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Battle of Monroe's Crossroads and the Civil War's Final Campaign Hardcover – April 15, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric J. Wittenberg is an accomplished American Civil War cavalry historian and author. An attorney in Ohio, Wittenberg is the author of many articles and the author or co-author of more than a dozen books on Civil War cavalry subjects, including The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads and the Civil War’s Final Campaign; Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg; and One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife Susan.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Savas Beatie; First Edition edition (April 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932714170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932714173
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,369,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eric J. Wittenberg is an award-winning Civil War historian. A native of southeastern Pennsylvania, Wittenberg focuses on Civil War cavalry operations. He is the author of more than 15 published books. He was educated at Dickinson College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and is a practicing attorney (someday, he might even get it right and get to stop practicing!). Wittenberg is a member of the Governor of Ohio's Advisory Commission on the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, and also serves as the vice president of the Buffington Island Battlefield Preservation Foundation. He, his wife Susan, and their two silly golden retrievers live in Columbus, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eric Wittenberg solidifies his standing as our best Civil War Cavalry author by continuing to produce high quality, well-researched, readable histories that are both informative and fun. Using Savas Beatie as his publisher is a "Dream Team" for enthusiasts. Maps, maps and more maps ensure that you will never be lost and will instantly understand what retaking the guns means. The list of illustrations is one and a half pages; the list of maps is two and a half pages. Clearly stating that both the author and publisher understand what is nice, illustrations and what is necessary, maps. Since most of us will never get into Fort Bragg to walk the battle field, the maps substitute nicely keeping us orientated and in position.

The book is well researched, footnoted and complete within the time we are considering. The confrontation between Hampton and Kilpatrick outside the Bennett home, capture the men, their feelings and the time. It provides a logical beginning to the story, even if it occurs at the end. While presenting the reader with clear concise portraits of the major figures, the supporting cast is not ignored. The strengths and weakness of each Cavalry force is clearly described. This introduction gives us the needed background to understand the depth of feeling and desperation that contributes to the battle.

Weather and terrain conspire to hinder both sides building a waterlogged hell for man and beast. This produces a major impact on the campaign and the battle, becoming a story within the story. J.E. Johnston's army must cross over the Cape Fear River, Hampton's cavalry is trying to screen this movement and delay Sherman's army.
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Format: Hardcover
Those familiar with the works of cavalry historian Eric Wittenberg know that each is the product of thorough research & sound analysis. He continues those traits in "The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads & the Civil War's Final Campaign." Previously unpublished primary sources & manuscripts make up a nice chunk of the book's 22-page bibliography. There are some 30 maps included. The footnotes, not the standard bland citations, are loaded with extra information & should be read after each corresponding chapter. The appendices are much more than filler copy. Included is a casualty list & 2 essays of which I am especially fond -- "Who was Judson Kilpatrick's Female Companion in March 1865?" & "What was Joseph Wheeler's Rank in March 1865?."

Nicknamed "Kilpatrick's Shirt-tail Skedaddle," the battle is so much more than the towering Hampton catching the diminutive Kilpatrick with his pants down. Wittenberg has corrected that perception with an in-depth tactical study which both the casual student & learned scholar will find educational & entertaining.

Because of its location, among the secure confines of Fort Bragg, Monroe's Crossroads is the most pristine, yet least visited of CW battlefields. Therefore, few will ever get the opportunity to walk the terrain. There is an alternative -- a hammock, a pitcher of sweet tea & a weekend reading "The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads & the Civil War's Final Campaign."
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Format: Hardcover
A terrific book on a long-forgotten battle that has deserved such a scholarly treatment for a long time. Nestled among the artillery drop zones of Ft. Bragg, and all but inaccessible to the general public, the Monroe's Crossroads battlefield is a great lesson in cavalry tactics. For those who enjoy treatments of actions during the last few weeks of the war, and especially one on a segment of Sherman's final campaign that has not been told before, you must get this book. Written by Wittenberg, one of today's best scholars of Civil War cavalry actions and personalities, this book is written extremely well. It's as thorough as it can get, and will long stand as the definitive tome on this battle. And if you want to see another aspect of the career of Judson Kilpatrick, one of the war's most controversial figures, this book is the answer. Lots of terrific maps, photos of every major player, completely footnoted, and a full bibliography replete with obscure primary sources round out this work. I also see that the book is an alternate selection for the History Book Club, and has received a glowing endorsement by none other than William C. "Jack" Davis. Get it, read it, and enjoy. This is the way history should be written and analyzed.
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Format: Hardcover
THis is an original topic and Mr. Wittenberg has done a fine job. His knowledge,writing and presentation are excellant. This book can be read and enjoyed by a novice or scholar alike. This book made me wish I could view the actual battlesite. I own five of the authors books and he is without a doubt one of the best Civil War writers today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Typical of Eric J. Wittenberg's other books this is a remarkably fine work. Fought 14 miles west of Fayetteville, North Carolina, the Battle at Monroe's Crossroads was the last large scale cavalry engagement of the American Civil War.

At dawn of March 9th 1865, Wade Hampton and Joe Wheeler's men attack Judson Kilpatrick's unguarded, sleeping camp and completely rout the Federals. But the Confederates fail to follow up on their initial success, stopping instead to loot the Federal encampment of the captured food, weapons, horses and equipage. This gives Kilpatrick time to form a line of battle which increasingly rallies the disorganized Federal troops. With the aid of recaptured Federal guns and dismounted cavalry who are mistaken for infantry support, the Union subsequently succeeds in driving their attackers from the field.

As all battles go it was a very close thing, embarrassing to Kilpatrick, and frustrating to Hampton and Wheeler. Pitting 4,000 Confederates against 3,000 Federals, the Confederate cavalry give their infantry one additional day of time to withdraw from Fayetteville, avoiding entanglement with left wing of Sherman's Army commanded by Henry Slocum. It was one of the last battles fought by General Sherman in his march through the Carolinas, setting up the final engagement with Joe Johnston at Bentonville a few weeks later.

This is a wonderfully researched book and Eric Wittenberg is at his absolute best in describing the battle, the backgrounds of the primary participants and the meaning of this engagement in what turned out to be the final campaign for the Confederacy. Very well done.
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