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Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War
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Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  220 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Few historians have ever captured the drama, excitement, and tragedy of the Civil War with the headlong elan of Edwin Bearss, who has won a huge, devoted following with his extraordinary battlefield tours and eloquent soliloquies about the heroes, scoundrels, and little-known moments of a conflict that still fascinates America. Antietam, Shiloh, Gettysburg: these hallowed ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 5th 2007 by National Geographic (first published 2006)
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May 21, 2012 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Bearss truly shows his expertise, but unless one is themselves something of a scholar of the Civil War this book would be very difficult to follow.
The narrative is no where near as powerful as it might be if there was better development of the characters. I know this is not fiction, but without a map to consistently refer to or the knowledge of a War College graduate this book just isn't as user friendly as other Civil War Classics -- Killer Angels, Shelby Foote's III Volume Classic etc.
One of the best ways to experience past conflicts from history is to visit the battlefields. In Edwin Bearss’ Fields of Honor, readers have an opportunity to tour the American Civil War battle grounds without actually having to physically be there on the field. Civil War historian James M. McPherson offers an introduction to the book that provides background on Edwin Bearss that includes his authority on not only the subject of the Civil War in general but specifically on tours of the pivotal ba ...more
Nov 18, 2015 Jeff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read a lot of Civil War books, so maybe I'm not as qualified as others to comment on this effort by US National Park Service Historian Emeritus Edwin C. Bearss. But this is some pretty hard (and dull) reading. I was expecting to hear stories about some of the important battlefields of the Civil War, and while there are a few good nuggets in here, most of it is simply Bearss trying to describe which segment of which army moved here, followed by more descriptions of which army moved some ...more
Charles Phillips
Bearss is a true expert. Unfortunately, like many experts on the Civil War, he forgets what is important to most readers and smothers us with detail that allows him to showcase his voluminous knowledge. Do I really need to know that a specific officer went to Oberlin? What bearing does it have on what he did or didn't do? If the fact that he didn't go to West Point is supposed to tell me something, then I have no idea what it is. What about company commanders? Do they really have to be identifie ...more
Jan 02, 2013 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've tried to read this book twice now, and was always thoroughly interested after the first chapter, yet after that I found myself lost. It seemed like the author was just talking a little too fast for a novice civil war fan like myself to follow along. Don't get me wrong, this book is packed with details, it's just not easy for me to read. I've read Shelby Foote's Civil War Narratives and found them a hundred times easier to follow than this.
Michael Hansen
Mar 16, 2012 Michael Hansen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, I really enjoyed it.

Favourite quote "Now, we all know who won at Waterloo, and it wasn't the French" on Beauregards Napoleonic approach at Shiloh.

Makes you want to learn more on the different battles. Definitely a must read. Great appetizer for further studies on the civil war battles.
Mark Neuer
Sep 28, 2011 Mark Neuer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Bearss takes you on a tour of the Civil wars major Battles. His anecdotal manor makes this an enjoyable read. Would have given it five Stars but not quite up to the caliber of Foote. Bears tends to leave out a lot of detail which makes this an easier read but leaves the reader kind of in a fog.
But Still an informative piece and worth the read
Jun 02, 2013 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An in-depth but conversational look at the pivotal battles of the American Civil War, with many interesting side notes on the various personalities and decisions made, those what-ifs that hindsight and the distance of time can provide.
I only read the chapter on Gettysburg. The book is written by a battlefield guide who knows what he is about. The chapter is a good summary of the battle, for someone who does not want to read more, or for someone who wants a short, snappy summary.
I thought that Ed did a pretty good Job in writing Field of Honor. In the chapter about the the battle of First Manassas He left out the part about Sullivan Ballou and his letter to his wife in Smithfield, RI. Liked reading about about the salvage of the Union gunboat Cairo back in the earl 1960's.
May 09, 2012 P. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Might be that reading Battle Cry of Freedom made this one pale. There is an annoying 'you are there' aspect as well.
Aug 15, 2014 Cari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sidelined
Sad to say that I'm not going to finish this book. It is interesting but it is not my cup of tea. Too much minute information.
Isaac F
Nov 24, 2009 Isaac F rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
There is alot of stuff you can learn from this book. It talks about John Browns raid of Harpers ferry. Chase also said he would read this book which it means it must be good.
Dec 14, 2009 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Civil War's greatest hits. Listen to a bit of one of Edwin C. Bearss' battlefield tours so you can hear his voice as you read.
Bill Freil
It's ok.

You can tell that this was a transcript. Good read though. I would l ok 've to actually be visiting the parks while he interprets
Jul 07, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this volume brings the many battle fields of the Civil War to life. For the avid student of the War Between the States or the casual reader this is a good book.
Britt rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2011
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Not Recommended 1 3 May 25, 2014 10:23AM  
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