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The Battered Stars: One State's Civil War Ordeal During Grant's Overland Campaign

Overview

From the home front in Vermont to the battlefields of Virginia.

Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign from Brandy Station, VA, to Petersburg involved 100,000 men, 40-days, the battles of Second Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, and Cold Harbor, the Army of the Potomac, and a two-to-one casualty margin compared to the Confederates. Coffin weaves together stories of the participating military units, outlines the overall campaign, and gives voice to several hundred personalities on ...

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Overview

From the home front in Vermont to the battlefields of Virginia.

Grant's 1864 Overland Campaign from Brandy Station, VA, to Petersburg involved 100,000 men, 40-days, the battles of Second Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, and Cold Harbor, the Army of the Potomac, and a two-to-one casualty margin compared to the Confederates. Coffin weaves together stories of the participating military units, outlines the overall campaign, and gives voice to several hundred personalities on the battlefield and back home, primarily through diaries and letters. The family correspondence gives a glimpse into small-town Vermont life as well as life at the front.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Grant's ill-starred 1864 Overland Campaign commenced at the Union winter encampment at Brandy Station, VA, and ended at the siege of the vital Rebel railroad center of Petersburg, south of Richmond. During this 100,000-man, 40-day effort (May-June), in which the Federals participated in the horrific battles of Second Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, and Cold Harbor, the Army of the Potomac suffered in excess of a two-to-one casualty margin over the Confederates. Focusing almost entirely on the units from Vermont, Coffin (Nine Months to Gettysburg) weaves together stories of the participating military units, outlines the overall campaign, and gives voice to several hundred personalities on the battlefield and back home, primarily through diaries and letters. The family correspondence gives a glimpse into small-town Vermont life as well as life at the front. The book's best chapter deals with Vermont's substantial wartime losses. Though the tone can be hagiographic, the research is credible, the inclusion of contemporary travelog segments relative to the Overland Campaign imaginative, and the selected illustrations blend effectively with the story. Recommended for New England collections, major Civil War holdings, and large libraries. John Carver Edwards, Univ. of Georgia Libs., Cleveland Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Using Vermont as a case study, this book examines the six-week Overland Campaign through the eyes of those who fought it, their families, and their friends. Letters, diaries, and newspaper accounts tell of the battles of Wilderness, Spostylvania Court House, North Anna, and Cold Harbor, recalling the long marches, describing the plight of the wounded, and paying homage to the grief of those who sent their sons, husbands, and friends into battle. Interlocking the soldiers' stories with the civilians', Coffin (formerly, Civil War Sites Advisory Committee) seeks to humanize military struggle. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780881504873
  • Publisher: Countryman Press, The
  • Publication date: 5/1/2002
  • Pages: 415
  • Sales rank: 1,054,651
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Coffin was formerly press secretary to U.S. senator Jim Jeffords. He is the author of The Battered Stars, Full Duty, Guns Over the Champlain Valley, and Nine Months to Gettysburg. Coffin lives in Montpelier, Vermont.
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