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Best Little Stories from the Civil War

Cover of Best Little Stories from the Civil War

Best Little Stories from the Civil War

More Than 100 True Stories
Borrow Borrow Borrow Borrow

"This fascinating book will make the Civil War come alive with thoughts and feelings of real people."

The Midwest Book Review

The Civil WAR You Never Knew...

Behind the bloody battles, strategic marches, and decorated generals lie more than 100 intensely personal, true stories you haven't heard before. In Best Little Stories from the Civil War, soldiers describe their first experiences in battle, women observe the advances and retreats of armies, spies recount their methods, and leaders reveal the reasoning behind many of their public actions. Fascinating characters come to life, including:

Former U.S. Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia, who warned the Confederate cabinet not to fall for Lincoln's trap by firing on reinforcements, thereby allowing Lincoln to claim the South had fired the first shots of the war at Fort Sumter.

Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut, who disbanded the 13th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery, scattered its men, gave its guns to other units, and ordered its officers home, accusing all of cowardly performance in battle.

Thomas N. Conrad, a Confederate spy operating in Washington, who warned Richmond of both the looming Federal Peninsula campaign in the spring of 1863 and the attack at Fredericksburg later that year.

Private Franklin Thomson of Michigan, born as Sarah Emma Edmonds, who fought in uniform for the Union during the war and later was the only female member of the postwar Union Grand Army of the Republic.

"This fascinating book will make the Civil War come alive with thoughts and feelings of real people."

The Midwest Book Review

The Civil WAR You Never Knew...

Behind the bloody battles, strategic marches, and decorated generals lie more than 100 intensely personal, true stories you haven't heard before. In Best Little Stories from the Civil War, soldiers describe their first experiences in battle, women observe the advances and retreats of armies, spies recount their methods, and leaders reveal the reasoning behind many of their public actions. Fascinating characters come to life, including:

Former U.S. Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia, who warned the Confederate cabinet not to fall for Lincoln's trap by firing on reinforcements, thereby allowing Lincoln to claim the South had fired the first shots of the war at Fort Sumter.

Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut, who disbanded the 13th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery, scattered its men, gave its guns to other units, and ordered its officers home, accusing all of cowardly performance in battle.

Thomas N. Conrad, a Confederate spy operating in Washington, who warned Richmond of both the looming Federal Peninsula campaign in the spring of 1863 and the attack at Fredericksburg later that year.

Private Franklin Thomson of Michigan, born as Sarah Emma Edmonds, who fought in uniform for the Union during the war and later was the only female member of the postwar Union Grand Army of the Republic.

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Table of Contents-
  • Introduction ix

    Select Guide to Battles & Personalities xii

    Portents 1

    Beginnings 13

    First Time Out 14

    Fresh Start Sought 16

    Who the South Was 20

    Fate Makes a Choice 22

    Racing to War 24

    Better Angels Invoked 26

    Social Notice Taken 27

    Lincoln Wins Rebel Debate 29

    Sumter's Silence 30

    Stomach Pumping Questioned 32

    Robert and Mary 33

    Spy with a Future 36

    Swinging His Arms 37

    A "Bear" Installed 39

    Death of a Congressman 42

    Most Famous Shooter 44

    Perfect Storm of Bullets 46

    At Every Shot a Convulsion 48

    First Postmortem 51

    Sherman's Threat Appealed 53

    Head of the Passes 55

    Heart in the Throat 58

    Good Times...and Bad 60

    Staggering Stats 62

    Middles 65

    Hello, Washington 66

    No Panacea for Politicians 68

    Brave Deed Recorded 71

    Complete Conquest Required 73

    Secession from Secession 75

    Soldier A-Courting 77

    Battery Disbanded 80

    "Granny" Lee 83

    Stirring Words Found 86

    Jackson's Odd Failure 87

    Hello, Richmond 91

    Loyalty Charge Dismissed 95

    Poignant Moments in Battle 98

    Unnecessary Tragedies 101

    Knights of the Realm 105

    Six-Year-Old's Flight 108

    Davises Everywhere 109

    Capitalism at Andersonville 111

    Jaws of Death 113

    Bride Left Behind 115

    Audible, Not Visible 116

    Spank the Boys 120

    Injury Added to Insult 122

    Family Affair 124

    Miss Kate's Brief Run 127

    Escape from Success 130

    Faces in the Crowd 133

    Red Shirt, White Shirt 137

    More Than a Few Ghosts 139

    "Shot for You" 141

    No Whizz, Bang Heard 143

    Women of the Times 146

    Woman at the Lead 150

    Road to Gettysburg 151

    Love Story 154

    Coincidences at Gettysburg 156

    Old White Oak 160

    Black Faces in the Crowd 161

    Gettysburg Facts, Stats 164

    Lee Family Saga, Continued 166

    Three Generals Named Winfield 168

    Cat Parties Ended 170

    The Fighting McCooks 172

    Sidling Down to Richmond 173

    Friendly Boost Given 175

    "Down, You Fool!" 176

    Brave Men Spared 178

    Christmas 179

    What Does a Slave? 181

    More Staggering Stats 186

    Endings 189

    Old Abe the Soldier Bird 190

    Bleak Holiday 192

    Unlucky John Bell Hood 195

    "On, Wisconsin...On!" 198

    Longest Siege 201

    Each to His Own Pathway 205

    Squint to His Eye 206

    Ugly Blows Exchanged 207

    They Also Served 211

    Story with a Kick 214

    Two More to Mourn 216

    Embarrassing Outing 219

    Surviving to Serve Again 221

    Hospital Town 224

    So Very Personal 226

    No Opportunity for Surrender 229

    Parallel Spies 233

    Acquiring a New Name 235

    Close Connections 237

    Lee's Final Order 240

    Julia Reads a Note 240

    Freedom Still Denied 244

    Surprisingly Kind Fate 246

    Always a Clear Course 248

    War's Sting Delayed 250

    Pair for Two 252

    Final Glimpses 253

    An Arlington Postmortem 257

    The Lincoln Memorial: A Postscript 260

    The Civil War's Two First Ladies 265

    Varina: Forgotten First Lady 266

    Mary Todd Lincoln: Troubled First Lady 279

    The Civil War—A Short Chronology 309

    Acknowledgments 311

    Select Bibliography 313

    Index 319

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More Than 100 True Stories
C. Brian Kelly
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C. Brian Kelly
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