Roll Call to Destiny: The Soldier's Eye View of Civil War Battles

Roll Call to Destiny: The Soldier's Eye View of Civil War Battles

by Brent Nosworthy
     
 

A soldier’s eye view of Civil War combat-cavalry-versus-cavalry action, infantry-versus-infantry on the open field, an assault against an enemy fort-and an unforgettable front-line reading experienceSee more details below

Overview

A soldier’s eye view of Civil War combat-cavalry-versus-cavalry action, infantry-versus-infantry on the open field, an assault against an enemy fort-and an unforgettable front-line reading experience

Editorial Reviews

Military History Online
Brent Nosworthy's book has much to recommend it. It is an interesting and highly informative story that should appeal to anyone interested in military history who wants to know more about the American Civil War . . . it is a worthy starting point for those interested in the real nature of how a battle was fought during the American Civil War.

Kirkus Reviews
Close-up examination of eight battles, often revising previous assessments. For each of the battles he treats, military historian Nosworthy (The Bloody Crucible of Courage: Fighting Methods and Combat Experience of the Civil War, 2003, etc.) focuses on a single small unit. At Gettysburg, he looks at the relatively neglected engagement between Stuart and Custer's forces on the East Cavalry Field, while at Fredericksburg he puts the emphasis on the Washington Artillery's repulse of several Union assaults on Marye's Heights. He cites European tactical manuals and their American adaptations on both sides of the conflict to show the military doctrine in place at the time and the effects of its application on battles. For example, he argues that Burnside's difficulties at First Bull Run arose partly from asking unseasoned recruits to perform maneuvers that had worked for veteran armies during the 18th century. Nosworthy also corrects misunderstandings about the capabilities of the weapons used. The theoretical ranges of standard-issue firearms were based on noncombat conditions and assumed constant practice; actual results on the battlefield are reflected in an 1863 estimate by Union military authorities that during the Battle of Murfreesboro, one in 145 shots fired by infantry resulted in an enemy casualty. The author refutes the accepted account of the battle of Arkansas Posts, which credits the Union victory to river gunboats. Gunboat fire was inherently inaccurate, he points out; it was land-based rifled Parrott cannons that destroyed the Confederate artillery and prompted surrender. Elementary tactical lapses can lead to the speedy collapse of an apparently superior position, he remindsus, as when the commander at Missionary Ridge placed troops where they had no retreat in the event of failure. Nosworthy is constantly on the lookout for bias in battle reports: The standard account of how North Carolina cavalryman Col. Alexander C. Haskell dealt Grant's army a setback at Darbytown Road, for example, was written by the colonel's brother-in-law, otherwise a reliable historian. Could be better focused, but the author clearly knows his stuff, and Civil War buffs will have a ball. Agent: Bob Roistacher/Roistacher Literary Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786717477
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
03/03/2008
Pages:
342
Product dimensions:
6.03(w) x 8.97(h) x 1.17(d)

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