Making a Covenant with Death: Slavery and the Constitutional Convention

by Dr. Paul Finkelman
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: Dr. Paul Finkelman is the President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law and Public Policy and Senior Fellow in the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, Albany, New York. He has published over twenty books and more than one hundred articles and serves on the advisory panel to the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. This article is an excerpt from Dr. Finkelman’s book, Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson, and appears here through the courtesy of the author. Dr. Finkelman presented to the Roundtable at its February 2009 meeting.


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Scenes from The Fighting McCooks

By Barbara and Charles Whalen
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: The ‘scenes’ that make up this article were excerpted from The Fighting McCooks – America’s Famous Fighting Family by Barbara and Charles Whalen and appear here through the courtesy of the authors.


It was the winter of 1860-61 in the Ohio Valley. On a wind-swept bank of the Ohio River, the western border between free and slave states, a bellicose doctor named John McCook stood beside a little brass cannon. Soon a steamboat hove into view on the broad bosom of the winding river. Downbound, it was rumored to be carrying munitions from the Pittsburgh arsenal to the arming South. When the boat came into range, Dr. McCook fired his cannon furiously, and the startled deckhands dove for cover. Folklore in the Ohio Valley says it was these artillery salvos, and not those fired a few months later at Fort Sumter, that were the opening shots of the Civil War.

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Andersonville’s Whirlpool of Death

By Dr. Max R. Terman
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: The following excerpt comes from the recently published novel Hiram’s Honor: Reliving Private Terman’s Civil War by Max R. Terman and appears here through the courtesy of the author. (Another excerpt from this book is The Great Battle of Gettysburg.) Private Hiram Terman was captured at Gettysburg, sent to Andersonville—and survived! What would that have been like? Based on over ten years of research, Max Terman, Hiram’s descendant, revisits the camps, battlegrounds, and prisons and writes as if he were Private Terman of the 82nd Ohio Infantry in this fact-based, first person account.

In this excerpt, Private Terman arrives at the Confederate prisoner of war camp at Andersonville, Georgia with other members of the 82nd Ohio in a group they call the “Buckeye Manor.” The religious Isaiah, secular Seth, and quick-witted Bushey are Hiram’s closest friends as they strive to survive in the grinding misery of the South’s most infamous prison camp. Sam Parker is a Confederate guard whose life was spared by Hiram at the Battle of McDowell.


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The Great Battle of Gettysburg

By Dr. Max R. Terman
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: The following is a second excerpt from the recently published novel Hiram’s Honor: Reliving Private Terman’s Civil War by Max R. Terman and appears here through the courtesy of the author. (The first excerpt was Andersonville’s Whirlpool of Death.) Private Hiram Terman was captured at Gettysburg, sent to Andersonville—and survived! What would that have been like? Based on over ten years of research, Max Terman, Hiram’s descendant, revisits the camps, battlegrounds, and prisons and writes as if he were Private Terman of the 82nd Ohio Infantry in this fact-based, first person account.

In this excerpt, Private Terman and the 82nd Ohio make their way with the 11th Corps from Emmitsburg, Maryland to Gettysburg, where on July 1, 1863, they engage the Confederate army that had invaded Pennsylvania. After the embarrassment at Chancellorsville, they yearned for redemption and honor. What happened was unthinkable.


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“The Rebels Are Upon Us”

The 1864 Confederate Invasion of Maryland,
the Battle of Monocacy, and Jubal Early’s Move on Washington, D.C.

By Marc Leepson
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from Marc Leepson’s book, Desperate Engagement: How a Little-Known Civil War Battle Saved Washington, D.C., and Changed American History (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press), and appears here through the courtesy of the author. A version of this article originally appeared in Civil War Times Illustrated magazine.


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When Miles Met Davis

By Clint Johnson
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s Note: Clint Johnson is the author of a dozen Civil War-related books. His latest, Pursuit: The Chase, Capture, Persecution and Surprising Release of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, will be published in June 2008. This article is adapted from a chapter of that book and appears here through the courtesy of the author.


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The Madness of Mary Lincoln

By Jason Emerson
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s Note: This article is excerpted from Jason Emerson’s book, The Madness of Mary Lincoln (2007, Southern Illinois University Press), recently named “Book of Year” by the Illinois State Historical Society, and appears here through the courtesy of the author and his publisher.


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In the Shadow of the Civil War: Passmore Williamson and the Rescue of Jane Johnson

By Nat Brandt with Yanna Kroyt Brandt
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2010, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article is excerpted from the book In the Shadow of the Civil War: Passmore Williamson and the Rescue of Jane Johnson and appears here through the courtesy of the authors.


It was “very warm,” William Still thought, “intensely hot” in fact for a mid-July day in Philadelphia. Still was wearing a top hat as a shield against the blazing late-afternoon sun, but otherwise he had chosen to don the jacket of the suit he wore to work. It couldn’t have been comfortable in the heat, for Still was striding quickly down Fifth Street, an urgent note in his hand. A “colored boy” he had never seen before had handed him the note at the office of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.

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Why Grant Won and Lee Lost

By Edward H. Bonekemper, III
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: Edward H. Bonekemper is the author of several Civil War books. His latest, Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian, was published in 2007 by Greenwood Praeger. This article is an excerpt from that book and appears here through the courtesy of the author.


Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee were the generals primarily responsible for the outcome of America’s great Civil War. Superseded in overall importance only by their respective presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, Grant and Lee were the key players on the war’s battlefields.

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Lincoln and Grant: The Westerners Who Won the Civil War

By Edward W. Bonekemper, III
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2012, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: Edward H. Bonekemper is the author of several Civil War books. This article is an excerpt from the introduction to his latest book, Lincoln and Grant: The Westerners Who Won the Civil War, and appears here through the courtesy of the author.


In the course of writing two earlier books, A Victor, Not a Butcher: Ulysses S. Grant’s Overlooked Military Genius and Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian, I discovered the increasingly close working relationship between President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant as the Union moved toward victory in the Civil War. Astounded to discover that there has been no book-length treatment exclusively about their significant relationship, I decided to examine their backgrounds, experiences and wartime interactions in order to demonstrate how these two men, working together, won the Civil War.

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