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by James M. McPherson

Download For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War fb2, epub

ISBN: 0195124995
Author: James M. McPherson
Language: English
Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (November 5, 1998)
Pages: 256
Category: Americas
Subcategory: History
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 642
Size Fb2: 1713 kb
Size ePub: 1679 kb
Size Djvu: 1926 kb
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For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War is a book by Pulitzer prize-winning author James M. McPherson. The book was published by Oxford University Press in 1997 and covers the lives and ideals of American Civil War soldiers from both.

For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War is a book by Pulitzer prize-winning author James M. The book was published by Oxford University Press in 1997 and covers the lives and ideals of American Civil War soldiers from both sides of the war. Drawing from a compilation of over 25,000 letters and 250 personal diaries, For Cause and Comrades tells the story of the American Civil War's soldiers through their own uncensored point of view.

McPherson, For Cause and Comrades, will make all of us rethink the meaning of the Civil Wa. A brilliant analysis of why they fought by a master of Civil War lore and history. Vann Woodward, Sterling Professor of History, Emeritus, Yale University.

McPherson, For Cause and Comrades, will make all of us rethink the meaning of the Civil War. By asking why men fought, and looking to the diaries and letters to see how and why they thought about war and its moral and ideological costs and consequences, McPherson puts us into the soul of America. -Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's University.

McPherson James M. (EN). General John A. Wickham, commander of the famous 101st Airborne Division in the 1970s and subsequently Army Chief of Staff, once visited Antietam battlefield. Gazing at Bloody Lane where, in 1862, several Union assaults were brutally repulsed before they finally broke through, he marveled, You couldnt get American soldiers today to make an attack like that.

For Cause and Comrades is a fascinating exploration of the 19th-century mind .

For Cause and Comrades is a fascinating exploration of the 19th-century mind-a mind, it seems, that differs profoundly from our own. From School Library Journal. 4 people found this helpful. Mr. McPherson gives the reader the view of the thoughts and life of soldiers and officers from the North and South in the Civil War through their own letters. As a reader I wanted to know these men's names, what they looked like, and more about their families. Usually this was not possible, but the letters are presented as the men wrote them in their words.

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FOR CAUSE and. COMRADES. Why Men Fought the Civil Wa r. In. James M. Books by James The Struggle for Equality: M. Abolitionists. War. and Reconstruction (1964). New York Oxford Oxford University Press 1997. Oxford University Press. From such writings I have come to know these men better than I know most of my living acquaintances, for in their personal letters. written in a time of crisis that might end their lives at any.

For Cause and Comrades deserves similar accolades, as McPherson's masterful . James McPherson is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of American History at Princeton University where he has taught since 1962.

James McPherson is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of American History at Princeton University where he has taught since 1962. The author of eleven books on the Civil War era of American History, he won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 1989 for Battle Cry of Freedom.

For Cause and Comrades book. Although Professor James McPherson wrote this study of the motivation of the Civil War soldier, it is not a great exaggeration to say that in this book the soldiers speak for themselves. Professor McPherson has read and analyzed a prodigious amount of source material written by Civil War combatants, Union and Confederacy, officer and enlisted soldier. For this book, he has taken a sample of the letters home and the diaries of 1076 soldiers, 647 Union and 429 Confederate Duty, Honor, And Devotion.

To find the wellsprings of Civil War valor, James McPherson has read 249 .

To find the wellsprings of Civil War valor, James McPherson has read 249 diaries and at least 25,000 letters of 1,076 Civil War soldiers. It would be close to the truth," he writes, "to say that Civil War soldiers wrote" For Cause and Comrades. As McPherson points out, his book comes in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War made some understandings of the Civil War experience untenable. It is part of the genius of For Cause and Comrades that McPherson does not only argue that Civil War soldiers "knew what they were fighting fo.

General John A. Wickham, commander of the famous 101st Airborne Division in the 1970s and subsequently Army Chief of Staff, once visited Antietam battlefield. Gazing at Bloody Lane where, in 1862, several Union assaults were brutally repulsed before they finally broke through, he marveled, "You couldn't get American soldiers today to make an attack like that." Why did those men risk certain death, over and over again, through countless bloody battles and four long, awful years ? Why did the conventional wisdom -- that soldiers become increasingly cynical and disillusioned as war progresses -- not hold true in the Civil War? It is to this question--why did they fight--that James McPherson, America's preeminent Civil War historian, now turns his attention. He shows that, contrary to what many scholars believe, the soldiers of the Civil War remained powerfully convinced of the ideals for which they fought throughout the conflict. Motivated by duty and honor, and often by religious faith, these men wrote frequently of their firm belief in the cause for which they fought: the principles of liberty, freedom, justice, and patriotism. Soldiers on both sides harkened back to the Founding Fathers, and the ideals of the American Revolution. They fought to defend their country, either the Union--"the best Government ever made"--or the Confederate states, where their very homes and families were under siege. And they fought to defend their honor and manhood. "I should not lik to go home with the name of a couhard," one Massachusetts private wrote, and another private from Ohio said, "My wife would sooner hear of my death than my disgrace." Even after three years of bloody battles, more than half of the Union soldiers reenlisted voluntarily. "While duty calls me here and my country demands my services I should be willing to make the sacrifice," one man wrote to his protesting parents. And another soldier said simply, "I still love my country." McPherson draws on more than 25,000 letters and nearly 250 private diaries from men on both sides. Civil War soldiers were among the most literate soldiers in history, and most of them wrote home frequently, as it was the only way for them to keep in touch with homes that many of them had left for the first time in their lives. Significantly, their letters were also uncensored by military authorities, and are uniquely frank in their criticism and detailed in their reports of marches and battles, relations between officers and men, political debates, and morale. For Cause and Comrades lets these soldiers tell their own stories in their own words to create an account that is both deeply moving and far truer than most books on war.Battle Cry of Freedom, McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the Civil War, was a national bestseller that Hugh Brogan, in The New York Times, called "history writing of the highest order." For Cause and Comrades deserves similar accolades, as McPherson's masterful prose and the soldiers' own words combine to create both an important book on an often-overlooked aspect of our bloody Civil War, and a powerfully moving account of the men who fought it.

Comments:

Wat!?
Extremely helpful and even-handed description of the reasons that Union and Confederate soldiers gave in letters home and the like for for fighting the Civil War. It is worth noting that though secessionist politicians talked much about defending slavery as the cause for the southern revolt, that was not true of the actual soldiers, though some (chiefly the wealthier ones) used euphemisms for slavery like "southern institutions." The main issue seems to have been simply southern independence on one side annd preservation of the union on the other (with a gradual shift on the Union side to ending slavery as.the war progressed.)
Funky
Even though the material sources were relatively small in comparison with the large number of people who fought in the Civil War, the author was very good at analyzing this group and mentioned this limitation in his writings. If you take this book in conjunction with other books, you can draw good insight into thoughts and reasons why people went to war, and how their thoughts changed as the conflict matured. The soldiers became more human and their reasons for fighting and believing in their respective causes was more understood to the reader, even though you could not condone some of these reasons. Today we are more judgmental and quick to condemn others due to our political correctness, but this book helps to look past our own shortsightedness. I would highly recommend this book to all serious students of the Civil War.
Otrytrerl
I have read over 50 books about America's Civil War. But this was the first one that dwelt on the soldiers themselves. I love the real spelling and wording from their letter's home. And I learned a lot about the war as I always do. I learned that the Civil War was likely the one war where the soliders knew why they were fighting. I also learned in more detail about how the Confederates struggled with the slaves in the war fighting against them and that U.S. Grant said if the Confederates will not trade black prisoners that no prisoners would be traded. The well written book offers so much more that many books from the perspective of the fighting men, those loosing their lives.
Gavinrage
This is a great book. I had to read it for my Military History course as a book review. McPhearson uses first hand accounts from letters and diaries from Northern and Southern soldier. The quotes throughout the book can be quite chilling when trying to explain peoples reason for wanting to join, initial fighting, and their continuing fight. Even if you are not studying history or need this for an academic purpose it is still a great and interesting read.
Snowseeker
I enjoy author McPherson's style and the way he presents his material; he's very readable and one can grasp what he's saying quite readily. I finished this study today and have not digested it completely. McPherson relies of the wealth of information comprised of the letters and diaries of combat soldiers, many of them privates, to explain his conclusions about why men joined the Union and Confederate armies. He discusses motivations for joining, which were quite similar for men on both sides (except for the southron's view that his 'country' was invaded):: liberty, preservation of freedom, and patriotism. McPherson goes on to examine soldiers' writings to discover why they stayed in service when times were bleak, such as Union soldiers after Fredericksburg and Second Bull Run and Confederates after the triple whammy of Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga. Moreover, the author looks at combat motivation, or what caused men to do what they did during battle. I especially liked the last chapter in which McPherson examined Confederate soldiers' views on arming slaves to fight for the south and what cause Union soldiers who's three year enlistments were up in 1864 to reenlist voluntarily.
Pryl
Mr. McPherson gives the reader the view of the thoughts and life of soldiers and officers from the North and South in the Civil War through their own letters. As a reader I wanted to know these men's names, what they looked like, and more about their families. Usually this was not possible, but the letters are presented as the men wrote them in their words. The men are articulate; yet denied their physical description, I could imagine them through their own unique spelling and way of "speaking."

The author skillfully integrates the letters through many areas of concerns for any fighting man -- the reasons for volunteering and continuing to fight, letters from home, exhultation in battle when winning and despondency in loss, secession and emancipation, the place of "the Negro" in "the cause" and in battle, courage and its meaning, the challenges of each day, and more. These concerns are chronologically presented, and viewed from both the men of the North and South. The men's thoughts show they were men of courage (though many questioned if they would be) and conviction, loyalty and commitment, family men who evaluated their own reasons for being and fighting, recognizing what they were missing at home and why they were there--many understanding that this moment in time was also the future.

I was not prepared for the book to end. Perhaps the author will entertain a sequel. I want to know about the "letter writers'" families and the men's thoughts at the end of the war. What was their experience upon return home? And what happened to families when they didn't return. I want to know how the letters ended in the National Archives or how and why they were saved and found their way to a museum. In other words, Mr. McPherson captured my desire to know more -- a true sign of a good and most worthwhile read.

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