By Keith Walker

Documents the stories of a battle within the phrases of these ladies brave adequate to stroll into hell. --San Francisco Chronicle

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Her situation improved somewhat when Commissioner Mason returned to Washington. However, he was not able to simply install Clara in her old job. In any event, the election of 1856 brought James Buchanan, a new president, into the White House. It was common practice for some government employees to lose their jobs when a new presidential administration began, and this time was no different. In addition, after Buchanan was elected, those with antislavery views were considered vulnerable, and Clara had not been shy about expressing her opinion on the subject.

Still, the tide against slavery was rising because a growing majority of the national population was against it. Down South, sentiments bristled at such talk. As pressures on both sides mounted, talk of secession filled the SECESSION air. The Southern states would sooner Secession is the act break the country apart than give up of withdrawing from membership in a one of their most cherished rights. larger group. Extinguishing slavery was not an 44 acceptable option in the states where it had flourished.

President Lincoln to the task. asked him to take command of Grant began by chasing the Union army in early 1861, Lee and his army across but he declined out of loyalty a densely forested area to his native state, Virginia. Lee was an inspiring leader of the southwest of Washington. Confederate army, and after the In such a setting, Grant war he served as president of could not make the best use Washington and Lee University. of his larger force, and Lee claimed several victories. Unlike his predecessors, however, Grant did not retreat or even settle for holding his ground in the face of defeat.

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A Piece of My Heart: The Stories of 26 American Women Who Served in Vietnam by Keith Walker

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