Bohemian Brigade: Civil War Newsmen in Action

Bohemian Brigade: Civil War Newsmen in Action

Bohemian Brigade: Civil War Newsmen in Action

Bohemian Brigade: Civil War Newsmen in Action

Excerpt

Like many of those happy people for whom the multiple attractions of the Civil War are practically irresistible. I have often wondered, in the course of my reading, how much the American people knew about it while it was being fought. Mountains of material are available to us today. What of those whose lives turned on the outcome? Were they aware of the significance of the Monitor-Merrimac fight while the guns were still warm? Did they know, in the first days of July 1863, of the epochal events transpiring at Gettysburg and Vicksburg? How did McClellan, Grant, Sherman, and other leaders appear to them? In fine, how was the war reported?

These pages seek to answer that question and, in so doing, to assess some of the effects of newspaper reporting upon the war.

My second and more compelling purpose is, conversely, to illuminate the effects of the Civil War upon the development of journalism. The historical literature of journalism abounds in editorial studies, but the news side, save in the general survey histories, has been largely neglected. We have more studies of Horace Greeley than of all the newsmen in his century. Yet the work of these obscure reporters and managing editors . . .

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