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Secessionville: Assault On Charleston [Hardcover]

by Patrick Brennan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 22, 1996 1882810082 978-1882810086 2
Charleston, South Carolina was regarded by Union troops as the "Seat of the Secession" and this is a detailed account of the Northern attempt in 1862 to capture the city and avenge Fort Sumter.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patrick Brennan, a graduate of Loyola University, is a nationally known music producer and compose. Active in the advertising industry, he is the owner of two Chicago-based businesses, Hubbard Street Productions and Hubbard Street Studios. A lifelong student of the Civil War, Brennan and his wife Sheila reside in Skokie, Illinois, with their daughter Dylan, who was born on June 16, the anniversary of the Battle of Secessionville.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 2 edition (September 22, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1882810082
  • ISBN-13: 978-1882810086
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secessionville--No longer forgotten. August 6, 1998
Patrick Brennan has written a first rate campaign study of the often ignored, but highly important Battles of Secessionville, South Carolina which occurred in mid-June of 1862. The Union forces led by General David Hunter attempted to capture the much hated city of Charleston, by landing troops on James Island, southwest of the city. Brennan wonderfully captures all of the movements on both sides in a crisp, easy to understand narrative, focusing not only on the high commands of both armies, but of equal importance, the insights of the common soldiers who bore the brunt of the horrible fighting. Through Mr. Brennan's pencil (as noted in the author interview at the back of the book), the reader is put squarely on the battle lines as the men of th 8th Michigan, 100th Pennsylvania, and the 46th New York, to name a few of the units involved, valiantly charged a small strip of land where their ultimate goal, the Tower Battery loomed ahead. The va! lor of the Southerners defending this fort are also included, as 500 of these brave Confederates held off three charges by the boys in blue, all the while being extremely outnumbered. I heartily recommend this book for all Civil War students. With all of the many books on the war that seem to appear on the bookshelves every day, it is very hard to find a book that teaches and tells something new. My biggest compliment to Mr. Brennan is that I learned a lot from his excellent study. As he states in the review above mine, "It's a good book." I heartily agree.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Battle Study November 7, 2005
Secessionville is a detailed battle history focusing on the James Island Campaign of June 1862 and the resulting Battle of Secessionville on June 16, 1862. The author is not a professional historian. Instead, I was interested to learn, he is a musician by trade. Do not let this fool you as far as his qualifications for writing this book go. John S. Petersen's Foreword makes it abundantly clear that Patrick Brennan is an avid student of the Civil War and has been for a long, long time. Union Generals David Hunter and Henry Benham landed on James Island just south of Charleston in early June 1862. After a period of fortifying their camps, the Union forces attacked the advanced left flank of the Southern line at the Tower Battery. Unfortunately for them, Henry Benham was not much of a leader, and the attacks failed after several hours. The author asserts that the Battle of Secessionville was important far beyond its small size. He believes Charleston would have fallen had the Tower Battery been taken on June 16. Brennan also points out that with Charleston as a base in 1862, vast inroads could have been made into the Carolina interior. Brennan also points out that the two Generals in charge, Henry Benham and John Pemberton, were removed not long after the operation took place. The book contains 394 pages and 23 maps, and as usual with a tactical history there are many endnotes and an impressive bibliography.

This is a well written, entertaining, and clear rendering of the Battle of Secessionville and the James Island Campaign as a whole. Brennan stresses that this battle, though not very well known, was extremely important due to the potential loss of Charleston. I saw no evidence that Brennan was an amateur from reading this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done July 16, 1999
By A Customer
This is a top-notch battle study--skillfully written and meticulously researched. Brennan sheds light on a subject--the fight for Secessionville, South Carolina--that previsouly had received little or no serious attention from Civil War historians. A very informative and important work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Read- Impossible to put down November 3, 2002
As an amateur student of American Civil War history, I found the book a delight to read. The reader is led through the events before and during battle from the points of view of both sides. There is also some interesting exploration of the personal relationships and personalities of the key players. The build up to the battle itself is well documented and interest is maintained throughout.
The only criticisms I would offer are the myriad grammatical errors, but most of all, the poor cartography. None of the maps included basic things such as scale and it was unclear as to indications of geographical features. More maps, and clearer maps would have been useful. Being personally unfamiliar with the area, I had to obtain more information from the internet to gain a better understanding of the geography.
Should Mr Brennan write another book, I will assuredly be in the queue to buy it. Hopefully, sans the above shortcomings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I originally purchased this book because my family has a geograpical and family historical connection. It has become one of my favorites books - one of a dozen book I will never give up. It tells the story of a small battle for James Island, Charleston, South Carolina. 6000 Federals against 2000 Confederates defending Battery Lamar, an "M" shaped dirt fort with salt marshes on both sides. The marshes and "M" shaped funneled the Federal forces into the top of the "M". The Federal forces were decimated but not before intense hand to hand fighting took place. Federals had almost 700 casualties, 107 dead. Confederates suffered 207 casualties, 52 killed. The book is well researched and written with quotes from soldiers on both sides - brothers, one a yank and other a reb fought in the battle - but did not meet. If the federals had capture Battery Lamar, they would have flanked the Charleston harbor defenses and may have ended the war two years earlier. By the way, we live a mile from Fort Larmar (historical preservation) and our ancestor fought in this battle - sometimes I imagine that on his way to the battle, he may have walked through our yard. READ THIS BOOK!
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