Civil War Times

FIGHTING ON MULTIPLE FRONTS

DURING THE LAST WEEKS OF AUGUST 1862,

Dakota Sioux warriors cut a violent swath through much of Minnesota. Far to the southeast, Union forces battled Confederates in the campaign that led to the Second Battle of Bull Run. “We are in the midst of a most terrible and exciting Indian war,” read a telegram to Abraham Lincoln from St. Paul on August 27. “A wild panic prevails in nearly one-half of the State. All are rushing to the frontier to defend the settlers.” ¶ A week later, following defeat at Bull Run, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles recorded in his diary, “Our great army comes retreating to the banks of the Potomac, driven back to the entrenchments by rebels.” An executive order from Lincoln the previous day had directed government clerks and employees to be “armed and supplied with ammunition, for the defense of the capital.” ¶ Should these events in Minnesota and northern Virginia both be considered part of the Civil War? More broadly, should confrontations between U.S. forces and Native Americans between 1861 and 1865 be treated as elements of a single military conflict that also witnessed conventional operations between Union and Confederate armies?

A growing body of scholarship interprets the Civil War and military actions against Native Americans in the West as parts of one historical process. This trend exemplifies how historians, with their advantage of hindsight and access to all kinds of sources, often identify patterns by exploring seemingly disparate factors. In 2003, the distinguished Western scholar Elliott West assessed martial action against the Confederacy and against Native Americans as prongs of a single U.S. state-building effort in the 19th century. By concentrating on the war between the United States and the Confederacy, West argued, Civil War scholars had ignored a

Stai leggendo un'anteprima, registrati per continuare a leggere.

Altro da Civil War Times

Civil War Times1 min letti
The Other Gettysburg
Founded in 1883 by Civil War veterans and named for the titanic Eastern Theater engagement, Gettysburg, S.D., remains a thriving small-town community. Incorporated into a City in 1907, and dubbed the Gettysburg “where the battle wasn’t,” it now boast
Civil War Times3 min letti
Lone Star Struggle
Pointe Coupee Parish, Vermilionville, Sabine Pass, Bayou Bourbeau, Catahoula Basin, Niblett’s Bluff. The place names roll off the tongue like sweet tea and étouffée. Fighting in these locales was another matter altogether. Malarial swamps, sawgrass c
Civil War Times8 min letti
The Widow’s Secret
Barely five feet tall and weighing no more than 100 pounds, Helen Viola Jackson sat on the edge of a bed in a private room of a nursing home, her tiny feet grazing the floor. Hanging on a wall, near a collection of birthday cards, was a photo of Jack