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military history

Chancellorsville

 
 
Author
Stephen W. Sears.
Publisher Mariner  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9 x 5.95 x 1.75 inches
ISBN 9780395877449
Pages/Publication Date 593/1996
Daedalus Item Code 59585
This item is not available.
Description
(Winner of the 1996 Fletcher Pratt Award, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a History Book Club Main Selection) One of the most dramatic battles of the Civil War, Chancellorsville was Robert E. Lee's masterpiece, as depicted here in this detailed and substantive account by Stephen Sears. Outnumbered two to one, Lee violated a cardinal rule of military strategy by dividing his small army, sending Stonewall Jackson on his famous 12-mile march around the Union flank. Charging out of the wilderness with Rebel yells, Jackson's troops destroyed one entire corps of the Union army, and Lee drove the rest across the Rappahannock River. Lee's victory came at a great cost, however; Jackson, making a night reconnaissance, was accidentally shot by his own troops and died eight days later. And ironically, posits Sears, the momentum of Lee's triumph pushed him to launch an aggressive campaign that led to his defeat at Gettysburg. A former editor at the American Heritage Publishing Company and the author of numerous Civil War histories, Stephen Sears has been called "arguably the preeminent living historian of the war's eastern theater" by the New York Times Book Review.

"Chancellorsville was one of the Civil War's pivotal campaigns, a great victory for the South that, however, led directly to the death of top Confederate general Stonewall Jackson. It hasn't generated the amount of literature devoted to most major Civil War battles, largely because John Bigelow's 1910 classic, The Campaign of Chancellorsville, seemed for years to offer the last word. But Sears, employing a mix of published and unpublished primary accounts to buttress secondary studies, manages to offer more than one new word in a thoroughly engaging text. Most notable is his use of Union military intelligence reports to show how General Joseph Hooker was fed a stream of accurate information about Robert E. Lee's troops; conversely, Sears points out the battlefield communications failures that hampered the Union army at critical times. He also examines the roles of Hooker and his corps commanders, finding that half of the latter badly served their commander in the campaign. On the Confederate side, Sears analyzes Lee's faulty intelligence and his relationships with his subordinates. Throughout, he highlights Lee's marvelous good luck, as well as his army's fighting capability. One of the book's three appendices explores several of the battle's 'romances'—e.g., Jackson's wounding, Alfred Pleasonton's false stories—while two other appendices present orders of battle and casualties. A model campaign study, Sears's account of Chancellorsville is likely to remain the standard for years to come."—Publishers Weekly

 
 
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