By David Hardin
"Show me a hero and that i will write you a tragedy," acknowledged F. Scott Fitzgerald. probably no occasion in American background higher illustrates this view than the Civil conflict and its valuable gamers within the years after the clash. the price of army glory and ties to greatness might flip towards the tragic even one of the victors—like earthquake survivors stumbling into one other international, easily attempting to make a brand new existence. Their fight will be a relentless tug again towards a destroyed previous, and a disagreement with the truth of being strangers of their personal land.
David Hardin's tales of 11 such figures are revealing and touching: the explosive romance among Jefferson Davis's daughter and the grandson of a Yankee abolitionist; the fight among the irreligious William T. Sherman and his religious Catholic spouse for the soul in their volatile son; the bankrupt Ulysses Grant's heroic race to accomplish his memoirs and supply for his relatives whereas demise of melanoma. those are one of the tales and other people in After the War, which additionally contains the Southern diarist Mary Chesnut, the luckless accomplice John Bell Hood, the occasionally Klan chief Nathan Bedford Forrest, the shopaholic Mary Lincoln, the gentlemanly Joe Johnston, the mythological Robert E. Lee, the underappreciated Union basic George Thomas, and the plucky Libbie Custer, who defended her husband top identified for his reckless catastrophe.
Whether Northerner or Southerner, their lives didn't finish at Appomattox. Their numerous results are a dinner party of irony and, jointly, a portrait of nationwide switch. With 11 black-and-white photographs.
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Extra info for After the war : the lives and images of major Civil War figures after the shooting stopped
Two years later Tom was sent through a course at Yale’s Sheffield Scientific School, then on to Washington University’s School of Law in St. Louis. Sherman wrote optimistically from the city of Washington to Ellen in St. Louis in March 1877: “I am sure that if Tom goes on as now, he will in two years enter on a Career not only brilliant but successful in a business sense. My business friends there will be his, and they are among the best in the West. ” That summer he took Tom along on a trip out West to inspect military outposts.
The pious Ellen seemed never to weary of trying to bring the general to the church. During this same destructive march that the South would condemn for generations—and that would take its own bizarre twist later with Tom Sherman—Ellen wrote her husband: “Why can you not make your great works meritorious by offering them to God and doing them in His honor? If you do this you will perhaps be rewarded with faith & receive for your labors an imperishable crown in the kingdom of God where our dear ones await us.
Mark Twain would have chortled, but it reflected the temper of the times in the new South—old times there not forgotten. The United Daughters persist, but notice of Winnie gradually faded. The enigmatic Jefferson Davis and the vivacious Varina were more important and interesting to biographers and other manipulators of the past. ” Like those who chose the opposite side from friends and family before the war, Winnie Davis was not the only person afterward to contend with scorn and abuse for a North-South attachment.