Such Troops as These: The Genius and Leadership of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson [NOOK Book]

Overview

Acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander offers a fresh and cogent analysis of Stonewall Jackson’s military genius and reveals how the Civil War might have ended differently if Jackson’s strategies had been adopted.

The Civil War of 1861–65 pitted the industrial North against the agricultural South, and remains the most catastrophic conflict in terms of loss of life in American history. With triple the population and eleven times the ...
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Such Troops as These: The Genius and Leadership of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson

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Overview

Acclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander offers a fresh and cogent analysis of Stonewall Jackson’s military genius and reveals how the Civil War might have ended differently if Jackson’s strategies had been adopted.

The Civil War of 1861–65 pitted the industrial North against the agricultural South, and remains the most catastrophic conflict in terms of loss of life in American history. With triple the population and eleven times the industry, the Union had a decided advantage over the Confederacy in terms of direct conflict and conventional warfare. One general had the vision of an alternative approach that could win the War for the South—his name was Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

It was Jackson’s strategy to always strike at the Union’s vulnerabilities, not to challenge its power directly. He won a campaign against the North with a force only a quarter of the size of the Union army, and he was the first commander to recognize the overwhelming defensive power of the new rifles and cannons. With most of its military forces on the offensive in the South, the North was left virtually undefended on its own turf. Jackson believed invading the eastern states along the great industrial corridor from Baltimore to Maine could divide and cripple the Union, forcing surrender. But he failed to convince Confederate president Jefferson Davis or General Robert E. Lee of the viability of his plan.

In Such Troops as These, Bevin Alexander presents a compelling case for Stonewall Jackson as a supreme military strategist and the greatest general in American history. Fiercely dedicated to the cause of Southern independence, Jackson would not live to see the end of the War. But his military legacy lives on and finds fitting tribute in this book.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-25
A highly partisan review of the career of an outstanding Confederate commander.Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (1824-1863) was undoubtedly a gifted military tactician, but he commanded Confederate troops, in a subordinate position, for only a little less than two years. Based on this record, Alexander (MacArthur's War: The Flawed Genius Who Challenged the American Political System, 2013, etc.) proclaims him not just "by far the greatest general every produced by the American people," but also "one of the supreme military geniuses in world history." The author ably describes Jackson's leadership in battles from First Manassas to Chancellorsville. He contends that Jackson had recognized that new military technologies compelled changes in infantry tactics and had formulated a new theory of battle that could have won the war by crushing federal armies with minimal loss of Southern troops, a theory he repeatedly but unsuccessfully pressed on an unresponsive high command. Alexander has nothing good to write about anyone but Jackson. Jefferson Davis was "a decidedly third-rate leader," James Longstreet was "a very slow learner," and Robert E. Lee was "incapable of absorbing the most basic rules of warfare." Indeed, Alexander suggests that Lee only retained his position as an army commander, rightfully Jackson's, because he was a member of the Southern aristocracy. The author offers his acerbic critiques with the full benefit of hindsight and of information unavailable to commanders at the time, and he displays little understanding of the political constraints binding the Confederate leadership. Finally, Alexander's summary of the outbreak of the war, which glaringly avoids any mention of the attack on Fort Sumter, raises the question of whether he has omitted from his narrative any inconvenient facts that might dim Jackson's overpowering glow.Alexander's over-the-top advocacy of Jackson's prowess and sour attacks on everyone else detract from an otherwise thoughtful analysis of the general's tactical insights.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698138193
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 114,946
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Bevin Alexander has published numerous works of military history, including the international bestseller How Hitler Could Have Won World War II and MacArthur's War. With honor degrees from The Citadel and Northwestern University, Alexander was awarded the Commendation Medal for his service as a combat historian in the Korean War, where he also won three battle stars for action at the front. He has appeared often on the History, Discovery, and Military channels. He has provided testimony before the House Committee on International Relations, advised the Rand Corporation on military strategy, and taken part in a war game at the Army War College.
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