The contributors show that many chains of events caused the course of the war to change: the Federal defeats at First Bull Run and Ball's Bluff, the wounding of Joseph Johnston at Seven Pines and the Confederate victory at Chancellorsville, the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Federal victory at Vicksburg, Grant's decision to move on to Richmond rather than retreat from the Wilderness, the naming of John B. Hood as commander of the Army of Tennessee, and the 1864 presidential election. In their conclusion, editors Mackowski and White suggest that the assassination of Abraham Lincoln might have been the war's final turning point.
Presenting essays by public historians with experience at Civil War battle sites, this provocative collection offers fresh perspectives on political and military events in the eastern and western theaters.
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Number of pages: 264
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
"Using their hands-on experiences to debate the existence of turning point or points in the Civil War, the editors and chapter authors present a fresh and pointed perspective that will cause readers to rethink what too often they are mistakenly sure are the undeniable facts about the pendulum of war."--John F. Marszalek, executive director, Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library
"This tour de force of scholarship provides readers with a stimulating and engaging examination of factors often overlooked in standard works on the war."--Ted Alexander, author, Antietam: The Bloodiest Day
"Edited by the co-founders of Emerging Civil War, a public history-oriented platform for sharing original scholarship about the American Civil War, Turning Points of the American Civil War is studiously researched, yet accessible to readers of all backgrounds. An index rounds out this excellent contribution to public and college library Civil War collections."--James A. Cox, editor-in-chief, Midwest Book Review
"Editors Chris Mackowski and Kristopher White have . . . assembled a team of public historians with experience at Civil War battle sites to examine a number of pivotal events during the war, all of which can reasonably claim to have been a "turning point" during the course of conflict. Together, these essays enrich the historiography of what is certainly a turning point--perhaps the turning point--in the evolution of the United States as a modern nation."--Gordon Berg, Emerging Civil War Newsletter
"Mackowski and White do not set out to dispel Gettysburg's mystique, and they acknowledge its importance in both the war and in history books, but what they are offering is an idea of a war of such magnitude and scope turns out at many points and not just in the hills and fields outside a sleepy Pennsylvania town..."--Drew Gallagher, freelance for Fredericksburg Freelance-Star
"This book provides a core set of turning points for discussion, including perhaps some that readers have not previously considered. . . . This book is provocative and is recommended reading for anyone with interest in the Civil War."--Lawrence K. Peterson, Civil War News
"Everybody has an opinion. In this compendium, a group of Civil War scholars and enthusiasts render their opinions on why certain events had significant impact on the progress of the war. . . .The essays are uniformly good but a few stand out, either because of the topic or of the engaging presentation by the author. . . .This collection includes many important issues and some innovative points and will make fruitful reading for anyone interested in Civil War history."--The Journal of America's Military Past
"Turning points can be tricky things. In sharing public historians' thoughts about various turning points, Mackowski and White invite the rest of us to ponder the concept for ourselves. Amidst these uncertainties is a given: this volume will force at least some readers to rethink their preconceptions."--Civil War Book Review
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