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Failure in the Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joe Wheeler, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign Hardcover – December 13, 2010
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David lives and works in Chicago, Illinois, where he owns and operates a delivery company.
Top Customer Reviews
The book opens with a look at the leaders of Bragg's cavalry from Corps to Brigade, starting with Joe Wheeler and Nathan Forrest and the strained relationship between these men, Wheeler a West Pointer and Bragg supporter just is not a fighter like Forrest. Following is a detailed look at Bragg's Cavalry, training, discipline, accomplishments and failures.
With this foundation, we quickly cover Tullahoma. Coverage of the Union movement from Chattanooga gives us an understanding of Bragg's problems and the challenge of determining their route. Done in a straightforward manner this section makes clear complex issues and the importance of cavalry to a Civil War army. Using his knowledge, experience and considerable ability, David shows us the cavalry's influence on the campaign and actions during battle. The reader sees cavalry theory as practiced by the Army of Tennessee in 1863, a story of personalities, ambition and management going awry at a critical time.
The heart of the book is a detailed look at CSA Cavalry operations leading up to, during and after the Battle of Chickamauga. This is not a pretty picture, showing how little good information Bragg had. Both Wheeler and Forrest fail, for different reasons, to provide realistic timely information. Wheeler, often disobedient, consistently is out of position or making bad decisions. Forrest suffers from being a new Corps commander having a Division or Brigade commander mentality.Read more ›
Civil War cavalry was not thought of as a major offensive weapon until late in the war. The primary duty of cavalry in this time and place was scouting and screening, serving as the eyes and ears of the main army. (A secondary function was the cavalry raid, in which small, quick-moving forces would penetrate enemy lines, destroy facilities and supplies, and then return [it was hoped] to the safety of their own lines.)
In the spring of 1863, Bragg had a substantial advantage in cavalry over his opposite number, Union Major-General William Rosecrans, commanding the Army of the Cumberland. Bragg had two full cavalry corps, much more than Rosecrans, and 16,000 mounted men compared to 11,000 in the Army of the Cumberland. (In fact, much of the delay in starting active campaigning that summer was due to efforts by Rosecrans to build up and improve his mounted force.) But in the ensuing Tullahoma and Chickamauga campaigns, his cavalry would let Bragg down and leave him in the dark about enemy plans and intentions, time and time again.Read more ›
History has not treated Confederate General Braxton Bragg very kindly. With his surly, irascible manner, along with some errors in the field, he had done much to bring that on himself. From late June through late September 1863, however, he had a good deal of help in turning what might have been a true setback for the Federal Army of the Cumberland into nothing more than a pyrrhic victory for the South. In fact, Bragg's top cavalry leaders, Joseph Wheeler and the vaunted Nathan Bedford Forrest were often found wanting during the campaigns in middle Tennessee and northwest Georgia throughout the summer of 1863.
Once battle is joined, the cavalry often takes a secondary role in the action. On campaign, however, the cavalry's role is magnified. A good cavalry commander will conduct reconnaissance, screen his army's activities from the enemy and guard his army's flanks. The army commander will take the intelligence gained from his cavalry and use that to his best advantage when formulating his battle plans. If that intel is bad, it is likely to be a long and bloody day for the army. Dave explains how Wheeler's sloth (and sometimes sheer insubordination) failed Bragg in major ways.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Extremely well researched and well written account of an aspect of the Battle of Chickamauga that has not, to my knowledge, been covered before. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Gipetto
This is in response to some assertions made by David Powell in his book “Failure in the Saddle.” The book is thought provoking, well researched, and reveals much information... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Anna Dormady
Powell hits a homerun with this work. Being a Forrest admirer (but realizing he is not perfect) I was very pleased and informed with the premise and research of Failure in the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by NateinTn
This book was a present for my husband and he was very happy with it.Published 9 months ago by DR BRENDA JOY BIGGS
Anxiously awaiting the next book from Dave Powell and Savas Beatie - both always deliver!Published 16 months ago by Allan
I always thought of Nathan Bedford Forest as the best of the best. I guess he had a learning curve as well. I read this on kindle so that may explain some of this. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Patrick Fagenstrom
This is a brilliant well researched book that explores two of the most famous, and overrated rebel cavalry generals. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Robert
First lets start by saying Powell is a very good writer, I have both his books on Chickamauga and I cant wait for his series on the Chickamauga Campaign next year. Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by jab40