Part of the USA Today Network

“The Hard Hand of War” at May’s Harrisburg Civil War Round Table

Author Mark Grimsley will discuss his book, The Hard Hand of War, at the May 14 meeting of the Harrisburg Civil War Round Table. Professor Grimsley’s presentation questions the Civil War’s status as a “total war” and emphasizes instead the survival of political logic and control even in the midst of a sweeping struggle for the nation’s future. Through comparisons with earlier European wars and through the testimony of Union soldiers and Southern civilians alike, he shows that Union soldiers exercised restraint even as they made war against the Confederate civilian population.
Mark Grimsley is Harold Keith Johnson Visiting Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle. He is on leave from The Ohio State University, where he is a professor of history specializing in military history and nineteenth century American history. His first book, The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865, shared the 1996 Lincoln Prize as the best book on the Civil War published in 1995. The author of numerous books and articles, among them And Keep Moving On: The Virginia Campaign, May-June 1864, and Gettysburg: A Battlefield Guide, co-authored with Brooks D. Simpson. He is currently writing a book on 1864 as a pivotal moment in American history.
Professor Grimsley has won three teaching awards, including the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, Ohio State’s highest award for excellence in the classroom. He also maintains a web site,, which deals with the field of military history and features an award-winning blog. From 1983-1991 he served in the Army National Guard as a fire support specialist with the 136th Field Artillery Battalion, 73rd Infantry Brigade.
The Harrisburg Civil War Round Table meets at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel & Convention Center, Camp Hill, PA, Camp Hill Bypass @ Routes 11&15. An informal reception starts at 6:00 PM, followed by dinner at 6:45. The cost of dinner is $20.00 and reservations must be made by no later than Tuesday, May 11, by calling 717-938-3706. The program begins at 8:00 PM and is free to the public.
Contact: Douglas Gibboney, HCWRT Publicity Chairman, 717-243-1738