After the War: The Lives and Images of Major Civil War Figures After the Shooting Stopped

Overview

"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy," said F. Scott Fitzgerald. Perhaps no event in American history better illustrates this view than the Civil War and its principal players in the years after the conflict. The value of military glory and ties to greatness would turn toward the tragic even among the victors—like earthquake survivors stumbling into another world, simply trying to make a new life. Their struggle would be a constant tug back toward a destroyed past, and a confrontation with the reality of being strangers in their own
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After the War: The Lives and Images of Major Civil War Figures After the Shooting Stopped

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Overview

"Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy," said F. Scott Fitzgerald. Perhaps no event in American history better illustrates this view than the Civil War and its principal players in the years after the conflict. The value of military glory and ties to greatness would turn toward the tragic even among the victors—like earthquake survivors stumbling into another world, simply trying to make a new life. Their struggle would be a constant tug back toward a destroyed past, and a confrontation with the reality of being strangers in their own land.

David Hardin's stories of eleven such figures are revealing and touching: the explosive romance between Jefferson Davis's daughter and the grandson of a Yankee abolitionist; the struggle between the irreligious William T. Sherman and his devout Catholic wife for the soul of their unstable son; the bankrupt Ulysses Grant's heroic race to complete his memoirs and provide for his family while dying of cancer. These are among the stories and people in After the War, which also includes the Southern diarist Mary Chesnut, the luckless Confederate John Bell Hood, the sometimes Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest, the shopaholic Mary Lincoln, the gentlemanly Joe Johnston, the mythological Robert E. Lee, the underappreciated Union general George Thomas, and the plucky Libbie Custer, who defended her husband best known for his reckless disaster.

Whether Northerner or Southerner, their lives did not end at Appomattox. Their dissimilar outcomes are a feast of irony and, collectively, a portrait of national change. With eleven black-and-white photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

College and Research Libraries News
As the Civil War sesquicentennial advances, it's useful to remember that life went on for many of its principal players and their families after Appomattox. In After the War, David Hardin profiles the postwar lives of 11 prominent figures, from Ulysses S. Grant to Robert E. Lee and from Jefferson Davis's daughter Winnie to George Armstrong Custer's wife Libbie. The stories of how they personally dealt with the war's aftermath are emblematic of the post-traumatic stresses of a fitfully reunited nation.
New York Journal Of Books
Civil War buffs will find long overlooked information in Hardin's narratives. And anyone interested in the Civil War era will find his book, After the War, worth reading.
Civil War News
Rich, complex. . . . Approaching the Civil War’s sesquicentennial, David Hardin’s questions—Was it a triumph? Or a waste?—are useful guideposts as we retravel the course of our nation’s most traumatic event.
The Lone Star Book Review
A very interesting book that is hard to put down as all of the stories are so interesting. This book will make a nice addition to your Civil War library.
New York Journal of Books
Civil War buffs will find long overlooked information in Hardin's narratives. And anyone interested in the Civil War era will find his book, After the War, worth reading.
College & Research Libraries News
As the Civil War sesquicentennial advances, it's useful to remember that life went on for many of its principal players and their families after Appomattox. In After the War, David Hardin profiles the postwar lives of 11 prominent figures, from Ulysses S. Grant to Robert E. Lee and from Jefferson Davis's daughter Winnie to George Armstrong Custer's wife Libbie. The stories of how they personally dealt with the war's aftermath are emblematic of the post-traumatic stresses of a fitfully reunited nation.
The Journal Of Southern History
David Hardin's After the War collects several stories in a highly readable collection that should find a broad readership....An engaging read that sheds light on several prominent Civil War figures' postwar experiences. For an audience familiar with the careers of these men and women, the book provides an intensely personal look at the rest of their lives that humanizes each subject. That reason alone makes this an excellent book for a popular audience looking for a broader understanding of the men and women of the Civil War era.
The Past in Review
History is full of great lives; generally, readers know of them at their moment on history's stage and not so much after their days in the limelight. The question, 'Whatever happened to. . . ?' is ably asked and answered in this book which concerns itself with the continuing lives of eleven folks from the Civil War, some well-known and others not so. The list is necessarily short and those that are included certainly should be. Of the eleven, five are civilians and five are combatants, with the last being a chapter on the Custers, George and Elizabeth. The rest of the list contains: Winnie Davis, Tom Sherman, Grant, Mary Lincoln, Mary Chestnut, John Bell Hood, Forrest, Joseph Johnston, George Thomas and Robert E. Lee. The irony involved in some of these stories makes for a compelling read. For example, Winnie Davis, daughter of Jefferson and Varina, is involved in an explosive romance with the grandson of an ardent Yankee abolitionist; Tom Sherman, son of General William Sherman, becomes a priest after the favorite son dies during the war; Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Davis actually become friends; and the list goes on. Some stories reveal the animosities prevalent after the guns fell silent; the diarist Chestnut and Confederate General Johnston are but two examples. There are interesting tidbits galore, some you know and others you have forgotten; each chapter stands alone in this well written narrative. It belongs on Civil War bookshelves at every level of expertise.
The Journal of Southern History
David Hardin's After the War collects several stories in a highly readable collection that should find a broad readership....An engaging read that sheds light on several prominent Civil War figures' postwar experiences. For an audience familiar with the careers of these men and women, the book provides an intensely personal look at the rest of their lives that humanizes each subject. That reason alone makes this an excellent book for a popular audience looking for a broader understanding of the men and women of the Civil War era.
John C. Waugh
We all love hearing 'the rest of the story.' In this wonderful book David Hardin has, in a most compelling and often moving way, brought us the very human rest of the story of eleven prominent Civil War figures after the war. In Hardin's skillful hands they all live again, and we learn things about them we perhaps wondered about, but never knew—a most satisfying reading experience.
The Paris Post-Intelligencer
For four bloody years in the middle of the 19th century, the American Civil War created rifts between families, friends and colleagues as men from the North and South fought over questions of slavery and secession. But what became of those after the guns fell silent? That's the question behind David Hardin's After the War: The Lives and Images of Major Civil War Figures After the Shooting Stopped.
The Past In Review
History is full of great lives; generally, readers know of them at their moment on history's stage and not so much after their days in the limelight. The question, 'Whatever happened to. . . ?' is ably asked and answered in this book which concerns itself with the continuing lives of eleven folks from the Civil War, some well-known and others not so. The list is necessarily short and those that are included certainly should be. Of the eleven, five are civilians and five are combatants, with the last being a chapter on the Custers, George and Elizabeth. The rest of the list contains: Winnie Davis, Tom Sherman, Grant, Mary Lincoln, Mary Chestnut, John Bell Hood, Forrest, Joseph Johnston, George Thomas and Robert E. Lee. The irony involved in some of these stories makes for a compelling read. For example, Winnie Davis, daughter of Jefferson and Varina, is involved in an explosive romance with the grandson of an ardent Yankee abolitionist; Tom Sherman, son of General William Sherman, becomes a priest after the favorite son dies during the war; Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Davis actually become friends; and the list goes on. Some stories reveal the animosities prevalent after the guns fell silent; the diarist Chestnut and Confederate General Johnston are but two examples. There are interesting tidbits galore, some you know and others you have forgotten; each chapter stands alone in this well written narrative. It belongs on Civil War bookshelves at every level of expertise.
Library Journal
Journalist Hardin provides 11 brief biographies of major military and nonmilitary Civil War figures—and/or their loved ones—who survived the war. With a few exceptions their postwar lives were rather sad and unfulfilling. Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, for instance, often reviled as the founder of the KKK, rejected the organization and helped to dismantle it but failed in business and never made much of a life after his wartime heroics. Based on secondary sources, this book offers nothing new. Some nonspecialists may appreciate the profiles and their postwar focus.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566639675
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 12/16/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 985,031
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Hardin is a veteran newspaperman who grew up on the battlefield of Nashville, Tennessee. He has been a writer and editor at newspapers across the South, including those in Nashville; Raleigh; Savannah; Miami; Tampa; Jackson, Mississippi; and Huntsville, Alabama. Among his national journalism awards is a Pulitzer Prize. He lives in the Huntsville, Alabama area.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Daughter of the Confederacy: Winnie Davis
Chapter 2: The Conqueror's Son: Tom Sherman
Chapter 3: The General's Last Battle: Ulysses S. Grant
Chapter 4: The Diarist: Mary Boykin Chesnut
Chapter 5: The Crippled Knight: John Bell Hood
Chapter 6: That Devil Forrest: Nathan Bedford Forrest
Chapter 7: The Mad Woman: Mary Todd Lincoln
Chapter 8: The Good Hater: Joseph E. Johnston
Chapter 9: The Legend: Robert E. Lee
Chapter 10: The Turncoat: George H. Thomas
Chapter 11: Libbie's Husband: Elizabeth and George A. Custer
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    After DF 2

    Jayfeather stayed crouched down once he came out of the dream. Soon he sensed Brambleclaw stirring. "Did they accept you?" He asked. "Yes. I am Bramblestar now." He meowed. Jayfeather nodded. "Good. And you know I'm always here for help." He said sensing Bramblestar was scared. "Let's go." Bramblestar said instead of answering. Jayfeather followed. Soon they reached the ThunderClan border. Jayfeather stopped Bramblestar. "You know you can't tell anybody what happened at the Moonpool?" He asked. Bramblestr nodded. "I know." At that they crossed the border. Soon they ran into a patrol. From the scents it was Lionblaze, Dovewing and Dustpelt. "Hi Bramble......." Lionblaze trailed off unsure of what to say. Jayfeather filled in. "Bramblestar." "Hi Bramblestar." Lionblaze finished his sentence. All the cats meowed congradulations. Jayfeather and Brambkestar continued on to camp. They arrived without running into anymore patrols. Once inside camp Jayfeather headed to his den not wanting to be part of the crowd. In the den Brierlight was sorting herbs. "Hi Jayfeather!" She meowed cheerfully. "How'd it go?" Jayfeather sighed exahusted. "Fine. He's Bramblestar now." "Really? I have to go congragulate him!" Briarlight dragged herself out of the den. Jayfeather curled up in his nest an instently fell asleep. "Why did you do that?" Yellowfang hissed. Startled Jayfeather stumbled backwards. "Do what?" He retorted. "Walk in Bramblestar's dream! That was meant for him only!" Yellowfang growled. "I wanted to know what happened!" Jayfeather muttered. Yellowfang sighed. "Just go." She sighed. Yellowfang turned and walked away her tail flicking. Jayfeather was surprised. Yellowfang never gave in. Thinking back she had seemed kind of distracted. Jayfeather shook his head. Soon StarClan faded and he slipped into a dreamless sleep. (Next post in the book below this one.) -Skystep

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