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Civil War High Commands
     

Civil War High Commands

by John H. Eicher, David J. Eicher
 

Based on nearly five decades of research, this magisterial work is a biographical register and analysis of the people who most directly influenced the course of the Civil War, its high commanders. Numbering 3,396, they include the presidents and their cabinet members, state governors, general officers of the Union and Confederate armies (regular, provisional,

Overview

Based on nearly five decades of research, this magisterial work is a biographical register and analysis of the people who most directly influenced the course of the Civil War, its high commanders. Numbering 3,396, they include the presidents and their cabinet members, state governors, general officers of the Union and Confederate armies (regular, provisional, volunteers, and militia), and admirals and commodores of the two navies. Civil War High Commands will become a cornerstone reference work on these personalities and the meaning of their commands, and on the Civil War itself.

Errors of fact and interpretation concerning the high commanders are legion in the Civil War literature, in reference works as well as in narrative accounts. The present work brings together for the first time in one volume the most reliable facts available, drawn from more than 1,000 sources and including the most recent research. The biographical entries include complete names, birthplaces, important relatives, education, vocations, publications, military grades, wartime assignments, wounds, captures, exchanges, paroles, honors, and place of death and interment.

In addition to its main component, the biographies, the volume also includes a number of essays, tables, and synopses designed to clarify previously obscure matters such as the definition of grades and ranks; the difference between commissions in regular, provisional, volunteer, and militia services; the chronology of military laws and executive decisions before, during, and after the war; and the geographical breakdown of command structures. The book is illustrated with 84 new diagrams of all the insignias used throughout the war and with 129 portraits of the most important high commanders.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Here is the reference work that Civil War historians have been waiting for. All arguments and confusion about full vs. brevet rank, seniority, jurisdiction, and dozens of other matters concerning military commanders and civilian officials in the Union and Confederacy are cleared up in this volume, which would have been as useful to Civil War contemporaries, if it had existed then, as it will be to modern students of the war."—James M. McPherson, Professor of History, Princeton University, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

"It is difficult to imagine the staggering amount of research that must have gone into the creation of this highly valuable reference work. All students of the military side of the Civil War, and especially those interested in the organizational structures and leading figures of the Union and Confederate high commands, should keep this volume near at hand."—Gary W. Gallagher, Nau Professor of History, University of Virginia

"Civil War High Commands is a bibliophile's tour de force and a Civil War aficionado's dream. It combines in a single volume concise biographical information on nearly 4,000 of the war's movers and shakers, be they politicians, soldiers, or sailors. But that is not all. The authors include invaluable data that is necessary to an understanding of the mid-19th century military, its command structure, and mystique."—Edwin C. Bearss, Historian Emeritus, National Park Service

"The Eichers have devoted years to assembling their fascinating array of facts. . . . Rarely is a sound and practical reference book so much fun to use."—from the foreword by John Y. Simon, editor of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant

"This important new work is a welcome addition to the field of Civil War literature, and will without a doubt become the standard tool for research in questions related to high command in the Union and Confederate militaries and governments. . . . This book is highly recommended for every library that treats the Civil War in any respect. It should also be considered for the private libraries of Civil War buffs."—American Reference Books Annual
"Besides being a truly handy reference work, the Eichers' book is simply great fun to peruse, but beware: looking up one tidbit may lead you to browse and read for a very long time."—The Journal of Southern History
"...it is an enormously valuable reference guide to the command structure of both sides during the Civil War."—The NYMAS Review

editor of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant - from the foreword by John Y. Simon
"The Eichers have devoted years to assembling their fascinating array of facts. . . . Rarely is a sound and practical reference book so much fun to use."
Edwin C. Bearss
"Civil War High Commands is a bibliophile's tour de force and a Civil War aficionado's dream. It combines in a single volume concise biographical information on nearly 4,000 of the war's movers and shakers, be they politicians, soldiers, or sailors. But that is not all. The authors include invaluable data that is necessary to an understanding of the mid-19th century military, its command structure, and mystique."
Professor of History, Princeton University, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Er - James M. McPherson
"Here is the reference work that Civil War historians have been waiting for. All arguments and confusion about full vs. brevet rank, seniority, jurisdiction, and dozens of other matters concerning military commanders and civilian officials in the Union and Confederacy are cleared up in this volume, which would have been as useful to Civil War contemporaries, if it had existed then, as it will be to modern students of the war."
Gary W. Gallagher
"It is difficult to imagine the staggering amount of research that must have gone into the creation of this highly valuable reference work. All students of the military side of the Civil War, and especially those interested in the organizational structures and leading figures of the Union and Confederate high commands, should keep this volume near at hand."
The NYMAS Review
"...it is an enormously valuable reference guide to the command structure of both sides during the Civil War."
American Reference Books Annual
"This important new work is a welcome addition to the field of Civil War literature, and will without a doubt become the standard tool for research in questions related to high command in the Union and Confederate militaries and governments. . . . This book is highly recommended for every library that treats the Civil War in any respect. It should also be considered for the private libraries of Civil War buffs."
The Journal of Southern History
"Besides being a truly handy reference work, the Eichers' book is simply great fun to peruse, but beware: looking up one tidbit may lead you to browse and read for a very long time."
Library Journal
Though the literature documenting Civil War military leaders is extensive, a one-volume reference that provides comprehensive biographical and background information on the thousands of leaders and complex military structure of the Union and the Confederacy would be a welcome addition to many libraries. Here, John H. Eicher (chemistry, emeritus, Miami Univ. of Ohio) and David J. Eicher (managing editor, Astronomy magazine; Mystic Chords of Memory) have combined brief biographical entries on over 3000 Union and Confederate military commanders with extensive background information. Even libraries that own Ezra J. Warner's Generals in Blue (1964) and Generals in Grey (1959) or William C. Davis's more recent The Confederate General (National Historical Society, 1991) will find this a useful reference source. Recommended for larger public, academic, and specialized Civil War collections. Theresa McDevitt, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Drawing on a number of Union and Confederate government and military documents as well as more recent scholarship, Eicher (emeritus, chemistry, Miami U. of Ohio) and Eicher (Civil War historian) present a biographical register and analysis of the 3,396 men who most directly influenced the course of the Civil War. They also include a number of essays, tables, and synopses that clarify previously vexing matters concerning army and navy organization, military grades and ranks, command structure, and the chronology of military laws and executive decisions. The book contains about 125 photographs of the principle commanders, and 84 diagrams of insignias used throughout the war. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804736411
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
06/28/2002
Edition description:
1
Pages:
1040
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 11.30(h) x 2.00(d)

Meet the Author

John H. Eicher is Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at Miami University of Ohio and a lifelong student of the Civil War. David J. Eicher is Managing Editor of Astronomy magazine and a well-known non-academic Civil War historian. He is the author of several books on the war, most recently Mystic Chords of Memory: Civil War Battlefields and Historic Sites Recaptured and The Civil War in Books: An Analytical Bibliography.

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