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AMERICAN CIVIL WAR > EASTERN THEATER OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35096 comments Mod
This thread is dedicated to the discussion concerning all aspects of the EASTERN THEATER OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR.

The Eastern Theater included the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the coastal fortifications and seaports of North Carolina. (Operations in the interior of the Carolinas in 1865 are considered part of the Western Theater.)

The Eastern Theater included the campaigns that are generally most famous in the history of the war, if not for their strategic significance, but for their proximity to the large population centers, the major newspapers, and the capital cities of the opposing parties.

The imaginations of both Northerners and Southerners were captured by the epic struggles between the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, under Robert E. Lee, and the Union Army of the Potomac, under a series of less successful commanders.

The bloodiest battle of the war (Gettysburg) and the bloodiest single day of the war (Antietam) were both fought in this theater. The capitals of Washington, D.C., and Richmond were both attacked or besieged.

It has been argued that the Western Theater was more strategically important in defeating the Confederacy, but it is inconceivable that the civilian populations of both sides could have considered the war to be at an end without the resolution of Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865.

The theater was bounded by the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. By far, the majority of battles occurred in the 100 miles between the cities of Washington and Richmond. This terrain favored the Confederate defenders because a series of rivers ran primarily west to east, making them obstacles rather than avenues of approach and lines of communication for the Union.

This was quite different than the early years of the Western theater, and since the Union Army had to rely solely on the primitive road system of the era for its primary transportation, it limited winter campaigning for both sides. The Union advantage was control of the sea and major rivers, which would allow an army that stayed close to the ocean to be reinforced and supplied.

The campaign classification established by the United States National Park Service[1:] is more fine-grained than the one used in this article. Some minor NPS campaigns have been omitted and some have been combined into larger categories. Only a few of the 160 battles the NPS classifies for this theater are described. Boxed text in the right margin show the NPS campaigns associated with each section.


Source: Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_...




message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35096 comments Mod
Principal commanders of the Eastern Theater

Lt. Gen.
Ulysses S. Grant, USA

Maj. Gen.
George B. McClellan, USA

Maj. Gen.
John Pope, USA

Maj. Gen.
Ambrose Burnside, USA

Maj. Gen.
Joseph Hooker, USA

Maj. Gen.
George G. Meade, USA

Gen.
Robert E. Lee, CSA

Gen.
P.G.T. Beauregard, CSA

Gen.
Joseph E. Johnston, CSA

Lt. Gen.
James Longstreet, CSA

Lt. Gen.
Stonewall Jackson, CSA

Lt. Gen.
Jubal A. Early, CSA



message 3: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here are two decent books I have recently read providing an overview history of the campaigns in the Eastern theatre from the two main armies locked in combat in the East:

The Sword of Lincoln The Army of the Potomac by Jeffry D. Wert by Jeffry D. Wert
"A Civil War historian distinguished for biographies of Longstreet and Custer, and for several campaign histories, now offers this excellent overview of the Army of the Potomac. Charged with the defense of Washington, D.C.—and therefore under the eyes of the politicians from first to last—the Army of the Potomac was blessed with a rank-and-file firmly committed to defending the Union. It was not so fortunate, Wert shows, in its high command. The charismatic George McClellan was an excellent organizer but an overly cautious commander who, the author argues, set the pattern for his successors' habit of avoiding defeat rather than aggressively seeking victory. The book is filled with portraits of the divided upper ranks—both heroes (Winfield Scott Hancock and Phil Kearney, the latter killed before he could realize his potential) and not (the author is absolutely scathing on Third Division Gen. William French). It is also filled with exceptionally vivid accounts of battles, some of them well known (Burnside's bloody fiasco at Fredericksburg) and others less so (the Spotsylvania campaign, particularly its climax at the "Bloody Angle"—trench warfare at its worst). Finally, Wert shows President Lincoln's bond with the army he saw more often than any other, and which felt a personal tie to him. Wert assimilates the half-century of research that has appeared since Bruce Catton wrote his classic trilogy and condenses this mountain of material into a single readable and accessible volume." - Publishers Weekly

Damage Them All You Can Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia by George Walsh by George Walsh
"This volume merits the accolade of being called an updated and condensed version of Douglas Southall Freeman's three-volume classic, Lee's Lieutenants (1942-44). Walsh covers substantially the same territory, surveying Lee's army through the lenses of its commanders, down to brigade level, and retelling its battles, its successes and failures, and the fates of its commanders--the stuff of an epic portion of American history that is familiar to seasoned Civil War buffs. He has drawn on up-to-date research and, avoiding revisionist condemnation and Lost Cause hagiography, he presents the ambiguity about slavery and the serious reservations about the chances of Confederate success that many leading Southern figures felt. Walsh is not an academic and may lack the trendy virtues of deconstructionism and political correctness; still, he possesses the real virtues of intelligibility, balance, and narrative skill. This is one of the best books on the war's eastern theater in some time." - Booklist



This next book I have sitting in my library but have not gotten around to reading yet:

[image error] by Joseph T. Glatthaar
"You cannot say that University of North Carolina professor Glatthaar (Partners in Command) did not do his homework in this massive examination of the Civil War–era lives of the men in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Glatthaar spent nearly 20 years examining and ordering primary source material to ferret out why Lee's men fought, how they lived during the war, how they came close to winning, and why they lost. Glatthaar marshals convincing evidence to challenge the often-expressed notion that the war in the South was a rich man's war and a poor man's fight and that support for slavery was concentrated among the Southern upper class. Lee's army included the rich, poor and middle-class, according to the author, who contends that there was broad support for the war in all economic strata of Confederate society. He also challenges the myth that because Union forces outnumbered and materially outmatched the Confederates, the rebel cause was lost, and articulates Lee and his army's acumen and achievements in the face of this overwhelming opposition. This well-written work provides much food for thought for all Civil War buffs." - Publishers Weekly


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35096 comments Mod
Terrific library Aussie Rick!


message 5: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Bentley, so many books, so little time! Another interesting book that offers an insight into the Confederate command and the inter-action between the commanders is; "Davis & Lee at War" by Steven Woodworth.

Davis and Lee at War (Modern War Studies) by Steven E. Woodworth by Steven E. Woodworth
"In this engaging, well-written account, Woodworth follows his award-winning Jefferson Davis and His Generals by analyzing Confederate strategy as it polarized around the South's principal war fighters: Davis and Robert E. Lee. Davis believed the South could win the war by not losing it. This defensive grand strategy, with offensive actions carefully limited, offered the Confederacy a chance to gain independence by exhausting its opponent's will. Lee, in contrast, believed it necessary to use the South's limited resources to strike hard and fast. Quick, decisive victories would convince the North to abandon the conflict. This policy, too, offered prospects for success. Neither, however, was pursued consistently. Woodworth convincingly argues that the successful professional relationship between Lee and Davis prevented a firm decision. Instead, the Confederacy compromised and ultimately fell to ruin between two strategic stools." - Publishers Weekly


message 6: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here are three of my favourite books covering the Battle of Antietam:


Landscape Turned Red The Battle of Antietam by Stephen W. Sears by Stephen W. Sears
Reviews:
"The best account of the Battle of Antietam." - The New York Times Book Review

"A modern classic." - The Chicago Tribune

"No other book so vividly depicts that battle, the campaign that preceded it, and the dramatic political events that followed." - Washington Post Book World The Washington Post

"Authoritative and graceful . . . a first-rate work of history." - Newsweek

Before Antietam The Battle for South Mountain by John Michael Priest by John Michael Priest
Reviews:
"The first full study of the battle." - Library Journal collections.

"John Michael Priest has done an admirable job capturing in detail this often overlooked precursor to the battle of Antietam." - Journal of American History

"Using an impressive array of primary accounts, Priest captures what it was like for both the Union and Confederate junior grade officers and their men on the march and in battle." - Journal of Southern History

"Priest has reprised the meticulous research and compelling story-telling that earned acclaim for his first book, Antietam: The Soldiers Battle, in a worthy prequel." - America's Civil War

Antietam The Soldiers' Battle by John M. Priest by John M. Priest
Reviews:
"Priest has admirably fulfilled the goal of his book Antietam by giving us a vivid portrait of the individuals who fought at Antietam, their combat, heroism, and death. No one who wants to know more about Civil War combat and the enlisted man can afford to miss this new study. This well-researched, well-written study is highly recommended to all students of the Civil War." - The Journal of American History

"A very successful treatment of Antietam from the soldiers' eyeview. As such it will take its place along with the more conventional works of Murfin and Sears as one of the indispensable references on the battle." - Military History

"If you only buy one Civil War book this year...this is the book to buy....This volume will grab you and keep you enthralled until the final shots are fired. Don't miss it." - Military Images

"From dawn to dusk, individuals in blue and gray -nearly 200 of them - run, limp, shout, and cry across Priest's stage, each delivering a personal soliloquy from a diary, a letter, or other recollection. The audience is spellbound, mesmerized by tale after tale....Today melts into 1862, and you experience the soldiers' stories of torture and trauma on September 17....A wonderful companion on the battlefield." - Blue and Gray

"Written in a style that reminds me of John Keegan's The Face of Battle, the author takes you down to the common soldier's level with all the dirt, blood, horror, confusion, cowardice, and heroics....As vivid a portrait of 1860s warfare as I've ever read....An excellent account of a pivotal battle and I highly recommend it." - Confederate Veteran

"Filled with heroism and cowardice, death, pain, and humor....[Among the] fine works of military history....Has some of the best maps this reviewer has seen on the 12-hour battle." - Roanoke Times and World News

"The best battlefield first-person compilation I have read....Here, in 316 well-illustrated pages, is the closest I have ever come to feeling Civil War combat....Here it all is - -the tactics, the movement, the truth about warfare." - The Civil War Times

"An interesting and personal view of the fight....Useful and fascinating....The book is also graced with a splendid introduction by Jay Luvaas, who perhaps knows more about the Civil War than any man alive." - The Washington Times

"Priest has presented the fight at Antietam in a new, refreshing, human, and long-overdue manner....Priest has done a first-rate job of research and a dedicated job of writing." - Richmond News-Leader

"Under Priest's skilled hands, soldiers come to life- - and death - in this outstanding piece of work." - Inside Books


message 7: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I found a series of books by the author Noah Andre Trudeau covering the last few months of the war excellent accounts on some of the final dramatic battles of the Civil War:

Bloody Roads South The Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864 (Bloody Roads South) by Noah Andre Trudeau by Noah Andre Trudeau
Review:
"This popularly written account of the initial months of Grant's decisive Virginia campaign against Lee will find a ready audience among Civil War buffs. Done in the episodic, you-are-there style of such writers as Cornelius Ryan, it rests mainly on a host of published first-hand accounts and regimental histories. By 1864 the war in the East had become a test of wills and endurance. How the ordinary soldiers and civilians measured up to that test through 40 days of horrific carnage is the book's main focus. Although devoid of sweeping conclusions and with few notes, the book's presentation of the campaign's strategy and the tactics of individual battles is clear. Excellent for the general reader and libraries of any size." - Library Journal

The Last Citadel Petersburg, Virginia, June 1864-April 1865 by Noah Andre Trudeau by Noah Andre Trudeau
Review:
"Where Richard Sommers ( Richmond Redeemed , LJ 3/15/81) gave us four days of battle, Trudeau canvases the whole 292-day campaign for Petersburg and Richmond. Trudeau salts his narrative with healthy doses of official testimony and soldiers' personal accounts to create a brisk documentary flavor of campfire and war council. In minute detail he covers every clod of Virginia soil trod by Grant and Lee in the final days of the war. His telling of the horrors of the Crater and his vignettes of officers are compelling, but overall Trudeau fails to show how Petersburg was "the South's Gethsemane." The author writes about battles more than the Southern soul or the politics of war. Still, he dashes several myths about Petersburg--that Lee's army was starved and hopelessly outnumbered--and provides one of the most arresting narratives of any Civil War campaign. This is the stuff of high drama." - Library Journal

Out of the Storm The End of the Civil War, April-June 1865 by Noah Andre Trudeau by Noah Andre Trudeau
Reviews:
"In this concluding volume of a trilogy, Trudeau (Bloody Roads South; The Last Citadel) relies on firsthand accounts to tell the compelling story of the Confederacy's death throes. Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, marked only the beginning of the end: the Civil War had gone on too long to end in a single stroke. Confederate government was still intact, and large Confederate forces remained in the field. While Union cavalry ravaged northern Alabama, Union infantry stormed the fortress of Mobile. Men continued to die in obscure skirmishes from Texas to South Carolina. Trudeau's richly textured presentation never loses focus in depicting the complex course of events from the final days of the Army of Northern Virginia, through the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, to the growing recognition in the South and the North that the great national tragedy was finally over. This is a major contribution to the field." - Publishers Weekly

"Trudeau wonderfully concludes his Civil War trilogy ( Bloody Roads South , Fawcett, 1993; The Last Citadel , LJ 10/15/91) by looking beyond Appomattox. This affecting work explains the circumstances that led to Lee's surrender, but it also examines Lincoln's assassination, the single event that provided closure to the war. Detailing the tragic events that followed the actual fighting also provide a clearer picture of the postwar United States and its attempts to be one nation again. It is impossible not to be moved by the graphic descriptions of the sinking of the Sultana , the flight of Jefferson Davis, and the last battle of the war in the west. This is a fitting conclusion to a series that masterfully intertwines personal accounts with descriptive narrative. In the words of Lieutenant Colonel Branson upon hearing the last volley: 'That winds up the war'." - Library Journal


message 8: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) This is an older book covering the Wilderness Campaign that has received some good reader reviews and may interest others:

Into the Wilderness With the Army of the Potomac by Robert Garth Scott by Robert Garth Scott


message 9: by Tom (new)

Tom here is new book comming out..


PETERSBURG CAMPAIGN, THE The Eastern Front Battles, June - August 1864, Volume 1 by Edwin Bearss by Edwin Bearss


The wide-ranging and largely misunderstood series of operations around Petersburg, Virginia, were the longest and most extensive of the entire Civil War. The fighting that began in early June 1864 when advance elements from the Union Army of the Potomac crossed the James River and botched a series of attacks against a thinly defended city would not end for nine long months. This important—many would say decisive—fighting is presented by legendary Civil War author Edwin C. Bearss in The Petersburg Campaign: The Eastern Front Battles, June – September 1864, the first in a ground-breaking two-volume compendium.

Although commonly referred to as the “Siege of Petersburg,” that city (as well as the Confederate capital at Richmond) was never fully isolated and the combat involved much more than static trench warfare. In fact, much of the wide-ranging fighting involved large-scale Union offensives designed to cut important roads and the five rail lines feeding Petersburg and Richmond. This volume of Bearss’ study of these major battles includes:

The Attack on Petersburg (June 9, 1864)

The Attack on Petersburg (June 15, 1864)

The Battle of the Jerusalem Plank Road (June 21 - 24, 1864)

The Battle of the Crater (July 31, 1864)

The Battle of the Weldon Railroad (August 18 - 21, 1864)

The Battle of Reams’ Station (August 24, 1864)

Accompanying these salient chapters are original maps by Civil War cartographer Steven Stanley, together with photos and illustrations. The result is a richer and deeper understanding of the major military episodes comprising the Petersburg Campaign.



message 10: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Looks like it will be an excellent and detailed account of the battle around Petersburg.


message 11: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
Gettysburg: The Last Invasion

Gettysburg The Last Invasion by Allen C. GuelzoAllen C. Guelzo

Synopsis

Guelzo begins his narrative with the lead-up to the battle, describing early conflicts over slavery, the makeup of the Union and Confederate rank and file (and their motivations for fighting), the rise of Robert E. Lee, the leaderships of the Armies of Northern Virginia and the Potomac, and Lee’s proposal to draw Union forces into “a pitched battle” on ground and time of his own choosing.

Moving to the battle itself, Guelzo offers a lay-of-the-land view that gives us a clear picture of the positions of both armies, the tactics of their leaders, and the movements that brought them together. At the same time, he eschews the top-down approach of much military history writing, focusing on the ground-level experiences of the soldiers in order to better explain Gettysburg’s outcomes and consequences. Drawing us into the battle’s muck and grime, he shows us the faces, the sights, and the sounds of nineteenth-century combat: the stone walls and gunpowder clouds of Pickett’s Charge; the reason that the Army of Northern Virginia could be smelled before it could be seen; and the march of thousands of men from the banks of the Rappahannock in Virginia to the Pennsylvania hills.

As he takes us through the events of July 1-3, Guelzo covers myriad aspects of the battle: the preponderance of close combat despite the advent of high-accuracy long-range weapons; the Union army’s finally coming to grips with Lee’s massive, highly coordinated assault; the personal politics roiling the Union and Confederate officer ranks; the horrific nature of the combat itself, and of the wounds soldiers suffered; and the utter decimation of the Army of Northern Virginia. Although Gettysburg has been written about at length and thoroughly dissected in terms of strategic importance, never before has a book focused so deeply on the individual soldier to explore the experience of the three days of intense fighting, or placed the battle so firmly in the context of nineteenth-century military practice.

What emerges is a previously untold story that gives the cornerstone battle of the Civil War extraordinarily vivid new life.


message 12: by JoAnne (last edited Apr 17, 2013 11:22AM) (new)

JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book) | 12 comments This is something I can really get my teeth into. My husband grew up just outside Gettysburg. We will be visiting in June, and are also visiting several of the Civil War battlefields in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. I am reading Gettysburg, Day Three by Jeffrey D. Wert and am continuing on to as many books as I can before we leave. Gettysburg, Day ThreeGettysburg, Day ThreeGettysburg, Day Three


message 13: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
Awesome, JoAnne. This sounds like a great trip, and this year being 150th anniversary of Gettysburg. I hope you like Wert's book. I have not read it yet.

Don't forget about our citation rules:

Gettysburg, Day Three by Jeffry D. WertJeffry D. Wert


message 14: by JoAnne (new)

JoAnne McMaster (Any Good Book) | 12 comments I'm sorry, trying to send from my Ipad, and for some reason the book isn't adding. Will do so when I get to my PC. Thanks for being patient!


message 15: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
JoAnne wrote: "I'm sorry, trying to send from my Ipad, and for some reason the book isn't adding. Will do so when I get to my PC. Thanks for being patient!"

No problem, I'm here to help.


message 16: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
Kennesaw Mountain: Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign

Kennesaw Mountain Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign by J HessJ Hess

Synopsis

While fighting his way toward Atlanta, William T. Sherman encountered his biggest roadblock at Kennesaw Mountain, where Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee held a heavily fortified position. The opposing armies confronted each other from June 19 to July 3, 1864, and Sherman initially tried to outflank the Confederates. His men endured heavy rains, artillery duels, sniping, and a fierce battle at Kolb's Farm before Sherman decided to directly attack Johnston's position on June 27. Kennesaw Mountain tells the story of an important phase of the Atlanta campaign. Historian Earl J. Hess explains how this battle, with its combination of maneuver and combat, severely tried the patience and endurance of the common soldier and why Johnston's strategy might have been the Confederates' best chance to halt the Federal drive toward Atlanta. He gives special attention to the engagement at Kolb's Farm on June 22 and Sherman's assault on June 27. A final section explores the Confederate earthworks preserved within the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.


message 17: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
The Battle Of The Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864

The Battle of the Wilderness May 5-6, 1864 by Gordon C. Rhea by Gordon C. RheaGordon C. Rhea

Synopsis:

Fought in a tangled forest fringing the south bank of the Rapidan River, the Battle of the Wilderness marked the initial engagement in the climactic months of the Civil War in Virginia, and the first encounter between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. In an exciting narrative, Gordon c. Rhea provides the consummate recounting of that conflict of May 5 and 6, 1864, which ended with high casualties on both sides but no clear victor. With its balanced analysis of events and people, command structures and strategies, The Battle of the Wilderness is operational history as it should be written.


message 18: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
The Battles For Spotsylvania Court House And The Road To Yellow Tavern, May 7-12, 1864

The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern, May 7--12, 1864 by Gordon C. Rhea by Gordon C. RheaGordon C. Rhea

Synopsis:

The second volume in Gordon C. Rhea's peerless five-book series on the Civil War's 1864 Overland Campaign abounds with Rhea's signature detail, innovative analysis, and riveting prose. Here Rhea examines the maneuvers and battles from May 7, 1864, when Grant left the Wilderness, through May 12, when his attempt to break Lee's line by frontal assault reached a chilling climax at what is now called the Bloody Angle. Drawing exhaustively upon previously untapped materials, Rhea challenges conventional wisdom about this violent clash of titans to construct the ultimate account of Grant and Lee at Spotsylvania.


message 19: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
To the North Anna River: Grant And Lee, May 13-25, 1864

To the North Anna River Grant and Lee, May 13-25, 1864 by Gordon C. Rhea by Gordon C. RheaGordon C. Rhea

Synopsis:

With To the North Anna River, the third book in his outstanding five-book series, Gordon C. Rhea continues his spectacular narrative of the initial campaign between Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee in the spring of 1864. May 13 through 25, a phase oddly ignored by historians, was critical in the clash between the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia. During those thirteen days—an interlude bracketed by horrific battles that riveted the public’s attention—a game of guile and endurance between Grant and Lee escalated to a suspenseful draw on Virginia’s North Anna River.

From the bloodstained fields of the Mule Shoe to the North Anna River, with Meadow Bridge, Myers Hill, Harris Farm, Jericho Mills, Ox Ford, and Doswell Farm in between, grueling night marches, desperate attacks, and thundering cavalry charges became the norm for both Grant’s and Lee’s men. But the real story of May 13–25 lay in the two generals’ efforts to outfox each other, and Rhea charts their every step and misstep. Realizing that his bludgeoning tactics at the Bloody Angle were ineffective, Grant resorted to a fast-paced assault on Lee’s vulnerable points. Lee, outnumbered two to one, abandoned the offensive and concentrated on anticipating Grant’s maneuvers and shifting quickly enough to repel them. It was an amazingly equal match of wits that produced a gripping, high-stakes bout of warfare—a test, ultimately, of improvisation for Lee and of perseverance for Grant.


message 20: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26-June 3, 1864

Cold Harbor Grant and Lee, May 26-June 3, 1864 by Gordon C. Rhea by Gordon C. RheaGordon C. Rhea

Synopsis:

Gordon Rhea’s gripping fourth volume on the spring 1864 campaignwhich pitted Ulysses S. Grant against Robert E. Lee for the first time in the Civil Warvividly recreates the battles and maneuvers from the stalemate on the North Anna River through the Cold Harbor offensive. Cold Harbor: Grant and Lee, May 26June 3, 1864 showcases Rhea’s tenacious research which elicits stunning new facts from the records of a phase oddly ignored or mythologized by historians. In clear and profuse tactical detail, Rhea tracks the remarkable events of those nine days, giving a surprising new interpretation of the famous battle that left seven thousand Union casualties and only fifteen hundred Confederate dead or wounded. Here, Grant is not a callous butcher, and Lee does not wage a perfect fight. Within the pages of Cold Harbor, Rhea separates fact from fiction in a charged, evocative narrative. He leaves readers under a moonless sky, with Grant pondering the eastward course of the James River fifteen miles south of the encamped armies. AUTHOR BIO: Gordon C. Rhea is the author of The Battle of the Wilderness, May 56, 1864; The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern, May 712, 1864; and To the North Anna River: Grant and Lee, May 1325, 1864, winner of the Fletcher Pratt Literary Award, among other books. He lives in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, with his wife and two sons.


message 21: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (last edited Apr 25, 2014 07:01AM) (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
The Petersburg Campaign: The Eastern Front Battles, June - August 1864

The Petersburg Campaign, Volume 1 The Eastern Front Battles, June-August 1864 by Edwin C. Bearss by Edwin C. Bearss (no photo)

Synopsis:

The wide-ranging and largely misunderstood series of operations around Petersburg, Virginia, were the longest and most extensive of the entire Civil War. The fighting that began in early June 1864 when advance elements from the Union Army of the Potomac crossed the James River and botched a series of attacks against a thinly defended city would not end for nine long months. This important—many would say decisive—fighting is presented by legendary Civil War author Edwin C. Bearss in The Petersburg Campaign: The Eastern Front Battles, June–August 1864, the first in a ground-breaking two-volume compendium.

Although commonly referred to as the “Siege of Petersburg,” that city (as well as the Confederate capital at Richmond) was never fully isolated and the combat involved much more than static trench warfare. In fact, much of the wide-ranging fighting involved large-scale Union offensives designed to cut important roads and the five rail lines feeding Petersburg and Richmond. This volume of Bearss’ study of these major battles includes:

The Attack on Petersburg (June 9, 1864)
The Second Assault on Petersburg (June 15 - 18, 1864)
The Battle of the Jerusalem Plank Road (June 21 - 24, 1864)
The Crater (July 30, 1864)
The Battle of the Weldon Railroad (August 18 - 21, 1864)
The Second Battle of Ream’s Station (August 25, 1864)

Accompanying these salient chapters are original maps by Civil War cartographer George Skoch, together with photos and illustrations. The result is a richer and deeper understanding of the major military episodes comprising the Petersburg Campaign.


message 22: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11679 comments Mod
Petersburg Campaign, The: The Western Front Battles, September 1864 - April 1865, Volume 2

The Petersburg Campaign The Western Front Battles, September 1864 April 1865, Volume 2 by Edwin C. Bearss by Edwin C. Bearss (no photo)

Synopsis:

The wide-ranging and largely ignored operations around Petersburg, Virginia, were the longest and most extensive of the entire Civil War. The fighting began in June of 1864, when advance elements from the Union Army of the Potomac crossed the James River and botched a series of attacks against a thinly defended city. The fighting ended nine long months later in the first days of April of 1865. In Volume I of The Petersburg Campaign, legendary historian Edwin C. Bearss detailed the first six major engagements on the “Eastern Front,” from the initial attack on the city on June 9 through the Second Battle of Ream’s Station on August 25, 1864. In Volume II, Bearss turns his attention and pen to the final half-dozen large-scale combats in The Petersburg Campaign: The Western Front Battles, September 1864 – April 1865.

Although commonly referred to as the “Siege of Petersburg,” the city (as well as the Confederate capital at Richmond) was never fully isolated and the combat involved much more than static trench warfare. In fact, much of the wide-ranging fighting involved massive multi-corps Union offensives designed to cut important roads and rail lines feeding Petersburg and Richmond. This second installment includes these major battles:

- Peebles’ Farm (September 29 – October 1, 1864)
- Burgess Mill (October 27, 1864)
- Hatcher’s Run (February 5 – 7, 1865)
- Fort Stedman (March 25, 1865)
- Five Forks Campaign (March 29 – April 1, 1865)
- The Sixth Corps Breaks Lee’s Petersburg Lines (April 2, 1865)


message 23: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35096 comments Mod
Great adds Bryan, thank you.


message 24: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3804 comments The Civil War in the East: Struggle, Stalemate, and Victory

The Civil War in the East Struggle, Stalemate, and Victory by Brooks D. Simpson by Brooks D. Simpson (no photo)

Synopsis:

For all the literature about Civil War military operations and leadership, precious little has been written about strategy, particularly in the eastern theater. The Civil War in the East takes a fresh look at military operations in this sector and the assumptions that shaped them.

With opposing capitals barely a hundred miles apart and with the Chesapeake Bay–Tidewater area offering Union generals the same sorts of opportunities that Confederate leaders sought in the Shenandoah Valley, geography shaped military operations in fundamental ways. Presidents, politicians, and the press peeked over the shoulders of military commanders, some of whom were not reluctant to engage in their own intrigues as they promoted their fortunes.

The location of the respective capitals raised the stakes of victory and defeat. At a time when people viewed war in terms of decisive battles, the anticipation of victory followed by disappointment and persistent strategic stalemate characterized the course of events in the East.


message 25: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3804 comments To The Gates of Richmond: The Peninsula Campaign

To The Gates of Richmond The Peninsula Campaign by Stephen W. Sears by Stephen W. SearsStephen W. Sears

Synopsis:

To the Gates of Richmond charts the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, General George McClellan’s grand scheme to march up the Virginia Peninsula and take the Confederate capital. For three months McClellan battled his way toward Richmond, but then Robert E. Lee took command of the Confederate forces. In seven days, Lee drove the cautious McClellan out, thereby changing the course of the war. Intelligent and well researched, To the Gates of Richmond vividly recounts one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.


message 26: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3804 comments Counter-Thrust: From the Peninsula to the Antietam

Counter-Thrust From the Peninsula to the Antietam by Benjamin Franklin Cooling III by Benjamin Franklin Cooling III (no photo)

Synopsis:

During the summer of 1862, a Confederate resurgence threatened to turn the tide of the Civil War. When the Union’s earlier multitheater thrust into the South proved to be a strategic overreach, the Confederacy saw its chance to reverse the loss of the Upper South through counteroffensives from the Chesapeake to the Mississippi. Benjamin Franklin Cooling tells this story in Counter-Thrust recounting in harrowing detail Robert E. Lee’s flouting of his antagonist George B. McClellan’s drive to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond and describing the Confederate hero’s long-dreamt-of offensive to reclaim central and northern Virginia before crossing the Potomac.

Counter-Thrust also provides a window into the Union’s internal conflict at building a successful military leadership team during this defining period. Cooling shows us Lincoln’s administration in disarray, with relations between the president and field commander McClellan strained to the breaking point. He also shows how the fortunes of war shifted abruptly in the Union’s favor, climaxing at Antietam with the bloodiest single day in American history—and in Lincoln’s decision to announce a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Here in all its gritty detail and considerable depth is a critical moment in the unfolding of the Civil War and of American history.


message 27: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The "must have" book for those who are planning on touring some or all of the eastern battle locations of the Civil War.

The Insider's Guide to Civil War Sites in the Eastern Theater

The Insiders' Guide to Civil War Sites in the Eastern Theater, 2nd by Michael Gleason by Michael Gleason (no photo)

Synopsis:

Includes 21 tours throughout southern PA, central and western MD, the eastern panhandle of WV and all but the extreme southwestern part of VA.


message 28: by Teri (new)

Teri (teriboop) Samuel's Story - A Journey from Yorkshire to New Hampshire Through the American Civil War

Samuel's Story - A Journey from Yorkshire to New Hampshire Through the American Civil War by Peter J Cooper by Peter J Cooper (no photo)

Synopsis:

This book documents the life of the author's great, great uncle who grew up during 1832-47 in Hull, Yorkshire, England where his family was in the shipping business. Samuel was the family 'black sheep' and virtually no record concerning him was passed down. Employing various online genealogy services, government websites and numerous email contacts, the author spent two years tracking Samuel from Hull to Glasgow, across the sea to Massachusetts and through two marriages (the first to a 15 year-old girl and the second possibly making him a bigamist) to Manchester, New Hampshire.

Samuel enlisted in the Union Army as an artilleryman in 1861 and fought in all the major eastern theatre engagements until late 1864. He left behind a brief history of his unit, including some of his personal experiences. Samuel worked as a draughtsman, was unsuccessful in two business ventures and was active in the militia and the Grand Army (GAR). His story ended in Manchester with his death in 1891. The book describes what the author uncovered about his life and what things were like in general for people living during that time. A number of problems that the author had to surmount in accessing and interpreting genealogical sources are also addressed.


message 29: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) This book is part of the Wikipedia series but contains some excellent information about the eastern theater.

Eastern Theater of the American Civil War

Eastern Theater of the American Civil War by Jesse Russell by Jesse Russell (no photo)

Synopsis:

The Eastern Theater of the American Civil War included the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia, and the coastal fortifications and seaports of North Carolina. (Operations in the interior of the Carolinas in 1865 are considered part of the Western Theater, while the other coastal areas along the Atlantic Ocean are included in the Lower Seaboard Theater.)


message 30: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave

Chancellorsville 1863 The Souls of the Brave by Ernest B. Furgurson by Ernest B. Furgurson (no photo)

Synopsis:

For 130 years historians and military strategists have been obsessed by the battle of Chancellorsville. It began with an audaciously planned stroke by Union general Joe Hooker as he sent his army across the Rappahannock River and around Robert E. Lee's lines. It ended with that same army fleeing back in near total disarray -- and Hooker's reputation in ruins.

This splendid account of Chancellorsville -- the first in more than 35 years -- explains Lee's most brilliant victory even as it places the battle within the larger canvas of the Civil War. Drawing on a wealth of first-hand sources, it creates a novelistic chronicle of tactics and characters while it retraces every thrust and parry of the two armies and the fateful decisions of their commanders, from Hooker's glaring display of moral weakness to the inspired risk-taking of Lee and Stonewall Jackson, who was mortally wounded by friendly fire. At once impassioned and gracefully balanced, Chancellorsville 1863 is a grand achievement in Civil War history.


message 31: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) The bloodiest day of the Civil War.

The Antietam Campaign

The Antietam Campaign by Gary W. Gallagher by Gary W. GallagherGary W. Gallagher

Synopsis:

The Maryland campaign of September 1862 ranks among the most important military operations of the American Civil War. Crucial political, diplomatic, and military issues were at stake as Robert E. Lee and George B. McClellan maneuvered and fought in the western part of the state. The climactic clash came on September 17 at the battle of Antietam, where more than 23,000 men fell in the single bloodiest day of the war .Approaching topics related to Lee's and McClellan's operations from a variety of perspectives, contributors to this volume explore questions regarding military leadership, strategy, and tactics, the impact of the fighting on officers and soldiers in both armies, and the ways in which participants and people behind the lines interpreted and remembered the campaign. They also discuss the performance of untried military units and offer a look at how the United States Army used the Antietam battlefield as an outdoor classroom for its officers in the early twentieth century.


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Books mentioned in this topic

General Lee's Army: From Victory to Collapse (other topics)
Damage Them All You Can: Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia (other topics)
The Sword of Lincoln: The Army of the Potomac (other topics)
Davis and Lee at War (other topics)
Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Joseph T. Glatthaar (other topics)
Jeffry D. Wert (other topics)
George Walsh (other topics)
Steven E. Woodworth (other topics)
John Micheal Priest (other topics)
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