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Civil War High Commands 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0804736411
ISBN-10: 0804736413
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Though the literature documenting Civil War military leaders is extensive, a one-volume reference that provides comprehensive biographical and background information on the thousands of leaders and complex military structure of the Union and the Confederacy would be a welcome addition to many libraries. Here, John H. Eicher (chemistry, emeritus, Miami Univ. of Ohio) and David J. Eicher (managing editor, Astronomy magazine; Mystic Chords of Memory) have combined brief biographical entries on over 3000 Union and Confederate military commanders with extensive background information. Even libraries that own Ezra J. Warner's Generals in Blue (1964) and Generals in Grey (1959) or William C. Davis's more recent The Confederate General (National Historical Society, 1991) will find this a useful reference source. Recommended for larger public, academic, and specialized Civil War collections. Theresa McDevitt, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Here is the reference work that Civil War historians have been waiting for. All arguments and confusion about full vs. brevet rank, seniority, jurisdiction, and dozens of other matters concerning military commanders and civilian officials in the Union and Confederacy are cleared up in this volume, which would have been as useful to Civil War contemporaries, if it had existed then, as it will be to modern students of the war."—James M. McPherson, Professor of History, Princeton University, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

"It is difficult to imagine the staggering amount of research that must have gone into the creation of this highly valuable reference work. All students of the military side of the Civil War, and especially those interested in the organizational structures and leading figures of the Union and Confederate high commands, should keep this volume near at hand."—Gary W. Gallagher, Nau Professor of History, University of Virginia

"Civil War High Commands is a bibliophile's tour de force and a Civil War aficionado's dream. It combines in a single volume concise biographical information on nearly 4,000 of the war's movers and shakers, be they politicians, soldiers, or sailors. But that is not all. The authors include invaluable data that is necessary to an understanding of the mid-19th century military, its command structure, and mystique."—Edwin C. Bearss, Historian Emeritus, National Park Service

"The Eichers have devoted years to assembling their fascinating array of facts. . . . Rarely is a sound and practical reference book so much fun to use."—from the foreword by John Y. Simon, editor of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant

"This important new work is a welcome addition to the field of Civil War literature, and will without a doubt become the standard tool for research in questions related to high command in the Union and Confederate militaries and governments. . . . This book is highly recommended for every library that treats the Civil War in any respect. It should also be considered for the private libraries of Civil War buffs."—American Reference Books Annual
"Besides being a truly handy reference work, the Eichers' book is simply great fun to peruse, but beware: looking up one tidbit may lead you to browse and read for a very long time."—The Journal of Southern History
"...it is an enormously valuable reference guide to the command structure of both sides during the Civil War."—The NYMAS Review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1040 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804736413
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804736411
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,951,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A major work of awesome proportions! The research, attention to detail and the scholarship that combined to produce this work are beyond measure.
For any serious Civil War buff this book is a "must". There is no area relating to the High Command of either North or South that is not covered in exquisite detail. It contains not only the biographical notes for virtually every major and minor character on both sides, it lists the ranks, date of rank and assignments. Reads like an Officer's Personnel Record, complete with photographs of individuals where available. It is particularly useful in bringing into clear focus the organizational structure, badges of rank and the different departments making up the respective armies.
This is an absolutely invaluable tool for anyone interested in an in-depth source for reference to go hand-in-hand with careful study of the major works on Civil War battles and campaigns.
It should certainly be found on the shelves of any college or university library.
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Format: Hardcover
In the forward, John Y. Simon, states this is not "a book to curl up with on a cold winter night" or a book that you would "take to the beach". He is correct, this is not a book that you will sit down and read, unless you normally read baseball encyclopedias. This book is a feast of facts, statistics and information relating to the American Civil War.

How many men did New York supply when Lincoln asked for 75,000 men in 1861? There is a multiple page table with the answer, by state by levy for the USA and CSA. When was Ebenezer Dumont born? What is his military record? When did he die and where is he buried? If you are still reading, you may want to consider buying this book.

The first hundred pages is information about the nation, political structure and the military forces. This is followed by 600 pages of biographies of general and flag offices and "Might-Have-Beens'. The answers to the questions on Ebenezer Dumont are in this section. The next 100 pages, details grades and rank for general and flag level officers. This section has tables with date of rank, nomination, confirmation and termination for each. A second table lists all these officers by grade by date of rank. Need to know who was the CSA's senior Brigadier General in 1865? After finding that answer, go back to the biographies to see what he did during the war. The next hundred pages cover the command structure for both sides. Departments were vital during the war. Commanders in one department constantly looked to other departments for support. More often than not, the other department commander was busy with his own problems. This section will allow you to check the department history, next time you try to understand why J.E.
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Format: Hardcover
The Eichers, et al, have done Civil War buffs a great service with this fabulous piece of research. If you are looking for info on military and/or civilian leaders, this is the best single source yet published. Thanks guys!
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