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Potomac Books


Standing Firmly by the Flag, Standing Firmly by the Flag, 0803240902, 0-8032-4090-2, 978-0-8032-4090-2, 9780803240902, James E. Potter, , Standing Firmly by the Flag, 0803244908, 0-8032-4490-8, 978-0-8032-4490-0, 9780803244900, James E. Potter

Standing Firmly by the Flag
Nebraska Territory and the Civil War, 1861-1867
James E. Potter

2013. 400 pp.
20 photographs, 6 illustrations, 3 maps
$29.95 t

From a pool of barely nine thousand men of military age, Nebraska—still a territory at the time—sent more than three thousand soldiers to the Civil War. They fought and died for the Union cause, were wounded, taken prisoner, and in some cases deserted. But Nebraska’s military contribution is only one part of the more complex and interesting story that James E. Potter tells in Standing Firmly by the Flag, the first book to fully explore Nebraska’s involvement in the Civil War and the war’s involvement in Nebraska’s evolution from territory to thirty-seventh state on March 1, 1867.

Although distant from the major battlefronts and seats of the warring governments, Nebraskans were aware of the war’s issues and subject to its consequences. National debates about the origins of the rebellion, the policies pursued to quell it, and what kind of nation should emerge once it was over echoed throughout Nebraska. Potter explores the war’s impact on Nebraskans and shows how, when Nebraska Territory sought admission to the Union at war’s end, it was caught up in political struggles over Reconstruction, the fate of the freed slaves, and the relationship between the states and the federal government.

 James E. Potter is a senior research historian at the Nebraska State Historical Society. He is the coeditor, with Edith Robbins, of Marching with the First Nebraska: A Civil War Diary.

"Standing by the Flag: Nebraska Territory and the Civil War, 1861-1867 deserves a great deal of credit for taking on a subject previously unexamined. In effectively doing so, it significantly enhances our knowledge and understanding the Civil War west of the Mississippi."—Andrew Wagenhoffer, Civil War Books and Authors

"Well written, Standing Firmly by the Flag is a readable and engaging account of the Civil War in an area hardly ever touched upon by most books on the subject, and will prove rewarding reading for anyone interested in America in the mid-nineteenth century."—A. A. Nofi, Strategy Page

"Standing Firmly by the Flag is required reading for anyone who hopes to understand Nebraska's Civil War experience."—Kurt Hackemer, Annals of Iowa

“A masterful narrative of wartime passions, played out on the battlefields, in the newspapers, and in the territorial legislature. Standing Firmly by the Flag tells the tumultuous story that culminated not on the road to Appomattox, but on the fitful path to Nebraska statehood.”—Eli Paul, editor of The Nebraska Indian Wars Reader: 1865–1877


“This is easily the most complete and satisfying study of a critical but relatively neglected period in Nebraska’s territorial history. . . . Standing Firmly by the Flag offers a multifaceted portrait—military, political, economic, and social—of a frontier territory more affected by the tumult of civil war than its location (hundreds of miles from the conflict’s major battlefields) would suggest.”—Edward G. Longacre, author of The Cavalry at Gettysburg and Lee’s Cavalrymen

3rd Place in the 2012 Co-Founders Best Book Award from Westerners International 
2013 Nebraska Book Award winner in Nonfiction History

Publication of this volume was assisted by the Virginia Faulkner Fund, established in memory of Virginia Faulkner, editor in chief of the University of Nebraska Press.

Also of Interest

Here You Have My Story
Richard E. Jensen

Nebraska-Kansas Act of 1854
John R. Wunder

Nebraska Indian Wars Reader
R. Eli Paul

Decision in the Heartland
Steven E. Woodworth