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No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River (Civil War Trilogy) Paperback – July 1, 1991


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No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River (Civil War Trilogy) + The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battles for Chattanooga (Civil War Trilogy) + This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga (Civil War Trilogy)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press (July 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252062299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252062292
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Until now only three book-length studies of the bloody Tennessee battle near Stone's River existed, all old and none satisfactory by current historical standards. This important book covers the late 1862 campaign and battle in detail. Though adjudged a tactical draw, Cozzens shows how damaging it was to the South. Not only did it effectively lose Tennessee, but it completely rent the upper command structure of the Confederacy's major western army. Valuable for its attention to the eccentric personalities of army commanders Bragg and Rosecrans, to the overall campaign, and to tactical fine points, the book is solidly based on extensive and broad research. Essential for period scholars but quite accessible for general readers.
- Thomas E. Schott, Office of History, 17th Air Force, Sembach, West Germany
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"It is jampacked with detail, yet is never dull." -- Chattanooga Times. "One of the best Civil War campaign/battle studies to appear in print during the past decade." -- Edwin C. Bearss, The Journal of Southern History.

More About the Author

Peter Cozzens is the author of sixteen critically acclaimed books on the American Civil War and the Indian Wars of the American West. He also is a Foreign Service Officer with the U. S. Department of State.

All of Cozzens' books have been selections of the Book of the Month Club, History Book Club, and/or the Military Book Club. Cozzens' This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga and The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battles for Chattanooga were both Main Selections of the History Book Club and were chosen by Civil War Magazine as two of the 100 greatest works ever written on the conflict.

The prestigious Easton Press included This Terrible Sound as one of thirty-five volumes in its Library of the Civil War.

The History Book Club called his five-volume Eyewitnesses to the Indian Wars "the definitive resource on the military struggle for the American West."

Cozzens also was the creator of and series editor for Stackpole Books' Frontier Classics.

In 2002 Cozzens received of the American Foreign Service Association's highest award, given annually to one Foreign Service Officer for exemplary moral courage, integrity, and creative dissent. He also received an Alumni Achievement award from his alma mater Knox College, from which he graduated summa cum laude.

Cozzens is a member of the Advisory Council of the Lincoln Prize, the nation's foremost literary award in history after the Pulitzer.

www.petercozzens.com

Customer Reviews

Despite this, the book is well worth a read, especially if you are interested in the war in TN.
Ipy
The major complaint I have is the maps - while the ones in the book are excellent and finely detailed, there's just not enough of them.
Michael Taylor
Highly recommend to anyone who is interested in the history of the Civil War and is very well written.
get

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Theo Logos on June 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
Few major battles of the Civil War have been more neglected than Stones River. It was among the bloodiest battles of the war, and started a ripple effect that would end with the defeat of the South, yet there are less than half a dozen books on it, and only the most devoted students of the war know much of anything about it. Peter Cozzens' book, `No Better Place to Die', is perhaps the best single book detailing and explaining the significance of this nearly forgotten battle.
December of 1862 had been a very bad month for the Union. General Burnsides and the Army of the Potomac had been horribly defeated at the Battle of Fredericksburg, and Grant and Sherman had been stopped cold in their attempt to take Vicksburg. The Union badly needed a victory, and another defeat could have been disastrous. Stones River was fought between the Union's Army of the Cumberland and the Confederate's Army of Tennessee over three days; from New Years Eve 1862 till January 2, 1863. Though the battle was considered by many to be a tactical draw, and both sides claimed victory, General Bragg and his Army of Tennessee retreated, conceding middle Tennessee to The Army of the Cumberland and the Union, and setting the stage for opening up the back door to the heart of the Confederacy. Though many today have forgotten the significance of this battle, its importance was not lost on President Lincoln, who after the battle wrote to General Rosecrans, commander of the Union forces at Stones River, "I can never forget whilst I remember anything, that... you gave us a hard-earned victory, which had there been a defeat instead, the Nation could scarcely have lived over."
Cozzens is no great wordsmith, but his research is meticulous and his detail is exacting.
Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Peter Cozzens has done a masterful job of telling the story of Stones River. His narrative of troop movements, supplemented by sketches of unit locations throughout the two days' fighting, make it easy for the reader to follow the flow of action. Cozzens tells the story of Stones River through the eyes and words of the participants, drawing extensively on soldiers'memoirs. To set the stage, he describes how the Kentucky campaign and Bragg's defeat at Perryville affected the preparation and strategy at Stones River. Generals Bragg and Rosecrans are profiled, and how their personalities and relations with their subordinate commanders affected the outcome of the battle. Cozzens wraps things up by analyzing how the results of Stones River affected public opinion in both North and South. An excellent treatment of a long-neglected battle.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Michael E. Fitzgerald on October 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a very complete, very detailed account of the Battle of Stones River but it lacks the intensity of other works by Peter Cozzens. As a result, I was disappointed with the narrative. However, it is a good work, deserving of your time.
Fought by two mediocre generals, Braxton Bragg and William S. Rosecrans, this engagement was intense and ugly. As the 24,000 casualties indicate, once begun, there was little strategy involved. The opposing armies simply mauled each other.
As mention in my review of Stones River by James Lee McDonough, this was the first major battle in the Union's plan to seize the Nashville-Chattanooga-Atlanta corridor. Claimed by many to be a tactical draw, it was a Southern defeat of the worst sort. The South lost control of an invaluable asset, middle Tennessee's railroads. It is from this spring board that Union armies once again sliced the Confederacy in two.
If you are a Peter Cozzens fan as I am, know ahead of time that this is not Peter Cozzens at his best.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Craven on April 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
Cozzens wrote three superb, and related, books on the decisive Battles in the West. Of these three, the most important is "No Better Place to Die".. not because it is the best of the three, for it is not, but rather because it is a very detailed analysis of an otherwise ignored battle.
Cozzens does not write in the most accessible style, but considering the complexity of the battle and the serious nature of the work, it is appropriate, and after a few pages, clear and understandable. One wishes that better and more detailed maps had been provided, along with some photographs of key players, but those "deficiences" are more than made up by the quality of the research.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tim Weber on May 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Cozzens' first book about the Civil War's western theatre admittedly is easily the least compelling, but still a good read. Calling this book "bad" as another reviewer did, is just bizarre. If you're not interested in the Civil War, don't read books about it. This is, for the most part, a well-written, fine account of the Battle of Murfreesboro, or Stones River. The main problem is a sometimes-confusing rundown of troop movements, not helped by even more perplexing maps. I had a great deal of trouble figuring out just where everybody was on the battlefield. Cozzens' next two books in this "trilogy" remedy most of the problems and are big steps forward.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael Taylor TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
In my humble opinion, Cozzens has produced a fine account of one of the war's bloodiest and most vicious battles. While close to 30,000 soldiers were casualties, the battle has often been overlooked in favor of Gettysburg, Antietam, Vicksburg, and other battles.
The account of troop movements and battle descriptions is detailed without being overly tedious. The author also includes several brief biographical notes of generals and other officers while also including anecdotes about several of the common soldiers in the battle. Cozzens is also able to maintain a good balance of the Union and Confederate side.
The major complaint I have is the maps - while the ones in the book are excellent and finely detailed, there's just not enough of them. Having at least 5 more battle maps would have immensely clarified troop movements and the flow of battle. For example, the narrative of Confederate Generals Cleburne and McCown's attacks on the morning of December 31, 1862 are reinforced by excellent maps while maps do not exist or are too few for other parts of the battle. Unfortunately, I find this to be a common theme in many Civil War battle text - a good or excellent battle narrative diminshed by too few maps.
Complaint aside, I recommend this book as the defintive text on one of the war's bloodiest battles.
Read and enjoy!
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