From the Publisher
Examines, from both sides, a campaign that has been scrutinized from the Confederate side, but rarely closely examined from the Union perspective.Appalachian Heritage
A real challenger for the title of best campaign study. . . . Cozzens' lively style combines first person accounts with his considerable skill as a storyteller.James Durney, independent Book Reviewer
Utilizing his extensive collection of sources, the author paints for the reader an excellent description of the region in which the campaign took place. . . . Cozzen's book, both in its research and scope, will certainly surpass Robert G. Tanner's impressive Stonewall in the Valley as the standard work on the 1862 Valley Campaign.The Historian
Cozzens approaches the campaign as a whole, ignoring the exclusively pro-Confederate bias and fragmented approach that has tainted previous histories of the campaign. He also employs a dazzling array of primary resources to analyze the campaign from a balanced point of view.Journal of Southern History
Cozzens (The Darkest Days of the War) is an independent scholar and a master of Civil War military history at tactical and operational levels. He deploys a large body of unfamiliar primary material in this detailed analysis of a campaign less one-sided than the accepted view that it represented Union blundering and the triumph of Confederate planning and execution signaling the emergence of one of history's great generals, Stonewall Jackson. Without debunking Jackson, Cozzens describes a commander still learning his craft. Jackson's obsession with keeping his strategic intention to himself too often left his subordinates confused. As a tactician he tended to commit his forces piecemeal. The Union generals opposing him performed reasonably well in the context of divided command, inadequate logistics and constant micromanaging by Abraham Lincoln. In particular the president's concern for Washington's safety led him to withhold troops from McClellan's Peninsular Campaign-a decision Cozzens reasonably says enhanced McClellan's natural caution. Jackson's victories revitalized a Confederacy whose morale was at its lowest after a string of Union victories. The South now had a new hero, whose personal idiosyncrasies and overt religiosity only enhanced his appeal. 13 illus., 13 maps. (Oct. 10)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862, in which Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's troops managed to prevent the much larger Union armies from reinforcing and capturing Richmond, has received numerous book-length treatments, either on its component battles (e.g., Robert Krick's Conquering the Valley: Stonewall Jackson at Port Republic) or, as here, on the full campaign (e.g., Robert Tanner's Stonewall in the Valley). Generally, the books have focused on Stonewall Jackson and the Confederate viewpoint. Here, however, Cozzens (The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles of Iuka and Corinth), a Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State, presents a compelling chronological and bilateral narrative of the entire campaign from March to June 1862. Using primary-source materials from both sides, Cozzens offers new interpretations of the campaign and of Stonewall Jackson's legendary success, which was not nearly as brilliant as it appeared but was as much the result of Union failure as the triumph of Southern arms heralded in the press at the time. Jackson's errors are covered here, as are those of a succession of Union commanders, all really learning their trade in these early stages of the war. Sure to become the standard work on the campaign, this book is strongly recommended for all collections.
David Lee Poremba