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Trudeau, a prize-winning Civil War historian (Gettysburg), addresses William T. Shermana's "march to the sea" in the autumn of 1864. Shermana's inclusion of civilian and commercial property on the list of military objectives was not a harbinger of total war, says Trudeau. Rather, its purpose was to demonstrate to the Confederacy that there was no place in the South safe from Union troops. The actual levels of destruction and pillage were limited even by Civil War standards, Trudeau says; they only seemed shocking to Georgians previously spared "a home invasion on a grand scale." Confederate resistance was limited as well. Trudeau praises Shermana's generalship, always better at operational than tactical levels. He presents the inner dynamics of one of the finest armies the U.S. has ever fielded: veteran troops from Massachusetts to Minnesota, under proven officers, consistently able to make the difficult seem routine. And Trudeau acknowledges the often-overlooked contributions of the slaves who provided their liberators invaluable information and labor. The march to the sea was in many ways "the day of jubilo," and in Trudeau it has found its Xenophon. 16 pages of b&w photos, 36 maps. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.