Cool Civil War Names: a preamble

Awhile back I read James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedomthe sixth volume in Oxford University Press’s ongoing series of American history. (The full series list is worth checking out if you’re ever in the mood for thousands of pages of U.S. history—and who isn’t?) I learned a lot of things from McPherson’s tome, but most salient was that the men who fought the Civil War had really, really cool names.

I noted my favorites from the book, found a few more, and decided to write a little about each of the men they’re attached to in a miniseries called Cool Civil War Names. Many are soldiers, others journalists or public figures. Together, they tell the story of the era that gave this nation its most fiery trial—and its most fantastical facial hair.

The Names

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