William Howard Russell wrote My Diary North and South while traveling through the Union and the Confederacy from March 1861 to April 1862 as a war correspondent for the Times of London. Along the way he met and interviewed an impressive number of Union and Confederate leaders—including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, William H. Seward, and General George B. McClellan—but he also canvassed average citizens on both sides, recounting their manners, appearance, values, and habits in remarkable detail. This memoir of his journey provides a vivid snapshot of American life and culture at the dawn of the Civil War.
William E. Gienapp is professor of history at Harvard University and the author of The Origins of the Republican Party, 1852-1856 among other books.
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