Chapter 1 Strategic Positions prior to the Campaign Chapter 2 Confederate Defenses on the Red River, 1863-64 Chapter 3 Preparations Chapter 4 Anabasis Chapter 5 Through the Howling Wilderness Chapter 6 I Will Fight Banks If He Has a Million Men Chapter 7 The Safety of Our Whole Country Depends upon It Chapter 8 Steele's Dilemma Chapter 9 Katabasis Chapter 10 Colonel Bailey's Dam Chapter 11 Requiem for a Blunder
One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 / Edition 1by Gary Dillard Joiner
Pub. Date: 01/01/2003
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
In the spring of 1864, as the armies of Grant and Lee waged a highly scrutinized and celebrated battle for the state of Virginia, a no- less important, but historically obscured engagement was being conducted in the pine barrens of northern Louisiana. In a year of stellar triumphs by Union armies across the South, the Red River Campaign stands out as a colossal
In the spring of 1864, as the armies of Grant and Lee waged a highly scrutinized and celebrated battle for the state of Virginia, a no- less important, but historically obscured engagement was being conducted in the pine barrens of northern Louisiana. In a year of stellar triumphs by Union armies across the South, the Red River Campaign stands out as a colossal failure. General William Tecumseh Sherman's scathing summation describes it best, "One damn blunder from beginning to end." Taking its title from Sherman's blunt description, One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 is a fresh inspection of what was the Civil War's largest operation between the Union Army and Navy west of the Mississippi River. In a bold, but poorly managed effort to wrest Louisiana and Texas from Confederate control, a combined force of 40,000 Union troops and 60 naval vessels traveled up the twisting Red River in an attempt to capture the capital city of Shreveport. Gary D. Joiner provides not a recycled telling of the campaign, but a strategic and tactical overview based on a stunning new array of facts gleaned from recently discovered documents. This never-before-published information reveals that the Confederate army had laid a clever trap by engineering a drop in the water level of the Red River to try to maroon the Union naval flotilla. Only the equally amazing ingenuity of the Union troops saved the fleet from certain destruction, despite a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Mansfield. The Red River campaign had lasting implications. One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End magnifies just how devastating the diversion of so many men and so much material to this failed campaign was to the Union effort in the pivotal year of 1864. Because of the Union Army's failures, Northern plans to capture Mobile were scrapped. Military careers were made and lost. And at time when the Confederacy was teetering on the brink of oblivion, Southern morale was bolstered. Joiner puts together
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- American Crisis Series: Books on the Civil War Era Series
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 7.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.49(d)
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
'One Damn Blunder From Beginning To End' provides a very readable, well-researched account of the Union's Red River Campaign of 1864. The writing tends to be a bit dry and lifelessly academic at times, though, and the author does seem to pander to political correctness at the very end of the book. The one point of historical accuracy I have with the content comes early in the reading on page 7 where the author indicates Union General Nathan Banks' first test of battle was against Stonewall Jackson at the Battle of Cedar Mountain, which is not correct. Banks' acquired the nickname 'Commissary Banks' after his disastrous encounters with Jackson's forces during the Valley Campaign of 1862 which occurred prior to Cedar Mountain. Beyond that one issue, I found the book very informative and well written and I would definitely recommend it to any Civil War enthusiast interested in the details of the often-ignored Red River Campaign.
I was looking for a book that covered this campaign and Gary Dillard Joiner provided the perfect text. It is thoroughly researched and offers a fine narrative style. I reccommend this book to anyone who wants to know about this portion of civil war history and enjoys the naval side of the conflict. Military history that leaves one much more richly illuminated because of the way it is told.