With hundreds of entries, as well as photographs, drawings, and a handy time line of events, Civil War, A to Z encompasses everything about this historic conflict . . . from Appomattox to Zouaves.
This encyclopedic illustrated reference features facts both familiar and engagingly new, organized in an easy-to-follow alphabetical format. Ranging from the basic to the bizarre, from secession to spies to all kinds of swords, Civil War, A to Z creates a complete picture of the war from the first shot to final surrender. No Civil War enthusiast or student of history will want to be without this indispensable and entertaining guide to one of America's most pivotal and endlessly fascinating events.
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October 28, 2002
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Excerpt from Civil War, A to Z by Clifford L. Linedecker
One of the most formidable obstacles laid around defensive positions during the war, abatis were tangles of trees and large limbs carefully arranged with the branches pointed toward the attackers. Small branches and leaves were stripped away to prevent their use as cover for the enemy. Remaining branches were sharpened at the ends, and larger chunks were often covered with earth, staked to the ground, or nailed to cross-beams to inhibit efforts to dismantle the obstacles.
Abercrombie, Brigadier General John Joseph, U.S.
A West Pointer, Abercrombie served as a captain in Florida's Seminole Wars, before he was brevetted as a major for gallant conduct at the Battle of Okeechobee. After frontier duty and fighting in the Mexican War, where he was wounded at Monterrey and again cited for gallantry, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. During the Civil War he fought at Falling Waters during the Shenandoah Campaign and served through the Peninsular Campaign as a brigadier general of volunteers. Abercrombie was wounded at Fair Oaks and fought at Malvern Hill, then participated in several skirmishes during the retreat to Harrison's Landing. During 1862 and 1863 he was engaged in the defense of Washington. He later served at Fredericksburg and fought against Hampton's Legion. Abercrombie was brevetted brigadier general at the end of the conflict.
Religious fundamentalists in the North were convinced that slavery was a national evil, and they became the primary force that founded and shaped the abolitionist movement. In the South most whites considered abolitionists uninformed meddlers, who were attacking their lifestyle and economy. As the abolitionist movement took firm root, the American Anti-Slavery Society grew to more than 1,000 chapters and a membership of more than 250,000. Inevitably, the heated debate and partisan rancor led to bloodshed on both sides of the issue. Passage of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 and publication two years later of Harriet Beecher Stowe's melo- dramatic but scathing attack on slavery Uncle Tom's Cabin helped fan the flames of the growing enmity between the largely proslavery forces in the South and the abolitionists in the North. (See: Douglas, Frederick; Dred Scott Decision; and Stowe, Harriet Beecher.)
Adams, Brigadier General John, CS
The son of Irish immigrants, Adams graduated from West Point and served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican War. Brevetted for gallantry and meritorious conduct during the Battle of Santa Cruz de Rossales, he was commissioned first lieutenant in 1851 and promoted to captain five years later. Adams was serving at Fort Crook, California, when he resigned his U.S. Army commission and traveled to Tennessee to fight for the South. He was a captain of cavalry when he was placed in command at Memphis. In May 1862 he was promoted to colonel and in December became a brigadier general. When Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman died in 1863, Adams assumed command of his Mississippi infantry brigade, fought under General Joseph E. Johnston at Vicksburg, and served with Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk in Mississippi. Transferred to the Confederate Army of Tennessee, Adams served with General John B. Hood after the fall of Atlanta, in the Nashville Campaign, and briefly with General Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry. Adams was leading his regiment in an attack against Union troops at the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864, when he was killed.