixed borders of such works, the essay was a flexible medium in which he could freely pursue some of the ideas that grew out of his daily regimen of writing and reading. He used the essay to examine large themes that spanned many areas of his interests as well as specific incidents in the course of American history, to reach both a popular audience and his fellow historians, to test ideas for books in the planning stage, and to assess the works of his colleagues. Among the essays brought together in this volume are “That Strange Sad War,” in which Williams examines the Civil War as the first truly, and tragically, modern war; “Abraham Lincoln: Pragmatic Democrat,” which sees Lincoln as the supreme example in our history of the union of principle and pragmatism in politics; and “The Louisiana Unification Movement of 1873,” which traces the short history of an ambitious attempt to bring about racial unity in Reconstruction Louisiana. In “Interlude: 1918-1939”—an essay published here for the first time—Williams analyzes the weakened state of American military preparedness before Franklin Roosevelt came into office and turned his attention to the growing threat of Hitler’s Germany. In “The Macs and the Ikes: America’s Two Military Traditions,” Williams contrasts the opposing types of military leaders in American history—those generals in the mold of Dwight Eisenhower who follow orders and submit to the power of the president and Congress, and the more fractious generals such as Douglas Macarthur, who view the military as an aristocracy of courage and genius and bridle at the reigns of civilian authority. “Huey, Lyndon, and Southern Radicalism” traces the common political roots of two men Williams considered among the most successful “power artists” of the century. And in “Lyndon Johnson and the Art of Biography,” Williams discusses his own plans to write a biography of Johnson and speaks of his unapologetic belief in a great-man theory of history.
Despite the fact he was without military experience or training, Ransom saw it as his duty to join the Confederate forces. He left behind a young family and courageously fought Union forces until the end of the war. He was widely recognized as an effective and highly competent leader by enlisted men and officers alike.
Jubal Early, the Army of the Valley and the Raid on Washington
Author: Steven Bernstein
By spring 1864, the administration of Abraham Lincoln was in serious trouble, with mounting debt, low morale and eroding political support. As spring became summer, a force of Confederate troops led by Lieutenant General Jubal Anderson Early marched north through the Shenandoah Valley and crossed the Potomac as Washington, D.C., and Maryland lay nearly undefended. This Civil War history explores what could have been a decisive Confederate victory and the reasons Early’s invasion of Maryland stalled.
In August and September 1862 Confederate armies were on the move northward. Robert E. Lee was invading Maryland, Earl Van Dorn and Sterling Price were moving into Tennessee, and Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith were advancing into Kentucky. James McPherson, in his acclaimed Battle Cry of Freedom, cites this period as the first of the four major turning points of the American Civil War. The Confederate counteroffensive defeated Union hopes to end the war in 1862. However, by mid-October, hard on the heels of the broad Confederate advance the Union forces had regained the strategic and operational advantage, cited by McPherson as the second turning point of the war. Union victories at Antietam in the east and Perryville in the west carried significant weight in determining the final outcome of the conflict. While vast literature surrounds the former battle Perryville has been somewhat neglected. This work seeks to alleviate that lacuna. The US Army has used Civil War and other battlefields as “outdoor classrooms” to educate and train its officers. Since 1983 the Combat Studies Institute has produced a series of staff ride guides to assist units and classes in this training. The most recent volume in that series, Dr. Robert Cameron’s Staff Ride Handbook for the Battle of Perryville, 8 October 1862, is a valuable study that examines the key considerations in planning and executing the September-October campaign and battle. Modern tacticians and operational planners will find themes that still resonate. Cameron demonstrates that Civil War leaders met their challenging responsibilities with planning, discipline, ingenuity, leadership, and persistence—themes that are well worth continued reflection by today’s officers.