War in Kentucky: From Shiloh to Perryville

Overview

In February of 1862, the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson near the Tennessee-Kentucky border forced a Confederate retreat into northern Alabama. After the Southern forces failed that spring at Shiloh to throw back the Federal advance, the controversial General Braxton Bragg, newly promoted by Jefferson Davis, launched a countermovement that would sweep eastward to Chattanooga and then northwest through Middle Tennessee. Capturing Kentucky became the ultimate goal, which, if achieved, would lend the war a ...
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Overview

In February of 1862, the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson near the Tennessee-Kentucky border forced a Confederate retreat into northern Alabama. After the Southern forces failed that spring at Shiloh to throw back the Federal advance, the controversial General Braxton Bragg, newly promoted by Jefferson Davis, launched a countermovement that would sweep eastward to Chattanooga and then northwest through Middle Tennessee. Capturing Kentucky became the ultimate goal, which, if achieved, would lend the war a different complexion indeed. Giving equal attention to the strategies of both sides, McDonough describes the ill-fated Union effort to capture Chattanooga with an advance through Alabama, the Confederate march across Tennessee, and the subsequent two-pronged invasion of Kentucky. He vividly recounts the fighting at Richmond, Munfordville, and Perryville, where the Confederate dream of controlling Kentucky finally ended.

This compelling new volume from the author of Shiloh: In Hell before Night and Chattanooga: A Death Grip on the Confederacy explores the strategic importance of Kentucky for both sides in the Civil War and recounts the Confederacy's bold attempt to capture the Bluegrass State. 35 illustrations. 6 maps.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
According to McDonough (Chattanooga: A Death Grip on the Confederacy, Univ. of Tennessee Pr., 1984), the South's failure to bring Kentucky into the Confederacy gave the Union access to Kentucky's important railways and waterways, thus providing the Yankees with a back door to the South. He examines Union General Buell, Confederate General Bragg, and their subordinates, detailing strengths and weaknesses on both sides. He leads the reader to wonder whether the Civil War was as much a conflict of egos and eccentricities as it was of tactics and strategy. McDonough writes an interesting account, especially when he crawls inside the heads of the major figures. Several maps are included, but more would have been welcome. Nevertheless, Civil War scholars, buffs, and informed lay readers will find this book a valuable addition to the literature. For academic libraries and public libraries with Civil War collections.-Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora
Booknews
McDonough Auburn U. draws on diaries, letters, and reminiscences to explore the strategic importance of Kentucky for both sides in the Civil War and recount the Confederacy's attempt to capture the state. He supports the case that 1862 should be considered the decisive year of the war. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870499357
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1996
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

James Lee McDonough, a native of Tennessee, is professor of history at Auburn University. Among his other books are Stones River—Bloody Winter in Tennessee and Five Tragic Hours: The Battle of Franklin, which he co-wrote with Thomas L. Connelly.

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