Unforgettables: Winners, Losers, Strong Women, and Eccentric Men of the Civil War Era

Savas Beatie: Casemate. Jan. 2024. 240p. ISBN 9781611216653. pap. $22.95. HIST
In a series of brief character sketches, journalist–turned–history writer Waugh (Lincoln and the War’s End) highlights the lives and contributions of various people during the U.S. Civil War era. Many names will be familiar to readers; others are refreshingly new. The collection begins with Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, whose forceful and commanding personalities helped to shape sectionalist politics prior to the war. The second chapter describes the failed presidencies of Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James Buchanan, who all exacerbated tensions over enslavement. Further chapters discuss Abraham Lincoln’s detractors, his cabinet members, military leaders on both sides, journalists, Black leaders such as Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth, several other women, and many more. The final chapter covers two eccentric personalities from the war: Confederate general Richard Ewell and the somewhat obscure West Point graduate George Derby.
VERDICT Culled from the author’s three decades of researching and writing about the Civil War, this book provides vibrant accounts of many prominent people of the era. Readers interested in an introduction to a variety of Civil War personalities and American history will enjoy.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing