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War Crimes Against Southern Civilians [Hardcover]

Walter Cisco
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 30, 2007 158980466X 978-1589804661 1ST
This is the untold story of the Union's "hard war" against the people of the Confederacy. Styled the "Black Flag" campaign, it was agreed to by Lincoln in a council with his generals in 1864. Cisco reveals the shelling and burning of cities, systematic destruction of entire districts, mass arrests, forced expulsions, wholesale plundering of personal property, and even murder of civilians. Carefully researched largely from primary sources, this examination also gives full attention to the suffering of Black victims of Federal brutality.

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Editorial Reviews


"...blows the lid off the conspiracy of silence about the violent, mass-murdering origins of the American Leviathan state..." -- -Thomas J. DiLorenzo, www.LewRockwell.com

From the Inside Flap

"Of all the enormities committed by Americans in the nineteenth century--including slavery and the Indian wars--the worst was the invasion of the South, which destroyed some twenty billion dollars of private and public property and resulted in the deaths of some two million people, most of whom were civilians--both white and black." --David Aiken, editor of A City Laid Waste: The Capture, Sack, and Destruction of the City of Columbia Finally, here is the first book-length survey of the Union's "hard war" against the people of the Confederacy--one that included the shelling and burning of cities, systematic destruction of entire districts, mass arrests, forced expulsions, wholesale plundering, and murder. In a series of compelling chapters, Cisco chronicles the St. Louis massacre, where Federal authorities proceeded to impose a reign of terror and dictatorship in Missouri. He tells of the events leading to, and the suffering caused by, the Federal decree that forced twenty thousand Missouri civilians into exile. The arrests of civilians, the suppression of civil liberties, theft, and murder to "restore the union" in Tennessee are also examined. Women and children were robbed, brutalized, and left homeless in Sherman's infamous raid through Georgia. In South Carolina, homes, farms, churches, and whole towns disappeared in flames. Civilians received no mercy at the hands of the Union invaders. Thoroughly researched from sources including letters, diaries, and newspaper accounts of the time, Walter Brian Cisco's exhaustive book notably pays careful attention to the suffering of African-American victims of Federal brutality, revealing that wherever Federal troops encountered Southern blacks, whether free or slave, they were robbed, brutalized, belittled, kidnapped, threatened, tortured, and sometimes raped or killed by their blue-clad "liberators." Apologists for Lincoln's hard war continue to downplay the suffering endured and the damage done, blame the victims, or call some of the above incidents "accidents" or "mistakes." Many also cling to the Lincolnian myth that only by the most horrendous of wars could the slaves be freed, ignoring the fact that the rest of the Western world managed to bring an end to the institution without bloodshed. This book serves to set the record straight and to show that the war on Southern civilians was not justified, despite the convictions by many that such a war was necessary to save the union. Walter Brian Cisco's first book, States Rights Gist: A South Carolina General of the Civil War, a biography of the little-known general, was a 1992 selection of the History Book Club. He is also the author of Taking a Stand: Portraits from the Southern Secession Movement, Henry Timrod: A Biography, and Wade Hampton: Confederate Warrior, Conservative Statesman, considered the definitive biography of Hampton and the 2006 winner of the Douglas Southall Freeman History Award. He lives in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing; 1ST edition (April 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158980466X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589804661
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cisco is the author of five books dealing with Southern history and biography. "States Rights Gist" and "Wade Hampton" were selections of the History Book Club, "Hampton" also won the prestigious Douglas Southall Freeman award. Cisco makes his home in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
199 of 223 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unreconstructed History May 7, 2007
Mr. Cisco's flawlessly documented expose of Union Army war crimes rips the carefully constructed facade off Lincoln's "Army of Emancipators." Far from being an army of liberators, Union troops burned, raped, ravaged, and terrorized civilians from east to west. The brutality long overshadowed by federally-sponsored propaganda of Andersonville and Fort Pillow is at last revealed by newspaper accounts, letters, and diaries, many from Washington's own National Archives.

"We believe in a war of extermination," said Union Brigadier General Lane, whose heroic exploits include the arrest and deaths of wives and teenaged girls whose only crime were blood ties to Confederate guerrillas, the expulsion of tens of thousands of civilians from whole Missouri counties and the complete destruction of their property.

General Sherman deliberately turned his back as men pillaged Georgia cities, even allowing them to exhume graves in search of valuables. Free African-Americans as well as southern whites suffered the loss of homes and property, many their lives. The arrival of the northern army of liberation also meant rape and abuse for women of color. Regardless of color or gender, no southerner was spared.

Mr. Cisco's scholarly work is a must-read for serious students of the war and professional historians. Politically correct history cannot hide the sins of the past, and a true examination of facts must occur before complete understanding of America's most tragic war can take place. Five stars.
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142 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damning critique of Federal war prosecution May 12, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When the Lincoln/Grant/Sherman/Sheridan apologists get a whiff of this one they are going to be apoplectic. The problem of course is that this is such a carefully researched, far-reaching collection of essays whose facts are so compelling what exactly will they criticize? Even more "balanced" northern historians have conceded the excesses from the mid-war on. But this demonstrates a war on civilians not only from the opening shots but across the entire region and across the entire war. The books' release on the eve of the History Channel's (HC) Sherman piece could not have been more timely. Sherman the "liberator"? Stay tuned for Hitler: the Hero of Eastern Europe. This book is a gift and should be mandatory reading in both High Schools and Colleges. It is social history and scholarship at it's best.
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68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Human Tragedy July 8, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Many thanks to Mr. Cisco for writing this book. This part of history has been woefully omitted from the public/private school systems in this country for many, many years. It is so shameful to the United States that something happened like this and then is just basically ignored. Thank you especially for bringing to light what happened to the women and children of Roswell, Georgia. There was also another mill town (that has disappeared since Sherman burnt it to the ground) called Manchester which is located just West of the metro Atlanta area. All that is left is the foundations of a few of the mills. The women and children that worked in these mills suffered the same fate as those in Roswell, although I do not know where they ended up. One of my favorite things to do is to take a drive through the beautiful and bucolic Georgia countryside and take in the small shady towns and hamlets and the farmhouses, barns, cows and horses that dot the countryside of lush rolling hills and meadows and to think that just over 140 years ago (which is just a blip in the huge span of human history), an invading army of 50,000 soldiers (actually criminals in a uniform) laid it to ruin, wantonly killed livestock, murdered, raped, pillaged and destroyed. I cannot even imagine what it looked like then or how the Southern civilians must have suffered. I had a very difficult time reading this book. I would read a chapter and then put it down and think about it. The only items that I felt were omitted and I thought would make it more complete was that he left out the horrors wrought on Vicksburg, Mississippi during the seige. Read more ›
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118 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Darker Side of the "Civil" War September 27, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm not from the south and I'm not really a fan of things southern. So I have little patience with "Lost Cause" romanticizing. Moreover, I know something about the darker side of the Civil War, having been researching its atrocities (executions, dislocation of civilians, scorched earth policies, treatment of POWs, etc) for some years now. Mr. Cisco's account of war crimes in this book is really only the tip of the iceberg. The "Civil" War was most uncivil indeed, and what's truly surprising is that some of its more sordid episodes go untaught in schools and unrecognized by idiot reenactors who think the war was great and glorious. True, Cisco's book isn't as academically rigorous as it might be. But the negative reviews here strain too much to find fault with it. Is the lack of a bibliography really an unforgiveable sin, especially when footnotes are present? Are Cisco and DiLorenzo and other historians who offer nonconventional interpretations of the war really scoundrels and fools? And does it serve any real purpose to exaggerate Cisco's claims (I refer specifically to the reviewer who falsely says that Cisco claims that the depredations of the Union led to Hitler--not at all what he actually said)? Lost Causers who romanticize the war are bad enough. But Lincoln groupies who sugarcoat its horrors are even worse.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Ignores the Bigger Picture
Pianos were broken, jam smeared on walls, mirrors destroyed, homes burned. Sad, but how can that be compared to the horrible suffering millions of slaves were enduring? Read more
Published 2 days ago by AvidReader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by John Rossi
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Excellent book and so sad. It is hard to read and that is because of the atrocities committed against our Confederate Ancestors. If you want to know the story, read this book....
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth M. Edmondson
5.0 out of 5 stars Thirty Years War Revisited!
This is the sixty-second review of Cisco's book so little new can be added. That being said, let me note, however, the similarities to the Northern Union's activities in the South... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Stanley
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
All southerners must read this book. History has been changed by our government as to what happened to civilians during the war. Read more
Published 5 months ago by dave
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heroes That Should Have Hanged!
Firstly, there are those who are still fighting or who want to re-fight the War of 1861-1865. I am not one of those people. We've enough to deal with in 2014. Read more
Published 5 months ago by jephwallace
5.0 out of 5 stars well written and researched
This book confirmed what I had suspected concerning the behavior of the yankee soldiers. I remember hearing comments and whispers growing up about thefts and destruction from both... Read more
Published 5 months ago by John R. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars It will make you cry or very angry if you are a Southerner
It will make you cry or very angry if you are a Southerner! If your from the North it will open your eyes!
Published 7 months ago by Southron Patriot
5.0 out of 5 stars required reading
this book should be required reading for ever high school in the country, and the city too. we would all be better off for it.
Published 7 months ago by cliff
5.0 out of 5 stars A story buried to long
A. view that the victors do not want heard,I looked into the fate at the hands of Shermans Liberators they stole everything of value including food. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Screwed
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