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Soldier of Tennessee: General Alexander P. Stewart and the Civil War in the West Paperback – March 1, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Elliott chronicles a distinguished yet unsung military career, adding usefully to knowledge of the Civil War in the West. A graduate of West Point, Alexander P. Stewart (1821^-1908) spent most of his civilian career as a professional educator. In the war, he went with his native Tennessee and became one of the Confederacy's highest ranking officers, rising from major of artillery to lieutenant general as the last field commander of the Army of Tennessee. His career is scantily documented (e.g., no physical description of him survives), yet he appears to have been a sound tactician, taken good care of his men, and avoided the political backbiting that disfigured the careers of so many other western Confederates. After the war, he returned to teaching as a professor at Ole Miss. Resigning in 1886, he later completed his public career by establishing the Chickamauga Battlefield Park for the National Park Service. A straightforward and useful biography of a straightforward and useful man. Roland Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"Elliott has given a fresh look at an often ignored but important figure. . . . His book will undoubtedly become the definitive work on Stewart."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: LSU Press (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807129704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807129708
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,980,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Sam Elliott has brought to life an overlooked general from the Confederacy. As the highest ranking officer to serve the South from Tennessee, General Alexander P. Stewart was one of the few and lucky individuals to survive the entire western campaign. Soldier of Tennessee gives the reader a wonderful cronological look at the war in Tennessee and intoduces us to one of the most respected men in the Southern army. Not only does Elliott present a thorough description of most of the western campaigns, but he is also able to capture the human struggle of a battered Confederate army. This is a must for any Civil War enthusiast.
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Format: Hardcover
It IS about time General Stewart gets some press. As stated in this wonderful book there are Colonels in Lee's army that are better known than this man who was one of the ranking generals in the Confederate army. At Franklin Stewart helped lead a far larger and more deadly charge than the famous July 4th, 1863 charge at Gettysburg, yet very few people know of him. As the campaigns of the Army of Tennessee begin to gain further study maybe this will change. This book should help a great deal.
From his birth in Rogersville, Tennessee until his death in St. Louis Stewart always remained at heart a Tennessean and his dedication to his state led him into all of the major battles of the Army of Tennessee. Nobody who studies that army can do so without a study of "Old Straight". This book does a wonderful job of exploring the life, war experences,and post-war work of this deeply religious man.
There are only two small problems with this work. First, Mr. Elliott sometimes goes a little far in defending Stewart. The picture he paints of the political strife in the Army of Tennessee is very clear but on occasion he goes a little out of his way to point out how little Stewart was involved in these political battles. It might be more to Stewart's credit if he had been a little more involved in trying to remove General Bragg before more damage could be done. The other problem is one faced by many writers dealing with war. Most readers get quickly lost as a writer begins to relate how this regiment was placed here and that regiment was placed there. Worse yet is the practice of describing an action in detail with terms like "Jones attacked on Smith's left which was countered by moving Brown......".
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Format: Paperback
Lieutenant General Alexander P. Stewart may well be the least known high ranking officer of the Civil War. {? Sam Cooper ?} A native of Tennessee who graduated from West Point, he left the Army to become a college professor in order to provide more income , and stability, for his family. When war came, there was no hesitation; Stewart followed the South, soon earned General's stars, and served with distinction from the early days to Joe Johnston's final surrender in North Carolina.

Sam Elliott has given us a wonderful account of the campaigns of the Army of Tennessee, and General Stewart's part in them. Stewart remains unknown because he was a quiet man who did his job, and left the political infighting to others. During the Bragg debacle, he got along with both sides. Today, the E-Ring at the Pentagon is populated with men like Stewart, equally unknown, but indispensable. The Tennessee Campaign of fall, 1864, gets good coverage, including Stewart's participation at Spring Hill and Franklin.

When the war ended, General Stewart rejoined the Union, and encouraged his men to do the same. Returning to Education, he had a distinguished tenure as Chancellor at Ole Miss. Many today are unaware of the debt we owe to Stewart, and some other leaders from both sides [prominantly General Rosecrans].....the wonderful system of National Battlefield Parks was the result of their hard work. Begining with Chickmauga, the system has spread and become a priceless treasure.

This fine book closes with what is, for me, the most disturbing fate to befall any of the Confederacy's officers. I can not explain how a committed Christian, and a well grounded Calvinist, could do what he did. I have discussed this with the author, and he has no explanation, either.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm ashamed to admit that as a student of the Civil War I knew very little about Alexander Stewart before reading this book. After reading it, however I grew a great appreciation for him as a soldier and a person. His competent leadership and steady head allowed him to rise through the ranks all the was to Lt. General. I highly recommend this book.
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