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Winter Lightning: A Guide to the Battle of Stones River Paperback – December 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matt Spruill is a retired U.S. Army colonel and formerly a Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide. He is the author of "Guide to the Battle of Chickamauga, Storming the Heights" and "Echoes of Thunder." Lee Spruill, a paramedic and fireman, is a major in the U.S. Army Reserve and has just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1 edition (December 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157233598X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572335981
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,764,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Spruill is a graduate of The Citadel with a BA in History and the University of Missouri at Kansas City with a MA in History. He was commissioned an army second lieutenant in 1964 and retired as a colonel in 1992. A graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College, he also served on the faculty of both. He is a former Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide and has extensive experience in leading other battlefield tours and study seminars. He is a long time student of military history with an emphasis in U. S. military history. Since 1985 he has primarily concentrated on the Civil War. This study and research has resulted in the publication of seven books with an eighth in the works. He and his wife Kathy live in Littleton, Colorado

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James D. Miller on July 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
In the library of Civil War literature the Battle of Stones River, December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863, is one of the most under represented large scale battles of the war. One can easily count the number of volumes dedicated solely to the battle on the fingers of one hand.

Having moved to Murfreesboro nearly five years ago I am a regular visitor to Stones River National Battlefield, but I have never been able to make much sense of the battle by my battlefield visits, even when using the park brochure's guided tour. I suppose my confusion about the battle stems from the fact that the park's current 600 acres represents only about 15% of the total area where fighting took place.

Matt & Lee Spruill have come to my rescue with their book, Winter Lightning: A Guide to the Battle of Stones River. With twenty-one tour stops (as opposed to the National Park's six) the Spruill's lead you on a driving tour over the ground, both outside and inside of the park, where the three day battle between the Confederate Army of the Tennessee with General Braxton Bragg at its head, and the Federal Army of the Cumberland under General William S. Rosecrans.

The evening of December 30, 1862 found both armies facing each other northwest of Murfreesboro, Tennessee in opposing lines of battle, stretching diagonally from the town's west to its north, and each preparing to attack the other's right. Which ever side to launch their attack first would have the advantage. At sunrise, Bragg and his Confederate Army was the first to strike.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By RNS VINE VOICE on July 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
In late 1862, in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, 43,400 troops under Union General William S. Rosecrans that comprised the Army of the Cumberland, met the 37,317-man Army of the Tennessee under Confederate General Braxton Bragg. Clashing 28 miles south of Nashville - near and along the banks of the Stone's River - the two armies battled for three full days.

They battled from dawn on December 31, 1862, when the Southern troops successfully charged into, and pushed back Union lines, until the afternoon and evening hours of January 2, 1863, when Union troops repulsed yet another Southern infantry charge - this one from across McFadden's Ford, with devastating artillery fire - the series of engagements resulted in 23,500 men killed or wounded.

Intended as a guide for those visiting and walking the Stone's River National Battlefield and its vicinity, the authors provide an excellent, descriptive and carefully written overview of the battle and its principal locations. Then, narrating the action in twenty-one "stops," visitors are guided over the same routes used by the troops. Their narrative is illustrated with fifty-five photographs and forty-two tactical and operational maps and figures, all depicting the engagements and general situation on the terrain as it appeared then and today. In addition to the excellent index, the authors also include six appendices that provide additional detail regarding the Union and Confederate order of battle, casualties, and monuments and cemeteries.

Following the authors' directions is easy and using this guide to explore the battlefield areas makes for an interesting day or two of exploration.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James W. Durney TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
At the end of 1862 after a series of defeats, the Union won a clear victory here. This is one of those under reported battles and more important than we think. Lincoln thanked Rosecrans saying that the nation could not have taken another defeat. Additionally, Lincoln said he would remember this victory as long as he lived.

The Spruills continue the tradition of excellent Civil War battlefield guides that are so valuable to walkers. These detailed guides contain directions, participant's accounts and good historical information telling us what we are looking at after telling us how to get there. Each one is a required addition to my library and packed for any trip to the field.

This is truly the "don't leave home without it" item.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By yawaysvoice on August 31, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
very detailed book on the forgotten battle of stones river the battle that decided the civil war would recomend this book for anyone who is going to visit the battlefield or any student of the civil war
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It is very well documented but somewhat difficult to read. It gives you the reports from both sides so it plods along.
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