Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Small Towns in a Big War

What was the response in the East?

The Northern newspapers were looking for some good news, any good news, with which to counteract the terrible defeat at Chancellorsville. On May 16, the New York Times ran a special advertisement for newly published books, among which The Conscript: A Tale of War was heralded. This book was by Alexandre Dumas, the French novelist who had written The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and many other well-loved books. The Conscript was a darker tale, based on the French Revolution, but, as the Times expressed it, this was a book with great relevance for contemporary Americans, who faced a coming conscription.

The South’s General Pemberton organized his army about twenty miles east of Vicksburg, where Ulysses S. Grant attacked and defeated him.


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