Edited by John W. Quist
When it came to the Civil War, Michiganians never spoke with one voice. At the beginning of the conflict, family farms defined the southern Lower Peninsula, while a sparsely settled frontier characterized the state’s north. Although differing strategies for economic development initially divided Michigan’s settlers, by the 1850s Michiganians’ attention increasingly focused on slavery, race, and the future of the national union. They exchanged charges of treason and political opportunism while wrestling with the meanings of secession, the national union, emancipation, citizenship, race, and their changing economy. Their actions launched transformations in their communities, their state, and their nation in ways that Americans still struggle to understand.
Building upon the current scholarship of the Civil War, the Midwest, and Michigan’s role in the national experience, Michigan’s War is a documentary history of the Civil War era as told by the state’s residents and observers in private letters, reminiscences, newspapers, and other contemporary sources. Clear annotations and thoughtful editing allow teachers and students to delve into the political, social, and military context of the war, making it ideal for classroom use.
John W. Quist is a professor of history at Shippensburg University. He is the author of Restless Visionaries: The Social Roots of Antebellum Reform in Alabama and Michigan and coeditor of James Buchanan and the Coming of the Civil War.
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In 1860, Ohio was among the most influential states in the nation. As the third-most-populous state and the largest in the middle west, it embraced those elements that were in concert-but also at odds-in American society during the Civil War era. Ohio's War uses documents from that vibrant and tumultuous time to reveal how Ohio's soldiers and civilians experienced the Civil War.
On the eve of the Civil War and after, Illinois was one of the most significant states in the Union. Its history is, in many respects, the history of the Union writ large: its political leaders figured centrally in the war’s origins, progress, and legacies; and its diverse residents made sacrifices and contributions—both on the battlefield and on the home front—that proved essential to Union victory.
Civil War Missouri stood at the crossroads of America. As the most Southern-leaning state in the Middle West, Missouri faced a unique dilemma. The state formed the gateway between east and west, as well as one of the borders between the two contending armies. Moreover, because Missouri was the only slave state in the Great Interior, the conflicts that were tearing the nation apart were also starkly evident within the state.
Indiana’s War is a primary source collection featuring the writings of Indiana’s citizens during the Civil War era. Using private letters, official records, newspaper articles, and other original sources, the volume presents the varied experiences of Indiana’s participants in the war both on the battlefield and on the home front.