A Ruined Land: The End of the Civil War / Edition 1

A Ruined Land: The End of the Civil War / Edition 1

by Michael Golay, Golay
     
 

A Ruined Land As the Civil War drew to a close, its final battles and unsolved issues left a complex legacy of pain. Southern plantation owners stripped of their land struggled to find a way to survive amid shortages, and watched the growing changes around them with resentment and fear. Newly freed slaves searched for a way to make a home in a land that had viewed

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Overview

A Ruined Land As the Civil War drew to a close, its final battles and unsolved issues left a complex legacy of pain. Southern plantation owners stripped of their land struggled to find a way to survive amid shortages, and watched the growing changes around them with resentment and fear. Newly freed slaves searched for a way to make a home in a land that had viewed them as chattel. Northern reformers struggled to educate an enormous population of former slaves to prepare them for a new life. In a fascinating approach that allows the voices of those who were there to speak to the reader, gifted writer Michael Golay shows the impact of victory and defeat on the ordinary Americans who both influenced events and were caught up in them. Through careful research coupled with compassion, Golay takes a unique perspective by interweaving personal histories of soldiers and civilians with the larger events of the Civil War. Among the events of this bitter conflict, Golay illuminates the impact of Sherman’s march through Georgia and the Carolinas, and the brutal conditions of the infamous Confederate prison at Andersonville—the struggle of its inmates to survive and the shock it created throughout the land once its crimes were made public. He goes on to describe the despair caused by the assassination of Lincoln, the first bitter weeks of armistice, the immediate postwar life in a devastated, chaotic South, and the promise of freedom for African American slaves. Based in large part on illuminating new material, much of it previously unpublished, Golay uses the letters, diaries, and other literary remains from those who experienced the war. Some of the chief characters whose stories unfold include Oliver Otis Howard, one of Sherman’s generals and commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau; Lew Wallace, an amateur soldier, author, and member of the courts martial for the Lincoln conspirators and the Andersonville commandant; Laura Towne, a northern volunteer teacher in the reformist community on the Sea Islands; George Julian, a Radical Republican congressman from Indiana and bitter opponent of President Andrew Johnson; and Emily LeConte, the teenage daughter of a slaveholding southern family. Through their experiences and thoughts, we gain a vivid, panoramic look at the effects of a bitter struggle, and at the efforts of both sides to work toward a solution to problems whose answers were elusive.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471183679
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.51(h) x 1.26(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Author's Note
Time Line
Cast of Characters
Pt. 1War and Revolution1
1Honey Hill3
2The Laws of War35
3The Sherman Lands65
Pt. 2The End of the War97
4The Smoky March99
5The Shell of Rebellion136
6Booth and His Crime172
Pt. 3Something Like Peace205
7Exile and Return207
8Crime, Punishment, Absolution242
9Fallow and Neglected Lands282
Coda: 1876-1877322
Notes342
Bibliography369
Index375

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