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Don Carlos Buell: Most Promising of All

Don Carlos Buell: Most Promising of All

by Stephen D. Engle
Don Carlos Buell: Most Promising of All

Don Carlos Buell: Most Promising of All

by Stephen D. Engle


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Major General Don Carlos Buell stood among the senior Northern commanders early in the Civil War, led the Army of the Ohio in the critical Kentucky theater in 1861-62, and helped shape the direction of the conflict during its first years. Only a handful of Northern generals loomed as large on the military landscape during this period, and Buell is the only one of them who has not been the subject of a full-scale biography.

A conservative Democrat, Buell viewed the Civil War as a contest to restore the antebellum Union rather than a struggle to bring significant social change to the slaveholding South. Stephen Engle explores the effects that this attitude--one shared by a number of other Union officers early in the war--had on the Northern high command and on political-military relations. In addition, he examines the ramifications within the Army of the Ohio of Buell's proslavery leanings.

A personally brave, intelligent, and talented officer, Buell nonetheless failed as a theater and army commander, and in late 1862 he was removed from command. But as Engle notes, Buell's attitude and campaigns provided the Union with a valuable lesson: that the Confederacy would not yield to halfhearted campaigns with limited goals.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807875797
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 12/29/2006
Series: Civil War America
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 496
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Stephen D. Engle is associate professor of history at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS Preface Acknowledgments Chapter 1. Life on the River Chapter 2. Seminoles and Severity Chapter 3. The War in Mexico Chapter 4. A Career Man during Peacetime Chapter 5. A Soldier Is a Gentleman, and Honor Is His Name Chapter 6. Napoleon Buell Chapter 7. East Tennessee Chapter 8. The Politics of Command Chapter 9. Delay Is Ruining Us Chapter 10. War without Warring Chapter 11. The Laurels in Tennessee Chapter 12. Nashville Occupied Chapter 13. American Waterloo Chapter 14. The Northern Mississippi Blues Chapter 15. The Chattanooga Campaign Chapter 16. The Hell March and Battle for the Bluegrass Chapter 17. Too Thorough a Soldier to Command One of Our Armies Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index

The Muskingum River Don Carlos Buell as a young lieutenant Margaret Buell Don Carlos Buell as a lieutenant colonel Commanders of the Army of the Potomac Don Carlos Buell Don Carlos Buell as commander of the Army of the Ohio George B. McClellan Henry W. Halleck Buell's bodyguard James B. Fry Nashville William Nelson Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel Buell's army crossing Lick Creek George H. Thomas Edwin M. Stanton Andrew Johnson Oliver P. Morton

Kentucky and Tennessee theater The West in February 1862
Battle of Shiloh The West in the summer of 1862
Battle of Perryville

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Engle's Don Carlos Buell: Most Promising of All is, surprisingly, the first biography of this significant Union field commander. . . . A thoroughly researched and clearly written account of a most challenging subject.—Journal of Southern History

Students who are interested in the first two years of the Civil War in the western theater may find Engle's account of Buell's dilatory tactics rewarding. . . . The best part of Engle's book is his comparison of Don Carlos Buell with George B. McClellan.—The Journal of American History

This outstanding book, the first on the life of Union General Don Carlos Buell, will endure as the standard biography. . . . A valuable, clearly written, analytical study that explains Buell's strengths and weaknesses and gives us greater appreciation for the audacity of commanders like Grant.—Filson Club History Quarterly

Engle's book has not only filled a void, but also has added to our comprehensive understanding of the war in the west. . . . A marvelous addition to a growing body of research which claims that the study of the war is no longer simply North versus South but also East versus West.—Journal of Military History

Engle has filled a void in the literature of the American Civil War, not only in the life and career of Buell, which has been largely ignored, but with his willingness to deal critically, even severely, with his subject. . . . Engle's scholarship is enviable, revealing prodigious research and close analysis. The bibliography itself could stand alone as a valuable addition to one's library. The result is an important work that has a place of honor on my bookshelf.—Civil War History

Lucidly written and well researched, this book admirably fills one of the last major voids in Civil War biography. Don Carlos Buell was one of the North's most important commanders in the war's early years. His experience is critical to understanding the shifting nature of the conflict.—Mark Grimsley, author of The Hard Hand of War: Union Military Policy Toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865

Don Carlos Buell finally has his biographer, and readers now have a detailed account of a general whose innate weaknesses kept him from his promise of military success. Steve Engle's book provides new information on a major Civil War figure and gives new insight into the war itself. Must reading.—John F. Marszalek, author of Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order

Buell's story tells us much about the war and how and why it changed in 1862. The implications for America were enormous. This study will be of great value to all seeking to understand the meaning of the Civil War.—Richard M. McMurry, author of Two Great Rebel Armies: An Essay in Confederate Military History

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