The American Civil War was a crucial event in the development of Chicago as the metropolis of the heartland. Not only did Chicagoans play an important role in the politics of the conflict, encouraging emancipation and promoting a “hard war” policy against Southern civilians, but they supported the troops materially through production of military supplies and foodstuffs as well as morally and spiritually through patriotic publications and songs. The Civil War transformed Chicago from a mere commercial center to an industrial power as well as the nation’s railroad hub and busiest port. The war also divided Chicago, however, between Lincoln supporters and Copperheads, whites and blacks, workers and owners, natives and newcomers.
The city played a key role in elevating Abraham Lincoln to the Republican presidential nomination in 1860, yet only four years later a Chicago politician’ s influence was key in declaring the war a failure and promoting a platform of peace with the Confederacy. Using seldom seen or newly uncovered sources, this book tells the story of the Civil War through the eyes of those who lived that history. Photographs throughout the book effectively convey the geography of events in this pivotal period of Chicago’s history, and the editors have provided a useful driving guide to Civil War sites in and around the city.
Maybe there has never been a more comprehensive work on the history of Chicago than the five volumes written by Josiah S. Currey - and possibly there will never be. Without making this work a catalogue or a mere list of dates or distracting the reader and losing his attention, he builds a bridge for every historically interested reader. The history of Windy City is not only particularly interesting to her citizens, but also important for the understanding of the history of the West. This volume is number two out of five and covers topics like Douglas and Lincoln in Chicago, the Great Fires, the Civil War, Evanston and the Universities.
In this book the author, Weston A. Goodspeed, and the editor, Juergen beck, offer a general survey of Cook County history, including a condensed history of Chicago and special account of districts outside the city limits, from the earliest settlement to the time of the turn of the 20th century. There is hardly a book that contains more information and is more complete than this edition with more than 540 pages full of facts and data.
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