The North Reports the Civil War

The North Reports the Civil War

The North Reports the Civil War

The North Reports the Civil War

Excerpt

Since the publication in 1873 of Frederic Hudson Journalism in the United States many books of varying value have treated aspects of the history of American newspapering. The vast majority, however, have stressed the role of the editors and of the editorial function, leaving largely untold the story of the actual men who collected, wrote, and sent in the news.

In The North Reports the Civil War, Dr. Andrews, professor of history at the Pennsylvania College for Women, repairs this defect. He has written a scholarly, readable, comprehensive narrative of the war correspondents on the Northern side of the great sectional conflict. He describes their trials and tribulations in transmitting dispatches to their home offices. He conveys through the reporters' eyes much of the drama of the fighting. But the reader sees also the officers in their tents, the men about the campfires, and desperate action on land and water.

For no other war in modern times, European or American, has the news reporting been analyzed so exhaustively. Besides the printed dispatches from the field, the author has consulted more than fifty manuscript collections scattered through the United States, some of them still in private hands, and delved into numerous published and unpublished government documents, as well as countless books and magazine articles. The sixty newspaper files include some in the South and in Europe.

Thanks to painstaking research, extending over more than a decade, Professor Andrews has established the identity of many reporters, some previously unknown even to specialists in the field. Moreover, he sheds new light on the relationship to the press of leading generals and admirals. Of particular interest perhaps is the instance of Union General George Gordon Meade, whose cavalier treatment of a Philadelphia Inquirer correspondent during the Wilderness Campaign helped to frustrate his presidential aspirations.

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