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Civil War St. Louis (Modern War Studies) (Modern War Studies (Paperback)) Revised Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0700613618
ISBN-10: 0700613617
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A great read for local Civil War buffs and all of us enchanted by the city's past." --St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"An outstanding and welcome examination of a city of immense importance." --Civil War Book Review

From the Back Cover

"The bloody divisions created by the Civil War were deeper and higher in the Union slave states, where Americans were divided from the beginning and where there were numerous civil wars within the Civil War. Nowhere is this more true than in St. Louis. And no one has told the story of St. Louis's civil wars better than Louis Gerteis. . . . A triumph."--Ira Berlin, author of Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America

"Gerteis does a masterful job of unraveling the tangled mix of ethnic, racial, political, religious, economic, and kinship groups that defined this robust, cosmopolitan city. In so doing, he shows that not all the drama of the war took place on the battlefield."--Daniel E. Sutherland, author of Seasons of War: The Ordeal of a Confederate Community, 1861-1865

"Replete with gripping and unforgettable images."--Mark E. Neely, Jr., author of Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 422 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Pr of Kansas; Revised edition (November 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700613617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700613618
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #797,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Rule on November 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
(...) Gerteis, professor of history at University Missouri-St. Louis, has created the best single work on the subject yet produced. The breadth of this book is its greatest strength, starting with the lynching of Francis McIntosh in 1836 and ending with Reconstruction in the 1870’s. In between is the expected cast of characters like Thomas Hart Benton, Dred Scott, the Blairs, Gratz Brown, Basil Duke, Claiborne Jackson, Franz Sigel, James O. Broadhead, Sterling Price, Joseph W. Tucker, the Fremonts. . . well, you get the picture. The list could continue to impressive lengths, and does so in Prof. Gerteis’ book. Abraham Lincoln isn’t elected president (en passant at that) until page 77.
Of particular pleasure was the inclusion of significant material on lesser-known, but important, figures like J.E.D. Couzins, James E. Yeatman and the Western Sanitary Commission, Rev. John Richard Anderson, and James B. Eads and the river navy. Prof. Gerteis also does an excellent job of weaving the German thread
into the Union quilt as seamlessly as it has ever been done.
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Format: Hardcover
Gerteis' book is valuable to those who are interested in the intricacies of the larger Civil War and to those who are interested in the history of St. Louis. I fall into both categories and loved the book for those reasons alone. Two categories of the times about which I had read very little were the roles that women filled in during the war and how filling those roles lead to social changes after the war (like a prelude of Rosy the Riveter) and also about the role of first runaway slaves, then contraband slaves, and then African Americans of all sorts filling the cities of the border states. The details of some of the characters in history for these two moments--women's roles and integration of black into society--are ones that I will carry with me forever.
Gerteis is a story-teller. He really knows how to make the material move, and it was fun just learning about the intertwining families of St. Louis and how their relationships played out in odd and sometimes violent ways. Very good writing.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is excellent for the "fleshing out" of characters and personalities of which the preponderence of us only know by name. Dr. Gerteis creates non-fiction which reads like an unfolding panorama of events which could have only been spawned with the creativity of the human mind. But these things happened and they are the property of time. Dr. Gerteis allows us in the salon where before we had only been allowed to peek in the door.
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Format: Paperback
This book definitely surpassed my expectations. The author effectively pens a strong work of history while keeping the dramatic nature of these events compelling. As a native St. Louisan, I was shocked to learn many of the stunning details of this true story, such as the shooting and massacres that occurred on the streets of the city, the large Confederate encampment in town, and the floating hospital steamships on the riverfront filled with gruesomely injured soldiers. The writer adroitly explains the political and legal tension as well, including the rise of the Republican party, Dred Scott, martial law and habeas corpus, Missouri Confederate guerillas, and the impact of the famous Missouri Senator Thomas Hart Benton. All in all, this book is a terrific contribution to St. Louis history.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a border city in a slave state, St. Louis might have gone either way in the secession crisis. This is the story of how and why it emerged as a citadel of free labor within the Union. The reasons were economic, political, legal, demographic, military, certainly not moral. The side that prevailed saw slavery as obsolete, a relic of the past, an obstacle to progress. The raid on Camp Jackson asserted federal control over the city, and the Stars and Bars went underground.

This book captures the angst and excitement of the time. The illustrations bring to life some of the prominent people and places. Good coverage of the Dred Scott case, the Camp Jackson affair, the refugee and fugitive slave crises, martial law and civil liberties issues, military prisons, the sanitary commissions and the ladies' relief societies, gunboat building at the Carondelet boatyard. The story extends beyond the war.

This book is about the big shots at the top--the Fremonts, the Bentons, bankers, politicians, generals, lawyers, the courts, etc. If you want to learn how the Civil War affected the lives of ordinary St. Louisans, black and white, Galusha Anderson's book is probably a better choice. But if you want the legal fine points and the politics at the top, this is your book. It goes into great detail and is lavishly sourced.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best documented account I have ever read about the situation in St. Louis before and during the Civil War. It was detailed and fair to both sides. A Must Have for everyone interested in St. Louis [and Missouri] history.
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