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Three Days in the Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson at Front Royal and Winchester (Campaigns and Commanders Series) First Edition (1st printing) Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Small battle histories are a major treat, allowing the reader opportunity to become involved in the actual tactics used. Fences, stonewalls, hills and buildings assume an importance that big battle histories cannot convey. This book is full of these details, giving us a feel for Civil War campaigning that many books lack. The chapter "A Tale of Two Cavalry Attacks" is one of the best reads I have encountered. You are literally in the middle of the battle, alternating charging with the cavalry or defending with the infantry.
The author does not ignore the marches, fog of war or the big picture. Each of these is introduced and/or referenced when needed to move the story forward. This produces a seamless compelling narration conveying a full understanding of the problems, successes, failures and missed opportunities for both sides. The treatment Jackson and Banks is very even-handed and fair. Neither man is all good or all bad, both do good things and both make mistakes. The portrayal of Banks will be a surprise. He is not the political general completely out of his depth we so often see. This is a more balanced portrait that gives us a better idea of why he would get an important command.Read more ›
In mid-May 1862, the Confederate cause looked bleak. Confederate forces had been losing battles and ground all spring from Pea Ridge to Shiloh to Richmond. Large Union armies were on the doorsteps of both Richmond and Corinth, Mississippi. The Confederate War Department needed a way to take some of this pressure off. Ecelbarger argues that the events of May 23-25 may have had their genesis in a meeting of some of the top men in the Confederacy in mid-May, including Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Joseph Johnston. A telegram asking Jackson to drive Banks out of the Shenandoah arrived not long after this meeting, and Stonewall set out to make this happen. Outnumbering Banks 3 to 1 due to the departure of Shields' veteran division east to Fredericksburg, Jackson struck Banks on the flank at Front Royal on May 23, 1862. Jackson and Banks, located several miles to the west at Strasburg, were now in a race to see who could reach Winchester first, and Banks won this race late on May 24.Read more ›