Civil War Battlefield Orders Gone Awry: The Written Word and Its Consequences in 13 Engagements

Civil War Battlefield Orders Gone Awry: The Written Word and Its Consequences in 13 Engagements

by Donald R. Jermann




During the Civil War, the outcome of many a battle or campaign hinged on the proper wording, dissemination and interpretation of battlefield orders. Early in the war, officers trained in small unit combat could suddenly find themselves commanding thousands of men and writing orders to subordinates with little experience in the practice. The inclusion of accurate origin information, up-to-date knowledge of the situation in the field, the amount of discretion given to recipients, and the speed and geographical acumen of couriers were critical. This innovative volume examines 13 cases in which the tide of battle turned on written orders, including Ball’s Bluff, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Gettysburg and Chickamauga. The importance of this seemingly clerical task, this work shows, equaled that of tactics, manpower, and supplies in determining the course of the Civil War.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786469499
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 04/23/2012
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Captain Donald R. Jermann served more than 32 years on active duty in the Navy covering World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He also served as a senior executive in the Department of Defense and lives in Laurel, Maryland.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction 3

1 Ball's Bluff 13

2 The First Battle of Winchester 25

3 The Battles of Mechanicsville and Gaines Mill 36

4 Malvern Hill 49

5 The Second Battle of Bull Run 62

6 The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 76

7 Perryville 88

8 Fredericksburg 98

9 Vicksburg 110

10 Gettysburg 124

11 Chickamauga 138

12 Spring Hill 152

13 The Battle of Five Forks 162

Appendix: Custer s Last Stand 181

Chapter Notes 197

Bibliography 203

Index 205

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