The View from the Ground brings together the perspectives of Civil War soldiers on all aspects of the conflict, revealing as much about nineteenth-century America as it does about the war itself. The contributors to The View from the Ground investigate the issues engaged by soldiers during the war, including slavery and racial tensions, the isolation that many men of faith felt in the early months of the war, the divide between soldiers and civilians, and the inherent difficulty in reconciling the act of killing with the Christian precepts of charity and peacefulness. They also explore the ways veterans remembered the war. The View from the Ground shows that soldiers willfully shaped the course of the war, as soldiers and as citizens. The result is a collection that illustrates how new questions and fresh analyses of participants' lives and writings can expand our kwledge of the nation's greatest conflict.
Aaron Sheehan-Dean, assistant professor of history at the University of North Florida, is the editor of Struggle for a Vast Future: The American Civil War.