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“To Prepare for Sherman’s Coming”: The Battle of Wise’s Forks, March 1865 Hardcover – November 2, 2015
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"To Prepare for Sherman's Coming will remain the definitive work on the battle for many years to come."
-- Mark L. Bradley, author of Last Stand in the Carolinas: The Battle of Bentonville
"The clear and crisp writing, supplemented with original maps, photos, and wonderful research, means this book deserves a place on the bookshelf of any student of the Carolinas Campaign."
-- Eric J. Wittenberg, award-winning Civil War historian and author of
The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads and the Civil War's Final Campaign
About the Author
Major (Ret) Mark A. Smith, who holds a Masters in Military Studies, is a U.S. Army veteran with 21 years of service. He served in various positions including Scout Platoon Leader, Three Company Commands, Battalion Executive Officer, Brigade and Battalion S-4, and was an Army ROTC Instructor at Virginia Tech. Smith is the co-author (with Wade Sokolosky) of “No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar”: Sherman’s Carolinas Campaign from Fayetteville to Averasboro.
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This book does a very good job of laying out the battle. One item of interest is the potential toxicity of the leaders. Braxton Bragg was in command (not always the best battlefield commander). One of his key commanders was D. H. Hill--with whom he had extensive conflict at Chickamauga and thereafter. The two despised one another. Then, Robert Hoke, whose forces were from the Army of Northern Virginia--but were now in North Carolina.
Ulysses Grant organized an expedition to North Carolina--bringing together a number of forces, who would be under the overall command of General Schofield. Some of his subordinates were more competent and some less so. There was a problem with logistics (getting food and ammunition etc. to the troops). Their task" link with Sherman's marauding forces, his two wings.
This book does a nice job is laying out the chess game between Bragg and the Union forces. Bragg made some errors (withdrawing Hill when that general was making real progress) but the Confederate forces fought well even though outnumbered.
In the end, the battle did little to slow Sherman's advance, but it was an example of the Confederate ability to still contest Union advances. A very fine book about a little known battle. . . .
Most recent customer reviews
I find that a well-written small battle history gives us a look a Civil War combat that is impossible to duplicate in large battle...Read more