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Fitz-John Porter, Scapegoat of Second Manassas and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Fitz-John Porter, Scapegoat of Second Manassas

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0786439300
ISBN-10: 0786439300
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The great beauty of his writing is that it flows from one point to the next both easily and logically. Even someone not well-versed in the situation can easily comprehend the meaning. For each aspect of Porter's downfall and redemption, Jermann explains what happened, why it happened, what it led to and, finally, how Porter's name was cleared. His book is clearly an excellent work about the drama of Fitz-John Porter's temporary disgrace and ultimate triumph. By its end, readers will be able to discern whether or not Porter was truly guilty and, if not, who was really to blame for what happened to the Union army at Second Manassas." --Civil War News

"Excellent." --On Point

"A good read." --Blue & Gray Magazine

"Very useful work of reference." --Soldier Studies

"A good read." --Blue & Gray Magazine

About the Author

Captain Donald R. Jermann served more than 32 years on active duty in the Navy covering World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He also served as a senior executive in the Department of Defense and lives in Laurel, Maryland.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland (December 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786439300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786439300
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,418,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hamilton on January 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Fitz-John Porter, Scapegoat of Second Manassas". This book tells the story of the humiliating Union defeat at the battle of 2nd Manassas which resulted in the court-martial of Major General Fitz-John Porter who was accused and found guilty of disobeying orders and shameful conduct in the face of the enemy. The book then follows the dogged determination of General Porter to clear his name, an effort that took over 20 years, and by the end of the book two important questions are answered, was General Porter guilty? If not, who was responsible for the Federal defeat at 2nd Manassas?
The author's innovative writing style has resulted in a book that offers much more than just a re-telling of interesting history, instead this work presents the prosecutions' case, the defense case, and a detailed analysis of the facts.
The author then invites the reader to draw their own conclusions as to General Porter's guilt or innocence and offers his own conclusions.
This well researched book of almost 300 pages features 10 pictures of important personalities and 18 maps that assist the reader in understanding the disposition and movement of troops as well as important terrain features.
There are 9 appendices that offer additional information concerning order of battle, list of witnesses, reports, and important correspondence.
More than just an historian, the author is a retired military man who served more than 32 years on active duty covering the period from World War II through Vietnam. During the course of his career he has served as a member of courts-martial and presided over courts-martial, that only serves to add great credibility to his conclusions and brings a unique prospective to his narrative.

Michael A. Hamilton
Major, CmlC, USAR, Ret.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Owl on December 30, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting review of the Union loss at Bull Run II/Second Manassas. It is written from the premise that General John Pope was, thorough out, wedded to the concept that he had the forces of Jackson trapped -- which he did -- and that he was in the process of forcing a retreat -- which he did not.

Fitz John Porter was singled out by Pope as failing to follow orders, and failing to respond appropriately in the face of the enemy. The original Court Martial found Porter guilty, a finding that Porter vigorously disputed for the rest of his life. His conviction was reversed just days before his death.

The author presents the case against Porter quite well, and gives reasonable assessments as to his belief of Porter's guilt or innocence. He analyzes from the perspective of the present, and in doing so, has the benefit of hindsight and a hundred and fifty years of information gathering and review.

His analysis of the re-hearing, however, suffers from a lack of diligence in applying the same standards as he review the original trial, and as in the re-hearing, he relies upon the the reports and testimony of some of the generals against whom Pope and Porter were arrayed.

Two major flaws are the author's reliance upon what others would do in similar situations, without a nod to the fact that Pope was neither a Jackson, a Lee, or a Longstreet; and no one can possibly synthesize what either of those three might choose to do when faced with similar situation.

The most inexplicable flaw is that the author did not use Gen. Pope's Military Memoirs, as biased as they might be, to assist in explaining what it was that Pope thought he saw and what he thought was his best tactic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James G. Ryan on November 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a detailed book that will serve the needs of anyone interested in learning about the Porter court martial and its aftermath, from the novice student to the well-seasoned Second Manassas afficiando. I highly recommend the book.

The only minor criticism I have is the author's penchant for relying on Lost Cause-type arguments to analyze the actions of the various Union actors in the saga. For example, when analyzing the issue of whether Porter complied with an order to march in the early morning hours of August 28, 1862, the author carefully explains the complete situation: status of Porter's forces, timing of the delivery of the order, road conditions, weather during the night, etc. but then veers off into a couple of statements describing how Stonewall Jackson would have responded to receiving the same order. Why not describe your fantasy about how George Patton or Ceasar would have reacted to receiving the order while you're at it?

The author only indulges in these type of counter-factual analyses a couple of time, so in no way do they ruin the book or his otherwise spot-on analysis. Perhaps that is why they seem so annoying when they do creep in.
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By Buffalo lady on December 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great gift for a Civil War buff or anyone doing Civil War research. Good condition and prompt delivery. Veery satisfied.
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