Commanding the Storm: Civil War Battles in the Words of the Generals Who Fought Them

Commanding the Storm: Civil War Battles in the Words of the Generals Who Fought Them

by John Richard Stephens


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From Beauregard and Custer to Lee and Sherman, twelve commanders from each side vividly describe what they and their men experienced at twelve of the war's most legendary battles from Fort Sumter to Appomattox Court House in accounts gathered from letters, memoirs, reports, and testimonies. They relate noted incidents and personal triumphs and tragedies while covering strategies and explaining battlefield decisions. Trench warfare at Petersburg and Sherman's scorched earth policy in Georgia foreshadowed the world wars to come, and technological advancements—such as armored steamships, landmines, and machine guns—literally changed the landscape of war. Submarines and a time bomb even came into play. Informative biographies and headnotes for each battle give parallel statistics at a glance and establish context; sidebars cover notable tactics and technologies, including espionage, aerial reconnaissance, and guerilla warfare; and a concise roll-call outline each commander's life in full after the war. Here, from the men who conducted and controlled it, is an invaluable sourcebook of what happened in the War Between the States and why.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762787906
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,061,610
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

John Richard Stephens trained as an intelligence officer and held numerous positions in the U.S. Air Force, including group level executive officer and squadron commander. The author of fourteen books, including Weird History 101; The Wild, Wild West; and Wyatt Earp Speaks!, he lives on Maui, Hawaii.

Table of Contents

A Note on tie Texts viii

Introduction: The Rising Storm ix

The War Begins

Overview 1

Custer Thoughts of War from West Point 3

Sherman From New Orleans to Washington, D.C. 4

Early Virginia Secedes 7

Lee Lee Resigns His Commission 9

Pickett The Journey to Richmond 11

The Battle of Fort Sumter

Overview 13

Porter Fort Sumter vs. Fort Pickens 14

Side Box: Lincoln's War Room 17

Beauregard The Bombardment of Fort Sumter 19

The First Battle of Manassas (First Bull Run)

Overview 23

Custer Custer's First Two Days on Duty 24

Beauregard The Confederate Battle Plan 33

Jackson Turning the Tide 37

Sherman Confusion among the Federals 39

Side Box: Friendly Fire 42

Beauregard Analysis of the Battle 45

Johnston The Impossibility of Invading Washington, D.C. 46

Longstreet Mistakes and What Could Have Been 48

Johnston and Beauregard A "Glorious Victory" 50

The Battle of Shiloh

Overview 52

Grant Fighting with Raw Recruits 54

Side Box: Military Intelligence 62

Sherman The Extreme Fury of Battle 64

Beauregard Stalking a Sudden Blow 67

Bragg "Our Condition Is Horrible" 72

Forrest "Recruits Wanted" 73

The Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg)

Overview 75

Longstreet The Invasion of Maryland 77

McClellan Rushing to Defend the North 79

Side Box: Aerial Reconnaissance 83

Hood "The Hardest Fought Battle" 84

Early Fighting at the Dunkard Church 85

Longstreet Holding the Line with Two Cannons 89

Lee Stragglers 91

Meade Battlefield Promotion 92

Hooker "A Great Battle Has Been Fought" 94

McClellan "A Masterpiece of Art" 95

Longstreet What Might Have Been 97

The Battle of Fredericksburg

Overview 99

Longstreet Preparation for Battle 101

Hooker Planning the Attack 102

Lee The Union Army Enters the Town 103

Side Box: Sharpshooters 107

Hood Discussions with Lee and Stonewall Jackson 109

Meade "I Should Have Been the Great Hero" 111

Jackson The Attack Had to Be Abandoned 113

Longstreet Defending Marye's Heights 114

Hancock Assaulting Marye's Heights 116

Hooker Yet Another Futile Assault 118

Longstreet Further Attacks on Marye's Heights 120

Lee Trying to Determine the Union's Intentions 121

Burnside Explaining the Defeat 122

Longstreet What Burnside Should Have Done 125

Lee Victory 126

The Battle of Chancellorsville

Overview 127

Lee The Perfect Battle 128

Early Stonewall Jackson Is Shot 133

Side Box: Surgery and Medicine 137

Hooker The Problem with Chancellorsville 139

Meade "I Am Sorry for Hooker" 140

Hancock "The Wheel of Fortune" 145

The Siege of Vicksburg

Overview 147

Johnston Lost Opportunities 149

Porter Running the Gauntlet 153

Side Box: Ironclads and Submarines 155

Grant Assault or Siege 157

Sherman McClernand and the Second Assault 159

Grant Forcing a Surrender 160

The Battle of Gettysburg

Overview 165

Longstreet General Longstreet's Spy 166

Side Box: Espionage 170

Hancock The First Day of Battle 172

Chamberlain "Hold That Ground at All Hazards" 174

Hood General Lee's Orders 178

Stuart A Cavalry Battle 181

Custer A Brilliant Charge 183

Longstreet From Seminary Ridge to Cemetery Ridge 184

Hancock Pickett's Charge 191

Meade Not Bagging the Confederate Army 194

Longstreet Taking the Blame 196

Lee Dealing with the Loss 197

The Battle of Chickamauga

Overview 199

Hood Wounded 200

Sheridan The Grit to Hold the Field 203

Polk Appeal to the President 206

Forrest "A Damned Scoundrel" 209

Longstreet Entering a Hornets' Nest 210

Bragg The Other Side of the Story 212

Rosecrans "The Battle Roared with Increasing Fury" 216

Side Box: Rebel Yell, Yankee Cheer 219

Grant "Rosecrans Was Badly Defeated" 220

The Battle of the Crater (at Petersburg)

Overview 223

Chamberlain The Long Delay 225

Side Box: Trench Warfare 228

Grant Plan of Attack 229

Meade A Most Unfortunate Operation 231

Burnside The Order to Withdraw 233

Grant "The Saddest Affair I Have Witnessed" 235

Hancock Court of Inquiry 237

Sherman's March to the Sea

Overview 240

Sherman "Making Georgia Howl" 242

Grant General Johnston, General Hood 243

Sherman A "Wild Adventure" 245

Beauregard Trying to Stop Sherman 249

Sherman Journey to the Sea 251

Side Box: Innovative Weapons 257

Grant "Cruelty and Severity" 259

The Battle of Appomattox Court House

Overview 261

Grant Preparations with Sheridan 263

Sheridan A White Flag 264

Longstreet Waiting for Grant 266

Side Box: Guerrillas 267

Grant The Surrender 270

Chamberlain "Morning Dawned" 273

Grant Assassination 276

The War Ends

Overview 278

Lee Farewell to the Army of Northern Virginia 278

Forrest Your Final Orders 279

Pickett Visiting Old Friends 281

Longstreet History Written in Blood 282

Beauregard How We Could Have Won 282

Grant Failure of the Reconstruction 284

Forrest Forrest's Civil Rights Speech 285

Pickett Remembering the Dead at Gettysburg 287

Hancock Looking Back on the Storm 288

Roll Call 289

Conclusion: The Storm Clouds Begin to Clear 297

Acknowledgments 300

Sources 301

Index 310

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