In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

book reviews319 the "Iron Brigade" and the 54th Massachusetts regiment (no Confederate unit receives its own chapter). Even worse is an excessive concentration on Gettysburg. Undoubtedly Gettysburg was an important battle, but should it receive /oar chapters? Only one ofthese chapters is actually devoted to the battle, the others focus on the civilians, selected "unsung heroes" who died during or soon after the battle, and Lincoln and his "Gettysburg Address." This does not seem to be in keeping with the alleged focus on battles. Furthermore, after the Chickamauga-Chattanooga chapter (which barely mentions Chickamauga) only one campaign is included—Franklin and Nashville in late 1864. How can a book on Civil War battles omit Shiloh, Chancellorsville, everything in the eastem theater after Gettysburg, and all of Sherman's campaigns in Georgia and the Carolinas?To present Franklin and Nashville as the only battles after 1 863 gives a very strange picture of the Civil War indeed! Each of the numerous illustrations is accompanied by a caption, frequently long enough to function as a sidebar. Some of the information in these captions is very useful, explaining the illustration or expanding upon the text. At other times it is repetitious of text material. Unfortunately, there are numerous discrepancies between the text and the captions. For example, did Farragut's boats break the chain across the Mississippi River below Near Orleans on April 20, 1862 (caption, 127), or April 24 (text, 129). There are also questionable assertions (that Nebraska was admitted as a free state, 6), and countless careless errors. For example, in the maps of the second and third days at Gettysburg Lee's army is indicated by a U.S. flag and Meade's by a Confederate one! The map captions are so small as to be almost unreadable. It is a shame that this book has so many careless errors, because the general Civil War enthusiast for whom this book is intended is often a person who is interested in the minute details of the Civil War. He will really want to know whether Gettysburg's citizen hero John Bums was sixty-nine when he fought in that battle (293) or seventy (287). But he will not find out from this book. Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein University of Tennessee, Knoxville Grant Wins the War: Decision at Vicksburg. By James R. Arnold. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. Pp. xi, 387. $30.00.) Grant Wins the War is a compelling account of the Vicksburg campaign, which combines the best elements of popular and scholarly history. Prolific military historian James R. Arnold writes with verve and style, explains matters (such as the vast distances, geographical obstacles, and resultant logistical nightmares that plagued armies and navies in the west) that generally have been ignored or slighted by previous popular writers, and moves the complicated story along at a brisk pace. His literary effort rests on a solid foundation of research in both 320CIVIL WAR HISTORY manuscript and printed sources. The result is the best one-volume history of the struggle for Vicksburg yet published. Arnold depicts the triumvirate of Union leaders—Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and David D. Porter—as talented men who worked unusually well together but were not without a full complement of flaws and quirks. He depicts the situation on the Confederate side in a very different light. Joseph E. Johnston and John C. Pemberton come across as defeatist mediocrities unfit for their positions; the former a moral coward, the latter possibly a physical one. When the Vicksburg campaign began, the Confederates had nearly every advantage imaginable, but when it ended they had suffered their most catastrophic defeat of the war. Arnold convincingly demonstrates that the difference was leadership. The author has written previously about Grant and Union soldiers, so it is not surprising that his focus is on the overland aspects of the Vicksburg operation, especially the fast-moving events that transpired once Grant gained a foothold on the east bank of the Mississippi River. He presents a coherent narrative of the movements of both Union and Confederate armies and provides thorough accounts of the desperate little battles at Port Gibson, Raymond, and Jackson in which outnumbered Confederate...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6271
Print ISSN
0009-8078
Pages
pp. 319-320
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.