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All for the Regiment: The Army of the Ohio, 1861-1862 (Civil War America) Hardcover – June 25, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0807826263 ISBN-10: 080782626X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Civil War America
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1 edition (June 25, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080782626X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807826263
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,469,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book fills an important niche in the history of Civil War armies." -- James M. McPherson, Princeton University

Book Description

"A superb and insightful study. . . . Well worth reading and owning, especially by those interested in military leadership, cohesion, and fighting power in the Civil War."--Military History

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Brian S on June 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is focused and trenchant, and it succeeds in illuminating some basic questions (the 'how's and 'why's of Civil War army dynamics, and how they affected the flow of battles), and best of all it raises many interesting points, and leaves the reader thinking anew.
It is an interesting dichotomy that the story is of discreet regiments and companies of the Army of the Ohio 'formed into a blunt instrument', and that Buell and his key commanders remain indispensible elements in the story. The army commander's and officers' struggle to fulfill their true roll (drill the troops in a systematic way, create and encourage espirit de corps for the army, and of course - develop a plan of campaign and act - with alacrity!) seems to be a sub-theme of the entire book.
Another re-curring theme is the power of perception - the strength that the Army of the Ohio drew from their steady diet of success up until Perryville.
Casual readers of this or that battle account from that war become de-sensitized to the big numbers (30,000 troops, or 60,000, or 100,000...and casualties in the thousands after single engagements) and maybe never give any thought at all to the enormously complex enterprise of creating such an army, and supplying it, and manuevering it; let alone bringing it to bear and fighting it in an effective way.
This book includes interesting accounts of the battles at Shiloh and Perryville, and of an epic march between Nashville and Louisville as it happened to the Army of the Ohio.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David M. Dougherty VINE VOICE on September 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book apparently is a PhD dissertation that the author has brought out, possibly with some modification, into popular history. It is short (189 pages) with 64 pages of endnotes that actually add a fair amount of scholarly information if one cares to read through them. The basic premise is that Civil War soldiers made their regiments the primary fighting unit to which they were committed and would fight for to the end if unit integrity was kept intact. The problem with the book, is that premise falls into the "duh!" category as having been recognized for eons by Civil War historians and others. It is hardly a seminal conclusion. This is not anywhere close to McPherson's "Why They Fought."

That being said, there is much good here. I will not reiterate the content -- that is covered well in the review by Durney. The good includes the mundane but critically important aspects of training at the regimental and company levels have been mostly ignored in the Civil War literature. The ability to maneuver under fire won many battles (the Wilderness comes to mind) and the lack thereof lost many (Fair Oaks for example.) The author provides a good introduction to this subject, but it needs a huge amount of fleshing out. I recommend Benjamin Scribner's work, "How Soldiers Were Made", now long out of print & difficult to find, to add to this discussion.

In my own case, although I have ancestors who fought on both side of the Civil War, my Great-grandfather's diary covering his three years fighting as a member of Company "K", 5th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry (one of the units mentioned in this work), by itself proved the author's thesis concerning the importance of the Company and Regiment, as well as training.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James W. Durney TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good account of the building of regiments and brigades in the early years of the war. Using the Army of the Ohio as a model, the author gives a good account of the raising, equipping and training of a regiment. This is the book's strongest point and much of its' value. If this justifies spending $37.50, is an open question. After reading the book, I'm not sure that I have an answer for you.

The Army of the Ohio's role at Shiloh is still being debated. The author comes down firmly on saving Grant's army; over the secondary role many historians assign it. The question isn't debated as much as stated with little more than a nod to the other side. This caused no little upset with the reviewer, as it contradicted other histories without providing real answers as to why.

The frustrations of campaigning between Shiloh and the invasion of Kentucky are explained. The army was used not so much as a weapon but as a construction crew. Isolated garrisons, poorly lead and badly trained were no match for the hard riding raiders of Morgan and Forrest. Both of these men built reputations at the expense of this army. The author manages to show how decisions made months before caused many of the problems at this time. Political appointees do not make a regimental commander or a fighter. More than one surrender caused army wide embarrassment and strained the fragile ties between units.

Bragg's invasion of Kentucky, the political implications and the impact on the 1862 election are not developed. Neither is a good explanation of the battle of Perryville provided. Without reading Noe's excellent book, I'm not sure you can understand what is going on. This is the weakest part of the book and the most vital, as the army is really tested during this time.
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