Richmond Redeemed pioneered study of Civil War Petersburg. The original (and long out of print) award-winning 1981 edition conveyed an epic narrative of crucial military operations in early autumn 1864 that had gone unrecognized for more than 100 years. Readers will rejoice that Richard J. SommersÕs masterpiece, in a revised Sesquicentennial edition, is once again available. This monumental study focuses on GrantÕs Fifth Offensive (September 29 Ð October 2, 1864), primarily the Battles of ChaffinÕs Bluff (Fort Harrison) and Poplar Spring Church (PeeblesÕ Farm). The Union attack north of the James River at ChaffinÕs Bluff broke through RichmondÕs defenses and gave Federals their greatest opportunity to capture the Confederate capital. The corresponding fighting outside Petersburg at Poplar Spring Church so threatened Southern supply lines that General Lee considered abandoning his Petersburg rail center six months before actually doing so. Yet hard fighting and skillful generalship saved both cities. This book provides thrilling narrative of opportunities gained and lost, of courageous attack and desperate defense, of incredible bravery by Union and Confederate soldiers from 28 states, Maine to Texas. Fierce fighting by four Black brigades earned their soldiers thirteen Medals of Honor and marked ChaffinÕs Bluff as the biggest, bloodiest battle for Blacks in the whole Civil War. In addition to his focused tactical lens, Dr. Sommers offers rich analysis of the generalship of Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and their senior subordinates, Benjamin Butler, George G. Meade, Richard S. Ewell, and A. P. Hill. The richly layered prose of Richmond Redeemed, undergirded by thousands of manuscript and printed primary accounts from more than 100 archives, has been enhanced for this Sesquicentennial Edition with new research, new writing, and most of all new thinking. Teaching future strategic leaders of American and allied armed forces in the Army War College, conversing with fellow Civil War scholars, addressing Civil War audiences across the nation, and reflecting on prior assessments over the last 33 years have stimulated in the author new perspectives and new insights. He has interwoven them throughout the book. His new analysis brings new dimensions to this new edition. Dr. Sommers was widely praised for his achievement. In addition to being a selection of the History Book Club, the National Historical Society awarded him the Bell Wiley Prize as the best Civil War book for 1981-82. Reviewers hailed it as Òa book that still towers among Civil War campaign studiesÓ and Òa model tactical study [that] takes on deeper meaning . . . without sacrificing the human drama and horror of combat.Ó Complete with maps, photos, a full bibliography, and index, Richmond Redeemed is modeled for a new generation of readers, enthusiasts, and Civil War buffs and scholars, all of whom will welcome and benefit from exploring how, 150 years ago, Richmond was redeemed.
"A mere question of time" -- "The object ... is to surprise and capture Richmond" -- "Hold the intermediate line at all hazards" -- "We mowed them down like grass" -- "You must discard the idea of receiving re-enforcements ..." -- "The whole army will be under arms ready to move ..." -- " The enemy must be weak enough ... to let us in" -- "Rolling over the field like a large wave" -- "Push on ... without reference to any one else" -- "Damn Dunovant!" -- "The delay is unpardonable" -- "I shall not attack their entrenchments" -- Richmond redeemed.
The Petersburg campaign began June 15, 1864, with Union attempts to break an improvised line of Confederate field fortifications. By the time the campaign ended on April 2, 1865, two opposing lines of sophisticated and complex earthworks stretched for thirty-five miles, covering not only Petersburg but also the southeastern approaches to Richmond. This book, the third volume in Earl Hess's trilogy on the war in the eastern theater, recounts the strategic and tactical operations in Virginia during the last ten months of the Civil War, when field fortifications dominated military planning and the landscape of battle. The book covers all aspects of the campaign, especially military engineering, including mining and countermining, the fashioning of wire entanglements, the laying of torpedo fields, and the construction of underground shelters to protect the men who manned the works. It also humanizes the experience of the soldiers working in the fortifications, revealing their attitudes toward attacking and defending earthworks and the human cost of trench warfare in the waning days of the war.
A compelling narrative of one of the Civil War's most pivotal campaigns in which Federal armies drove Robert E. Lee's army to the brink of defeat in April 1865. • Addresses the concerns of the New Military History, including the impact of the battles on common soldiers, civilians of all races, and the environment • Provides driving directions to various campaign sites, along with suggested itineraries to encourage historical tourism • Includes maps of the various engagements to encourage further research into significant events
Early in the morning of September 29, 1864, two Union corps under the command of General Benjamin Butler crossed the James with the goal of overwhelming Robert E. Lee's army and capturing Richmond. The Confederate defenders were vastly outnumbered; many were inexperienced and initially without trusted leadership. Fort Harrison and the other works at Chaffin's Farm held the key to the Confederate defenses. The drama that ensued was a battle between the Confederates' resiliency and the Union's ability to capitalize on one of its greatest opportunities. Join historian Doug Crenshaw as he chronicles the events of an often-forgotten episode of Civil War history. Through gripping firsthand accounts, Crenshaw follows the action through the eyes of the men who fought at Fort Harrison and the Battle of Chaffin's Farm. Experience the terror and heroism displayed on both sides of the battle line in this harrowing tale of war.
This three-volume Omnibus e-Book set is a collection of Earl J. Hess's definitive works on trench warfare during the Civil War. The set includes: Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864, covering the eastern campaigns, from Big Bethel and the Peninsula to Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Charleston, and Mine Run; Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign, covering Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Cold Harbor, and Bermuda Hundred; and In the Trenches at Petersburg: Field Fortifications and Confederate Defeat, recounting the strategic and tactical operations in Virginia during the last ten months of the Civil War, when field fortifications dominated military planning and the landscape of battle. This invaluable trilogy is a must have for anyone interested in the battles, tactics and strategies of both sides during the Civil War.
General Richard Stoddert Ewell holds a unique place in the history of the Army of Northern Virginia. For four months Ewell was Stonewall Jackson's most trusted subordinate; when Jackson died, Ewell took command of the Second Corps, leading it at Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House. In this biography, Donald Pfanz presents the most detailed portrait yet of the man sometimes referred to as Stonewall Jackson's right arm. Drawing on a rich array of previously untapped original source materials, Pfanz concludes that Ewell was a highly competent general, whose successes on the battlefield far outweighed his failures. But Pfanz's book is more than a military biography. It also examines Ewell's life before and after the Civil War, including his years at West Point, his service in the Mexican War, his experiences as a dragoon officer in Arizona and New Mexico, and his postwar career as a planter in Mississippi and Tennessee. In all, Pfanz offers an exceptionally detailed portrait of one of the South's most important leaders.
The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade was one of North Carolina's best-known and most successful units during the Civil War. Formed in 1862, the brigade spent nearly a year protecting supply lines before being thrust into its first major combat at Gettysburg. There, James Johnston Pettigrew's men pushed back the Union's famed Iron Brigade in vicious fighting on July 1 and played a key role in Pickett's Charge on July 3, in the process earning a reputation as one of the hardest-fighting units in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Despite suffering heavy losses during the Gettysburg campaign, the brigade went on to prove its valor in a host of other engagements. It marched with Lee to Appomattox and was among the last Confederate units to lay down arms in the surrender ceremony. Earl Hess tells the story of the men of the Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade, and especially the famous 26th North Carolina, chronicling the brigade's formation and growth under Pettigrew and its subsequent exploits under William W. Kirkland and William MacRae. Beyond recounting the brigade's military engagements, Hess draws on letters, diaries, memoirs, and service records to explore the camp life, medical care, social backgrounds, and political attitudes of these gallant Tar Heels. He also addresses the continuing debate between North Carolinians and Virginians over the failure of Pickett's Charge.
Few wartime cities in Virginia held more importance than Petersburg. Nonetheless, the city has, until now, lacked an adequate military history, let alone a history of the civilian home front. The noted Civil War historian A. Wilson Greene now provides an expertly researched, eloquently written study of the city that was second only to Richmond in size and strategic significance. Industrial, commercial, and extremely prosperous, Petersburg was also home to a large African American community, including the state's highest percentage of free blacks. On the eve of the Civil War, the city elected a conservative, pro-Union approach to the sectional crisis. Little more than a month before Virginia's secession did Petersburg finally express pro-Confederate sentiments, at which point the city threw itself wholeheartedly into the effort, with large numbers of both white and black men serving. Over the next four years, Petersburg's citizens watched their once-beautiful city become first a conduit for transient soldiers from the Deep South, then an armed camp, and finally the focus of one of the Civil War's most protracted and damaging campaigns. (The fall of Richmond and collapse of the Confederate war effort in Virginia followed close on Grant's ultimate success in Petersburg.) At war's end, Petersburg's antebellum prosperity evaporated under pressures from inflation, chronic shortages, and the extensive damage done by Union artillery shells. Greene's book tracks both Petersburg's civilian experience and the city's place in Confederate military strategy and administration. Employing scores of unpublished sources, the book weaves a uniquely personal story of thousands of citizens--free blacks, slaves and their holders, factory owners, merchants--all of whom shared a singular experience in Civil War Virginia.
Inspired and informed by the latest research in African American, military, and social history, the fourteen original essays in this book tell the stories of the African American soldiers who fought for the Union cause. An introductory essay surveys the history of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) from emancipation to the end of the Civil War. Seven essays focus on the role of the USCT in combat, chronicling the contributions of African Americans who fought at Port Hudson, Milliken's Bend, Olustee, Fort Pillow, Petersburg, Saltville, and Nashville. Other essays explore the recruitment of black troops in the Mississippi Valley; the U.S. Colored Cavalry; the military leadership of Colonels Thomas Higginson, James Montgomery, and Robert Shaw; African American chaplain Henry McNeal Turner; the black troops who occupied postwar Charleston; and the experiences of USCT veterans in postwar North Carolina. Collectively, these essays probe the broad military, political, and social significance of black soldiers' armed service, enriching our understanding of the Civil War and African American life during and after the conflict. The contributors are Anne J. Bailey, Arthur W. Bergeron Jr., John Cimprich, Lawrence Lee Hewitt, Richard Lowe, Thomas D. Mays, Michael T. Meier, Edwin S. Redkey, Richard Reid, William Glenn Robertson, John David Smith, Noah Andre Trudeau, Keith Wilson, and Robert J. Zalimas Jr.
As a member of a distinguished South Carolina family, Matthew Calbraith Butler led a most interesting life. His cavalry service during the Civil War saw him rise from regimental captain to major general in command of a division. He began the war with Jeb Stuart and participated in all of his early campaigns. Butler was wounded in the battle at Brandy Station and lost his foot as a result, but he returned to duty and the battles outside of Richmond in 1864, then hurried South to resist Sherman's advance into South Carolina. Unlike many other Confederate generals, Butler remained influential after the War. He served in the U.S. Senate for eighteen years, oversaw the end of Reconstruction in South Carolina, and was a major general during the Spanish-American War.
Richard Stoddert Ewell is best known as the Confederate General selected by Robert E. Lee to replace "Stonewall" Jackson as chief of the Second Corps in the Army of Northern Virginia. Ewell is also remembered as the general who failed to drive Federal troops from the high ground of Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill during the Battle of Gettysburg. Many historians believe that Ewell's inaction cost the Confederates a victory in this seminal battle and, ultimately, cost the Civil War. During his long military career, Ewell was never an aggressive warrior. He graduated from West Point and served in the Indian wars in Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, and Arizona. In 1861 he resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and rushed to the Confederate standard. Ewell saw action at First Manassas and took up divisional command under Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign and in the Seven Days' Battles around Richmond. A crippling wound and a leg amputation soon compounded the persistent manic-depressive disorder that had hindered his ability to make difficult decisions on the battlefield. When Lee reorganized the Army of Northern Virginia in May of 1863, Ewell was promoted to lieutenant general. At the same time he married a widowed first cousin who came to dominate his life—often to the disgust of his subordinate officers—and he became heavily influenced by the wave of religious fervor that was then sweeping through the Confederate Army. In Confederate General R.S. Ewell, Paul D. Casdorph offers a fresh portrait of a major—but deeply flawed—figure in the Confederate war effort, examining the pattern of hesitancy and indecisiveness that characterized Ewell's entire military career. This definitive biography probes the crucial question of why Lee selected such an obviously inconsistent and unreliable commander to lead one-third of his army on the eve of the Gettysburg Campaign. Casdorph describes Ewell's intriguing life and career with penetrating insights into his loyalty to the Confederate cause and the Virginia ties that kept him in Lee's favor for much of the war. Complete with riveting descriptions of key battles, Ewell's biography is essential reading for Civil War historians.