Battle Cry of Freedom The Civil War Era

Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 1988-02-25
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
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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 McPherson's 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 momentousepisodes that preceded the Civil War--the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown's raid on Harper's 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. Particularlynotable are McPherson's 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 Union's victory. The book's 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 Unionfounded 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 America'sbloodiest 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.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction xvii
Prologue: From the Halls of Montezuma 3(3)
The United States at Midcentury
Mexico Will Poison Us
An Empire for Slavery
Slavery, Rum, and Romanism
The Crime Against Kansas
Mudsills and Greasy Mechanics for A. Lincoln
The Revolution of 1860
The Counterrevolution of 1861
Facing Both Ways: The Upper South's Dilemma
Amateurs Go to War
Farewell to the Ninety Days' War
Blockade and Beachhead: The Salt-Water War, 1861--1862
The River War in 1862
The Sinews of War
Billy Yank's Chickahominy Blues
We Must Free the Slaves or Be Ourselves Subdued
Carry Me Back to Old Virginny
John Bull's Virginia Reel
Three Rivers in Winter, 1862--1863
Fire in the Rear
Long Remember: The Summer of '63
Johnny Reb's Chattanooga Blues
When This Cruel War Is Over
If It Takes All Summer
After Four Years of Failure
We Are Going To Be Wiped Off the Earth
South Carolina Must Be Destroyed
We Are All Americans
Epilogue: To the Shoals of Victory 853(10)
Abbreviated Titles 863(2)
Bibliographic Note 865(18)
Index 883

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