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on April 25, 2014
The annals of Civil War study tend to look towards the beginning of the war until the fateful days in July at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. There is no doubt that most written works surround themselves around those campaigns before the apex of the Union and the downfall of the Confederacy. The study of the war past those fateful campaigns are less looked at but no more. Ed Bearss and Bryce Suderow have brought to light something quite different in the study of the Petersburg Campaign, the longest running siege in the Civil War.

Edwin Bearss is one of the most respected Civil War historians of our age and got his start at the Vicksburg National Military Park. From there, he has stretched himself all around the Civil War world as an authority on the campaigns and the people. A Marine who has served in World War II, he was severely wounded in the Pacific. From 1981 to 1994, he served as Chief Historian to the National Park Service and has authored many works and was pivotal to raising the USS Cairo. Bryce Suderow is a Civil War writer and researcher and has published many articles and is considered one of the finest archivists in the country. If it were not for Suderow, this work might never have come to light.

Ed Bearss was approached to write essays about the battles during the Petersburg Campaign for use of the park service in Virginia. This work is the collection of essays he wrote concerning the battles of the eastern front during the campaign. Keeping in mind that these essays were written for the guides at Petersburg National Military Park, Bearss does not waste any time giving the introductions for the people involved in the battle. He jumps right into the story assuming that the reader knows something about them already. Suderow, however, gives some introduction as to what was going on and what had happened. One of the helpful things in the narrative is the breakaway which sometimes happens. During the narrative of Bearss and his essays, Suderow sometimes interrupts and fills the reader in as to what is going on. This is helpful for the readers who are not as well versed in the war after the summer of 1863. This lack of introduction makes it seem as though the book is not an easy read and that is wrong. Though Bearss spends no time telling you the background of the people and regiments who are fighting the battle, there is no need to have that information because of the narrative. Bearss writing style is such that he allows the narrative to bring you into the time of battle not focusing on the past of the people in play.

The Petersburg Campaign, Volume I: Eastern Front Battles, is something which should be on the shelves of every Civil War Historian or enthusiast. Both the narratives of Bearss and the editorials of Suderow bring to light many engagements about the Petersburg Campaign which are generally ignored. The annals of Civil War history will be grateful for what has been done here in this book, and the coming volume. The combination of Bearss and Suderow should be praised for the work they have done. What was first as set of essays for use at the Petersburg National Military Park for park use is now printed for the public so that they may know the detail of the events not usually written about in the standard history book on the Civil War.

Matthew Bartlett - Author, Gettysburg Chronicle
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on August 26, 2017
I am surprised an historian of Bearss' stature would produce a work almost exclusive told from only side. I am sure the availability of records is involved, but nonetheless, it results in a biased account.
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on April 21, 2015
The standard
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on July 21, 2016
Excellent book by the preeminent American Civil War Historian and with Bryce Suderow, an outstanding researcher, makes for an excellent edition to one's Civil War library.
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on March 24, 2014
I have heard Ed Bearss speak in person twice. His knowledge of the Civil War is encyclopedic. In person, he tells the stories with perfect timing and suspense. He writes with the same style and attention to detail. Volumes 1 and 2 of the Petersburg Campaign should be on the shelf of any true Civil War reader.
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on September 9, 2014
Many of us are fans of Wd Bearss. I took the book with me on a tour he led and had him sign it. SEMPER FI!!!
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on June 26, 2015
Excellent book. Very informative.
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on December 23, 2013
Only half way through at this point, but I can say it is a well researched effort and I have found it useful for specifics of the campaign not otherwise mentioned in books I have previously read on this subject save one and that was a doctoral thesis.
I look forward to the volumes yet to be published in this series by Ed Bearss.
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on May 15, 2017
Awesome amount of research had to be done by the author to write this.
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on July 29, 2014
Kudos to Bearss for another great book. The definitive work on the siege of Petersburg. Great job also on maps and photographs.
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