- Hardcover: 588 pages
- Publisher: Orange Frazer Pr Inc; First Edition edition (October 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1933197056
- ISBN-13: 978-1933197050
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,181,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blood, Tears, & Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War Hardcover – October 1, 2007
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From the Inside Flap
In April 1862, Private Joseph Diltz wrote his wife in Ohio about the battle he had just survived: I went into the fight in good heart, but I never want to get in another. It was awful, Mary. You cant form any idea how it was.But Diltz and others kept fighting until the American Civil War was won, the nation restored, and the promise of equality, liberty and justice for all saved. But we, too, find it hard to form an idea of how it was. Thats because half of the American Civil Warthe most important halfwas underappreciated while it was happening, and since then has largely been neglected. Preoccupied with battles in Virginia and the bloody three days at Gettysburg, Americans have failed to realize how the war was decided in the Western Theater by MidwesternersOhioans most of all.Scorned by Easterners as armed rabble and largely out of sight of the big Eastern media, the Midwests tough but poorly trained and supplied farmers, schoolteachers, and country lawyers won battle after battle. In the East, meanwhile, the handsomely prepared Army of the Potomac was humiliated so often by the Confederates that Midwestern generals, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip H. Sheridan (all with Ohio roots) had to come east to finish the war.In leading the Union to victory, they joined other Midwesterners: President Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, both Ohioans..The war did more than save the Union and free the slaves. It preserved the heart of the American Dream, the promise that each of us has an equal opportunity to get ahead, choose our government, and obtain equal justice. It is that promise that creates the optimism that is our oxygen, as historian Douglas Brinkley puts it.In Blood, Tears, and Glory, Dr. James Bissland shares the amazing stories of one of Americas greatestand, until now, underappreciatedgenerations--a generation that saved the American Dream.
About the Author
James H. Bissland, a New Englander who has lived in Ohio since 1976, has spent most of a lifetime reading and researching American history. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell University and master's in American history from the University of Massachusetts. He received a Ph.D. in mass communication studies from the University of Iowa after course work there and at Brown University that included work in history. He is the author, co-author, or editor of several books, including Bountiful Ohio: Good Food and Stories from Where the Heartland Begins and Long River Winding: Life, Love, and Death Along the Connecticut.
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It suffers problems that I'll attribute to lackluster editing from the small publisher. I found some page numbers missing... not the text, just the page numbers (page 90 has no number, and there are no pages marked 91 and 92). An island in the Mississippi is called "Island Number Tenth" and then later "Island Number Ten," and isn't listed in the index at all. The brief phrases used to tag various people are often repeated, sometimes in separate chapters and sometimes on the next page. For example, page 347, "with Meade only nominally in charge..." and page 348, "Meade would remain head--nominally--of the army..."
In spite of these issues, I'm enjoying this book and I'm glad to have it.
I found his character descriptions to be most insightful and colorful. The depictions of Grant, Steedman, Rosecrans, and John Brown were especially riveting. His short bios of the main players were rich with detail and fresh anecdotes. They were never dry and plain -- always juicy and enticing. I loved the alliterative description of Brown as " an avenging angel on assignment from God. I didn't wanting to stop reading in the midst of any new character description.
The author is almost poetic in his economical painting of snippets, often catching the reader off guard, e.g., "small conflicts flickered on the horizon like heat lightening" and my favorite: depicting Foote's gunboats as "enormous Hostess Twinkies with quills."
The work is well-researched and appropriately documented, using an array of fascinating primary sources, including many diaries and early newpaper accounts. While the book subtitle suggests a narrow geographic view, I highly recommend this book to those beyond the midwest.