Book cover of West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire by Kevin Waite
Civil War

West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire

When American slaveholders looked west in the mid-nineteenth century, they saw an empire unfolding before them. They pursued that vision through diplomacy, migration, and armed conquest. By the late 1850s, slaveholders and their allies had transformed the southwestern quarter of the nation – California, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Utah – into a political client of the plantation states. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Heart of Hell: The Soldiers' Struggle for Spotsylvania's Bloody Angle by Jeffry Wert
Civil War

The Heart of Hell: The Soldiers’ Struggle for Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle

The struggle over the fortified Confederate position known as Spotsylvania’s Mule Shoe was without parallel during the Civil War. A Union assault that began at 4:30 A.M. on May 12, 1864, sparked brutal combat that lasted nearly twenty-four hours. By the time Grant’s forces withdrew, some 55,000 men from Union and Confederate armies had been drawn into the fury, battling in torrential rain along the fieldworks at distances often less than the length of a rifle barrel. […Learn More]

Book cover of Escape!: The Story of the Confederacy's Infamous Libby Prison and the Civil War's Largest Jail Break by Robert Watson
Civil War

Escape!: The Story of the Confederacy’s Infamous Libby Prison and the Civil War’s Largest Jail Break

Robert P. Watson provides the definitive account of the Confederacy’s infamous Libby Prison, site of the Civil War’s largest prison break. Libby Prison housed Union officers, high-profile foes of the Confederacy, and political prisoners. Watson captures the wretched conditions, cruel guards, and the story of the daring prison break, called “the most remarkable in American history.” […Learn More]

Book cover of I Saw Death Coming: A History of Terror and Survival in the War against Reconstruction by Kidada Williams
Civil War

I Saw Death Coming: A History of Terror and Survival in the War against Reconstruction

From a groundbreaking scholar, a heart-wrenching reexamination of the struggle for survival in the Reconstruction-era South, and what it cost.

The story of Reconstruction is often told from the perspective of the politicians, generals, and journalists whose accounts claim an outsized place in collective memory. But this pivotal era looked very different to African Americans in the South transitioning from bondage to freedom after 1865. […Learn More]

Book cover of Colossal Ambitions: Confederate Planning for a Post–Civil War by Adrian Brettle
Civil War

Colossal Ambitions: Confederate Planning for a Post–Civil War

Leading politicians, diplomats, clerics, planters, farmers, manufacturers, and merchants preached a transformative, world-historical role for the Confederacy, persuading many of their compatriots to fight not merely to retain what they had but to gain their future empire. Impervious to reality, their vision of future world leadership―territorial, economic, political, and cultural―provided a vitally important, underappreciated motivation to form an independent Confederate republic. […Learn More]

Book cover of Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington by Ted Widmer
Biography & Autobiography

Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington

Lincoln on the Verge tells the dramatic story of America’s greatest president discovering his own strength to save the Republic.

As a divided nation plunges into the deepest crisis in its history, Abraham Lincoln boards a train for Washington and his inauguration—an inauguration Southerners have vowed to prevent. […Learn More]