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Nothing But Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865
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Nothing But Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  151 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Composed almost entirely of Midwesterners and molded into a lean, skilled fighting machine by Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, the Army of the Tennessee marched directly into the heart of the Confederacy and won major victories at Shiloh and at the rebel strongholds of Vicksburg and Atlanta.Acclaimed historian Steven Woodworth has produced the first full cons ...more
Paperback, 800 pages
Published October 17th 2006 by Vintage (first published October 25th 2005)
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Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
I like this Woodworth. He’s a big right-wing Christian, an orientation undetectable in this book but for the genteel censorship of quoted correspondence (“We had one h--- of a battle.” “That --- McClernand!”) and the quiet recurrence of “providentially” as a shyly favored adverb. Still, the man can write. He has a command of the foot solider diaries that repose, by the thousands, in our historical societies; the book has a novelistic texture, a density of memorable stories--also, quite a few mag ...more
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absorbing historical narrative, in the best traditions of Catton, Foote and Nevins, of the trials, tribulations, battles and campaigns of the Army of the Tennessee. Professor Woodworth takes us from the raising of the individual companies and regiments, and to their first deployment along the Ohio River, where they were fortunate enough to be commanded by a then-obscure general named Grant. The battles of this great army are a roll-call of honor: Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg, Cha ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written and enjoyable history of the Army of the Tennessee, which had a stunning record of victory against the Confederates. Woodworth gives comprehensive treatment to the campaigns and gives us a well-balanced look from both the soldiers and the army’s notable commanders, although the work is more about the army’s leaders and soldiers than its campaigns and battles. Woodworth argues that its success came from its “cohesiveness”; soldiers trusted their commanders, and commanders utilized ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gave outstanding views of the Union side of the battles of Vicksburg and Atlanta. It was worth reading just for that. The book overall was informative on many aspects of 1st Grant's and then Sherman's command. Very good read and never tedious despite its length.
Tom Nixon
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I decided to go see a Civil War Battlefield (since it was the 150th Anniversary of the war) I wanted to try and find out where Iowans had actually fought. I was surprised to learn that, from what I could tell, none of them fought at Gettysburg and I was surprisingly OK with that. I figured that Gettysburg will be the highlight of the 150th Anniversary celebrations and everyone will want to go. So I did a little digging and found out that most Iowans had fought mainly in the Western theater, ...more
Nothing but Victory is the definitive account of the Army of the Tennessee and the winning of the civil war via the west. The idea that the west played a critical role in the Civil War has been around for sometime but only in the past 5 to 10 years has it become a dominant idea that the battles of the Army of Tennessee were the critical link in allowing the Union to win the civil war and destroying the confederacy. This book provides an overview of the tactics, strategies and human stories that ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: re-enactors with a taste for the literary
Provides plenty of POV of ordinary soldiers in the Union army, drawing from their letters. The book seems to be a restatement of Grant's memoirs inserting the soldiers' letters as glosses on the main text. Occasional passages are inferior paraphrases of Grant's own fine prose. And quotations endorsing Grant's hit-them-hard-and-fast philosophy of war sound like a refrain throughout the text.

However, Woodworth provides vivid descriptions of camp conditions both good and miserable, memorable events
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
During the Civil War, Union general George B. McClellan set up the Army of the Potomac. They trained and fought in battles around Antietam, Fredericksburg, Bull Run, and Gettysburg. The eastern theater of the Civil War. The Army of the Tennessee was led by Union general Ulysses S. Grant and fought in the western theater of the Civil War. He strategically planned the siege and capture of Vicksburg, Miss. Which was a Confederate supply depot and port. Another Union general led his troops to blaze ...more
Lee Thackston
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tremendous amount of research went in to this book which is evident from the large number of journals and memoirs and diaries that the author drew from. The Bibliography seems to go on forever. In all it's a good representation of the Army of the Tennessee from its inception to dissolution four years later. It does good to point out the military faults of the super-human Grant and Sherman, while showing how they used the talent they did have to produce victory after victory. The only reason it ...more
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great history of this fascinating and often overlooked theater of the Civil War. It could have used a few maps, but having a good Civil War battle atlas on hand remedies the only major drawbacl of this book. The battle description contains amazing amounts of detail and I found referring to maps essential to keep track of where all the units involved were at. It would have been nice to get a short overview of some of the major players lives after the end of the conflict, but such a long volume ha ...more
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whew that was a long one. I'm kind of amused when authors pick a general and are terribly effusive about him. In this case Mister Woodworth has a deep and abiding love of US Grant. He may be missing some flaws but hey I admire his passion. I particularly enjoyed the mentions of the 13th US infantry and the 21st Iowa in honor of gggrandfather and gggranduncle.
Aug 16, 2010 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
A great addition to the canon. Sheds light on what is misidentified as the "sideshow" of the Civil War, which, in fact, was the show (Western Theater). A nice book touching both common soldier stories and staff command narratives.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: strategy, wbts
Truly outstanding work on the Union Army of Tennessee, first under Grant, then Sherman. The campaign to take Vicksburg is especially exciting, and reads like a novel. Gives a good feel for the operational level of war.
A good history of one of the most successful Union armies. The author emphasizes the role that Grant played in shaping the attitude of the army as it's first commander. My only complaint is the lack of maps that would help the reader understand and follow key battles and campaigns.
Eric Bittner
Feb 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
An outstanding history of the army most responsible for the Union victory in the civil war. The only issue I had with it is the lack of maps, which makes understanding some of the battles rather difficult.
William P.
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Casual readers of the Civil War.
I have only one comment to make , this is one of those rare occasions when I wished that I had just purchased the book and was taking it home to read and had all the enjoyment to look forward to.
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well written book about a part of the Civil War that is rarely talked about, the war in the west.
Jul 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book and will name my first born Ulysses after the general
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
VERY long, but a worthwhile summary of this important army in the Civil War.
Tanya Faberson
Aug 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was pretty great....
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, politics
This is a great comprehensive history of the brigades that comprised The Army of the Tennessee!
Sean Chick
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
It just did nothing for me.
michael kelly
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Sherry Myers
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Terri Prince
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