Fields of Honor: Pivotal Battles of the Civil War

Overview

Few historians have ever captured the drama, excitement, and tragedy of the Civil War with the headlong elan of Edwin Bearss, who has won a huge, devoted following with his extraordinary battlefield tours and eloquent soliloquies about the heroes, scoundrels, and little-known moments of a conflict that still fascinates America. Antietam, Shiloh, Gettysburg: these hallowed battles and more than a dozen more come alive as never before, rich with human interest and colorful detail ...

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Fields of Honor

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Overview

Few historians have ever captured the drama, excitement, and tragedy of the Civil War with the headlong elan of Edwin Bearss, who has won a huge, devoted following with his extraordinary battlefield tours and eloquent soliloquies about the heroes, scoundrels, and little-known moments of a conflict that still fascinates America. Antietam, Shiloh, Gettysburg: these hallowed battles and more than a dozen more come alive as never before, rich with human interest and colorful detail culled from a lifetime of study.

Illustrated with detailed maps and archival images, this 448-page volume presents a unique narrative of the Civil War's most critical battles, translating Bearss' inimitable delivery into print. As he guides readers from the first shots at Fort Sumter to Gettysburg's bloody fields to the dignified surrender at Appomattox, his engagingly plainspoken but expert account demonstrates why he stands beside Shelby Foote, James McPherson, and Ken Burns in the front rank of modern chroniclers of the Civil War, as the Pulitzer Prize-winning McPherson himself points out in his admiring Introduction.

A must for every one of America's countless Civil War buffs, this major work will stand as an important reference and enduring legacy of a great historian for generations to come.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Every epic deserves a Homer. In Ed Bearss, the Civil War may have finally gotten one." —The Washington Times

"[Bearss] evokes almost hallucinatory sensations on the battlefield" —The Wall Street Journal

Library Journal
Renowned battlefield guide Bearss (historian, emeritus, National Park Service)-the "Homer of the Civil War"-presents for the first time in book form his legendary tours. Encompassing the entire conflict from the first shots at Fort Sumter to the surrender at Appomattox, he describes the events that transpired at all of the major Civil War sites. (Maps show locations of engagements and troop movements rather than current highways, etc.) Though the level of detail is impressive-Bearss covers the personal traits of individual figures along with great details of the battles-the book suffers from several flaws. Bearss's folksy you-are-there approach loses something on the printed page, and there are so many characters, units, and movements mentioned that it is difficult to keep track of who is who and who is where. The last chapter, in which the author tells the story of the raising of the ironclad Cairo, an event in which he played a role, seems out of place. Finally, there is no summary in which Bearss discusses what he finds most fascinating about Civil War battlefields and speaks of his passion about preserving them. Nonetheless, it is a boon to have this legendary guide's expertise in book format, whatever the flaws. Recommended for Civil War collections in public libraries.-Matthew J. Wayman, Pennsylvania State Univ., Abington Coll. Lib. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426200939
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 6/5/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 557,160
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Edwin C. Bearss is legendary among serious scholars and Civil War buffs alike. The former Chief Historian of the National Park Service and its current historian emeritus, Bearss' renowned tours of America's battlefields feature a uniquely engaging panache that has inspired a legion of fans. He has consulted on numerous books, documentaries, and films, including Gods and Generals and Ken Burns' The Civil War. The author of 13 books, he has been honored many times for his tireless advocacy of the historical preservation of Civil War battlefield sites.

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Table of Contents

A word about organization in the armies of the North and South
Prelude to war : Harpers Ferry 4
1 Fort Sumter 22
2 First Manassas 34
3 Shiloh 62
4 Antietam 92
5 Chancellorsville 120
6 Gettysburg 154
7 Vicksburg 203
8 Chattanooga 250
9 The wilderness 274
10 Spotsylvania 297
11 North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg 322
12 Sherman's Carolinas campaign 354
13 From five forks to Appomattox Court House 380
Epilogue : hardluck ironclad Cairo 414
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