THE WEST POINT HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR by Clifford J. Rogers

THE WEST POINT HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A public-private partnership between the United States Military Academy and Rowan Technology Solutions reshapes the six chapters of the academy's History of Warfare on the Civil War to bring its specialist curriculum before a general audience.

Edited by Rogers, Seidule and Watson, three current members of the academy's history department, the volume assembles contributions from five of the country's most distinguished historians of the Civil War: Mark E. Neely Jr., Joseph T. Glatthaar, Steven E. Woodworth, Earl J. Hess and James K. Hogue. “The Civil War was the most traumatic event in the United States Military Academy’s history,” writes Seidule in the introduction. “During the 1850s, the Academy changed from an institution that promoted nationalism to a bitterly divided school.” The book begins with Neely's contribution on the border states and origins of the war and concludes with Hogue’s writings on Reconstruction. Glatthaar and Woodworth divide the war in the East and West between them, and Hess takes on strategy coordination and the final phases of the war. Threaded throughout the text are campaign and battle maps and an extensive collection of contemporary illustrations, including portraits, cartoons, leaflets, newspaper reproductions and posters. The 50-plus maps in the collection provide campaign overviews as well as timelines and deployment details illustrating chains of command, numbers of troops by unit and special equipment. The series about Ulysses Grant's campaign in the West, with three maps on the Kentucky campaign, five on successive operations against Vicksburg, and two others including Chickamauga, are exemplary. Also included in the volume are full-page illustrations of significant leaders—including Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox and the only confirmed photograph of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg—and the uniforms of different branches of the service.

The volume provides a richness of political context as well as showing how the war was transformed from an initial defense of the Union to a war for emancipation.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1476782621
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2014




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