Pathway to Hell


Pathway to Hell

A Tragedy of the American Civil War

Dennis W. Brandt
Foreword by Richard Wheeler
Essay by Thomas P. Lowry, MD

208 pages
24 illustrations, 4 maps


July 2010


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Shell shock, battle fatigue, posttraumatic stress disorder, lack of moral courage: different terms for the same mental condition, formal names that change with observed circumstances and whenever experts feel prompted to coin a more suitable descriptive term for the shredding of the human spirit. Although the specter of psychological dysfunction has marched alongside all soldiers in all wars, always at the ready to ravish minds, rarely is it discussed when the topic is America’s greatest conflict, the Civil War. Yet mind-destroying terror was as present at Gettysburg and Antietam as in Vietnam and today in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Drawing almost exclusively from extensive primary accounts, Dennis W. Brandt presents a detailed case study of mental stress that is exceptional in the vast literature of the American Civil War. Pathway to Hell offers sobering insight into the horrors that war wreaked upon one young man and illuminates the psychological aspect of the War Between the States.

Author Bio

Dennis W. Brandt is a freelance author-historian and the author of From Home Guards to Heroes: The 87th Pennsylvania and Its Civil War Community and Shattering the Truth: The Slandering of Abraham Lincoln. Richard Wheeler is the author of over sixteen books of military history, including Voices of 1776: The Story of the American Revolution in the Words of Those Who Were There. Thomas P. Lowry is a retired psychiatrist and associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco and continues his work as an independent historical scholar. He is the author of Venereal Disease and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (Nebraska 2005).

Table of Contents

Foreword by Richard Wheeler
Prologue: And So It Concludes
1. Influences
2. Growing Up
3. Pennsylvania Calls
4. When It Was Still Called Glory
5. Fight!
6. Down in the Valley
7. Closer to Darkness
8. Bloodiest Day
9. Hell Itself
10. Top of the Slide
11. Depths
12. Home, Where the War Never Ends
13. Analyzing the Dead
14. Was Angelo Unique?
A Psychiatric Meditation: Thoughts on Angelo Crapsey by Thomas P. Lowry, MD
Selected Bibliography

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