In this moving chronicle of what acclaimed historian Eric Foner calls (in his introduction) "the most decisive turning point in American history," we hear the real voices of the soldiers, nurses, farmers, laborers, slaves, and freed people who lived through America's most tragic conflict.The Civil War Chronicleis a much-needed collection of the letters, diaries, speeches, telegrams, newspaper accounts, and official battlefield reports penned by those people, both famous and anonymous, who felt compelled to record their experiences because they sensed that their lives were significant. Also included are hundreds of period images which, along with the carefully chosen yet highly eclectic accounts, help recapture the day-to-day texture of life during the Civil War at all levels of Union and Confederate society. From the election of Abraham Lincoln and the firing on Fort Sumter to Robert E. Lee's surrender and the assassination of Lincoln barely a week later, The Civil War Chronicle presents an astonishing array of perspectives and conflicting accounts of this very personal war. Read, for example, Clara Barton's remembrance of her first trip to the front lines, or Ulysses S. Grant's description of early Civil War combat, or the letter written by an escaped slave in which he assures his still-enslaved family, "I will have you if it cost me my life." Even longtime students of the Civil War will find a rich bounty of details and anecdotes that have previously escaped them.