Lyrical Liberators · The American Antislavery Movement in Verse, 1831–1865 · Edited by Monica Pelaez

Before Black Lives Matter and Hamilton, there were abolitionist poets, who put pen to paper during an era when speaking out against slavery could mean risking your life. Indeed, William Lloyd Garrison was dragged through the streets by a Boston mob before a planned lecture, and publisher Elijah P. Lovejoy was fatally shot while defending his press from rioters.

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Civil War Congress and the Creation of Modern America · A Revolution on the Home Front · Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

Drawn from a wide range of historical expertise and approaching the topic from a variety of angles, these essays explore the changes in life at home during the Civil War that led to a revolution in American society and set the stage for the making of modern America.

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Congress and the People’s Contest · The Conduct of the Civil War · Edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon

The American Civil War was the first military conflict in history to be fought with railroads moving troops and the telegraph connecting civilian leadership to commanders in the field. New developments arose at a moment’s notice. As a result, the young nation’s political structure and culture often struggled to keep up. When war began, Congress was not even in session.

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Michigan’s War · The Civil War in Documents · Edited by John W. Quist

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.

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In Essentials, Unity · An Economic History of the Grange Movement · By Jenny Bourne · Preface by Paul Finkelman

The Patrons of Husbandry—or the Grange—is the longest-lived US agricultural society and, since its founding shortly after the Civil War, has had immeasurable influence on social change as enacted by ordinary Americans. The Grange sought to relieve the struggles of small farmers by encouraging collaboration. Pathbreaking for its inclusion of women, the Grange is also well known for its association with Gilded Age laws aimed at curbing the monopoly power of railroads.

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A Young General and the Fall of Richmond · The Life and Career of Godfrey Weitzel · By G. William Quatman

Despite his military achievements and his association with many of the great names of American history, Godfrey Weitzel (1835–1884) is perhaps the least known of all the Union generals. After graduating from West Point, Weitzel, a German immigrant from Cincinnati, was assigned to the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans.

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Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War · Exposing Confederate Conspiracies in America’s Heartland · By Stephen E. Towne

Surveillance and Spies in the Civil War represents pathbreaking research on the rise of U.S. Army intelligence operations in the Midwest during the American Civil War and counters long-standing assumptions about Northern politics and society.

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The Life and Death of Gus Reed · A Story of Race and Justice in Illinois during the Civil War and Reconstruction · By Thomas Bahde

Gus Reed was a freed slave who traveled north as Sherman’s March was sweeping through Georgia in 1864. His journey ended in Springfield, Illinois, a city undergoing fundamental changes as its white citizens struggled to understand the political, legal, and cultural consequences of emancipation and black citizenship. Reed became known as a petty thief, appearing time and again in the records of the state’s courts and prisons.

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Citizen-General · Jacob Dolson Cox and the Civil War Era · By Eugene D. Schmiel

The wrenching events of the Civil War transformed not only the United States but also the men unexpectedly called on to lead their fellow citizens in this first modern example of total war. Jacob Dolson Cox, a former divinity student with no formal military training, was among those who rose to the challenge. In a conflict in which “political generals” often proved less than competent, Cox, the consummate citizen general, emerged as one of the best commanders in the Union army.

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Civil War Chicago · Eyewitness to History · Edited by Theodore J. Karamanski and Eileen M. McMahon

The American Civil War was a crucial event in the development of Chicago as the metropolis of the heartland. Not only did Chicagoans play an important role in the politics of the conflict, encouraging emancipation and promoting a “hard war” policy against Southern civilians, but they supported the troops materially through production of military supplies and foodstuffs as well as morally and spiritually through patriotic publications and songs.

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The Untried Life · The Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War · By James T. Fritsch

Told in unflinching detail, this is the story of the Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, also known as the Giddings Regiment or the Abolition Regiment, after its founder, radical abolitionist Congressman J. R. Giddings. The men who enlisted in the Twenty- Ninth OVI were, according to its lore, handpicked to ensure each was as pure in his antislavery beliefs as its founder.

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Illinois’s War · The Civil War in Documents · Edited by Mark Hubbard

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.

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Kansas’s War · The Civil War in Documents · Edited by Pearl T. Ponce

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.”

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Do They Miss Me at Home? · The Civil War Letters of William McKnight, Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry · Edited by Donald C. Maness and H. Jason Combs

William McKnight was a member of the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Cavalry from September 1862 until his death in June of 1864. During his time of service, McKnight penned dozens of emotion-filled letters, primarily to his wife, Samaria, revealing the struggles of an entire family both before and during the war.

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