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By David Hardin

"Show me a hero and that i will write you a tragedy," acknowledged F. Scott Fitzgerald. probably no occasion in American historical past higher illustrates this view than the Civil warfare and its important avid gamers within the years after the clash. the worth of army glory and ties to greatness might flip towards the tragic even one of the victors—like earthquake survivors stumbling into one other international, easily attempting to make a brand new existence. Their fight will be a relentless tug again towards a destroyed previous, and a disagreement with the truth of being strangers of their personal land.

David Hardin's tales of 11 such figures are revealing and touching: the explosive romance among Jefferson Davis's daughter and the grandson of a Yankee abolitionist; the fight among the irreligious William T. Sherman and his religious Catholic spouse for the soul in their risky son; the bankrupt Ulysses Grant's heroic race to accomplish his memoirs and supply for his family members whereas death of melanoma. those are one of the tales and other people in After the War, which additionally contains the Southern diarist Mary Chesnut, the luckless accomplice John Bell Hood, the occasionally Klan chief Nathan Bedford Forrest, the shopaholic Mary Lincoln, the gentlemanly Joe Johnston, the mythological Robert E. Lee, the underappreciated Union basic George Thomas, and the plucky Libbie Custer, who defended her husband top identified for his reckless catastrophe.

Whether Northerner or Southerner, their lives didn't finish at Appomattox. Their distinctive results are a ceremonial dinner of irony and, jointly, a portrait of nationwide swap. With 11 black-and-white photographs.

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In his final moments, in 1933, he renewed his Jesuit vows. The son of the despoiler of Georgia lies in the Jesuit cemetery in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, next to the Jesuit grandnephew of Alexander Stephens, the Confederacy’s vice president and a Georgian. Although William Tecumseh Sherman would have a brush with the family insanity while in Kentucky, he would elude it and become a famous man. Not so the unfortunate priest. In the long run, neither the general nor Ellen Sherman could claim to have won the battle for Tom.

Healy, where the observer’s focus inevitably drifts to the cross that hangs at her bosom. While such speculation is highly intriguing, it is not necessarily correct. Ellen Ewing Sherman, as related, had been a deeply devout Catholic since childhood, and her intensive efforts to bring Sherman to the church were on the order of a lifelong crusade. Moreover her hopes that Tom would be a cleric were first voiced when the second son was barely out of his crib. Unlike her husband, Ellen Sherman never seemed to have had any particular fondness for the South, whereas Sherman spent years in various places there before the war and had (at least until secession) a number of Southern friends.

Perhaps Tom’s entry into Georgetown quashed any military ambitions his father had for him, but Sherman didn’t yield easily. On a trip to Egypt in 1872 he wrote to Tom, now fifteen, to grouse that he was “not satisfied that Georgetown is a College with Professors skilled in teaching modern sciences that [in] spite of all opposition are remodeling the world, but your mama thinks Religion is so important that every thing else must give place to it, and now that you are big enough to think for yourself, you must direct your mind to the acquisition of one class of knowledge or the other.

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