How to Lose the Civil War: Military Mistakes of the War Between the States

Overview

A fascinating and fact–filled collection of the greatest and dumbest missteps of America's bloodiest conflict

For four years in the middle of the nineteenth century, brother fought brother on American soil. No American war ever had higher stakes than, or changed a nation as profoundly as, the terrible conflict between the Union and the Confederacy. A dark historical panorama populated by a remarkable cast of colorful characters, the War Between the States was indelibly marked ...

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How to Lose the Civil War: Military Mistakes of the War Between the States

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Overview

A fascinating and fact–filled collection of the greatest and dumbest missteps of America's bloodiest conflict

For four years in the middle of the nineteenth century, brother fought brother on American soil. No American war ever had higher stakes than, or changed a nation as profoundly as, the terrible conflict between the Union and the Confederacy. A dark historical panorama populated by a remarkable cast of colorful characters, the War Between the States was indelibly marked by both brilliant military maneuvers and mind-boggling battlefield blunders that gravely threatened the continuation of the American Experiment.

With suitable irreverence, Bill Fawcett chronicles the unbelievably disastrous decisions made by both sides in this monumental clash, including:

  • The Second Battle of Bull Run, where Robert E. Lee looks smart beating a remarkably stupid general
  • How the Union's shortsighted Colonel James Ripley's bad decision arms the Confederate Army better than his own
  • Lincoln's roller-coaster search for competent commanders, a long-running dark comedy of tragic errors
  • A golden opportunity squandered: General Lee fails to exploit a vulnerable Union and capture Washington, D.C.
  • Pickett's disastrous charge and the many, many Confederate command failures at Gettysburg
  • Lincoln's contentious draft policy that nearly burns New York City to the ground
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061807275
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/22/2011
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 713,036
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Fawcett is the author and editor of more than a dozen books, including You Did What?, It Seemed Like a Good Idea . . . , How to Lose a Battle, and You Said What? He lives in Illinois.

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Table of Contents

No Rebels in D.C. 1

King Cotton's Tarnished Crown 7

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Feds! 15

The Imperfect Art of the Ironclad 23

Buy American: Colonel Ripley and the English Enfield Rifles 31

Christmas in April 37

Grant's Rouch River Road to the South 45

Lee Looks Smart Beating a Stupid General 57

When Not Losing Is Victory 67

The Campaign for the Big Muddy 77

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Habeas Corpus! 83

Against a Rock and a Hard Place 91

When Second-Best Generals Fight 101

Fighting Joe Hooker Does Everything Except, UM, Fight 109

Take Nothing for Granted 119

Five Generals in Two Years 129

Lee Gambles at the Right Time, in the Wrong Place 137

Two Brigades Wasted 147

Confederate Command Failure 155

General Dan Sickles Proves to Be an Independent Thinker 163

The Amazing Mystery Billy Mahone 173

Where in the World is J.E.B. Stuart? 181

Futile Gallantry on Cemetery Ridge 189

Vainglory: Kilpatrick Orders Farnsworth's Charge 197

Meade Goes Nowhere 205

The Roof Is on Fire! 213

Fight to the Finish at the River of Death 219

Götterdämmerung in Tennessee 227

Jural Early's Pile of Mistakes 237

Throwing a Mule Shoe 245

Grant Smashes Against the New Era of War 251

Butler Gets Lost in the Bermuda Hundred 259

Throw Courage into a Hole 265

The South's Last Stand on the Gulf 273

Horsing Around: The (F)utility of the Cavalry Raid 281

"Useless, Useless" 287

Four Great Mistakes and Their Matrices 295

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