Academic journal article Military Review

The Union War

Academic journal article Military Review

The Union War

Article excerpt

THE UNION WAR, Gary W. Gallagher, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2011, 256 pages, $27.95.

The Union War is an engaging historical analysis that examines the motivational factors of northern loyalists during the Civil War. Author Gary W. Gallagher firmly declares that preservation of the Union was the central factor responsible for the initial enlistment of soldiers. Faith in the idea of Union was the driving mechanism behind their perseverance during the most unfavorable moments of the war. Gallagher argues that in opposition to popular belief, ending slavery was not a significant goal of the Union at the beginning of the war. The debate of ending slavery became substantial only when northerners realized it could be used as a crippling tool against Confederate forces.

The author identifies key issues concerning Union soldiers and political figures through diaries, newspaper accounts, letters, and other concurrent evidence. Through these dialogues, Gallagher captures the profound meaning of the Union among the Civil War generation. The Union represented the legacy of the founding fathers. The model democratic republic they had created was like no other in the world. It was built upon a constitution that ensured political liberty as well as the opportunity for economic improvement. Its preservation was essential. The collapse of the republic would not only shame the founding fathers but also future generations of Americans who would utilize its political and economic benefits. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.