Most Helpful First | Newest First
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remembered by a few,
This review is from: Battle of New Market, The (Davis) (Hardcover)William C. Davis tells the story of the Battle of New Market, Virginia in May of 1864, the last battle won by a Confederate army in the Shenandoah Valley. It was a battle that people, at the time, thought would never be forgotten. A battle in which the youngest of men proved they were soldiers.
With the Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia fighting Grant and his Army of the Potomac on an almost daily basis, there was little to spare to protect the Valley which had supplied the eastern Confederate army throughout the War between the States. Grant called on General Sigel, a German from Pennsylvania, to harass the Confederates and take control of the Shenandoah. However, he had asked the wrong man, for Sigel was not an experienced field commander, and he proved that he never would be. Lee did not make the same mistake. General Breckinridge of Kentucky proved himself a soldier worthy of Lee's trust.
However, Breckinridge had a major problem. Sigel's forces outnumbered his by a large margin. Where could he find more soldiers to improve the odds? He turned to Virginia Military Institute, the school at which Stonewall Jackson was teaching at the outbreak of the war. The school's commandant sent his young cadets, some not even teenagers, with their guns and cannon. During the battle, they took their place in line, in spite of jibes from older, more seasoned soldiers. In the end those soldiers would speak with pride of the performance of the cadets whose discipline and courage proved them worthy. Although they did not win the battle by themselves, as some claimed at the time, the battle might very well have been lost without them.
At the end of the battle, people in the Valley were calling Breckinridge the new Stonewall Jackson and hoped he would stay. After all, Sigel and his Union army had been pushed back north, but another general, Hunter, soon replaced him. But Lee needed Breckinridge elsewhere and he served where needed. In the end, the Valley was lost to Sheridan who burned and destroyed everything in his path.
Today, the site of the Battle of New Market has been set aside as a park in honor of those who fought and died there, both Union and Confederate. The event is mostly remembered by people living in the area, die-hard Civil War buffs, and VMI, whose cadets are still honored. Davis brings their story alive again so that more of us can remember.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Rate Treatment of a Small Battle,
This review is from: The Battle of New Market (Paperback)This is one of historian William C. Davis's earlier efforts, but also one of his best. His research has great depth. The is much detail in the preliminaries as the commanders Siegel and Breckenridge gather their forces, including for the Confederates the Corps of Cadets of the Virginia Military Institute. Davis's treatment of the battle itself is presented very well as the reader visualizes the movements of troops. The closing chapter is outstanding as Davis tells the 'rest of the story' especially regarding the impact on VMI. Recommended for any student of the war between the states in Virginia. After reading this book you should consider reading The End of an Era by one of the cadet participants who was wounded early in the battle.
Also recommended: The End of An Era by John S. Wise for comments from one of the VMI cadets who took part in the battle.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story About Brave Young People,
By A Customer
This review is from: Battle of New Market, The (Davis) (Hardcover)I found this story to be very inspiring. The author does a great job of including historic details. This is a story about brave young men in a battle that receives very little attention from popular historians.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding book.,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Battle of New Market (Paperback)William C. Davis is a writer who I have been unfamiliar with for most of my life. For all but the most recent of my 20 years, I was unaware that more than a dozen history books on the American Civil War had been published by him. Now that I know of Davis and have seen and read some of his works, I know I was missing out on a lot of fine books all those years.
My copy of William C. Davis' "The Battle of New Market" is a paperback, and is 249 pages long.
I won't do what some folks do when reviewing a book or movie and basically tell you how the whole thing went in my own words. I think I've even done that myself on a few occasions. But regardless, I'm not doing that here. I don't believe it necessary for me to write one book on the Battle of New Market while reviewing another.
What I'll say instead is that this is as accurate, informative, and entertaining a telling of this particular story as any other yet written. It is well-researched and superbly written, exactly what any history book should be.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
The Battle of New Market by William C. Davis (Paperback - March 1, 1983)