Author Archives: Civil War-Civil Rights

About Civil War-Civil Rights

Jack Hurst is a former longtime print journalist who has written three Civil War books: Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography (Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), Men of Fire: Grant, Forrest, and the Campaign That Decided the Civil War (Basic Books, 2007), and a second book about Ulysses S. Grant and Nathan Bedford Forrest, Born To Battle, published in June 2012 by Basic Books. He also had a desk in the rear of the cityroom of the Nashville Tennessean and watched David Halberstam go about covering the desegregation movement in Nashville in 1960-61 and himself covered some of the civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham for the Tennessean in 1963. He owes profuse thanks to Jennifer Kelland Fagan, copy editor extraordinaire and computer guru,for indispensable aid in the design evolution of this blog. Her eye-catching website can be accessed at

November ’64

1864 November–Nov. 8, specifically–offered the Confederacy its last best chance of survival. The date was that of the presidential election, which pitted Union Maj. Gen. George McClellan, nominee of the Peace Democrats, against incumbent Abraham Lincoln. The height of the … Continue reading

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October ’64

1864 Confederate war-making strategies, particularly west of the Appalachians, became increasingly wild gambles in October. The undermanned aims of these gambits were all the same: to stave off Union drives that, if successful, would produce inexorable Dixie defeat. Lt. Gen. … Continue reading

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September ’64

1864 A comparatively quiet military act that would profoundly affect Union politics occurred on the month’s first day. The Confederates gave up Atlanta. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, ordered by General-in-Chief U. S. Grant to press Georgia’s defenders as hard … Continue reading

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August ’64

1864 It was getting late in the war, and both sides knew it. What they didn’t know yet was who would win. An exhausted North could sue for a negotiated peace and allow the continued existence of the Confederacy, or … Continue reading

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July ’64

1864 U. S. Grant’s mammoth June crossing of the James River and his descent into Robert E. Lee’s backyard at Petersburg transformed the war in eastern Virginia into a trench stalemate in July–and shifted the focus to other fronts. In … Continue reading

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June ’64

1864 On June 1, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant stepped down onto the threshold of his lowest point as the Union’s new general-in-chief. The place was specific and had a name Grant never forgot or wanted to be reminded of. … Continue reading

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May ’64

1864 New Union general-in-chief U. S. Grant’s much-anticipated campaign to try to end America’s three-year-old civil war got rolling on May 3. That night, Confederate scouts reported thick columns of Federals moving past campfires around Culpeper, Va., heading south toward … Continue reading

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