From the Inside Flap
With April 12, 2011, set to mark the 150th anniversary of Fort Sumter’s fall and the start of the Civil War, the time has come for an assessment of the conflict’s most important, influential, and controversial military leaders. Generals South, Generals North highlights twenty-four such commanders—twelve each from the Confederacy and the Union. Best-selling author and military historian Alan Axelrod presents a biography of each, narrates the major engagements in which each fought (emphasizing tactical leadership and outcome produced), and explores each man’s ever-controversial reputation. His consequent rankings are based on both historical and modern-day sources.
Every profile is accompanied by photographs of the general, additional illustrations such as battle depictions, and a map showing either a major engagement or the general’s movements throughout the war. The result—a lively and comprehensive reference for all those interested in the Civil War and a beautiful addition to the library of general readers—is sure to start as many arguments as it settles.
From the Back Cover
By the time the Civil War was over, 583 generals had served in the Union army and 572 in the Confederate army. A few were brilliant. Many should never have held command. But others learned on the job and did their utmost—or even gave their utmost. All were faced with a mission daunting beyond our ability to imagine. They commanded regiments, brigades, divisions, corps, and armies bigger than any ever before fielded on the North American continent. Both sides started practically from scratch, building very large armies from forces miniscule or nonexistent and planning the strategy and tactics of warfare on a scale and of a nature no American had even contemplated.
In Generals South, Generals North, best-selling author and military historian Alan Axelrod chooses the two dozen generals who had the greatest impact on the course and outcome of the war. He presents a biography of each, narrates the major engagements in which each fought, and explores the reputation of each based on historical sources as well as the opinions of current Civil War researchers. On this basis he then assigns a numerical rating to each.
On this 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Generals South, Generals North is a must for all readers interested in the conflict.