On July 2, 1863, two commanders, North and South, faced off at Little Round Top during the battle that turned the tide of the Civil War. Joshua Chamberlain and William Oates never met again, but their lives paralleled each other's to an extraordinary degree: each became governor of his respective state; each wrote a significant account of the war; and each played an important role during the Reconstruction. As Mark Perry charts the course of these two men's lives, he explores how conflicting forces combined to propel the nation toward the Civil War. He also describes its major battles in heart-stopping detail, offers a compelling account of daily life during the years of conflict, and recounts the aftermath of the war as the nation moved to redefine itself.
Drawing on a vast mine of documents, including letters, wartime journals, and political speeches, Conceived in Liberty eloquently and dramatically narrates the lives of Chamberlain and Oates and opens a fascinating window on seventy years of American history.