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War Crimes Against Southern Civilians

4.5 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1589804661
ISBN-10: 158980466X
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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.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing (April 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158980466X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589804661
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By fruitloop VINE VOICE on May 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Once I started reading this work I could hardly put it down. Every page made me more annoyed with the tragic and brutal behavior of the federal empire in the 1860s. With every passing moment I grew more indignant on account of the misinformation I had received in my early years of training at the government school. If you want to know what really went on during the vicious and cruel war against civilians waged by Lincoln, Stanton, Grant, Sherman, Butler, Sheridan, Hunter and other beastly thugs who have donned a federal uniform and assailed noncombatant Americans, then do not hesitate to read this fine work. Cisco gets an A+ for this effort!
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In this moving tale of human suffering, one may discover from first hand account the true meaning of terrorism. The Union troops who invaded the South in their bid for independence, unable (or unwilling) to win militarily, turned their attention to civilians of the South.

The murder, rape, theft, and willful destruction of personal property ought to cause any American to question the government school mythology of the wicked South and the righteous North. It's clear from this text who was fighting for freedom and who was fighting for conquest.

This book moved me from anger to tears and back again.

Cisco's attention to the treatment of African-Americans by Union troopers adds a new dimension to the already weighty cannon of catalogued war crimes cited in other works.

After reading this book, you will NEVER look at the American government and their war against the people of the South the same way again.

Thank you, Mr. Cisco, for bringing the material out of the dustbins and into the light!
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