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Stones River - Bloody Winter In Tennessee
On December 31, 1862, some 10,000 Confederate soldiers streamed out of the dim light of early morning to stun the Federals who were still breakfasting in their camp. Nine months earlier the Confederates had charged the Yankees in a similarly devastating attack at dawn, starting the Battle of Shiloh. By the time this new battle ended, it would resemble Shiloh in other ways ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published January 31st 1983 by University of Tennessee Press
(first published January 1980)
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This book is a stunning account of a little known battle of the American Civil War. It was of the same level as the Battle of Shiloh and far more devastating than the conflicts at Fort Donelson, Chattanooga, and Nashville. The casualty ratio was higher than those of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. In the predawn hours of December 31, 1862 two great armies, the Armies of the Cumberland and the Tennessee, clashed in the woods and fields near Stone's River with implications that spanned halfwa ...more
This is a good account of the Stones River battle (Dec 1862 to Jan 1863). It isn't one of the battles that usually grab people when studying the Civil War. However, you could argue that after the Confederate defeat at Stones River, the South couldn't win the war. Mr. McDonough does a good job of setting up the larger western theater and how this fit into that theater. I highly recommend it to anyone studying the Civil War.
Much good information on the circumstances surrounding the battle and critical starting time. As noted in reviews this has only recently become a notable battle do to its broad impacts on the war, leadership and openning of the western confederacy to the Union. Had my wife's grandfather (way back) not been wounded there, I would have never picked up the book; glad I did.
Hard to rate this one. This was the first major book written on the subject in the contemporary era. It has McDonough's human touch and affinity of soldier anecdotes, but the research is a light and most of his opinions and conclusions have recently come under fire in Daniel's work on Stones River.
James Lee McDonough is professor of history at Auburn University.More about James Lee McDonough...