The Civil War in the Great Interior is a series of short documentary histories on the Civil War in the midwestern states. Each volume presents fresh primary sources that will aid professors and students, as well as the informed general reader, in exploring the social, political, and military impact of the Civil War.
In 2011, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War renewed interest in this complicated, defining period of American history. The Civil War in the Great Interior series—now with four established titles—has been called "remarkable" by the Missouri Historical Review. Individual books in the series have been lauded for the "chorus of diverse voices" (Ohio Valley History) they include and praised widely for the usefulness they offer students at any level.
Martin J. Hershock
When it came to the Civil War, Michiganians never spoke with one voice. At the beginning of the conflict, family farms defined the southern Lower Peninsula, while a sparsely settled frontier characterized the state’s north. Although differing strategies for economic development initially divided Michigan’s settlers, by the 1850s Michiganians’ attention increasingly focused on slavery, race, and the future of the national union.
On the eve of the Civil War and after, Illinois was one of the most significant states in the Union. Its history is, in many respects, the history of the Union writ large: its political leaders figured centrally in the war’s origins, progress, and legacies; and its diverse residents made sacrifices and contributions—both on the battlefield and on the home front—that proved essential to Union victory.
When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Kansas was in a unique position. Although it had been a state for mere weeks, its residents were already intimately acquainted with civil strife. Since its organization as a territory in 1854, Kansas had been the focus of a national debate over the place of slavery in the Republic. By 1856, the ideological conflict developed into actual violence, earning the territory the sobriquet “Bleeding Kansas.”
Indiana’s War is a primary source collection featuring the writings of Indiana’s citizens during the Civil War era. Using private letters, official records, newspaper articles, and other original sources, the volume presents the varied experiences of Indiana’s participants in the war both on the battlefield and on the home front.
Civil War Missouri stood at the crossroads of America. As the most Southern-leaning state in the Middle West, Missouri faced a unique dilemma. The state formed the gateway between east and west, as well as one of the borders between the two contending armies. Moreover, because Missouri was the only slave state in the Great Interior, the conflicts that were tearing the nation apart were also starkly evident within the state.
In 1860, Ohio was among the most influential states in the nation. As the third-most-populous state and the largest in the middle west, it embraced those elements that were in concert-but also at odds-in American society during the Civil War era. Ohio's War uses documents from that vibrant and tumultuous time to reveal how Ohio's soldiers and civilians experienced the Civil War.