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An absorbing, first-person Civil War memoir from the perspective of a foot soldier looking back some thirty years later.
During the battle of Gettysburg, as Union troops along Cemetery Ridge rebuffed Pickett's Charge, they were heard to shout, "Give them Fredericksburg!" Their cries reverberated from a clash that, although fought some six months earlier, clearly loomed large in the minds of Civil War soldiers. Fought on December 13, 1862, the battle of Fredericksburg ended in a stunning defeat for the Union. Confederate general Robert E. Lee suffered roughly 5,000 casualties but inflicted more than twice that many losses--nearly 13,000--on his opponent, General Ambrose Burnside. As news of the Union loss traveled north, it spread a wave of public despair that extended all the way to President Lincoln. In the beleaguered Confederacy, the southern victory bolstered flagging hopes, as Lee and his men began to take on an aura of invincibility. George Rable offers a gripping account of the battle of Fredericksburg and places the campaign within its broader political, social, and military context. Blending battlefield and home front history, he not only addresses questions of strategy and tactics but also explores material conditions in camp, the rhythms and disruptions of military life, and the enduring effects of the carnage on survivors--both civilian and military--on both sides.
A fascinating look at a hidden side of the South’s history
Bottom-up history at its very best, A People’s History of the Civil War "does for the Civil War period what Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States did for the study of American history in general" (Library Journal). Widely praised upon its initial release, it was described as "meticulously researched and persuasively argued" by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Historian David Williams has written the first account of the American Civil War though the eyes of ordinary people—foot soldiers, slaves, women, prisoners of war, draft resisters, Native Americans, and others. Richly illustrated with little-known anecdotes and first-hand testimony, this pathbreaking narrative moves beyond presidents and generals to tell a new and powerful story about America’s most destructive conflict. A People’s History of the Civil War is "readable social history" that "sheds fascinating light" (Publishers Weekly) on this crucial period. In so doing it recovers the long-overlooked perspectives and forgotten voices of one of the defining chapters of American history.
"Overviews Irish Americans in the South, the Irish immigrant experience and typical Irish Confederate soldier, Irish communities' support of Southern war effort, actions where Irish American soldiers were present in influential numbers. Major battles of the war are discussed including Manassas, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Murfreesboro and Appomattox. Appendices list Irish commands and commanders in the Confederate Army"--Provided by publisher.

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