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Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign (Civil War America) Hardcover – October 10, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0807832004 ISBN-10: 0807832006

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Product Details

  • Series: Civil War America
  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press (October 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807832006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807832004
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cozzens (The Darkest Days of the War) is an independent scholar and a master of Civil War military history at tactical and operational levels. He deploys a large body of unfamiliar primary material in this detailed analysis of a campaign less one-sided than the accepted view that it represented Union blundering and the triumph of Confederate planning and execution signaling the emergence of one of history's great generals, Stonewall Jackson. Without debunking Jackson, Cozzens describes a commander still learning his craft. Jackson's obsession with keeping his strategic intention to himself too often left his subordinates confused. As a tactician he tended to commit his forces piecemeal. The Union generals opposing him performed reasonably well in the context of divided command, inadequate logistics and constant micromanaging by Abraham Lincoln. In particular the president's concern for Washington's safety led him to withhold troops from McClellan's Peninsular Campaign—a decision Cozzens reasonably says enhanced McClellan's natural caution. Jackson's victories revitalized a Confederacy whose morale was at its lowest after a string of Union victories. The South now had a new hero, whose personal idiosyncrasies and overt religiosity only enhanced his appeal. 13 illus., 13 maps. (Oct. 10)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Cozzens is . . . a master of Civil War military history at tactical and operational levels. He deploys a large body of unfamiliar primary material in this detailed analysis of a campaign less one-sided than the accepted view that it represented Union blundering and the triumph of Confederate planning and execution, signaling the emergence of one of history's great generals, Stonewall Jackson."--Publishers Weekly


"The definitive history of the Valley Campaign."--Army Magazine


"A magnificent, well-documented study of one of the most important campaigns of the Civil War."--Washington Times


"A compelling chronological and bilateral narrative of the entire campaign from March to June 1862. Using primary source materials from both sides, Cozzens offers new interpretations of the campaign and of Stonewall Jackson's legendary success, which was not nearly as brilliant as it appeared but was as much the result of Union failure as the triumph of Southern arms. . . . Jackson's errors are covered here, as are those of a succession of Union commanders, all really learning their trade in these early stages of the war. Sure to become the standard work on the campaign, this book is strongly recommended."--Library Journal


"A welcome, much-needed addition to Civil War campaign studies; valuable to scholars and enthusiasts alike. Highly recommended. "--Choice


"Utilizing his extensive collection of sources, the author paints for the reader an excellent description of the region in which the campaign took place. . . . Cozzen's book, both in its research and scope, will certainly surpass Robert G. Tanner's impressive Stonewall in the Valley as the standard work on the 1862 Valley Campaign."--The Historian


"Examines, from both sides, a campaign that has been scrutinized from the Confederate side, but rarely closely examined from the Union perspective."--Appalachian Heritage


"Peter Cozzens' superb history of events in the Shenandoah Valley provides much greater depth and analysis than any study preceding it, and in the process enhances our larger understanding of the Civil War in the East. . . . Cozzens' artful narrative effectively mines both civilian and military perspectives. . . . This is a first-rate piece of research, well argued and engagingly presented. One can safely say that the history of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley campaign has been written for this generation."--Military History of the West


"Succeeds masterfully. . . . No work on the Valley Campaign has delved more often and more deeply into primary sources. . . . Historical reporting at its best. . . . Cozzens' research is above reproach."--Louisiana History


"Cozzens succeeds at recounting a version of this story which offers a more balanced, if not more complete, narrative of the campaign. . . . Cozzens' conclusions are well bolstered, his prose is clever and accessible to any public or academic audience, and common sense would dictate that Shenandoah 1862 will remain a relevant, if not definitive, look at Jackson and the Valley Campaign for years to come."--H-Net Reviews


"Cozzens approaches the campaign as a whole, ignoring the exclusively pro-Confederate bias and fragmented approach that has tainted previous histories of the campaign. He also employs a dazzling array of primary resources to analyze the campaign from a balanced point of view."--Journal of Southern History


"Able research presented in a careful, accurate, and critical manner. . . . Will become a "must-have" . . . for any serious student interested in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862."--H-Net Reviews


"A fresh look at the 1862 Valley Campaign. . . . Provides a fair discussion of the command and operational issues facing both sides . . . by far the best book . . . on the 1862 Valley Campaign."--Journal of America's Military Past


"A fuller, more accurate, and more nuanced understanding of what happened and why. . . . The best overall study of the 1862 Valley Campaign published to date."--North Carolina Historical Review


"Thorough and balanced."--Register of the Kentucky Historical Society


"An excellent, unbiased view of both sides in the early part of the war and is strongly recommended for those interested in how the soldiers and leadership conducted themselves during the 1862 Shenandoah campaign."--On Point


"A real challenger for the title of best campaign study. . . . Cozzens' lively style combines first person accounts with his considerable skill as a storyteller."--James Durney, independent Book Reviewer


"A must read for those who want to develop a more complete understanding of this essential campaign in Civil War history."--Southern Historian


"Has the mythos that surrounds Jackson the icon overwhelmed the human foibles and military failures that bedeviled Jackson the man? Cozzens offers a magisterial examination of the Valley Campaign to answer this and many other questions. He brings scrupulous research and a keen analytic eye to Jackson's logistics and tactics. The result is a vigorous account that captures both Union and Confederate perspectives and brings a much needed modern interpretation to one of the war's most storied campaigns."--Civil War Times


"An incredibly learned and absorbing exercise of history, the best single work on any Civil War campaign to appear in many, many decades."--Open Letters

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

A must read for all serious Civil War buffs.
Pirate Penguin
Cozzens has written a fine historical account of this campaign.
Edward Browne
Battles are detailed, well covered and very understandable.
James W. Durney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By James W. Durney TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Peter Cozzens established his reputation as an author with a series of excellent western battle histories. Now he turns his attention to one of the classic campaigns in America's military history. "Stonewall" Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign is one of the best examples of what a smaller determined force can accomplish. The Robert G. Tanner and Gary W. Gallagher produced excellent campaign studies and Gary L. Ecelbarger is doing excellent work on individual battles. Tanner's book has long been considered the "standard work" by which all other books are judged. I am not ready to dethrone Tanner but I feel this is a real challenger for the title of best campaign study.
This is a detailed history, omitting nothing of importance and including most of the smaller details that make history interesting. This is not a dry, detailed account that plods on page after dreary page. Cozzens' lively style combines first person accounts with his considerable skill as a storyteller. The result is a history unfolding as it happened, imparting the urgency the participants felt to the reader. We know the story BUT we always understand how limited their knowledge was at the time. This ability makes bad decisions understandable and it shows the problem with doing nothing.
General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson is one of the pivotal figures of the early war. Lionized by many, he became a mythic heroic saintly leader. Cozzens gives us a very human Jackson. He is a complex person completely committed to the cause. He is a harsh taskmaster, prone to snap judgments and unforgiving. This portrait is neither unflattering nor idolizing. It seems to be completely honest, presenting the good and bad points that all men have.
N. P.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By historicus on February 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Cozzens is so much better at Chickamauga...the best work on that battle IMO. But here, he has some failings...
First is his admission to level out, tone down, Tanners treatment of Jackson...and the popular perception of Jackson. He seems to tell us this..then we look for it as we read the book. Why mention it? And why attempt it? Just do the recount as you did so well with Chickamauga.

Maps..as mentioned...Why would you mention locations in your book that are not on your maps? It is maddening. It happened with Tanner also. I had to search the internet for maps. Some errors in regiments on the maps as well. Cosmetically..the maps were good.

He includes a section in the back with the army organizations at certain periods in the campaign. Good. But, as the book is read...the clarity of brigades and divisions...both sides..is murky. Granted, this campaign and the organizations of the armies is shifty ... but as the army changed complextion...why not have, at that point in the book..the new makeup of the armies? Brigades are shifted between regions...and militias are there...then they are gone...where?

Index is poor. Ord is noted as coming into play under McDowell. Trying to get the commands straight, I wanted to reread that...looked for Ord in the index. Not there. Patton replaces Campbell as brigade commander. I wanted to reread. I knew it was late in book. The index had no reference under Patton or Campbell for what I later found on page 396. Just a few examples...Cozzens should be better than this....

One Full page map with all the points referred to in the book, actually on the map, would really have made it a better book. If not one page, make it two. Also...how about a traced route of the marches?

If Peter was attempting a counterbalance to Tanners book...he succeeded.
But, the counterbalance was equally ...out of balance.

Read both Tanner and Cozzens.. Bring maps...
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Kinsey on December 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Peter Cozens has penned a detailed, well written, densely researched account of the endlessly instructive Valley Campaign of 1862. It would be easier to heap praise on his prodigious effort if Cozzen's publisher had loosened up on the purse strings and sprung for some decent maps and illustrations.

The Shenandoah Valley is not Kansas or the New Jersey Turnpike, and superior knowledge of its intricate topography was one reason the Confederates came off so well in 1862. Without decent maps to accompany his voluminous descriptions of battles, march routes and villages, Cozzens is forced to waste whole pages describing specific geographic and tactical features. I LIVE in the Shenandoah Valley, but still found myself bewildered by some of these incredibly wordy place descriptions. The few maps included in the book are murky, monochromatic, incredibly hard to read, and on occasion baffling. The devoted reader is best advised to have a good high-scale map of the Shenandoah Valley at hand well before undertaking Cozzen's otherwise exemplary tome.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Phillips VINE VOICE on July 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
There's a story, perhaps apocryphal that a journalist asked Zhou Enlai what he thought of the French Revolution, and Mao answered, "its too soon to tell". Like writing history about interesting but potentially controversial figures, time, information, perspective and context is important.

Jackson is a difficult figure to write about. His recent biography by James Robertson does it very well. Further, the Confederacy is difficult to write about, for several reasons. First, it was fighting for the continuance of slavery as one key result. Second, it was never a full republic but a grouping of states, each with their own goals and purposes. That made developing and mobilizing an army difficult. Third, many of the officers were courtly and indirect, which made orders become recommendations.

Finally, the Valley campaign is fascinating but also difficult to write about, because the topography, geography, people and communication mattered. The Campaign unfolds in a relatively tiny space, but every battle is has unique characteristics.

I think Cozzens does a good job describing the military operations. One of my ancestors, John Worsham, fought in the Valley Campaign and wrote a book entitled One of Jackson's Foot Soldiers, which is used as one reference. The military aspects, especially the disfunctional commands in the north, compared with one solitary leader in the south, led to many successes. So did understanding the Valley, its roads and its people. Further, Jackson was fighting a defensive war using offensive tactics. As a defender he often lost more casualties in these battles than he inflicted.

Cozzens is trying, I think, to rectify what has been almost hagiography about Jackson after the Civil War.
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