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The Petersburg Campaign: June 1864-april 1865 Paperback – December 22, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: June 1864 - April 1865
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (December 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580970249
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580970242
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,987,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Horn is an attorney who has written several books on Civil War subjects, including Destruction of the Weldon Railroad, which was called "a superior piece of Civil War scholarship" by Edwin C. Bearss, Chief Historian of the U.S. Park Service.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Baker on April 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Horn, John. The Petersburg Campaign: June 1864-april 1865. Da Capo Press, 1999.

Reviewed by Michael Baker (Worcester State College)

When it comes to the Siege of Petersburg Virginia, history books tend to describe the year long battle in two ways, either detailed military tactical data, illustrating the battle with both numeric data, and reports of tactical maneuvers, or as a less detailed narrative, where the battle is told in a less detailed, more easy to read manner. The Petersburg Campaign: June 1864-April 1865 uses both battlefield data and military terminology within a narrative in order to describe the action during the Richmond-Petersburg campaign which lasted from 1864 to 1865.

John Horn believes there is a gap in the way military history is written, where "One type is written from a very serious, highly technical, professional perspective and presupposes that the reader is deeply familiar with the background, technology and general situation."(pg 9) Horn also talks about the other style of military history writing, where "the other is less dry, but merely lightly reviews the events with the ubtebtion of informing and entertaining the layman."(pg 9) In his book Horn attempts to combine the positive aspects of each style, in order to close the gap "between the two types of military history, and to reach the professional and the serious amateur and concerned citizen alike."(pg 10)

Recently published books on the Petersburg campaign have varied in the style in which they tell the story of the last great battle of the Civil War.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
The loss in April 1865 of the railroad center at Petersburg, just south of Richmond, sealed the doom of the Confederacy. The campaign for Petersburg was a long siege operation of grueling trench warfare marked by bloody battles, incompetence, political maneuvering and cowardice. It was the type of campaign that both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant had originally wanted to avoid. The Petersburg Campaign: June 1864 - April 1865 is a dramatic narrative supplemented by special charts covering strengths and losses for both sides. Confederate desertion rates, and statistics for other sieges of the Civil War. Sidebars discuss styles of command, the famous Crater explosion, the role of snipers and sharpshooters, and the campaign's no-quarter encounters between Souther whites and Union men of color. The Petersburg Campaign is a significant and welcome contribution to the growing body of Civil War literature and will prove much appreciated by students and historians of the great American conflict that threatened to divide and destroy the nation.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Carruthers on November 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I am guessing the original manuscript for this book was about twice as long as the published version. As I read through the awkward, primer style text, I got the impression that all of the analysis and style had been brutally edited out in order to meet the length guidelines required by the publisher. The account is little better than a raw recitation of chronological events. Many of the "Great Campaigns" series are enjoyable and informative reads. This is not one of those. Try "The Boston Campaign" instead.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Charles C. DiVincenti Jr. on March 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've read 100+ Civil War related histories, biographies, soldier accounts and such over the last four years - this is the absolute worst. An understanding of something as complex as the Petersburg aspect of the Overland Campaign demands coherent text and readable maps. This offering by Horn offers neither. One of the few instances where I learned nothing from my efforts.
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