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Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  578 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Award-winning Civil War historian Noah Andre Trudeau has written a gripping, definitive new account that will stand as the last word on General William Tecumseh Sherman's epic march—a targeted strategy aimed to break not only the Confederate army but an entire society as well. With Lincoln's hard-fought reelection victory in hand, Ulysses S. Grant, commander of the Union f ...more
ebook, 704 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,165)
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An Unsolicited Personal Preamble
I am a total noob when it comes to military tactics, maneuvers and whatnot in the American Civil War (heretofore referred to as "the Civil War," but it's not like the U.S. holds the exclusive rights to combat among countrymen). I ended up reading this Noah Andre Trudeau work out of a combination of my burgeoning interest in historical narratives of conflict and warfare, references to Sherman in a number of my presidential reads and (the biggest one, if I'm bei
I usually rate a book by quality but in this case, I can also rate it by quantity. That is the number of scraps of paper sticking out the top where I found something to quote or note. Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea has a forest of little scrap paper at the top. 5 Stars Somehow I have never read any detailed account of Sherman’s March to the Sea, an iconic military campaign if there ever was one. Fixed!! This is an excellent account of the campaign from Atlanta to Savannah, mostly tol ...more
Diamond Cowboy
Nov 07, 2015 Diamond Cowboy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! I will give a full review in a bit.
Sep 22, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perceptive readers should be able to approach "Southern Storm" with a good idea what they're getting into. It's hard to imagine someone who's not especially interested in the Civil War jumping into Trudeau's detailed chronicle of Sherman's march through Georgia, but judging by a few reviews here, that seems to have happened.

Of course it's detailed. With 548 pages of main text about a 300-mile march in which no major battles (though small-scale engagements and running cavalry clashes were many) t
May 07, 2015 Jerome rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very solid, workmanlike account of Sherman's march through Georgia, but not especially emotionally engaging. It does stop at Savannah though, there's nothing on the continuation of the campaign into the Carolinas. Sherman's march to the sea was important strategically and psychologically, but as a military adventure it was little more than a logistical achievement.

Trudeau also deconstructs some myths of the march. It is common to label the march as emblematic of a “total war” doctrine, implyin
Steven Peterson
May 09, 2015 Steven Peterson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a nicely written and informative volume on Sherman's "March to the Sea." It provides ample detail to get a sense of the venture. The book has some nice features, such as an order of battle for Confederate and Union forces. Resources for the book include diaries and letters written by soldiers. This adds an immediacy to the volume. The author, in his preface, notes some interesting issues that he discovered, such as the story of the weather,

The book is divided into several parts. The firs
Nov 01, 2015 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on letters and journals written by participants--soldiers, officers, civilians, "Southern Storm" should not be the first book on Sherman's campaign through Georgia that one reads. While it has a wealth of detail the book simply doesn't have enough on the strategy and tactics of the entire campaigns and the battles the constituted it. Probably much better for someone who already has a sense of this part of the Civil War.
The book was tough sledding at times because it did get into the weeds about every move and battle as Sherman’s Army slogged through Georgia. I was frustrated at times trying to keep track of each movement because I couldn’t see a battle map of Georgia as it when along. Despite that there’s plenty of information you may or may not know about the march in the book.

It’s my opinion that Sherman did exactly what needed to be done to bring the war to an end. It wasn’t total war or a war of conquest b
Oct 29, 2008 George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Confederates in the Attic folks and other Civil War buffs
A very solid, workman-like account of Sherman's march through Georgia. It does stop at Savannah though, there's nothing on the continuation of the campaign into South Carolina and North Carolina. There are no great battles here, those pretty much ended with the capture of Atlanta. One point made quite clearly in this book is that Sherman did his best to avoid major confrontation with the Confederate forces and split his force into two prongs to at least appear to threaten the maximum number of t ...more
Mark Luongo
Dec 30, 2014 Mark Luongo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The last book of 2014.
An excellent interpretation and explanation of the campaign. It's unsung heroes, Captain Orlando Poe, the pioneers and bridge-builders who kept the armies moving without much delay on its 60 x 300 mile journey from "Atlanta to the Sea." On the other side, "Fighting Joe" Wheeler who tried to do much with so little. Amazing is the number of accounts by "Billy Yanks" who kept diaries and wrote letters about their experiences along the way. A good number of maps included that h
Southern Storm is an extremely well detailed look at General Sherman's famed March to the Sea during the Civil War. This book would not be suitable for someone who isn't a scholar of the Civil War or someone who enjoys reading detailed history often. For a reader just looking for some information on the event, this detailed account could understandably be mundane. The 548 pages of this book may seem repetitive and long winded as the details cover the same general theme. One has to appreciate the ...more
North Landesman
Jul 06, 2015 North Landesman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Detailed, full of primary sources, accurate. All the burning can get repetitive at times, but that is the point. Reccomend it to history lovers.
Feb 19, 2016 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Southern Storm" examines one of the more memorable -- and mythologized -- events of the Civil War: General Sherman's "March to the Sea" through Georgia. Noah Andre Trudeau takes great care in presenting the march as it actually happened, using a day-by-day narrative that makes extensive use of firsthand accounts from both sides. This not only brings the event to life, but also gives the reader an honest picture of just what it was like on the march from Atlanta to Savannah. I've read his previo ...more
I read less than half. Lots of detail here. The author organized the narrative around Sherman's alignment of the army - left column, right, scouts, cavalry, wagons, rear guard. Then he relates the events chronologically by column, etc. This is a good way to organize the letters and other information sources, but not so much to create a good narrative. The early chapters were well written and interesting. Once the army moves out of Atlanta, the story gets clunky. The information is here, the stor ...more
Southern Storm provides a detailed account of General Sherman's march through Georgia and the military and political implications of this military feat. It is amazing to consider that an army set out with little supplies, no communications to its home base and into a hostile territory with the intent to live off the land and defeat the populace so they are forced to rejoin the Union. This book details the movement of Sherman's two wings (often acting independently) with the various outlying guar ...more
Jan 25, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trudeau brings us a modern, researched account of Sherman's march through Georgia. Sherman was tough, mean and brilliant, but the story of this campaign is a lot more nuanced than is widely known.

Details: Sherman set out to march to Savannah living off the land with over 50,000 soldiers. He was never really threatened by the Confederacy which was too fragmented to mount a serious challenge to his adventure. While Sherman's foragers pillaged liberally off the land Trudeau presents a proof to sugg
Jan 07, 2012 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must commend the author for what must have been an extraordinary effort in writing this book. The level of detail, the direct quotation of primary sources and an almost minute-by-minute chronology bespeaks of hard work and a no nonsense attention to detail that I can only personally begin to imagine.

And yet what was a strength was also a weakness, at least to a reader with my level of knowledge of this period. The richly drawn trees, with their leaves shoved constantly in your face made seeing
Yong Lee
Aug 06, 2016 Yong Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge civil war buff and bought this book at A Gettysburg gift shop. I started this book with great hope, seeing all the great reviews, but did not like it at all. A series of same stories of burning places down told over and over again. I get it. Sherman's army burned down a lot of stuff in his march to the sea.
Uses letters and journals to tell the story and is a day to day account. I got a little turned around with the right wing and left wing. Would've benefited from a well-detailed map of the area.
Aug 14, 2011 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A detailed account on General Sherman's legendary March to the Sea. This book starts after the taking of Atlanta and only follows the march till the arrive in Savannah. A detailed account of the liberal foraging off the land by the troops the burning and destruction of towns, farms and railroads. The various skirmishing between the Confedrates, mainly Wheelers cavalry and the Union, mainly Kilpatricks cavalry. It also shows the complete breakdown in the Confederate command structure, different G ...more
Nov 19, 2010 Mindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, but it's definitely not for someone who just wants an overview of Sherman's March. It really is a day-by-day telling of the story. I love detail like this, but others do not. I think the best aspect of this book is that it helps one to understand what really happened during the march -- the good and the bad (depends on your perspective, I suppose). It's not just a rehashing of the legend of the march, but a true study of the march; it wasn't just a bunch of army guys marchin ...more
David R.
Jan 27, 2011 David R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lushly detailed account of the infamous "March to the Sea" in November-December 1864. Trudeau gives exacting but readable daily blow-by-blows of both wings of the army, personal accounts of the victims, and reaction by confederate officials. However, and curiously, he stays clear of much personal characterization, giving an unreal and flat quality to Sherman, Howard, Slocum, Beauregard, Wheeler, and other key figures. Similarly, little real attention is spent on the devastation experienced by ...more
Feb 06, 2011 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trudeau captured my interest in the Civil War. I read this while living in Georgia and was able to visit many of the sites throughout the state where Sherman marched through with his troops. Trudeau did a fair job describing both the North and South's plights, and I really felt some sympathy for those affected by Sherman's troops, yet I came to admire Sherman as one of the greatest war leader's in history. Sherman's March to the Sea was the changing/pivotal point of the Civil War, and we owe a g ...more
Feb 26, 2009 Tom marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
When we were down in Columbia SC for my wife's fellowship at the State Archives, I quickly learned not to mention my ancestor that marched with Sherman. (I did quickly dredge up a more distant ancestor that fought for the good guys(The South) in the Recent Unpleasentness or the War of Yankee Agression) Since then I try to read most books on Sherman or the Union Army of the Tennessee (fact: the ancestor that served in the Union Army came in as a substitute paid for by a wealthier relative who wan ...more
Dec 25, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a howling good book
I am struggling through it...a few more pages to go. Not very interesting and I wouldn't recommend it unless you are a civil war junkie like I am and you want to check the box on the March to the Sea. Sherman was only challenged by Joe Wheelers cavelry and militia. As brave as they were, the only thing that the local militias accomplised was to add the the overall casulties for the confederacy.

If I were you I would read some of the other Civil War books that I have recommended.
Nov 19, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably would have liked reading the hard copy better than the e-version. Mr. Trudeau follows the march day by day, and includes maps showing the objectives for each day, as well as the weather conditions on that day. Unfortunately, on an ereader, those maps don't scale up so that one can make intelligent sense of them.

A lot of research went into this - and probalby includes a lot of detail not found anywhere else.
Mar 10, 2012 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding read about Union general William T. Sherman and his invasion and burning of Atlanta and his March to the Sea. What I enjoyed most about the book, Is how the author breaks down the stages of the invasion. From Atlanta to Savannah, It was broken down in a historical story format. Like the author's other book on Gettysburg, It was written the same way.
Daniel Farabaugh
This was a tough read. It was extremely detail heavy and literally spent 9 pages per day of the march. Some of the problem was based in the fact that there were no real engagements between the forces. They had a series of very small engagements that kept there from being tremendous tension. It was a well researched and well written book, but slow going.
This was a solid historical narrative of Sherman's March to the Sea. Full of eyewitness accounts, it showed the reader what it must have been like to actually be with Sherman's Army. It also dispelled many of the myths which surround this seminal event in American history. Overall, a great book for anyone interested in the American Civil War (1.64).
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American Civil War historian. He has won the Civil War Round Table of New York's Fletcher Pratt Awar and the Jerry Coffey Memorial Book Prize. A former executive producer at National Public Radio, he lives in Washington, DC.
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