This is an excellent book and one of my favorite books about the War Between the States. It is altogether heartbreaking to think our country was at war with itself. If only this had never happened. We lost most of our best people on both sides but especially in the South. What was left was further deflated by the horrid treatment of the south by the harsh northern attitude toward the southern people which sadly in many ways remains to this day. After the war, many that could, moved away to places like Brazil or to the promise of a better future in the booming California. It's hard to imagine what the south would be like if everyone had remained. I really enjoyed this book as heartbreaking as it was to read, I came away with a greater understanding of the times and of what really happened. There was certainly nothing romantic about this time in our history. It makes you wonder how our country ever survived this especially with the added tragedy of Lincoln's death. I feel for the people who were starved for any good news at all and there wasn't any ever for far too long. I would highly recommend this book for further understanding the day to day harsh reality of this sad time in our history.
I enjoyed this one so much I read it twice. I'm an avid reader of Civil War history, this work by Stephen V. Ash is one of my absolute favorites. His meticulous research is complemented by his elegant writing. This book is both accessible & brilliant--a rare combination indeed--and it's great choice for historians and all lovers of history!
Excellent read. A must for graduate students and any student of the Civil War at any age. I read it in grad school and ordered it for my father as a gift. He's no slouch when it comes to reading but some secondary historical works I have given him have been a bit too erudite (and for me too!). My dad is well-read and versed in Civil War and World War II and Cold War History and this was perfect for him. Ash writes for fellow scholars both professional and amateur and for the educated masses (this is NOT a mass popular history work! Yuck!). It is just very approachable and readable while still maintaining the high standards of research, details, and arguments of scholarly works.