By David Hardin
"Show me a hero and that i will write you a tragedy," stated F. Scott Fitzgerald. possibly no occasion in American historical past higher illustrates this view than the Civil conflict and its critical gamers within the years after the clash. the price of army glory and ties to greatness could flip towards the tragic even one of the victors—like earthquake survivors stumbling into one other international, easily attempting to make a brand new lifestyles. Their fight will be a continuing tug again towards a destroyed previous, and a war of words 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 relations whereas loss of life of melanoma. those are one of the tales and other people 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 normal George Thomas, and the plucky Libbie Custer, who defended her husband top recognized for his reckless catastrophe.
Whether Northerner or Southerner, their lives didn't finish at Appomattox. Their diverse results are a banquet of irony and, jointly, a portrait of nationwide switch. With 11 black-and-white photographs.
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Extra resources for After the war : the lives and images of major Civil War figures after the shooting stopped
I have promised that whenever you meet a Soldier who knew Willy that you will give him half you have. ” A third son, Charles Celestine Sherman, born in June the following year and apparently conceived during the reunion at Vicksburg, lived only six months. Ellen told an aunt: “Mother’s superstitions are generally regarded as idle but I always had a strong presentment that Charley would not live. ” Guilt was to remain thick for the trip to Vicksburg that cost the boy’s life. Months after the war’s end, and with Sherman as one of the North’s great heroes, Ellen would defend her decision to travel there as being at her husband’s request.
Eventually he would place Grant over the fussy Halleck to command the entire Union Army. Shiloh also presaged the bloodbaths ahead. Of the 100,000 troops engaged from both sides, approximately one in four was either killed, captured, or wounded. The Union carnage to come in the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor in Virginia would bring taunts of “Butcher” Grant too. Still, the war was finally won as the Confederacy collapsed. Grant had broken the unbreakable Bobby Lee. The tanner’s son, the drunken captain who had quit the army, the unremarkable Grant who had a talent for nothing other than riding a horse, was now—after Lincoln’s assassination—the North’s largest living hero.
Indeed, a case might be made that his choice of the Jesuits was a way of appeasing his parents’ struggle. Murmurs of a vocation may have genuinely existed before his studies at Georgetown, but the Jesuit order itself had soldierly characteristics complete with a superior general who governed it. Moreover certain of its undertakings had been as hazardous to life and limb as most battlefields. To more fully realize this, one had only (perhaps as a student at Georgetown) to read Francis Parkman’s 1867 account of the Jesuits in the wilderness of the New World.