The Civil War And Limits Of Destruction By Mark E. Neely And The Destructive War

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In the books The Civil War and Limits of Destruction by Mark E. Neely and The Destructive War by Charles Royster, both authors examine and question the destructiveness of the war. Neely is of the opinion that the Civil War was not a total war, while Royster argues the Civil War was the first modern war in American history. Both authors take different approaches to examining the war, as well as the role specific people played in the war. While both authors offer valid arguments to support their positions, there is no argument from either author that the Civil War had a major historical impact on our nation. While both books focus on the destructiveness of the Civil War, they differ not only on their view of the war as a total war, but also on the level of destruction, the approach used to support each authors point of view and the role that race played in the war. Neely focuses comparing the tactics used in the Civil War with other military events, some closely tied to the Civil War and some not, to support his thesis that the Civil War was not as destructive as some people think, and could not be described as a total war. He surmises that neither side wanted a savage war, but wanted to wage war based on traditional warfare (58). His focus on events, rather than people, are used to support his theory. While people played an important part and are mentioned, he focused more on the actual war activity. His evidence that would support the lack of a total war is not

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