Civil War Crossroads

How two devotees of the American flag and one Supreme Court justice shaped the story of a border town—and the nation

The Italianate building at 101 West Church Street in Frederick, Maryland, had by 1861 become a house divided. The patriarch of the Baers, the family who lived there, was staunchly pro-Union, while his son had married a Southerner and taken up her cause. Tensions built up so much between the two factions that the elder Mr. Baer devised a plan: His son’s family would live on the first floor and the Northern sympathizers on the second; the dining room and foyer would be neutral territory, with no political talk allowed. Read more »

Stonewall Jackson’s Deadly Calm


“THERE WAS A WITHCERY IN his name,” a Mississippian wrote, “which carried confidence to friend and terror to foe,” Northerners victimized by Stonewall Jackson’s daring thrusts were hardly less laudatory. Gen. Gouverneur K.Read more »

The New Civil War

TWENTY YEARS AGO I WAS WORKING in the American Heritage book division side by side with our (now) senior editor Jane Colihan, the two of us younger, of course, and darker-haired, and glummer. This last was the case because we were fighting a losing battle, and the losing was the more bitter for the fact that our company had not only started the fight but had won it for years. Read more »

Civil War Women

Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War

by Drew Gilpin Faust , University of North Carolina Press, 326 pages, $29.95. CODE: UNC-7 Read more »

Civil War Essays


by James M. McPherson , Oxford University Press, 272 pages, $25.00. CODE: OUP-13 Read more »

Our Civil War Cd-rom

While fully and freely admitting that my knowledge of the field is not much greater than George M. Cohan’s, I will say that a great many CD-ROMs look pretty feeble to me. They are so widely promoted as the path to the future that every enterprise seems to be straining to cast its information beneath that gleaming surface, and often enough the result is: a stupid and complicated way to consult an encyclopedia; a stupid and complicated way to look up batting averages; a stupid and complicated way to plan a vacation. Read more »

Editors’ Choice

American Heritage’s debut on CD-ROM mentioned in “Letter From the Editor,” American Heritage: The Civil War—The Complete Multimedia Experience , is available from Byron Preiss Multimedia and Simon & Schuster Interactive (two CD-ROMs, for Windows or Macintosh. For all its period music, appearances by the Civil War historians James M.Read more »

Lee’s Last Stand

The Union Army’s siege ended in 1865, but it still has a grip on Petersburg, Virginia

After a tornado passed through Petersburg, Virginia, in 1993, relief-agency posters around the city read: “The tornado did to Petersburg in about 22 seconds what the Union Army couldn’t do in 10 months.” At first glance this slogan seems a puzzler: What did the tornado do—leave the place standing, perhaps? But the message is unmistakable. In most places, after the latest bit of bad news, local papers dutifully comb their archives for reassurance that things used to be worse.