The Northern Home Front during the Civil War
by Paul A. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller
February 2017, 234pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-35290-4
$65, £50, 57€, A90
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eBook Available: 978-0-313-35291-1
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For those who lived during the time of the American Civil War, the conflict touched nearly every aspect of their existence, even for the Northerners who were not directly involved in combat.

This book comprehensively covers the wide geographical range of the northern home fronts during the Civil War, emphasizing the diverse ways people interpreted, responded to, and adapted to war by their ideas, interests, and actions.

The Northern Home Front during the Civil War provides the first extensive treatment of the northern home front mobilizing for war in two decades. It collates a vast and growing scholarship on the many aspects of a citizenship organizing for and against war. The text focuses attention on the roles of women, blacks, immigrants, and other individuals who typically fall outside of scrutiny in studies of American war-making society, and provides new information on subjects such as raising money for war, civil liberties in wartime, the role of returning soldiers in society, religion, relief work, popular culture, and building support for the cause of the Union and freedom.

Organized topically, the book covers the geographic breadth of the diverse northern home fronts during the Civil War. The chapters supply self-contained studies of specific aspects of life, work, relief, home life, religion, and political affairs, to name only a few. This clearly written and immensely readable book reveals the key moments and gradual developments over time that influenced northerners’ understanding of, participation in, and reactions to the costs and promise of a great civil war.


  • Contemporary illustrations from illustrated magazines such as Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper
  • Lithographs depicting such activities as women and men at work making armaments, people examining wares at a Sanitary Fair, nurses tending to soldiers in hospitals, and immigrants, workers, and others in dissent
  • Period photographs of subjects such as supply depots filled with material for war, women making flags for regiments, and recruiting activities
  • A map of the northern states
  • An extensive and extremely detailed bibliographical essay
Paul A. Cimbala is professor of history at Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus, Bronx, NY. His published works include Under the Guardianship of the Nation: The Freedmen's Bureau and the Reconstruction of Georgia, 1865–1870 and The Freedmen's Bureau: Reconstructing the American South after the Civil War. With Randall M. Miller he has edited several essay collections dealing with the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Randall M. Miller is the William Dirk Warren '50 Sesquicentennial Chair and professor of history at Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia, PA. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Religion and the American Civil War. With Paul A. Cimbala he has edited several essay collections treating the Civil War and Reconstruction.


"Updated scholarship and an excellent bibliographic essay make the current volume worth the price. . . . In all, a worthwhile purchase, handsomely produced and well written. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic levels/libraries."—Choice, August 1, 2017

“Clearly written and based on the most recent scholarship, The Northern Home Front during the Civil War is the first comprehensive overview of the Union home front in twenty years. Cimbala and Miller combine the personal experiences of those who lived through the war with the latest scholarship, paying particular attention to the experiences of women and children, African Americans, and immigrants.” —Nicole Etcheson, Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History, Ball State University

“Journalist Eric Sevareid once said, ‘War happens inside a man.’ It also happens inside a woman, and inside homes and schools and churches, sometimes without our realizing it. Its effects may seem limited or may be far-reaching. Thanks to Paul Cimbala and Randall Miller, we now know better than we ever have before how far the Civil War reached inside the lives of those who remained on the home front. No one who cares about the Civil War should be without this book.”—Michael S. Green, Associate Professor of History, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Author of Lincoln and the Election of 1860

“This book is the place to start for readers who want to understand how the North’s diverse communities responded to war and how the conflict penetrated into people’s everyday experience. It offers a valuable overview of every imaginable topic and makes the personal stories of ordinary people come alive."—Lorien Foote, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, History Department, Texas A&M University

“Cimbala and Miller have produced a volume that gives broad, comprehensive coverage to the northern home front. Beyond all its other virtues, it is a delight to read, and the numerous, apt quotations make the experiences of northerners come alive and give the reader a real sense of this important period in U.S. history.”—Paul D. Escott, Reynolds Professor of History, Wake Forest University
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