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Battle of Ball's Bluff: Staff Ride Guide
     

Battle of Ball's Bluff: Staff Ride Guide

by Ted Ballard
 

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The Battle of Ball's Bluff provides important lessons in small unit actions, leadership, tactical planning, and the role of courage and military professionalism under fire.

On the night of 20 October 1861, Union Brig. Gen. Charles P. Stone set out to attack what had been reported as a small, unguarded Confederate camp near Leesburg, Virginia. Later, after

Overview

The Battle of Ball's Bluff provides important lessons in small unit actions, leadership, tactical planning, and the role of courage and military professionalism under fire.

On the night of 20 October 1861, Union Brig. Gen. Charles P. Stone set out to attack what had been reported as a small, unguarded Confederate camp near Leesburg, Virginia. Later, after Stone learned there was no camp, he allowed the operation to continue, now modified to capture Leesburg itself. But a lack of adequate communication, problems with logistics, and violations of the principles of war hampered the operation. What was originally meant to be a small raid turned into a military disaster.

The action resulted in the death of a popular U.S. senator and long-time friend of President Abraham Lincoln, the arrest and imprisonment of General Stone, and the creation of a congressional oversight committee that would keep senior Union commanders looking over their shoulders for the remainder of the war. For such a small and relatively insignificant military action, Ball's Bluff would cast a long shadow.
The purpose of this Ball's Bluff staff ride is to learn from the past by analyzing the battle through the eyes of the men who were there, both leaders and rank-and-file soldiers. The battle contains many lessons in command and control, communications, intelligence, weapons technology versus tactics, and the ever-present confusion, or "fog," of battle.

This account is drawn principally from contemporary after action reports and from the sworn testimony of participants before the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, a congressional entity created to investigate the Union defeats at First Bull Run and Ball's Bluff.

The U.S. Army has long used the staff ride as a tool for professional development, conveying the lessons of the past to contemporary soldiers. To support the Army's initiatives, the Center is publishing staff ride guides such as this one on the Battle of Ball's Bluff, Virginia.

Newly reformatted for the Kindle, this edition is packed with photographs and maps, setting the stage of the battle with visual impact, and bringing the characters to life. (As with the print edition, all images except the cover art are in black and white.)

Author Ted Ballard has been a historian with the U.S. Army Center of Military History since 1980 and a part of the Center's staff ride program since 1986. Battle of Ball's Bluff joins his other battlefield guides to First and Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Wilderness/Spotsylvania. In addition to being the author of numerous articles on military history, he was a contributor to the Center's publication, The Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Cops; the author of Rhineland, a brochure in the Center's series commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of World War II; and a contributor to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command publication, American Military Heritage, and to the Virginia Army National Guard publication, The Tradition Continues: A History of the Virginia National Guard, 160 7-1985.


Table of Contents:

Foreward
Preface
Ball's Bluff: An Overview
Prelude to Battle
The Battle
Summary
Further Readings
Chronology
Order of Battle, October 1861
Casualties
Organization
Tactics
Small Arms
Artillery
Logistics
Tactics
Selected Biographical Sketches
About the Author

Product Details

BN ID:
2940013964556
Publisher:
Estonishing
Publication date:
02/20/2012
Series:
American Civil War History , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
92
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Ted Ballard has been a historian with the U.S. Army Center of Military History since 1980 and a part of the Center's staff ride program since 1986. Battle of Ball's Bluff joins his other battlefield guides to First and Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Wilderness/Spotsylvania. In addition to being the author of numerous articles on military history, he was a contributor to the Center's publication, The Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Cops; the author of Rhineland, a brochure in the Center's series commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of World War II; and a contributor to the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command publication,American Military Heritage, and to the Virginia Army National Guard publication, The Tradition Continues: A History of the Virginia National Guard, 160 7-1985

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