The thin light of freedom : the Civil War and emancipation in the heart of America / Edward L. Ayers.Material type: TextPublisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company, Copyright date: ©2017Edition: First editionDescription: xxiii, 576 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cmContent type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780393292633; 0393292630Other title: Civil War and emancipation in the heart of AmericaSubject(s): American Civil War (1861-1865) | Shenandoah River Valley (Va. and W. Va.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 | Franklin (Venango County, Pa.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 | Augusta County (Va.) -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 | Slaves -- Emancipation -- United States | Pennsylvania -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 | HISTORY -- Military -- United States | HISTORY -- United States -- Civil War Period (1850-1877) | United States -- Shenandoah River Valley | Slaves -- Emancipation | Pennsylvania -- Franklin (Venango County) | United States | Virginia -- Augusta County | 1861-1865Genre/Form: History. | History.DDC classification: 975.5/9 LOC classification: E470.3 | .A94 2017
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Includes bibliographical references (pages 503-552) and index.
Part one. The scourge of war : July 1863 through November 1864. The great invasion : May through July 1863 -- A gigantic forlorn hope : July 1863 -- The great task remaining before us : July 1863 through May 1864 -- The Earth will tremble : April through June 1864 -- To burn something in the enemy's country : June through October 1864 -- A campaign of terrible moment : September through November 1864 -- Part two. The harvest of war : December 1864 through 1902. The colossal suicide of world history : December 1864 through March 1865 -- The perils of peace : March through October 1865 -- Rebelism : January through December 1866 -- We must be one people : January 1867 through July 1869 -- The past is not dead : 1868 through 1902 -- Epilogue.
"Amid the devastation of war rise the first stirrings of freedom in this absorbing, ground-level narrative by an acclaimed historian. Virginia's Great Valley, prosperous in peace with a rich soil and an enslaved workforce, invited destruction in war. Voracious Union and Confederate armies ground up the valley, consuming crops, livestock, fences, and human life. Pitched battles at Gettysburg, Lynchburg, and Cedar Creek punctuated a cycle of vicious attacks and reprisals in which armies burned whole towns for retribution. North of the Mason-Dixon line, in the Pennsylvania portion of the valley, free black families sent husbands and sons to fight with the U.S. Colored Troops. In letters home, even as Lincoln commemorated the dead at Gettysburg, they spoke movingly of a war for emancipation. As defeat and the end of slavery descended on Virginia, with the political drama of Reconstruction unfolding in Washington, the crowded classrooms of the Freedmen's Bureau schools spoke of a new society struggling to emerge. Here is history at its best: powerful, insightful, grounded in human detail."--Provided by publisher.