What this Cruel War Was Over
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By: Chandra Manning
Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War
What this Cruel War Was Over is a vivid account of why Union and Confederate soldiers identified slavery as the root of the war, how the conflict changed troops’ ideas about slavery, and what those changing ideas meant for the war and the nation. Using letters, diaries, and regimental newspapers, the book follows soldiers into camps and hospitals and on marches and battlefields to better understand their thoughts about what they were doing and why. This is a spectacularly nuanced and intricate study of a complex and fundamental issue of the war. Its perspectives are fair, balanced, and thorough, often reaching surprising or uncomfortable conclusions.
Hardcover, 368 pages