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Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave Paperback – September 28, 1993


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Civil War History
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$14.47 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave + Landscape Turned Red: The Battle of Antietam + A Stillness at Appomattox (Army of the Potomac, Vol. 3)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (September 28, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679728317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679728313
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fascinating account of a fascinating -- if terrible -- battle."-- Tom Wicker

From the Publisher

"This eloquent narrative will become the standard study....It captures both the human drama and the tactical complexity of the battle in lucid, sparkling, prose."--James M. McPherson

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
75%
4 star
21%
3 star
4%
2 star
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See all 24 customer reviews
Well researched and documented, this book flows.
Alfred B. Shapiro
The book is lavishly illustrated with maps and photographs and has a comprehensive order of battle, notes, sources, and index.
Russell V. Olson Jr.
This book details the epic battle that almost destroyed The Union's Army of The Potomac.
Richard Vanier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael Taylor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
Furgurson's account of Chancellorsville is one of the best Civil War books I have read recently. His summary of the battle actions are crisp without being overly technical and dry, and he is able to maintain a fine balance of accounts from North and South, officer and enlisted. Although a descendant of Southern soldiers, he fairly criticizes both Northern and Southern leaders when appropriate.
The book flows smoothly - on more than more occasion I was so engrossed in the book that I did not realize just how pages I had read! As other reviewers have noted, the book flows like a novel and maintains your interest.
While everyone may not agree with Furgurson's analysis that Jackson's death in essence was the death knell of the Confederacy or the tactics of both sides, the book is a fine read.
The only reason I did not give the book 5 stars was because of the maps. While the maps were adequate (clearly showed terrain features and roads), in my humble opinion, they were too few and did not go to the regimental level. While Furgurson repeatedly refers to a particular regiment during the battle, only a few times was the regiment clearly labeled on a map. Unfortunately, the maps went down to only the brigade level. I am a big fan of Civil War books having ample maps with plenty of detail - doing so makes the battle and troop movements much easier to understand.
Complaint aside, I highly recommend the book as an interesting and moving account of Lee and Jackson's finest moment! Admittingly, I have yet to read Stephen Sears' book on Chancellorsville. Therefore, the jury is still out on which book is the definitive account of the battle.
Read and enjoy!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Moody on December 8, 2002
Format: Paperback
Contemporary Civil War readers today are extremely fortunate to have an abundance of truly gifted writers who have contributed a wealth of modern studies. Writers such as Stephen Sears, James McPherson, Wiley Sword, Noah Trudeau, Gordon Rhea and (a recent addition to the club) Jay Winik have joined the "masters" Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote in writing recent comprehensive narratives while maintaining readability.
Now, having read "Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave", I must include Ernest Furguson as a new addition to my list. This extraordinary account of the complex battle at Chancellorsville ranks right up there with these other pantheons of Civil War history. Furgurson manages to convey both the personal side of the struggle as well as an in-depth analysis of the many tactical maneauvers that make Chancellorsville one of the most studied and debated Civil War battles.
Furgurson's story takes us from the bewildering post Fredericksburg period through Lee's monumental decision to again invade the North...a decision that led to the battle at Gettysburg and ultimate defeat for the Confederate army. The book starts at the failed "Mud March" and the Abraham Lincoln decision to remove Ambrose Burnside from command of the Federal army.
Enter "Fighting" Joe Hooker.
Furgurson delivers a compelling biography of the outwardly confident, but morally weak General and goes a long way in explaining his future actions. At this point we also get insightful, pre-battle studies of R.E. Lee and (Furgurson's obvious hero) T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson.
Hooker takes the demoralized "Army of the Potomac" and rebuilds it into a confident, offensive machine in his own image in only 4 months.
Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Robinson on December 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Reading about Chancellorsville can often be tangled and confusing due to all the differing leaders involved, but this book is extremely well written and clear. The book is crisply written and the chapters on Jackson's flanking maneuver and the 2nd battle of Fredericksburg were extremely good. Furguson writes in a way that makes one feel as if they are there along with the soldiers. Furguson captures both the human side and the tactics well. He uses first-hand accounts of the battle at good times and it really makes the book better. Simply put this is a terrific book and easy to read. I highly recommend it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Gianos-Steinberg on April 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Furgurson's book about Chancellorsville reads much like a vintage Stephen Sears book. Meticulous detail is crafted with primary accounts and combined with author analysis, and the book has a detailed narrative with human elements.
Reading these types of accounts concerning Civil War battles is always enjoyable. Where Furgurson's book differs mostly from Sears's book is, of course, the analysis of Joe Hooker's management of the campaign.
While Sears blames subordinates, most notably Howard, and points to Hooker's concussion, Furgurson mentions the exploding pillar incident, adds soldier accounts of seeing Hooker looking drunk and unresponsive at headquarters and takes Hooker to task. Given Hooker's pre victory celebratory orders and his subsequent defeat, I think it's hard to let Hooker completely off the hook.
Furgurson also mentions near the end of the book that Jackson's death affected Gettysburg and ultimately the war. Had Jackson lived and taken Culp's Hill on July 1 in place of the inactive Ewell, the Union would have been forced to retreat, likely to the line of defense around Pipe Creek that Meade was aiming for in the first place. Would the Confederates have won the battle of Gettysburg in that case? Of course, but the battle of Gettysburg wouldn't have been the 3 day epic that actually happened, and July 1 wouldn't have won the war on its own.
I'd suggest reading both books as complements and forming one's own opinion regarding their analysis.
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Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the Brave
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