By Dr. James H. Bissland
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved
Editor’s note: This article is an excerpt from Dr. James Bissland’s latest book, Blood, Tears, & Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War, published in 2007, and appears here through the courtesy of the author. Dr. Bissland will be speaking to the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable at its November 2008 meeting.
Sometimes it seemed as if the nation had split in half, the old sense of common purpose gone, replaced by two countries with the same name. One America, mostly quiet, rural, and sure of its goodness, was proudly conservative, and revered the values of the past. The other America was more urban and industrialized, disputatious, and irreverent. It considered itself progressive and looked to the future. The conservative America was firmly rooted in the South, while the other America was populated mostly by Northerners. After years of suspicion, fear, and name-calling between the two Americas, the United States–united more in name than fact–teetered on the edge of violence. It was April 1861.Continue reading “Blood, Tears, and Glory“