Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage 1st Edition

22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0817302290
ISBN-10: 0817302298
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
$14.95
Buy new
$18.38
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$8.00
Paperback, July 30, 1984
"Please retry"
$18.38
$5.95 $0.01
More Buying Choices
38 New from $5.95 77 Used from $0.01 1 Collectible from $10.95
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Man-Eater by Harold Schechter
"Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal"
Harold Schechter delivers the definitive story of a legendary crime—a gripping tale of unspeakable suffering, the desperate struggle for survival, and the fight to uncover the truth. Learn more | See related books
$18.38 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage + Battle Tactics of the Civil War + The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare: Ideas, Organization, and Field Command (Midland Book)
Price for all three: $54.54

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

 

Grady McWhiney is professor of history, and director and distinguished senior fellow, Center for the Study of Southern History and Culture, The University of Alabama.
 
Perry D. Jamieson is historian, Strategic Air Command, United States Air Force, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press; 1st edition (July 30, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817302298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817302290
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.6 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Red Harvest on May 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I would like to give this 2.5 stars, but 3 is too much.

As a tactical discussion this is probably preferable to Paddy Griffith's work favoring vigorous frontal assault and discounting the new firepower. However, Attack and Die has some glaring omissions that hurt it, and it also makes some assertions that don't help. There are too many technological phases and differing terrain, strategic, and logistical situations in the American Civil War to support the simple tactical absolutes that authors too often apply.

The authors' thesis is two fold: Southern armies were too aggressive; and that this was the result of Celtic heritage. On the first point it is true that the improvements in the rifle and percussion firing systems greatly improved the odds for the force on the tactical defensive. As the war progressed, earthworks further increased lethality of rifles while shielding the defender and concealing his numbers. However, this completely misses the strategic fact that it's rather hard for two opposing armies to simultaneously and indefinitely remain on the defensive since it results in stalemate. Unfortunately, as Joe Johnston proved both at Vicksburg (by failing to support Pemberton) and before Atlanta, if one cannot find an opportunity to repel the invader, the enemy can pin one's force and subdue it through siege operations. So remaining on the defensive can result in an even more demoralizing defeat without ever yielding an opportunity for victory. Preserving one's force is irrelevant if it cannot be fed or equipped because of destruction of one's territory, industry and logistical hubs. Lee, Davis, and even Bragg understood that. "Use it or lose it" applies.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
39 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Donald M. Larson on January 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
The book contains valuable sources, is well documented, and presents some good information, but it has some unpleasantly conspicuous problems. This book presents a mono-causal reason at the tactical level of war for why the Confederacy lost which is overly simplistic. Analysis of conflicts and their resolutions can rarely by tied to one cause - causes are normally woven together and to analyze one thread without the others creates an artificiality which negates any sincere analysis. This book conducts a sterile study of war at the tactical level without the influence of strategy, operational plans, politics, or economics which gives questionable results.
In the beginning of the book, the authors clearly state their thesis which is the only time that it is clear. They begin to present data in several different tables that are skewed. In presenting a case that the Confederacy suffered more casualties because they attacked more often, the authors include the 29,396 southern soldiers who surrendered at Vickburg (these soldiers were entrenched and never attacked). There is sufficient evidence to support their case without skewing figures - this only lessens their credibility.
After the first section, the thesis of the book seems to wander. Facts are presented but analysis is missing. Various issues of the war are well presented while others are biased and fail to present all of the evidence - some of the evidence does not support the thesis and some negates it. The combination of the rifle and fieldworks are proclaimed to be practically invincible. This becomes the primary thesis for most of the second section and the authors are more interested in proving this new thesis than supporting their original one.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
The focus of this book is boldly stated on page xv: "How and why the Confederates lost so many men is the burden of this book. We contend that the Confederates bled themselves nearly to death in the first three years of the war by making costly attacks more often than did the Federals."

One theme of the book is that warfare had been changed by the outset of the Civil War, with the development of rifled guns. Masses of troops firing at one another at close range made some sense with the inaccurate muskets of the Revolutionary War or the Napoleonic Wars. However, such formations made much less sense as rifles increased accuracy and range.

Among specific arguments that the book makes is that the romance of the bayonet was pretty much done; evidence suggests that rather few casualties came from bayonet thrusts? Why not? It was difficult for attacking soldiers to get close enough to defenders because of the rifle fire and the use of defensive positioning. Fieldworks thwarted many massed charges; soldiers on the defensive were ordinarily better placed for victory than those who attacked. Just so, the value of cavalry with sabers bared, charging. The bulk of cavalry combat came with troopers fighting as infantry did, not fighting from atop their horses.

Doctrine lagged behind facts-on-the-ground. Only a few officers began to redefine how to carry out an offensive against entrenchments (e.g., Emory Upton). And, according to the authors, Confederates appeared less willing to give up the tactical offensive. Why? Here comes the rather bizarre part of the book. The authors content that southerners were more Celtic and Northern troops more English. And, the contention goes, Celtic warriors fought on the offensive (there is even an effort to tie the Rebel yell to Celtic warriors).
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage
This item: Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage
Price: $18.38
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: the american heritage book of the civil war