Under Custer's Command: The Civil War Journal of James Henry Avery

Overview

George Armstrong Custer’s fabled Fifth Regiment fought with great distinction throughout the war and suffered the thrid highest total of men killed in the entire Union cavalry. A twenty-four-year-old farmer and new father from Hopkins, Michigan, named James Henry Avery was one of Custer’s feared “Wolverines.” Besides eloquently describing his personal experiences, Sergeant Avery’s wartime journals and postwar reminiscences provide uniquely detailed descriptions of Civil War cavalry movements and the only known ...
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Overview

George Armstrong Custer’s fabled Fifth Regiment fought with great distinction throughout the war and suffered the thrid highest total of men killed in the entire Union cavalry. A twenty-four-year-old farmer and new father from Hopkins, Michigan, named James Henry Avery was one of Custer’s feared “Wolverines.” Besides eloquently describing his personal experiences, Sergeant Avery’s wartime journals and postwar reminiscences provide uniquely detailed descriptions of Civil War cavalry movements and the only known account that addresses the escape of elements of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry on the first day of the Battle of Trevilian Station.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In 1862, James Henry Avery, a 24 year-old Michigan farmer and new father, joined the Fifth Regiment of the Union Cavalry. This text presents his account of his personal experiences, cavalry movements, and battles, augmented with notes that provide a historical context and 32 rare photographs and illustrations. Included is the only known account of his regiment's escape after the battle at Trevilan Station. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
George Armstrong Custer's fabled Fifth Regiment fought with great distinction throughout the American civil war and suffered the third highest total of men killed in the entire Union Calvary. James Henry Avery, a 24 year old farmer from Hopkins, Michigan was on of Custer's feared "Wolverines". He eloquently described his personal war-time experiences in journals and postwar reminiscences, providing uniquely detailed descriptions of Civil War cavalry movements, and presents the only known account addressing the escape of elements of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry on the first day of the Battle of Trevilian Station. Other battles described include Gettysburg, The Wilderness, Yellow Tavern, Haws Shop, Tom's Brook, Cedar Creek, and Trevilian Station. Under Custer's Command: The Civil War Journal Of James Henry Avery provides an astute perspective on the life of a Union cavalryman in the Civil War and is a "must" for all Civil War buffs and civil war studies reference collections.
From the Publisher
"A first-class read whether for the cavalry expert or someone coming to the subject for the first time."

"Best book on Custer [for the year 2000]. . . . Likely the best memoir by an enlisted cavalryman during the Civil War."

"Chronicling the hardship and glory of wartime service with George Custer’s famed Michigan Brigade, Avery’s memoir is an insightful record of one Federal trooper’s experience on campaign and battlefield. His narrative is an important contribution to our understanding of the Union cavalry’s emergence as a potent agent of victory."

"A worthy addition to any well-rounded Civil War library. Under Custer's Command promises to stand the test of time long after many other works have been forgotten."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574884081
  • Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Karla Jean Husby is James Henry Avery’s great-great-granddaughter. She lives in Marysville, Washington.

Eric J. Wittenberg is the author of Protecting the Flanks, Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions (winner of the Bachelder-Coddington Literary Award as 1998’s best new work interpreting the Battle of Gettysburg), and We Have it Damn Hard Out Here. In addition, he is the editor of With Sheridan in the Final Campaign Against Lee, Under Custer's Command (Brassey’s, Inc., 2000), and One of Custer's Wolverines. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps xi
Foreword xiii
Preface xv
Compiler's Acknowledgments xvii
Editor's Notes and Acknowledgements xix
Introduction 1
1. A Soldier Goes to War 7
2. Chasing Mosby's Guerrillas 21
3. The Gettysburg Campaign 29
4. The Bristoe Station and Mine Run Campaigns 45
5. Winter Encampment and the Reorganization of the Cavalry Corps 57
6. Campaigning with Sheridan 65
7. The June 1864 Trevilian Raid and an Ordeal to Remember 83
8. A Temporary and Very Reluctant Infantryman 97
9. Fighting with Little Phil 109
10. The Fall and Winter of 1864-65 121
11. Illness Forces Avery to Miss the End of the Civil War 133
12. A Soldier Returns Home 149
Appendix The Campaigns of the 5th Michigan Cavalry 161
Bibliography 167
Index 177
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