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A detailed history of one week during the Civil War in which the American president assumed control of the nation's military. One rainy evening in May, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln boarded the revenue cutter Miami and sailed to Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads, Virginia. There, for the first and only time in our country's history, a sitting president assumed direct control of armed forces to launch a military campaign. In Lincoln Takes Command, author Steve Norderdetails this exciting, little-known week in Civil War history. Lincoln recognized the strategic possibilities offered by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan's ongoing Peninsula Campaign and the importance of seizing Norfolk, Portsmouth, and the Gosport Navy Yard. For five days, the president spent time on sea and land, studied maps, spoke with military leaders, suggested actions, and issued direct orders to subordinate commanders. He helped set in motion many events, including the naval bombardment of a Confederate fort, the sailing of Union ships up the James River toward the enemy capital, an amphibious landing of Union soldiers followed by an overland march that expedited the capture of Norfolk, Portsmouth, and the navy yard, and the destruction of the Rebel ironclad CSS Virginia. The president returned to Washington in triumph, with some urging him to assume direct command of the nation's field armies. The week discussed inLincoln Takes Command has never been as heavily researched or told in such fine detail. The successes that crowned Lincoln's short time in Hampton Roads offered him a better understanding of, and more confidence in, his ability to see what needed to be accomplished. This insight helped sustain him through the rest of the war.
';Masterfully researched ... destined to become a classic study of one of the most horrific weapons ever utilized during the Civil Warlandmines.' Jonathan A. Noyalas, director, Shenandoah University's McCormick Civil War Institute Despite all that has been published on the American Civil War, one aspect that has never received the in-depth attention it deserves is the widespread use of landmines across the Confederacy. These ';infernal devices' dealt death and injury in nearly every Confederate state and influenced the course of the war. Kenneth R. Rutherford rectifies this oversight withAmerica's Buried History: Landmines in the Civil War, the first book devoted to a comprehensive analysis and history of the fascinating and important topic. Modern landmines were used for the first time in history on a widespread basis during the Civil War when the Confederacy, in desperate need of an innovative technology to overcome significant deficits in material and manpower, employed them. The first American to die from a victim-activated landmine was on the Virginia Peninsula in early 1862 during the siege of Yorktown. Their use set off explosive debates inside the Confederate government and within the ranks of the army over the ethics of using ';weapons that wait.' As Confederate fortunes dimmed, leveraging low-cost weapons like landmines became acceptable and even desirable. Dr. Rutherford, who is known worldwide for his work in the landmine discipline, and who himself lost his legs to a mine in Africa, has written an important contribution to the literature on one of the most fundamental, contentious, and significant modern conventional weapons.';A MUST for military history buffs! A thrilling and chilling read.' His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Al-Hussein, UN Special Envoy for Landmine Prohibition Treaty
The third installment of this award-winning Civil War series offers a vivid and authoritative chronicle of Meade and Lee's conflict after Gettysburg.The Eastern Theater of the Civil War during the late summer and fall of 1863 was anything but inconsequential. Generals George Meade and Robert E. Lee clashed in cavalry actions and pitched battles that proved that the war in Virginia was far decided at Gettysburg. Drawing on official reports, regimental histories, letters, newspapers, and other archival sources, Jeffrey Wm Hunt sheds much-needed light on this significant period in Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station.After Gettysburg, the Richmond War Department sent James Longstreet and two divisions from Lee's army to reinforce Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee. Washington followed suit by sending two of Meade's corps to reinforce William Rosecrans' Army of the Cumberland. Despite his weakened state, Lee launched a daring offensive that drove Meade back but ended in a bloody defeat at Bristoe Station on October 14th.What happened next is the subject of Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station, a fast-paced and dynamic account of Lee's bold strategy to hold the Rappahannock River line. Hunt provides a day-by-day, and sometimes minute-by-minute, account of the Union army's first post-Gettysburg offensive action and Lee's efforts to repel it. In addition to politics, strategy, and tactics, Hunt examines the intricate command relationships, Lee's questionable decision-making, and the courageous spirit of the fighting men.
A guide to the former Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, with "e;a good deal of historical information, much of it neglected in histories of the war"e; (The NYMAS Review)."e;On To Richmond!"e; cried editors for the New York Tribune in the spring of 1861. Thereafter, that call became the rallying cry for the North's eastern armies as they marched, maneuvered, and fought their way toward the capital of the Confederacy.Just 100 miles from Washington, DC, Richmond served as a symbol of the rebellion itself. It was home to the Confederate Congress, cabinet, president, and military leadership. And it housed not only the Confederate government but also some of the Confederacy's most important industry and infrastructure. The city was filled with prisons, hospitals, factories, training camps, and government offices.Through four years of war, armies battled at its doorsteps-and even penetrated its defenses. Civilians felt the impact of war in many ways: food shortages, rising inflation, a bread riot, industrial accidents, and eventually, military occupation. To this day, the war's legacy remains deeply written into the city and its history.This book tells the story of the Confederate capital before, during, and after the Civil War, and serves as a guidebook including a comprehensive list of places to visit: the battlefields around the city, museums, historic sites, monuments, cemeteries, historical preservation groups, and more.
A "e;thoroughly researched [and] historically enlightening"e; account of how the Commonwealth of Virginia split in two in the midst of war (Civil War News)."e;West Virginia was the child of the storm."e; -Mountaineer historian and Civil War veteran Maj. Theodore F. Lang As the Civil War raged, the northwestern third of the Commonwealth of Virginia finally broke away in 1863 to form the Union's 35th state. Seceding from Secession chronicles those events in an unprecedented study of the social, legal, military, and political factors that converged to bring about the birth of West Virginia. President Abraham Lincoln, an astute lawyer in his own right, played a critical role in birthing the new state. The constitutionality of the mechanism by which the new state would be created concerned the president, and he polled every member of his cabinet before signing the bill. Seceding from Secession includes a detailed discussion of the 1871 U.S. Supreme Court decision Virginia v. West Virginia, in which former Lincoln cabinet member Salmon Chase presided as chief justice over the court that decided the constitutionality of the momentous event. Grounded in a wide variety of sources and including a foreword by Frank J. Williams, former Chief Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court and Chairman Emeritus of the Lincoln Forum, this book is indispensable for anyone interested in American history.
"e;The definitive account of Union Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans' operational masterpiece-the almost bloodless conquest . . . of Middle Tennessee."e; -Sam Davis Elliott, author of Soldier of TennesseeJuly 1863 was a momentous month in the Civil War. News of Gettysburg and Vicksburg electrified the North and devastated the South. Sandwiched geographically between those victories and lost in the heady tumult of events was news that William S. Rosecrans's Army of the Cumberland had driven Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee entirely out of Middle Tennessee. The brilliant campaign nearly cleared the state of Rebels and changed the calculus of the Civil War in the Western Theater. Despite its decisive significance, few readers even today know of these events. The publication of Tullahoma by award-winning authors David A. Powell and Eric J. Wittenberg, forever rectifies that oversight.Powell and Wittenberg mined hundreds of archival and firsthand accounts to craft a splendid study of this overlooked campaign that set the stage for the Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga, the removal of Rosecrans and Bragg from the chessboard of war, the elevation of U.S. Grant to command all Union armies, and the early stages of William T. Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Tullahoma-one of the most brilliantly executed major campaigns of the war-was pivotal to Union success in 1863 and beyond. And now readers everywhere will know precisely why."e;An outstanding study of the decidedly under-appreciated 1863 Tullahoma Campaign in Middle Tennessee."e; -Carol Reardon, George Winfree Professor Emerita of American History, Penn State University"e;Tullahoma ranks among the best of modern Civil War campaign histories."e; -Civil War Books and Authors
The Civil War's Atlanta campaign rages on following A Long and Bloody Task: ';More than informative... challenges simplistic caricatures of Hood and Sherman' (The Civil War Monitor). John Bell Hood brought a hang-dog look and a hard-fighting spirit to the Army of Tennessee. Once one of the ablest division commanders in the Army of Northern Virginia, he found himself, by the spring of 1864, in the war's Western Theater. Recently recovered from grievous wounds sustained at Chickamauga, he suddenly found himself thrust into command of the Confederacy's ill-starred army even as Federals pounded on the door of the Deep South's greatest untouched city, Atlanta. His predecessor, Gen. Joseph E.Johnston, had failed to stop the advance of armies under Federal commander William T.Sherman, who had pushed and maneuvered his way from Chattanooga, Tennessee, right to Atlanta's very doorstep. Johnston had been able to do little to stop him. The crisis could not have been more acute. Hood, an aggressive risk-taker, threw his men into the fray with unprecedented vigor. Sherman welcomed it. ';We'll give them all the fighting they want,' Sherman said. He proved a man of his word. In All the Fighting They Want, Georgia native Steve Davis, the world's foremost authority on the Atlanta campaign, tells the tale of the last great struggle for the city. His Southern sensibility and his knowledge of the battle, accumulated over a lifetime of living on the ground, make this an indispensable addition to the acclaimed Emerging Civil War Series. ';Military historian Steve Davis vividly presents the last great struggle for the city.' Midwest Book Review
June 1863. The Gettysburg Campaign is underway. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia is pushing northward through the Shenandoah Valley toward Pennsylvania, and only one significant force stands in its way: Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy’s Union division of the Eighth Army Corps, in the vicinity of Winchester and Berryville, Virginia. What happened next is the subject of the provocative new book The Second Battle of Winchester: The Confederate Victory That Opened the Door to Gettysburg, June 13-15, 1863.Despite being heavily outnumbered, General Milroy defied repeated instructions to withdraw his command even as the overpowering Second Corps under Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell approached within striking distance. The veteran Indiana politician-turned-soldier was convinced the enemy consisted of nothing more than cavalry or was simply a feint. Milroy’s controversial decision to stand and fight pitted his outnumbered and largely inexperienced men against some of Lee’s finest veterans. The complex and fascinating maneuvering and fighting that followed on June 13-15 cost Milroy hundreds of killed and wounded and some 4,000 captured (about one-half of his command), with the remainder of his command routed from the battlefield. The combat cleared the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley of Federal troops, demonstrated Lee could obtain supplies on the march, justified the elevation of General Ewell to replace the recently deceased Stonewall Jackson—and sent shockwaves through the Northern states.Today, the Second Battle of Winchester is largely forgotten. But in June 1863, the politically charged front-page news caught President Lincoln and the War Department by surprise and forever tarnished Milroy’s career. The beleaguered Federal soldiers who fought there spent a lifetime seeking redemption, arguing their three-day “forlorn hope” delayed the Rebels long enough to allow the Army of the Potomac to arrive and defeat Lee at Gettysburg. For the Confederates, the decisive leadership on display outside Winchester proved an illusion that masked significant command issues buried within the upper echelons of Stonewall Jackson’s former corps that would only make themselves known in the earliest days of July on a different battlefield.Award-winning authors Eric J. Wittenberg and Scott L. Mingus Sr. combined their researching and writing talents to produce the most in-depth and comprehensive study of Second Winchester ever written. Their balanced effort, based upon scores of archival and previously unpublished diaries, newspaper accounts, letter collections, other firsthand sources, and a deep familiarity with the terrain in and around Winchester and the lower Shenandoah Valley, explores the battle from every perspective.The Second Battle of Winchester is comprehensive, highly readable, deeply researched, and immensely interesting. Now, finally, the pivotal battle in the Shenandoah Valley that opened the door to Gettysburg has the book it has long deserved.
Drawing on Chamberlain's extensive memoirs and writings and multiple period sources, historian Brian F. Swartz follows Chamberlain across Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia while examining the determined warrior who let nothing prevent him from helping save the United States.
Alexander B. Rossino reassesses the history of the Confederate operation in seven comprehensive chapters.
Shepherdstown Ford and the End of the Campaign is the third and final volume of Ezra Carman's magisterial The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, superbly edited and annotated by Dr. Tom Clemens. Carman includes an invaluable statistical study of the casualties in the various battles of the entire Maryland Campaign.