By David Hardin
"Show me a hero and that i will write you a tragedy," acknowledged F. Scott Fitzgerald. possibly no occasion in American background larger illustrates this view than the Civil battle and its valuable gamers within the years after the clash. the worth of army glory and ties to greatness may flip towards the tragic even one of the victors—like earthquake survivors stumbling into one other global, easily attempting to make a brand new existence. Their fight will be a relentless tug again towards a destroyed previous, and a disagreement 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 volatile son; the bankrupt Ulysses Grant's heroic race to accomplish his memoirs and supply for his relations whereas death 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 most sensible identified for his reckless catastrophe.
Whether Northerner or Southerner, their lives didn't finish at Appomattox. Their diverse results are a ceremonial dinner of irony and, jointly, a portrait of nationwide swap. With 11 black-and-white photographs.
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Additional info for After the war : the lives and images of major Civil War figures after the shooting stopped
In fact, Grant at first kept a hopeful eye on an effort in Congress to shut down the school. He showed an aptitude for mathematics, map reading and broncobusting. He was an excellent artist. He also scoured the library for novels by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, James Fenimore Cooper, and Charles Lever. He was, however, an indifferent student, finishing twenty-first in a class of thirty-nine. His lasting accomplishment was with horses, where he set a West Point jump record. After the army he thought he might be a math professor.
These are scarcely the words of an atoning nature. As for Tom Sherman (and as his life would bear out), he took much pride in his famous father. 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.
After acknowledging Buckner’s note, he wrote a famous reply: “No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. ” The North, still smarting from its loss at Manassas in Virginia seven months earlier, hailed the victory and especially its general. His initials were deciphered as “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. Cigars poured in when a reporter described Grant—an occasional pipe smoker—as a cigar-clenching general. But Fort Donelson was a near thing. The capture of so many of the enemy owed as much to the incompetence of Buckner’s superiors as to Grant’s aggressiveness.