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Civil War

The Haitian-born barber gave Abraham Lincoln shaves, haircuts, and friendly advice in exchange for free legal work.

Lincoln’s Secretary of the Treasury helped win the Civil War with his many financial innovations and was an ardent advocate of emancipation.

Editor's Note: Walter Stahr is a historian whose essay “The Struggles of Edwin Stanton” appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of American Heritage.

The horrors of the Civil War led to madness and suicide among many soldiers and veterans, but comparisons to modern diagnoses of PTSD are difficult.

Editor's Note: David O. Stewart has published five books of American history, including studies of Presidents George Washington, James Madison, and Andrew Johnson, and is a frequent contributor to American Heritage.

In September 1862, the South hoped to end the war by invading Maryland just before the mid-term elections. But its hopes were dashed after the bloodiest day in American history.

The brutal murder of hundreds of African-American soldiers at Fort Pillow had a profound effect on Northern sentiment during and after the Civil War.

Fighting to defeat the Confederacy, the first African American regiments also helped win for themselves the full rights and privileges of U.S. citizens.  

Editor's Note: Douglas R. Egerton is Professor of History at LeMoyne College.

As Gen. Granger read the announcement that slavery had ended, the celebration began. The date would go down in history — June nineteenth, soon shortened to Juneteenth.

GALVESTON, TEXAS, June 19, 1865 — A balding, brush-bearded officer in Union blue steps onto the balcony of the finest villa in this coastal town. On the plaza below, hundreds of Texans, black and white, wonder what this is all about. Major General Gordon Granger holds out a parch

Our research reveals that 19 artworks in the U.S. Capitol honor men who were Confederate officers or officials. What many of them said, and did, is truly despicable.

The Army has named ten military bases in honor of men who killed 365,000 U.S. soldiers. Should they be renamed? Or left as they are, since the bases are part of a “Great American Heritage," as President Trump says?

The Army has named ten military bases in honor of men who killed 365,000 U.S. soldiers. Should they be renamed? Or left as they are, since the bases are part of a “Great American Heritage," as President Trump says?

Histories written about the nation's greatest crisis focus on Lincoln and the military campaigns. But an intriguing group of characters in Congress also played a major role, advising and prodding the President.

America faced its greatest crisis in 1861 as the nation literally unraveled and the rest of the world wondered whether its experiment in self-determination would succeed. 

Only hours after being sworn in, Lincoln faced the most momentous decision in presidential history

On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln’s first day in office, a letter from Maj. Robert Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, landed on the new president’s desk, informing him the garrison would run out of provisions in a month or six weeks.

With five major exploring expeditions west of the Mississippi, John C. Frémont redefined the country — with the help of his wife’s promotional skills.

Editor's Note: Steve Inskeep, the host of NPR's Morning Edition, has recently published

Did the James Buchanan know his Secretary of War, a future Confederate general, sent 110,000 muskets to armories in the South in 1860?

Many historians point to the presidency of James Buchanan as the nadir of antebellum public ethics. All of the trends of corruption at the lower ranks of the government seemed to culminate in three years, and the rate of exposure increased dramatically.

Lincoln's first secretary of war amassed a fortune at the start of the Civil War, forcing a congressional investigation. 

There were instances of misconduct in Abraham Lincoln's administration, especially in the War Department and the army.

Tears ran down the cheeks of Abraham Lincoln when he heard the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” sung in Congress by a chaplain who had survived a Confederate prison. It would become the most famous literary production of the Civil War.

The first significant Union victory in the Civil War is now honored at one of the newest National Monuments. It was a battle too often ignored by historians and the public.

On February 12, 2019 the U.S. Senate passed conservation legislation that if signed by the President will protect millions of acres of land and establish four new National Parks.

His experiences in the Civil War shaped the mind of one of our greatest jurists.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was one of the most influential judges ever to take the bench, serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court for thirty years and largely defining First Amendment rights as we now understand them.

John Nicolay and John Hay were Lincoln’s two closest aides in the White House, and helped to craft the image of the President we have today.

Working closely with President Lincoln, Secretary of War Stanton was indefatigable in laboring to win the Civil War. But his abruptness could sometimes be counterproductive.

We celebrate one of America's greatest historians with an anthology of his writing.

With his command threatened by allegations of drunkenness, Ulysses S. Grant went on the attack, won two major victories, demanded “Unconditional Surrender”, and nearly split the Confederacy in half.

A largely accidental battle, pitting Robert E. Lee against George B. McClellan, became the single deadliest day in America's history and changed the course of the Civil War.

The day of Antietam—September 17, 1862 — was like no other day of the Civil War. “The roar of the infantry was beyond anything conceivable to the uninitiated,” wrote a Union officer who fought there.

Notes about the famous historian and American Heritage editor

For decades, Yale history professor David Blight, an award-winning author and a preeminent scholar of the Civil War, has studied the legacy of Bruce Catton, the historian/writer who significantly shaped our understanding of the Civil War by bringing it into exhilarating, memorable relief thro

J.R. Clifford fought his real battles in the courtroom

My paternal grandfather, Edward St. Lawrence Gates, was buried on July 2, 1960. After the burial my father showed my brother and me scrapbooks that his father had kept. Within the pages of those scrapbooks was an obituary of my great-great-grandmother, a slave named Jane Gates.
Southern Source Ross Address

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Northern SourceAnaconda Plan

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