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A House Reunited: How America Survived the Civil War by Jay Winik

A House Reunited: How America Survived the Civil War

by Jay Winik

Title Details

Unabridged Edition
Running Time
7 Hrs. 30 Min.


The American Civil War is perhaps the greatest challenge any democratic society has ever faced. The events of the war are well known. The names of the battles - Antietam, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg - have echoed through time and resonate to the present day, as do the names of the leaders - Grant and Sherman, Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson. What is less understood is exactly how close the Union came to a permanent break. In this course, award-winning historian Jay Winik examines the climactic period near the end of this devastating conflict - a period that could have destroyed America, but saved it instead. It was a most precarious moment for the South. Atlanta had been overwhelmed, Columbia surrendered and burned, Charleston abandoned. The peace conference at Hampton Roads had been fruitless, and the British and French had refused to intervene. After striking harsh blows against the Union during the six bloodiest weeks of the war, the Army of Northern Virginia had wriggled free of its enemy's clutches and fallen back, assuming a defensive position around the cities of Petersburg and Richmond. Across the slim divide of trenches and water lay U.S. Grant's swelling and mighty Army of the Potomac. Southerners knew this was not the first time in history defenders had been cut to pieces and yet somehow found the will to prevail. They still had four armies in the field, and their guerrilla fighters and cavalry were second to none. Confronted by the prospect of losing everything, they hoped to find a leader who could rescue the south. In the trenches they believed there was such a man, and a weary Abraham Lincoln shared this thought. Robert E. Lee and the generals who looked to him for guidance were as aggressive as ever, not ready to give up or relinquish their Confederate identity. The war was not over, not by a long shot. It is the eve of April 1865. Even today, what followed in the remaining days of the Civil War seems almost miraculous. April 1865 is a month as dramatic and devastating as any faced in this nation's history - and it proved to be the most moving and decisive month not simply of the Civil War, but quite likely, in the life of the United States.

Lecture 1 A Nation Delayed

Lecture 2 The Dilemma: America as Two Nations

Lecture 3 The Warrior: Robert E. Lee

Lecture 4 The Epic Fall of Richmond

Lecture 5 The Chase - Grant Hot on Lee's Heels

Lecture 6 The Fateful Decision: Guerrilla War?

Lecture 7 U.S. Grant and the Historic Meeting at Appomattox

Lecture 8 April 14 - Decapitation and the Great Unraveling?

Lecture 9 Abraham Lincoln: On Whom So Much Depends

Lecture 10 Post-Assassination: Would It Now All Come Undone?

Lecture 11 The Volatile Ones: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Bill Sherman

Lecture 12 The Surrender Continues

Lecture 13 The Final Obstacles to Reconciliation

Lecture 14 What Happened To Make a Nation?

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