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Rebels from West Point Paperback – June 1, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

After Fort Sumter, 303 West Point Graduates resigned their Army commissions and threw in their lot with the Confederacy. This book recounts their heroic, frustrating, and often poignant efforts to fight a deseprate war with untrained men. Patterson is a veteran writer of popular Civil War history, and his human-interest account is long on anecdote and general readability. Much space is given to the friendships which the West Pointers on both sides maintained across the lines, and the book shows us once again that the Civil War was fought less by institutions than by individuals. It does much to supplement the standard histories. Recommended to general public and YA collections. Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gerard A. Patterson is the author of "From Blue to Gray: The Life of Confederate General Cadmus M. Wilcox," (0811706826) "Justice or Atrocity: Gen. George E. Pickett and the Kinston, N.C. Hangings," and "Debris of Battle: The Wounded of Gettysburg" (081170498X), and has contributed more than thirty articles to "Civil War Times Illustrated," "American History," and other history publications.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; 1 edition (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811720632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811720632
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,166,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In Rebels from West Point, Gerard A. Patterson has compiled information on some of the more intersting figures, as well as careers, in the War Between the States. Some mention has been made in larger works, including the movie Gettysburg, about the relationships between men from both sides of the conflict, but this work covers them all, albeit in small bits sometimes.
In this work, however, the conflict between West Pointers and non-professional officers is more clearly covered. From the beginning, the "newcomers" felt looked down upon by their more rigorously trained compatriots. Here, we find this attitude contributing to one of the least known aspects of the war: the professional competition among officers in both armies, and in all grades. Sometimes these attitudes took precedence over conducting the war in a professional manner.
There is also some coverage of the conflicts that rose up after the war -- and particularly after the death of R.E. Lee -- over who was to blame for losing the war. James Longstreet was particularly vilified over his conduct at Gettysburg and later over his friendship with U.S. Grant and membership in the Republican Party. Such things provided fuel for men who were still trying to promote themselves, sometimes beyond their capabilities.
This book is a nice addition to any collection on the Civil War and would be particularly complementary to the biographies and autobiographies which are available in abundance.
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Format: Paperback
Patterson captures the in-depth details of the Civil War experiences of 306 Confederate officers who had graduated from West Point Academy. In Rebels from West Point, West Point alumni from all over the country, from the quiet Wild West to the bustling and industrious north, gather to defend their home states when they hear of the southern states' secession. Although they were trained at the expense of the northerners' tax money at the northern institution, many deserted the United States Army and joined the Confederate cause. Upon arrival, the skilled elites faced the task in front of them: training disrespectful, lazy and inexperienced clutters of men to go up against the Union army. As expected, adversities sprung up right away in this bold endeavor. The West Point alumni were initially ineffective in controlling their troops. Harshness was one of few ways to round up the drunkards as they organized themselves into respectable threats. Otherwise, the army would lead a stationary and lax life. Throughout this chaos, Patterson introduces the barrage of officers, from the threatening, yet effective, Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, to the face of the Confederates, Robert E. Lee, men who represent the only chance of winning against the powerhouse Union. Documenting the intangible challenges in addition to the basic obstacles of war, Patterson reveals internal conflict among the officers, the importance of troop morale, but all while presenting these men as a band of brothers who contribute different aspects to the Confederate effort through personal stories at Shenandoah, Gettysburg, and the final surrender after the deaths of more than 20% of the Confederate West Point graduates.Read more ›
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I heartily recommend this book. I was surpised that it gave no information at all on P.G.T. Beauregard and I wish there had been more on Stonewall Jackson (yet it devotes an entire chapter to John Bell Hood). It is not an exhaustive work on the subject but probably was not intended to be. Overall, I found this book very enjoyable and well worth reading, certainly a must for any Civil War buff. The author did a great job of making these historical figures live and breathe. I came away with more insight into the intriguing complexities of the Civil War and the personalities of the people who fought and suffered through it. I thoroughly respect the amount of good research the author put into this work.
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