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Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign Paperback – April 1, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

http://crossedsabers.blogspot.com/2009/12/review-shenandoah-summer.html
(Crossed Sabers blog 2009-12-17)

“The author’s descriptions of the battles are very detailed, full or regimental level actions, and individual incidents. He bases the accounts on commendable research in manuscript collections, newspapers, published memoirs and regimental histories, and secondary works. The words of the participants, quoted often by the author, give the narrative an immediacy. . . . A very creditable account of a neglected period.”—Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War News
(Jeffry D. Wert Civil War News 2007-11-01)

“[Shenandoah Summer] contains excellent diagrams and maps of every battle and is recommended reading for those who have a passion for books on the Civil War.”—Waterline
(Waterline 2007-09-14)

“The narrative is interesting and readable, with chapters of a digestible length covering many of the battles of the campaign.”—Curled Up With a Good Book
(Curled Up With a Good Book 2007-08-31)

"Shenandoah Summer provides readers with detailed combat action, colorful character portrayals, and sound strategic analysis. Patchan's book succeeds in reminding readers that there is still plenty to write about when it comes to the American Civil War."—John Deppen, Blue & Grey Magazine
(John Deppen Blue & Grey Magazine)

“Scott C. Patchan has solidified his position as the leading authority of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign with his outstanding campaign study, Shenandoah Summer. Mr. Patchan not only unearths this vital portion of the campaign, he has brought it back to life with a crisp and suspenseful narrative. His impeccable scholarship, confident analyses, spellbinding battle scenes, and wonderful character portraits will captivate even the most demanding readers. Shenandoah Summer is a must read for the Civil War aficionado as well as for students and scholars of American military history.”—Gary Ecelbarger, author of “We Are in for It!”: The First Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862
(Gary Ecelbarger 2006-08-15)

“Scott Patchan has given us a definitive account of the 1864 Valley Campaign. In clear prose and vivid detail, he weaves a spellbinding narrative that bristles with detail but never loses sight of the big picture. This is a campaign narrative of the first order.”—Gordon C. Rhea, author of The Battle of the Wilderness: May 5–6, 1864
(Gordon C. Rhea 2006-05-08)

“[Scott Patchan] is a ‘boots-on-the-ground’ historian, who works not just in archives but also in the sun and the rain and tall grass. Patchan’s mastery of the topography and the battlefields of the Valley is what sets him apart and, together with his deep research, gives his analysis of the campaign an unimpeachable authority.”—William J. Miller, author of Mapping for Stonewall and Great Maps of the Civil War
(William J. Miller 2006-09-03)

"The reality of the "neighbor versus neighbor" conflict explored in the pages of this monograph make it a worthwhile read for historians of the Shenandoah Valley, the battles of 1864, or the overarching military scope of the Civil War."—Gregory R. Jones, Northwest Ohio History
(Gregory R. Jones Northwest Ohio History)

“The author’s descriptions of the battles are very detailed, full of regimental level action and individual incidents. He bases the accounts on commendable research in manuscript collections, newspapers, published memoirs and regimental histories, and secondary works. The words of the participants, quoted often by the author, give the narrative an immediacy.”—Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War News
(Jeffry D. Wert Civil War News 2008-04-22)

About the Author

Scott C. Patchan, a Civil War battlefield guide and historian, is the author of Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont, Virginia, and a consultant and contributing writer for Shenandoah, 1862.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803218869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803218864
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,388,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By James W. Durney TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A quick look at this title will bring to mind either Early's 1864 invasion of Maryland or Sheridan's burning of The Valley, later that year, producing a surprise when I realized the book covers the time between these two events. We start with the pursuit of Early as he retreats from Washington to the safety of the Shenandoah and end with Sheridan arriving to finally solve The Valley problem. This is not a campaign that occupies more than a chapter and is often only a paragraph or two in histories of the war in 1864. Scott Patchan details the action in July and August 1864, with an engaging and intelligent style. Jubal Early, John C. Breckinridge and the remnants of Jackson's II Corps are the stars of the story. These veterans enjoy a qualitative superiority over the more numerous Union forces. Coupled with generally better leadership they succeed in disrupting and almost destroying their opponents.

The Union's major problems are division of responsibility and the refusal to treat The Shenandoah Valley as a major theater. During the retreat from Washington, questions of responsibility, misunderstandings and poor Union leadership allow Early's small army to reach safety. Early exploits the lack of communication, district boundaries and lost opportunities in making his escape, even as he is bested in battle. When the chance to counter attack comes, misunderstandings and mistakes cause a major Union defeat. Cool Springs, Rutherford's Farm, Second Kernstown and Moorefield are not recognizable battles for most of us. The burning of Chambersburg is the event that most readers will recognize but many will be surprise at when this occurred.

The story is well organized. While simultaneous events are read separately, we have no problem understanding their relationship.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was very pleased with this book for a couple of reasons. First, it covers ground seldom covered before and in great detail. My great grandfather was with the 14th Pa. Vol. Cav. and by reading Scott's book, I found more details about the unit's involvement in this time frame of the Civil War. I was especially interested in the events surrounding the burning of Chambersburg since I have found little elsewhere. In particular the battle at Moorefield. The second reason is that the style of writing made it read more like a novel than a history. It wasn't dry at all. There is only one criticism (constructive) I would offer to all who write anything on the War and that is to print the name of someone in italics so that the reader knows immediately that that person was either Union or Confederate. I have seen this done in a few books, but only a few. Where there are multiple units engaged with multiple officers, I personally find listing those of one side or the other in italics much easier to identify. All in all, if anyone has an ancestor that fought in any of these units or in these engagements, the book is worth your while to read. Or, if anyone is just interested is this aspect of the War, which has been given very little press, I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this history of the Civil War informative, well written and recommend it to anyone who has a passion for learning more of what transpired in the final year of the war in the East. The descriptions of the battles are well written and the supporting maps help depict the action significantly. Should be in every Civil War enthusiasts library.
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Format: Hardcover
For too long there has not been a readable, well researched narrative of this crucial campaign of the War. The wait is over!! A must read for all Civil War enthusiasts.
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