Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign

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Overview


Jubal A. Early’s disastrous battles in the Shenandoah Valley ultimately resulted in his ignominious dismissal. But Early’s lesser-known summer campaign of 1864, between his raid on Washington and Phil Sheridan’s renowned fall campaign, had a significant impact on the political and military landscape of the time. By focusing on military tactics and battle history in uncovering the facts and events of these little-understood battles, Scott C. Patchan offers a new perspective on Early’s contributions to the Confederate war effort—and to Union battle plans and politicking.
 
Patchan details the previously unexplored battles at Rutherford’s Farm and Kernstown (a pinnacle of Confederate operations in the Shenandoah Valley) and examines the campaign’s influence on President Lincoln’s reelection efforts. He also provides insights into the personalities, careers, and roles in Shenandoah of Confederate general John C. Breckinridge, Union general George Crook, and Union colonel James A. Mulligan, with his “fighting Irish” brigade from Chicago. Finally, Patchan reconsiders the ever-colorful and controversial Early himself, whose importance in the Confederate military pantheon this book at last makes clear.
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Editorial Reviews

Civil War News
"The author's descriptions of the battles are very detailed, full of regimental level action and individual incidents. He bases the accounts on commendable research in manuscript collections, newspapers, published memoirs and regimental histories, and secondary works. The words of the participants, quoted often by the author, give the narrative an immediacy."

— Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War News

Waterline

“[Shenandoah Summer] contains excellent diagrams and maps of every battle and is recommended reading for those who have a passion for books on the Civil War.”—Waterline

Curled Up With a Good Book

“The narrative is interesting and readable, with chapters of a digestible length covering many of the battles of the campaign.”—Curled Up With a Good Book

Blue & Grey Magazine
"Shenandoah Summer provides readers with detailed combat action, colorful character portrayals, and sound strategic analysis. Patchan's book succeeds in reminding readers that there is still plenty to write about when it comes to the American Civil War."

— John Deppen, Blue & Grey Magazine

Northwest Ohio History
"The reality of the "neighbor versus neighbor" conflict explored in the pages of this monograph make it a worthwhile read for historians of the Shenandoah Valley, the battles of 1864, or the overarching military scope of the Civil War."

— Gregory R. Jones, Northwest Ohio History

Gary Ecelbarger
"Scott C. Patchan has solidified his position as the leading authority of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign with his outstanding campaign study, Shenandoah Summer. Mr. Patchan not only unearths this vital portion of the campaign, he has brought it back to life with a crisp and suspenseful narrative. His impeccable scholarship, confident analyses, spellbinding battle scenes, and wonderful character portraits will captivate even the most demanding readers. Shenandoah Summer is a must read for the Civil War aficionado as well as for students and scholars of American military history."

-Gary Ecelbarger, author of "We Are in for It!": The First Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862

Gordon C. Rhea
"Scott Patchan has given us a definitive account of the 1864 Valley Campaign. In clear prose and vivid detail, he weaves a spellbinding narrative that bristles with detail but never loses sight of the big picture. This is a campaign narrative of the first order."

-Gordon C. Rhea, author of The Battle of the Wilderness: May 5-6, 1864

William J. Miller
"[Scott Patchan] is a 'boots-on-the-ground' historian, who works not just in archives but also in the sun and the rain and tall grass. Patchan's mastery of the topography and the battlefields of the Valley is what sets him apart and, together with his deep research, gives his analysis of the campaign an unimpeachable authority."

-William J. Miller, author of Mapping for Stonewall and Great Maps of the Civil War

Blue & Grey Magazine - John Deppen

"Shenandoah Summer provides readers with detailed combat action, colorful character portrayals, and sound strategic analysis. Patchan's book succeeds in reminding readers that there is still plenty to write about when it comes to the American Civil War."—John Deppen, Blue & Grey Magazine
Northwest Ohio History - Gregory R. Jones

"The reality of the "neighbor versus neighbor" conflict explored in the pages of this monograph make it a worthwhile read for historians of the Shenandoah Valley, the battles of 1864, or the overarching military scope of the Civil War."—Gregory R. Jones, Northwest Ohio History
Gary Ecelbarger

“Scott C. Patchan has solidified his position as the leading authority of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign with his outstanding campaign study, Shenandoah Summer. Mr. Patchan not only unearths this vital portion of the campaign, he has brought it back to life with a crisp and suspenseful narrative. His impeccable scholarship, confident analyses, spellbinding battle scenes, and wonderful character portraits will captivate even the most demanding readers. Shenandoah Summer is a must read for the Civil War aficionado as well as for students and scholars of American military history.”—Gary Ecelbarger, author of “We Are in for It!”: The First Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862

Crossed Sabers blog

http://crossedsabers.blogspot.com/2009/12/review-shenandoah-summer.html

Civil War News - Jeffry D. Wert

“The author’s descriptions of the battles are very detailed, full of regimental level action and individual incidents. He bases the accounts on commendable research in manuscript collections, newspapers, published memoirs and regimental histories, and secondary works. The words of the participants, quoted often by the author, give the narrative an immediacy.”—Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War News

Gordon C. Rhea

“Scott Patchan has given us a definitive account of the 1864 Valley Campaign. In clear prose and vivid detail, he weaves a spellbinding narrative that bristles with detail but never loses sight of the big picture. This is a campaign narrative of the first order.”—Gordon C. Rhea, author of The Battle of the Wilderness: May 5–6, 1864

William J. Miller

“[Scott Patchan] is a ‘boots-on-the-ground’ historian, who works not just in archives but also in the sun and the rain and tall grass. Patchan’s mastery of the topography and the battlefields of the Valley is what sets him apart and, together with his deep research, gives his analysis of the campaign an unimpeachable authority.”—William J. Miller, author of Mapping for Stonewall and Great Maps of the Civil War

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803218864
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 429,892
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Scott C. Patchan, a Civil War battlefield guide and historian, is the author of Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont, Virginia, and a consultant and contributing writer for Shenandoah, 1862.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

List of Maps ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

1 The Most Successful Expedition: Retreat from Washington, July 11-12, 1864 8

2 Who Has the Management: Union Pursuit, July 11-15, 1864 27

3 But Little is Expected from Our Pursuit: Loudoun Valley to the Blue Ridge, July 16-17, 1864 42

4 Whipped Most Awfully: The Battle of Cool Spring, July 18, 1864 60

5 The Panic Was Over: The Battle of Cool Spring, July 18, 1864 83

6 Rock Them Like All Creation: Berry's Ferry and Kabletown, July 19, 1864 105

7 A Miracle of Execution: The Battle of Rutherford's Farm, July 20, 1864 127

8 The Object of the Expedition Accomplished: Wright Leaves the Valley, July 19-22, 1864 152

9 A Cavalry Scare: Prelude to Kernstown, July 23, 1864 170

10 Attack the Enemy at Once: The Second Battle of Kernstown, July 23-24, 1864 182

11 A Perfect Stampede: The Second Battle of Kernstown, July 24, 1864 205

12 Bull Run Was Nothing in Comparison: Retreat to the Potomac, July 24-27, 1864 229

13 Defeat Was a Matter of Course: The Second Battle of Kernstown Analysis 258

14 Burn the Entire Town: McCausland's Chambersburg Raid, July 28-August 4, 1864 271

15 Like a Fiery Meteor: The Battle of Moorefield, August 1864 291

16 L'Envoi: Conclusion 311

Appendix A Mrs. Marian Mulligan 321

Appendix B Shenandoah Valley Campaign: July 1864 Order of Battle 329

Notes 337

Bibliography 369

Index 385

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 17, 2009

    A compelling read about a little known campaign

    In Shenandoah Summer, author Scott Patchan provides the definitive examination of the Civil war actions in the Shenandoah Valley during the summer of 1864. While few works on the war to date provide even a chapter on the campaign, Mr. Patchan reveals a wealth of information and detail that is a delight to read.

    Despite the title, I will admit that I purchased the book assuming that it would discuss Sheridan's campaign in the Valley. In this I was very pleasantly surprised. Instead of Sheridan's campaign, I was treated to a thorough examination of a campaign that I had previously known very little about. The majority of this book concerns the actions between Early's raid on Washington and Sheridan's Valley campaign of the fall. Instead of reading of the success of Sheridan's campaign, the reader learns the reasons why Sheridan's campaign had to take place.

    Patchan skillfully blends the results of meticulous research with a vivid, readable writing style. His exhaustive research through previously unpublished works produces the detail readers hope for in this sort of book but all too seldom receive. His descriptions of individual actions and combat at the regimental level bring the action to life for the reader.

    Despite the detail of his narrative, Patchan does a remarkable job of keeping the reader aware of the larger context within which the campaign takes place. Concurrent campaigns and elections had serious ramifications for actions in the Valley that summer. The difference in approach from the high commands on both sides I found particularly interesting. On the Confederate side, Lee seemed to support early as much as he could. On the Federal side, however, the "help" seemed to be in the form of pressure to make something happen instead of providing resources and assistance.

    Early's series of defeats in the Valley ultimately led to his dismissal, but Mr. Patchan depicts Early as a wily, opportunistic adversary who takes advantage of forces greatly outnumbering his own. He also objectively lays out the major difficulties facing his Union opponents, most notably division of responsibility and unity of command.

    As is often the case with campaign studies, it would help if this book had a few more maps. A map of the retreat from Washington in particular would make the narration more understandable. There are a number of excellent maps and diagrams in the work, however, which greatly help readers follow the various maneuvering and battles of the campaign. Clearly Mr. Patchan has walked this ground and has an appreciation for terrain.

    Overall, I found this book enjoyable and very enlightening on a previously obscure topic. Thorough research and clear prose make this a work any student of the Civil War will appreciate.

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