THIS HALLOWED GROUND The Story of the Union Side of the Civil War
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First published in 1955, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Bruce Catton's classic account of the Civil War simultaneously captures the dramatic scope and intimate experience of that epic struggle in one brilliant volume. Covering events from the prelude of the conflict to the death of Lincoln, Catton blends a gripping narrative with deep, yet unassuming, scholarship to bring the war alive on the page in an almost novelistic way. It is this gift for narrative that led contemporary critics to compare this book to War and Peace, and call it a "modern Iliad." Now over fifty years old, This Hallowed Ground remains one of the best-loved and admired general Civil War books: a perfect introduction to readers beginning their exploration of the conflict, as well as a thrilling analysis and reimagining of its events for experienced students of the war.
Democrat who believed that the sheer weight of the northern war effort was crushing domestic liberties; believed, also, that under almost any circumstances it would be better to have Democrats in power than to have Republicans. He had been campaigning in Ohio with great vigor, uttering words that seemed calculated to discourage northern recruiting efforts and to bring about a readiness to accept a negotiated peace; and Ambrose E. Burnside — who, after Fredericksburg, had been gently removed from
had to fight blindly, nobody from commanding general down to private ever being quite sure just where everybody was and what was going on. As the fight developed, Grant’s army kept on edging around to the left, trying vainly to get around the Confederate flank and interpose between the battlefield and the Confederate capital. It never quite made it, but in the ten days the two armies swung completely around three quarters of a circle, and on May 12 they had what may have been the most vicious
Grant, pp. 288-89; Under the Old Flag, Vol. I, pp. 158-60; The Web of Victory, pp. 138-39. 5 Lewis, op. cit., pp. 270-71. 6 Story of the Service of Company E and of the 12th Wisconsin Regiment, p. 179; A Soldier Boy’s Letters to his Father and Mother, pp. 46, 54. 7 Muskets and Medicine, pp. 73-74, 84; Downing’s War Diary, p. 113. 8 Under the Old Flag, Vol. I, pp. 168-69; History of the 77th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, pp. 132-33. 9 Under the Old Flag, Vol. I, p. 164; Personal Memoirs of U.
was reasonably certain, and “war has a higher object than that of mere bloodshed.”7 This was true enough, and Buell could cite eminent authority for his belief. Yet this war might possibly turn out to be unlike the ones in the textbooks. It might have rules of its own, or no rules at all, as Nathaniel Lyon had discovered in the free-for-all at St. Louis; in which case a man who went by the book could have much trouble. Buell was beginning to have a little trouble this fall, in point of fact. As
particular family at last sold its Indiana farm for $100 an acre and moved on to Iowa, to do the whole thing over again. As they went west they saw thousands of others doing the same, and a young man remarked that “Old America seemed to be breaking up and moving west.”5 The die had already been cast. In the East men who looked to the Pacific coast looked overland now, and not around the Horn. The great day of the clippers was over. The noble winged Sea Witch was a forgotten wreck on a reef off