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The Civil War For Dummies

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The Civil War was America’s trial by fire; its battles forged the nation we know today. We’re still fascinated with it – the national reckoning with slavery, the legendary generals and leaders, the epic and bloody clashes of armies, the impact on the daily lives of ordinary people. We visit its battlefields – mostly idyllic patches of countryside near small towns and creeks – where more Americans died in combat than in all other wars combined, except for World War Two. And we tell ...
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Overview

The Civil War was America’s trial by fire; its battles forged the nation we know today. We’re still fascinated with it – the national reckoning with slavery, the legendary generals and leaders, the epic and bloody clashes of armies, the impact on the daily lives of ordinary people. We visit its battlefields – mostly idyllic patches of countryside near small towns and creeks – where more Americans died in combat than in all other wars combined, except for World War Two. And we tell its stories – of last charges, brother fighting brother, imprisonment and emancipation, and tragedy and rebirth. It is our country’s epic; the story of how we became who we are, and what price we paid.

The Civil War For Dummies is your complete introduction to this seminal conflict. Eschewing tedious historical pondering and military micro-analysis, this fun and information-rich guide gives an accurate overview of the event, from the war’s causes through the fighting to the aftermath. Inside you’ll discover:

  • 1850-1860: what led to war
  • First Bull Run: illusions lost
  • Antietam: the bloodiest day
  • The Emancipation Proclamation
  • Heroes and goats of each major battle
  • Jackson’s Valley Campaign
  • Sherman’s March to the Sea
  • Surrender at Appomattox
  • And much more

Full of sidebars and illustrations, The Civil War For Dummies brings history to life with personalities, factoids, battle reports, strategic maps, and “what ifs.” In addition to the military and political history, you’ll also find out about:

  • The African American experience in the war
  • Women and the Civil War
  • Native Americans and the war
  • The life of the common soldier
  • Banking and finance systems and the war
  • “Firsts” that make the Civil War history’s first modern war
  • Civil War food
  • Civil War tourism: the best battlefields to visit, and how to get the most out of your trip

Written in an accessible style so you can start reading at any point in the story, The Civil War For Dummies makes a great cornerstone for learning about this violent and compelling chapter of American history.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764552441
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith D. Dickson is an associate professor of Military Studies at the Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University. He earned his Ph.D. in American history at the University of Virginia and is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Special Forces (Green Berets).
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The First Modern War.

PART I: The War and Its Causes.

Chapter 1: How Did the War Happen?

Chapter 2: The Five Steps to War: 1850-1860.

Chapter 3: Secession and War: 1860-1861.

PART II: Making War.

Chapter 4: Civil War Armies: Structure and Organization.

Chapter 5: Union and Confederate Strategy.

Chapter 6: Organizing and Training the Armies.

Chapter 7: Weapons of the Civil War.

PART III: Opening Moves, 1861-1862.

Chapter 8: Starting the War: Bull Run (First Manassas), July 1861.

Chapter 9: The Road to Shiloh, April 1862.

Chapter 10: Setbacks for the South, March-July 1862.

Chapter 11: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, March-June 1862.

Chapter 12: The Seven Days of Robert E. Lee, June-July 1862.

Chapter 13: Second Bull Run (Manassas), August 1862.

Chapter 14: The Bloodiest Day: Antietam (Sharpsburg), September 1862.

Chapter 15: Bragg Fails at Perryville.

Chapter 16: War So Terrible: Fredericksburg and Murfreesboro, December 1862.

PART IV: War to the Hilt, 1863-1865.

Chapter 17: The Battle of Chancellorsville, May 1863.

Chapter 18: The Battle of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, July 1863.

Chapter 19: The Battle of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, August-November 1863.

Chapter 20: Lee and Grant: The Virginia Campaign, May-June 1864.

Chapter 21: The Atlanta Campaign and a Guarantee of Union Victory, May-December 1864.

Chapter 22: The Destruction of Hood's Army in Tennessee, October 1864-January 1865.

Chapter 23: A Matter of Time: Petersburg and Appomattox, January-April 1865.

PART V: Behind the Lines.

Chapter 24: The Confederacy at War: Creating a Nation and Vying for Recognition.

Chapter 25: The Union at War: Creating a New Banking System and a Strong Economy.

Chapter 26: The Life of the Common Soldier, Women, and Other Participants.

PART VI: The Civil War Tourist.

Chapter 27: Getting Ready to Travel.

Chapter 28: Visiting a Civil War Battlefield.

PART VII: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 29: The Ten Worst Generals of the Civil War.

Chapter 30: The Ten Biggest "Firsts" of the Civil War.

Chapter 31: The Ten Biggest "What Ifs" of the Civil War.

Chapter 32: The Ten Best Battlefields of the Civil War.

Index.

Book Registration Information.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    For Dummies and By Dummies

    This is the poorest excuse for a history book I've ever read. Just because it's a "For Dummies" doesn't mean that the book doesn't matter. A few observations:

    I'd have been happier if the "legend" of map symbols did not say "calvary" twice, instead of "cavalry". Come on, folks, we admitted that we're dummies when we bought the book, but that doesn't mean we're idiots.

    I could have done without the seemingly random uses of "he or she", "him or her". The book is populated almost exclusively by male characters, as were the armies in question. Save the clumsy PC gibberish for "Political Correctness for Dummies".

    Johnson and Johnston are not the same person.

    "Army of Tennessee" and "Army of the Tennessee" are not the same army.

    Shifting from past tense to present tense in one set of bullet points is sub-literate.

    Using the present tense to describe past events is "History Channel" moronic.

    Describing a saber as curved and providing an illustration of a straight sword is not useful.

    To mislocate Forts Henry and Donelson is not acceptable.

    I could go on, but you get the idea.

    I won't bother mentioning the grammatical errors or the general clumsiness of the writing. I also won't detail the uselessness of the maps, or the paucity and poor quality of the illustrations.

    This is the first "For Dummies" that I haven't liked. Had it been my first purchase of a "For Dummies", I would never have purchased a second.

    Save your money

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2012

    It never let me read it

    Ievery time i tried to read it i got an error dialog

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    this book is a "must read" for anyone who cares to learn u.s. history.....

    very well written. unbiased account of the facts we should all know ....the "for dummies" series of books are the best place to start to learn more on any topic. they are easy to read, easy to follow, and easy to absorb. you don't have to be a dummy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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