Abraham Lincoln (1), Ulysses S. Grant (2), Robert E. Lee (4), and Thomas J. Stonewall" Jackson (20) are some of the Civil War's legendary figures that form a veritable who's who of American history. The Civil War 100,
the newest addition to the Citadel Press "100" series, offers a provocative discussion of the most significant persons in America's bloodiest war. The selections and their rankings are sure to generate controversy among Civil War buffs and general readers alike.
From 1861 to 1865, over six hundred thousand Americans died for a cause that they believed worthy of the ultimate sacrifice. In the end armed might restored the Union, but the war also altered the nation's political, social, and cultural landscape. Government became much more directly involved in the lives of its citizens. The stunning photographs of Mathew Brady (34) forever changed the way the American public saw war; and much of the finest poetry of Walt Whitman (69) stemmed from his wartime observations. Slavery was abolished, and the rights of male citizens, regardless of color, were constitutionally guaranteed. Women broke barriers by becoming nurses and challenging assumptions about their "place."
The war was peopled by an intriguing mix of soldiers, sailors, politicians, reformers, writers, bankers, and activists. Some were heroes, and others rogues. Many like William T. Sherman (3), leader of the "March to the Sea" through Georgia, and John Brown (14), whose raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry
helped spark the war, will be familiar, but other less famous persons—like Justin Morrill (83), founder of the nation's land grant colleges; Gail Borden (96), developer of condensed milk; or Mary ("Mother") Bickerdyke (90), the only woman the irascible Sherman allowed into his army's hospitals—will alternately delight and captivate the reader with their saga of successes and failures.
Who was more important? Grant or Lee? Would a president other than Jefferson Davis (5) have better served the Confederacy? Most important, how does someone like novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe (15) rank beside Union commander George McClellan (7)? The answers to these and other questions will challenge, surprise, and entertain you.
The Civil War 100 is profusely illustrated and will enlighten the casual reader and lay experts alike. Maps guide readers through the conflict's major campaigns, and over one hundred contemporary photographs and illustrations help bring to life the men and women of America's greatest conflict. An Honorable Mentions section brings to the fore those individuals who did not quite make the author's list, but who may be on yours.
Robert Wooster received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He is the author of several books, articles, and reviews on nineteenth-century American history. Wooster is currently professor of history and chairman of the department of humanities at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. He frequently lectures on Texas history, the wars against the Indians, and the Civil War, and is currently at work on a book of must-read Civil War books. He lives in Corpus Christi.