Archive | January 2012

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Abraham Lincoln Speech: The War with Mexico

West Point graduate,  Jefferson Davis,  having resigned his  seat in Congress, had raised a volunteer regiment, the Mississippi Rifles, becoming its colonel.  Davis armed the regiment with the M1841 Mississippi Rifle and trained the regiment in its use, making it particularly effective in combat when it participated in the successful siege of Monterrey and later […]

Evaluating Lincoln as a commander in chief with limited military experience, tracing the ways in which he worked with, or against, his senior commanders and reshaped the presidential role.

As is so often the case when you have a book written by such a partisan author you have to be able to excise the source material presented – and there is a fair amount of that even if it is carefully culled – and form your own opinions. All the way from his huge […]

Text of an actual letter home from a Southern soldier.

The war has long been advertised as brother against brother but, as usual, that is politicians rhetoric. As in many wars the soldiers related to one another as men and it may have been the small kindnesses that did more to heal the nation after the war than any amount of “reconstruction” – which was […]

No honours awaited his daring, no despatch gave his name to the applauses of his country…

The soldier’s pen : firsthand impressions of the Civil War      Robert E. Bonner History Civil War 1861-1865 Personal narratives New York : Hill and Wang, 2006 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. xxi, 248, [20] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. [237]-245) and index. Clean, tight and […]

The Douglas reponse to Abraham Lincoln in the last 1858 debate

Like most politicians who can not make their point by going to the letter of the law Lincoln had made a speech, the House Divided speech, in which he had a sound bite that he would use as a crutch throughout his destruction of the republic. Like many examples of its kind the sound bite […]

The purification of politics is an iridescent dream.

Stephen Douglas is generally given the short straw, if not the dirty end of the stick, by historians so bedazzled by Honest Abe that they can not understand how anyone could challenge him. The facts are considerably different and until the presidential election of 1860 every time Douglas challenged Lincoln in Illinois he came out […]

Carl H. Moneyhon, “RECONSTRUCTION,” Handbook of Texas Online — a fairly even-handed approach

RECONSTRUCTION. For nine years following the Civil War, Texas was in turmoil, as its people attempted to solve political, social, and economic problems produced by the war. Emancipation changed the labor system, and the end of slavery forced a redefinition of the relationship between blacks and whites. The change in labor and the costs of […]