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In the presence of mine enemies : war in the heart of America, 1859-1863
Ayers, Edward L.
Adult Nonfiction E468 .A98 2003

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Summary: Our standard Civil War histories tell a reassuring story of an inevitable conflict and the triumph of the dynamic, free-labor North over the traditional, slave-based South, a victory that vindicated the freedom principles built into the nation's foundations. But at the time, on the borderlands of Pennsylvania and Virginia, no one expected war, and no one knew how it would turn out. The one certainty was that any war between the states would be fought in their fields and streets. Edward Ayers gives us the Civil War on an intimate scale, at ground level. His masterful narrative conveys the coming of war and its bloody encounters through the eyes of the newspaper editors, ministers, farmers, merchants, soldiers, African Americans slave and free, husbands and wives, fathers and sons, who sacrificed, fought, and died. The story ends in 1863 with the borderlands ravaged, Lincoln's support fragmenting, and Confederate forces massing for a battle at Gettysburg.


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