Young Folks' History of the Civil War

In writing this little book, it has been the aim of the author to tell the story of the late civil war so simply, that it might interest a class of youthful readers not hitherto reached. For this reason, and in order to present a clearer picture of the events narrated, it has been found necessary to describe many battles in definite outline merely, omitting thus, with however much regret, the mention of many names which would have adorned the page on which they were written. All the statements, however, which have been here made, have been carefully and even repeatedly verified; and in consulting authorities the accounts given by the earlier have been compared with those given by the more recent writers on their stirring theme.


Table of Contents

I. The Reason Why 1
II. A Family Quarrel 18
III. A Spark in a Powder-Magazine 23
IV. A Call for Help 47
V. The Nation's Answer 63
VI. Clouds 78
VII. A Black Monday 91
VIII. Western Warriors 108
IX. Odds and Ends 124
X. Old Men for Counsel, Young Men for War 138
XI. On the Sea 154
XII. "Two Heads are Better than One" 170
XIII. "Where there's a Will, There's a Way" 187
XIV. Two Surprises 199
XV. Here a Little, and There a Little 214
XVI. "On to Richmond!" 226
XVII. A Story of Disappointment 242
XVIII. "Faint, yet Pursuing" 257
XIX. A New Commander 271
XX. Broken Chains 294
XXI. The Stuff that Heroes are made of 309
XXII. Crumbs Picked up 329
XXIII. Defeat and Victory 341
XXIV. Vicksburg 364
XXV. On Many Waters 384
XXVI. Steps that Count 396
XXVII. In Divers and Sundry Places 411
XXVIII. A Pull All Together 424
XXIX. Deeds, not Words 438
XXX. "If One wishes a Thing done well, let Him do It Himself" 451
XXXI. Marching through Georgia 462
XXXII. They that go down to the Sea in Ship" 475
XXXIII. A Peep Inside 490
XXXIV. The Beginning of the End 502
XXXV. At Close Quarters 516
XXXVI. The End 530



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It was slavery that made all the trouble. Now that it exists no longer, we remember it only as a bad dream from which we are thankful to awaken.

The day is long past in which men and women, and even little children, were bought and sold for money in our own free country ; for it is indeed true that the laws of our land once permitted negroes to be treated as dumb animals might have been before there was a humane society to protect them. They had no rights, and their wrongs were many. Faithful labor for a lifetime brought them no wages. No choice of masters was possible. The question whether they should suffer hardships, or enjoy comforts, depended wholly upon the sort of men who owned them. Some masters were kind, and looked after their people; but by far the greater number left the care of their slaves to overseers whose tender mercies were cruel.

But the colored race is easy-going and cheerful by nature, taking life patiently, and waiting hopefully for the "good time coming" by and by. So these poor people dried their tears, and sang and prayed and danced; and their masters called them happy children, content with their lot. A true story of those times, picturing to your minds the wealth and luxury and sin on the one hand, and the sorrow and misery on the other, would be as hard to believe as any of the "Tales of the Arabian Nights."

The Pilgrim Fathers settled at Plymouth more than two hundred years ago. At that time a shipload of negroes had already been sent by an English slave-trading company to Virginia, landing at Old Point Comfort.