Best Little Stories from the Civil War

ISBN: 9781402239106

By: C. Brian Kelly

Published: 03/01/2010

The Civil WAR You Never Knew…
Behind the bloody battles, strategic marches, and decorated generals lie more than 100 intensely personal, true stories you haven’t heard before.

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“This fascinating book will make the Civil War come alive with thoughts and feelings of real people.” The Midwest Book Review The Civil WAR You Never Knew… Behind the bloody battles, strategic marches, and decorated generals lie more than 100 intensely personal, true stories you haven’t heard before. In Best Little Stories from the Civil War, soldiers describe their first experiences in battle, women observe the advances and retreats of armies, spies recount their methods, and leaders reveal the reasoning behind many of their public actions. Fascinating characters come to life, including: Former U.S. Senator Robert Toombs of Georgia, who warned the Confederate cabinet not to fall for Lincoln’s trap by firing on reinforcements, thereby allowing Lincoln to claim the South had fired the first shots of the war at Fort Sumter. Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut, who disbanded the 13th Independent Battery, Ohio Light Artillery, scattered its men, gave its guns to other units, and ordered its officers home, accusing all of cowardly performance in battle. Thomas N. Conrad, a Confederate spy operating in Washington, who warned Richmond of both the looming Federal Peninsula campaign in the spring of 1863 and the attack at Fredericksburg later that year. Private Franklin Thomson of Michigan, born as Sarah Emma Edmonds, who fought in uniform for the Union during the war and later was the only female member of the postwar Union Grand Army of the Republic.

About the Author

C. Brian Kelly

C. BRIAN KELLY, a prize-winning journalist, is cofounder of Montpelier Publishing and a former editor for Military History magazine. He is also a lecturer in newswriting at the University of Virginia. Kelly's articles have appeared in Reader's Digest, Friends, Yankee, Rod Serlin's Twilight Zone, and other magazines. He is the author of several books on American history and resides in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Table of Contents

Introduction      ix
Select Guide to Battles & Personalities       xii
Portents      1
Beginnings      13
First Time Out      14
Fresh Start Sought       16
Who the South Was       20
Fate Makes a Choice       22
Racing to War      24
Better Angels Invoked       26
Social Notice Taken       27
Lincoln Wins Rebel Debate      29
Sumter’s Silence      30
Stomach Pumping Questioned      32
Robert and Mary       33
Spy with a Future       36
Swinging His Arms      37
A “Bear” Installed       39
Death of a Congressman       42
Most Famous Shooter       44
Perfect Storm of Bullets       46
At Every Shot a Convulsion       48
First Postmortem      51
Sherman’s Threat Appealed      53
Head of the Passes      55
Heart in the Throat      58
Good Times…and Bad       60
Staggering Stats      62
Middles      65
Hello, Washington      66
No Panacea for Politicians       68
Brave Deed Recorded      71
Complete Conquest Required      73
Secession from Secession       75
Soldier A-Courting       77
Battery Disbanded      80
“Granny” Lee      83
Stirring Words Found       86
Jackson’s Odd Failure      87
Hello, Richmond      91
Loyalty Charge Dismissed       95
Poignant Moments in Battle      98
Unnecessary Tragedies       101
Knights of the Realm       105
Six-Year-Old’s Flight      108
Davises Everywhere       109
Capitalism at Andersonville      111
Jaws of Death       113
Bride Left Behind       115
Audible, Not Visible       116
Spank the Boys      120
Injury Added to Insult       122
Family Affair      124
Miss Kate’s Brief Run      127
Escape from Success       130
Faces in the Crowd      133
Red Shirt, White Shirt      137
More Than a Few Ghosts      139
“Shot for You”       141
No Whizz, Bang Heard       143
Women of the Times       146
Woman at the Lead      150
Road to Gettysburg      151
Love Story      154
Coincidences at Gettysburg       156
Old White Oak       160
Black Faces in the Crowd       161
Gettysburg Facts, Stats      164
Lee Family Saga, Continued       166
Three Generals Named Winfield      168
Cat Parties Ended       170
The Fighting McCooks       172
Sidling Down to Richmond      173
Friendly Boost Given      175
“Down, You Fool!”      176
Brave Men Spared       178
Christmas      179
What Does a Slave?       181
More Staggering Stats       186
Endings      189
Old Abe the Soldier Bird       190
Bleak Holiday      192
Unlucky John Bell Hood       195
“On, Wisconsin...On!”      198
Longest Siege       201
Each to His Own Pathway       205
Squint to His Eye       206
Ugly Blows Exchanged       207
They Also Served       211
Story with a Kick      214
Two More to Mourn       216
Embarrassing Outing      219
Surviving to Serve Again      221
Hospital Town      224
So Very Personal       226
No Opportunity for Surrender      229
Parallel Spies      233
Acquiring a New Name       235
Close Connections       237
Lee’s Final Order       240
Julia Reads a Note       240
Freedom Still Denied      244
Surprisingly Kind Fate       246
Always a Clear Course      248
War’s Sting Delayed       250
Pair for Two       252
Final Glimpses      253
An Arlington Postmortem      257
The Lincoln Memorial: A Postscript       260
The Civil War’s Two First Ladies       265
Varina: Forgotten First Lady       266
Mary Todd Lincoln: Troubled First Lady       279
The Civil War—A Short Chronology       309
Acknowledgments      311
Select Bibliography      313
Index      319


Excerpt from the Introduction

Here’s our premise: History can be told in little bits and pieces as well as in heavyweight and multi-volume tomes.

All too often,


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“The more than 100 true stories provide a refreshingly new take on the Civil War; one that brings the conflict's most fascinating characters to life. ” - History Chann...

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Format: Paperback

Length: 9 in
Width: 6 in
Weight: 18.80 oz
Page Count: 352 pages


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