The Emergence of Total War

The Emergence of Total War

by Daniel E. Sutherland
     
 

Summer 1862. The Confederacy has suffered several important defeats in the Western Theater and faces a serious threat to Richmond in the East. Federal politicians and citizenry, perplexed that fighting has continued into a second year, want an end to the war. Abraham Lincoln asks his battlefield commanders to develop a winning strategy in the East, a strategy that

Overview


Summer 1862. The Confederacy has suffered several important defeats in the Western Theater and faces a serious threat to Richmond in the East. Federal politicians and citizenry, perplexed that fighting has continued into a second year, want an end to the war. Abraham Lincoln asks his battlefield commanders to develop a winning strategy in the East, a strategy that will not spare resources, terrain, nor the well being of private citizens—a strategy that would come to be known as "total war."

The plan, implemented in 1862, proves a failure, mostly because of the man charged with carrying it out: Gen. John Pope. Pope's defeat is the story of the Second Manassas campaign. While Pope's demise gives new life to the Confederacy and emboldens Robert E. Lee to invade Maryland, Lincoln remains convinced that a strategy of total war represents the North's best chance for victory. In 1864–1865, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman will prove him right. A vivid account of how Civil War campaigns foreshadowed total war.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In 1862, President Lincoln decided the only way to defeat the Confederacy was to wage "total war" against the South's land, civilians, and soldiers. For this task he chose Gen. John Pope. Egocentric and abrasive, Pope took the war to the rebels in Virginia. There, the Federals were defeated with heavy losses, opening the door for Gen. Robert E. Lee's invasion of the North. Sutherland (Seasons of War, LJ 11/1/95) intends his highly readable narrative for the novice Civil War student. Interspersed throughout the text are biographies of leaders on both sides. The appendixes list the order of battle, which includes the military units involved. While this is important for detailed histories, its usefulness to the likely reader of this book is negligible. Nonetheless, Sutherland has written a fine history for the series. Recommended for public libraries, especially those with small budgets.-Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781886661134
Publisher:
State House/McWhiney Foundation Press
Publication date:
01/28/1998
Series:
Civil War Campaigns and Commanders Series
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.04(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.46(d)
Lexile:
1200L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

The summer of 1862 shines as one of the bright moments in the history of the Confederacy. The Rebels had taken a pounding in the West that spring. Bloody Shiloh, the capture of New Orleans, the loss of Memphis, and the hasty evacuation of Northern Mississippi had shocked soldiers and civilians from one end of the Confederacy to the other. With General George B. McClellan moving up the peninsula toward Richmond. Abraham Lincoln hope to deliver the knockout punch by ordering General John Pope to invade central Virginia. Together, Lincoln and Pope would implement a primitive version of what would later be called "total war."

Meet the Author


DANIEL E. SUTHERLAND is a professor of history at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He has published a dozen books and nearly fifty articles or book chapters. He has received numerous research and publishing awards, and four of his books have been offered by the History Book Club.

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