Book Essay Two The book Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam, was written by James M. McPherson to argue why the Battle of Antietam was the battle that changed the cause of the Civil War. While McPherson argued this he also argues that the Civil War had many other turning points and was not settled by just one battle. McPherson’s targeted audience would have to be those interested in the Civil War and the events that led to it. McPherson wrote this great book which came to be an important contribution to our collective historical knowledge and understanding because this book explains the important arguments that took place and made the Civil War happen and stop. McPherson starts out the book with The Pendulum of War 1861-1862. McPherson in this chapter of the book mainly talks about the uprisings and downfalls of General B. McClellan who was appointed by Abraham Lincoln to be the head of the Army of the Potomac. McPherson explains what the American Civil Wars ultimate goal was and what Abraham Lincoln wished to achieve was the unity of all the states armies and invasion of the Confederacy in which he had hopes of destroying their government. The union arms won some victories and also lost some as well but the first most remembered to be the embarrassing defeat McPherson names is along the banks of Bull Run in July 1861. He describes the war and what happened in it and concludes that after the release of Mason and Slidell the war was averted and later struck a financial panic in
James McPherson was born on October 11th 1936, he is an American Civil War historian. He received the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Battle Cry of Freedom, his most famous book. McPherson was the president of the American Historical Association in 2003, and is a member of the editorial board of Encyclopedia Britannica. In his early career McPherson wanted to leave a legacy as being known for the historian who focusses on more than one point. Through skillful narrative in a broad-ranging oeuvre of essays and books, McPherson has succeeded in telling both stories, combining social, political, and military history to reach a broad scholarly and popular audience, emphasizing all the while that the Civil War constituted a “second American Revolution.” Examining thousands of letters and diaries written by soldiers to gather a better insight and understanding, McPherson argued that deep political and ideological convictions about liberty, slavery, religion, and nation were the fundamental reasons that men on both sides enlisted and fought. McPherson’s views on the Civil War are broad in comparison to many other writers, he believes there are multiple causes to the war but that the underlying cause was slavery and that Southern states used the saying “States’ Rights” to justify their actions of slavery and secession. It became a psychological necessity for the South to deny that the war was about slavery that they were fighting for the preservation, defense and
In 1994, McPherson wrote the book, What They Fought For: 1861-1865, about his exploration on the motivations of the soldiers that fought in the Civil War (“James M. McPherson” par. 6). He analyzed the letters and diaries of twenty-five thousand soldiers, ultimately determining the reasons for the soldier’s continuance to fight during the Civil War.
In the Voices of Freedom, the passage explains the idea of American imperialism during the 1890s. It was written by a Filipino revolutionary and politician Emilio Aguinaldo. He was writing about the how the United States are taking over countries and limit their freedoms. Emilio's document was specifically describing the United States' occupation of the Philippines after the Spanish American War. The Question is that "Why does Aguinaldo think that the United States is betraying its own values?". Emilio thinks that the U.S is betraying its own value because they follow the practice of imperialism.
Through the whole book it is clear that McDonough believes that the defeat of the south was unavoidable and how important Kentucky was to the war with her waterways and railroads. The main thesis was the importance of the Western Theatre and the idea that 1862 was a decisive year in the war, The author states how the western battles got more recognition than
No other war seems to hold our focus like the Civil War. Scholars have chosen to make it their life's work, authors have written reams about it, and we all feel some kind of connection to the Civil War. This paper was created to highlight some of the major battles that took place during that conflict. Major battles usually marked a drastic change in the momentum from one side to the other or led to massive losses of troops. These battles and their results all played a huge part in the outcome of the war.
James M. McPherson sets out to discover what motivated the Confederate and Union soldiers to continue fighting in the Civil War in his book What They Fought For. McPherson analyses nearly a thousand letters, journals, and diary of Union and Confederate soldiers to determine what urged them to fight is this defining American Conflict. McPherson reads and groups together the common thoughts of the everyday soldier, from their letters and journals that none of which had been subjected to any sort of censorship, in that time period. He then generalizes the motivations that they used to fight for their country. Whether it be for slavery or for the Union, the author views both sides of the fighting to analysis their ideological issues, how deep their belief coursed through their veins to continue fighting, and how the soldiers held their convictions close to heart in the time of war.
The text “The Negro's Civil War: How American Blacks Felt and Acted During the War for the Union”, by James Mcpherson, gave me great research information on the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Infantry. McPherson tells African-American history using their feelings and actions during the Civil War as his evidence. Specifically, the book contains many letters written by heroes of this time period to tell the story forgotten by the United States. Teachers usually focus on famous battles and strategies of the two sides during the war. However, students could have grasp a better history of the war if given a broader sense of the account-which can only accomplished when one gains more knowledge on who were most affected by the war, American Blacks.
Although James McPherson presents Lincoln as having numerous qualities that defined him as a brilliant leader, he wastes no time in revealing what he believes to be Lincoln’s greatest strength. In his Introduction, McPherson states regarding Lincoln’s political leadership: “In a civil war whose origins lay in a political conflict over the future of slavery and a political decision by certain states to secede, policy could never be separated from national strategy…. And neither policy nor national strategy could be separated from military strategy” (McPherson, p.6). Lincoln could not approach the war from a purely martial standpoint—instead, he needed to focus on the issues that caused it. For the catalyst of the war was also the tool for its solution; a war started by differing ideologies could only be resolved through the military application of ideology. This non-objective approach to the waging of the war almost resembles the inspired approach McPherson brings to his examination of Lincoln himself.
Many historians have tried to offer their ideology on the outcome of the Civil War. McPherson in his “American Victory, American Defeat” writes about what other historians have decreed their answers to why the Confederacy lost. He tells us the reasons that could not be the explanation for the loss, and explains the internal reasons but leaves the true cause of the loss untold. Freehling explains the defeat by discussing what could have been and then gives reasons to negate some of the cases that he states for the outcome of the Confederacy. Both McPherson and Freehling both agreed that there were other factors besides battles that needed to be looked at.
The American Civil war is considered to be one of the most defining moments in American history. It is the war that shaped the social, political and economic structure with a broader prospect of unifying the states and hence leading to this ideal nation of unified states as it is today. In the book “Confederates in the Attic”, the author Tony Horwitz gives an account of his year long exploration through the places where the U.S. Civil War was fought. He took his childhood interest in the Civil War to a new level by traveling around the South in search of Civil War relics, battle fields, and most importantly stories. The title “Confederates in the Attic”: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War carries two meanings in Tony Horwitz’s
This book was a good analysis of Civil War soldiers' diaries, and letters to their loved ones. Which explains what they were going through in their lives and what they fought for and risked their lives for in this conflict. In the book the author James M. McPherson uses information from l00's of diaries and letters from the soldiers to learn why they fought in this war. The Union soldiers fought to preserve the Nation that was created in 1776, to save it from destruction. The Confederate soldiers fought for their independence, liberty, self government, and for revenge.
James M. McPherson, author of For Cause and Comrades, uses more than 25,000 unaltered letters and closely 250 private journals from Civil War soldiers—both Union and Confederate—in his attempt to explain what possessed these men to endure the roaring, gruesome chaos of war. What better way to express the motivation behind fighting than words straight from the pens of the men who were physically there and experienced the Civil War to its fullest? I personally feel as though McPherson succeeded in his explanation of the different driving forces that kept each man going during these difficult years of battle. The Wall Street Journal describes McPherson’s work as “an extraordinary book, full of fascinating details and moving self-portraits.”
The civil war was a conflict about the expansion of slavery into western territories. The compromise of 1820 and 1850 tried to maintain an unbalanced government between free and union state. The southern states seceded from the union because they feared Abraham Lincoln in 1860 when he got elected. The war started 1861 through 4 long 4 bloody years later. The Northern Union states fought against the southern Confederate states. The northern Union won the civil war. Their was 620,000 death toll. The battle of Antietam took place in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The battle of Antietam was the first battle in the civil war to be fought on northern soil. The impact of Antietam was that it turned out to be the bloodiest day in American History.
Sears uses language that most all of us can understand, and clearly it is a very well researched work. He supports his claims in the book with a copious amount of facts and yet still keeps the course of the book moving forward. He draws on a variety of sources including diaries and letters of the participants to produce, arguably, his definitive work. Sears thesis is actually two-fold; one that McClellan missed countless opportunities to defeat Lee and two that McClellan was an incompetent commander who missed several instances to take initiative and win the battle decisively. The young Napoleon, as McClellan was known, often waited an inordinate amount of time before making a movement with his troops. For me, reading the details (with heavy emphasis to the Union story) was captivating. No recon, no communication, egotistical leadership, timidity, and procrastination all combined and helped the Union snatch defeat (or, at the very least, a draw) from the jaws of victory. This battle, like others before and after it, could have really shortened the Civil War.
In all honesty, I was not very good at keeping up with the war. Since I was not fighting in the war, I did not hear about many battles. Through the grapevine, I was able to hear about some of the major battles, especially the Confederate victories. It seemed like in the east, the Confederacy would always come out victorious: The First Manassas, The Seven Days’ Battles, The Second Manassas, the Battle of Fredericksburg; in the west, the Union beat us: Shiloh, New Orleans. I almost thought the Confederacy had this war in the bag: “We’re going to win this!,” I would hear a lot of people say. But, there was one battle everyone heard about: the Battle of Sharpsburg in September of 1862, or the Battle of Antietam, as the Northerners like to call it. Supposedly it was the bloodiest battle in the entire war. It was a Union victory. Though I was not there, this battle changed my life. This single battle led to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. This law banned slavery. I lost all of my slaves. At this point, I thought “We already lost.” The whole point of us fighting this war was to maintain our rights and independence from the Union. They had just removed our right to own property. Yet, the war was nowhere near over.