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As we celebrate the birth of the nation on July 4, it seems appropriate to reflect on the era in which the United States stood in danger of an irreversible divide. The battle of Gettysburg, which took place July 1-3, 1863, was the bloodiest battle and the turning point of the Civil War. This year also marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the split of West Virginia from the seceding Virginia and the enactment of the First Conscription Act during the Civil War. This month also marks the 150th anniversary of the great draft riot in New York City.

Since the Civil War ran from April 1861 to May 1865, the country will be commemorating its various battles and events for at least two more years. That allows plenty of time to catch up on your reading about this important watershed of the nation’s history and offers many opportunities for teaching about the significance and repercussions of this history. offers discount prices on a variety of titles on this subject to enhance your knowledge and to provide resources for course work. Here are some selections from our publishers:


Gettysburg: Sentinels of Stone, by Timothy T. Isbell, $36 (List price: $40), University of Mississippi Press, April 2006, ISBN: 9781578068395192, pp. 192.

This book of photographs by an award-winning photographer commemorates the battle of Gettysburg, where the Union defeated Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and forced what was left of it to retreat. The book includes 85 photographs, accompanied by the stories of soldiers and witnesses to the battle.


Confederate Industry: Manufacturers and Quartermasters in the Civil War, by Harold S. Wilson,   $27 (List price: $30), University of Mississippi Press, April 2005,   ISBN: 9781578068173, pp. 232.

This book explores the Confederate military’s program to govern the South’s prosperous industrial base by a quartermaster system. The quartermaster general commandeered more than half the South’s produced goods for the military and appropriated hundreds of mills. At the same time, the Union systematically planned the destruction of Confederate industry. A Union blockade stopped the import of goods and crushed Southern industry. This book also traces the history of the South’s re-emergence in manufacturing and cotton milling.


The Sinking of the USS Cairo, by John C. Wideman, $22.50 (List price: $25), University of Mississippi Press, May 2004, ISBN: 1578066808,  pp. 208

The previously untold story of a Union ironclad that became the first man-of-war sunk in combat by a naval torpedo unfolds in this book. The author, a criminal and civil investigator, solves the mystery surrounding the sinking of the USS Cairo in 1862 by an underwater mine. Wideman explores the exploits of the Confederate Secret Service in fighting the Union Army and Navy with unconventional weapons made from the materials at hand.


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