After the war : the lives and images of major Civil War by David Hardin

By David Hardin

"Show me a hero and that i will write you a tragedy," acknowledged F. Scott Fitzgerald. possibly no occasion in American background higher illustrates this view than the Civil struggle and its vital avid gamers within the years after the clash. the worth of army glory and ties to greatness could flip towards the tragic even one of the victors—like earthquake survivors stumbling into one other global, easily attempting to make a brand new lifestyles. Their fight will be a relentless tug again towards a destroyed prior, and a disagreement with the truth of being strangers of their personal land.

David Hardin's tales of 11 such figures are revealing and touching: the explosive romance among Jefferson Davis's daughter and the grandson of a Yankee abolitionist; the fight among the irreligious William T. Sherman and his religious Catholic spouse for the soul in their risky son; the bankrupt Ulysses Grant's heroic race to accomplish his memoirs and supply for his kin whereas death of melanoma. those are one of the tales and folks in After the War, which additionally comprises the Southern diarist Mary Chesnut, the luckless accomplice John Bell Hood, the occasionally Klan chief Nathan Bedford Forrest, the shopaholic Mary Lincoln, the gentlemanly Joe Johnston, the mythological Robert E. Lee, the underappreciated Union basic George Thomas, and the plucky Libbie Custer, who defended her husband top identified for his reckless catastrophe.

Whether Northerner or Southerner, their lives didn't finish at Appomattox. Their assorted results are a banquet of irony and, jointly, a portrait of nationwide swap. With 11 black-and-white photographs.

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He went on tours. His advice was sought. Popular generals like Washington, Jackson, Harrison, and Taylor had enjoyed an almost open path to the presidency. Grant’s path was greased further as the incumbent Andrew Johnson brawled with Congress. Grant wasn’t entirely a political babe in the woods. Washington politics as much as civil war had honed an instinct for both preservation and the main chance. He had moved nimbly just after Appomattox and Lincoln’s death, when an out-of-control Edwin Stanton wanted the crowd-pleasing Sherman sacked for the surrender terms he had granted to Joseph Johnston.

What is time & what is earthly glory to poor Dan McCook now? And our Willy—how differently he now views these things from his home in heaven. ” And yet, while Ellen Sherman was writing with eyes uplifted, her husband was concentrating on a war that had intensified in its brutality. Even before Georgia and South Carolina, the line had blurred between civilians and the military. Sherman’s troops torched a Catholic church in Jackson, Mississippi, during the Vicksburg campaign. On the march through Columbia, South Carolina, soldiers drank whiskey from a Catholic communion chalice and burned an Ursuline convent and school—an incident that brought a defense from Ellen when, ten years later, a newspaper attacked Sherman over it.

And I could see he was not cut out for a successful lawyer. He had no relish for a contest. He had little knowledge of business, and the crooked ways of mankind. And when he went to the courts, he saw lawyers wrangling over petty questions of form, and he felt himself incapable of entering into any such employment. ” In time, all was forgiven between father and son. They began exchanging letters. When Tom returned from England and they met again, Sherman cried out and threw his arms about him. All was forgiven between husband and wife too.

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