A Worse Place Than Hell: How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation

A Worse Place Than Hell: How the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg Changed a Nation by John Matteson 0393247074 9780393247077
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ISBN: 0393247074


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December 1862 drove the United States toward a breaking point. The Battle of Fredericksburg shattered Union forces and Northern confidence. As Abraham Lincolns government threatened to fracture, this critical moment also tested five extraordinary individuals whose lives reflect the soul of a nation. The changes they underwent led to profound repercussions in the countrys law, literature, politics, and popular mythology. Taken together, their stories offer a striking restatement of what it means to be American.

Guided by patriotism, driven by desire, all five moved toward singular destinies. A young Harvard intellectual steeped in courageous ideals, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. confronted grave challenges to his concept of duty. The one-eyed army chaplain Arthur Fuller pitted his frail body against the evils of slavery. Walt Whitman, a gay Brooklyn poet condemned by the guardians of propriety, and Louisa May Alcott, a struggling writer seeking an authentic voice and her fathers admiration, tended soldiers wracked bodies as nurses. On the other side of the national schism, John Pelham, a West Point cadet from Alabama, achieved a unique excellence in artillery tactics as he served a doomed and misbegotten cause.

A Worse Place Than Hell brings together the prodigious forces of war with the intimacy of individual lives. Matteson interweaves the historic and the personal in a work as beautiful as it is powerful.

Author: John Matteson

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 528

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Publication Date: 2021-02-09


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