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 Posted: Tue Jan 16th, 2007 02:34 pm
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Fuller
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I'm looking for a book that is strictly about CW Generals.  One that outlines their life, military training, battles they participated in, political agendas etc...I'm sure there has to be one in print, if not several.  What are some good recommendations?

Fuller



 Posted: Tue Jan 16th, 2007 02:41 pm
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calcav
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Generals in Blue and Generals in Gray, both by Ezra J. Warner are pretty good but there is only a couple of paragraphs on most generals. Biggies like Grant or Lee get considerably more attention. Who was Who in the Civil War by Stewart Sifakis is very similar but gives attention to other important people besides just those with stars on thier shoulders.

Tom



 Posted: Tue Jan 16th, 2007 10:20 pm
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Johan Steele
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Lee's Lieutenants.  Old but I believe still in print.  Failing that starting to look at some of the biographies is an option.



 Posted: Tue Jan 16th, 2007 11:54 pm
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CleburneFan
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 A book that I read this summer that I really enjoyed is called "Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West" by Steven E Woodward. University of Kansas Press, 1990.

This book mostly deals with Confederate  generals who fought in the Western Theater, but, of course, the Union generals who fought them are described too. What I particularly like about this book is that it shows how intensely involved with battle plans and campaigns Davis was and how politics and favoritism were major determinants of who actually had command and how long they held it.

Davis, as a West Point grad and Mexican War hero, fancied himself as having great military acumen  and frequently interfered with his generals. That he did so to a greater extent in the West than in Lee's Eastern command, may have impacted the ultimate outcome of the war. Of course, opinions do vary on how effective Davis was and if his views did more harm or good or had little appreciable impact because so many other factors contributed to the outcome of campaigns and battles.

As expected, the book spends much time on PGT Beauregard, Braxton Bragg, A.S. Johnston and J.E. Johnston, John Bell Hood, Edmund Kirby Smith, Patrick Cleburne, William Hardee, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Stirling Price, Earl Van Dorn and many others.

The reader is introduced to the generals and the campaigns of the West and Trans Mississippi as they unfolded, so it is both a solid chronological history and a description of the generals who together with Jefferson Davis, played major roles in this part of the Civil War.



 Posted: Wed Jan 17th, 2007 10:37 am
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susansweet
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Tom, I bought Generals in Blue and Generals in Gray this past year.  They are two of my most referred to books on the shelf.  I like that the books have a photo of each General that there is a photo in existance.  Some are of them as young men , some are taken later on in life . 



 Posted: Wed Jan 17th, 2007 02:47 pm
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ole
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They are two of my most referred to books on the shelf. 

Mine as well, Miss Susan. Sifakis' book meets the single-volume requirement, but isn't as thorough as the Warner set. If one is to get carried away with generals, Freeman's, Lee's Lieutenants (three volumes), and Williams', Lincoln Finds a General (5 volumes) are logical extensions.

Ole



 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2007 02:05 am
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SamGrant
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Fuller wrote: I'm looking for a book that is strictly about CW Generals.  One that outlines their life, military training, battles they participated in, political agendas etc...I'm sure there has to be one in print, if not several.  What are some good recommendations?

Fuller


I don't know of any book that gives more than a brief summary of those aspects of CW generals.  Certainly there are several books which fill your bill as to individual officers/generals.

I'd expect that if you asked the forum about books which give that information about any specific generals, you would get numerous ideas.

 



 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2007 02:27 am
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susansweet
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individual generals  as Sam suggested I am reading Criag Symonds biography on Joseph Johnston .  Very good book, also his book on Stonewall of the West ,Patrick Cleburne is very good.  



 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2007 02:28 am
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Basecat
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Fuller,

A book I thought was an excellent read was John Waugh's book on the Class of 1846.  Deals with CW Generals who graduated from West Point that year.  I highly recommend it.

Regards from the Garden State,

Steve Basic



 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2007 02:34 am
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susansweet
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I agree totally with you on that book Steve, it is great . 



 Posted: Sun Apr 29th, 2007 03:38 pm
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CleburneFan
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Another book along the same line as "Class of 1846" is the thoroughly entertaining and informative "Last in Their Class: Custer, Pickett and the Goats of West Point'" by Jerome S. Robbins, 2006. 

This book tells about the generals who graduated last their class and how, despite this ranking, went on to achieve immortality in some cases. Often, in fact, they did better than some of their classmates who ranked much higher!

Their deeds are not only in the Civil War, but in the Seminole Indian Wars, the Mexican War and in various conflicts after the Civil War. Though several generals are discussed in detail, the most attention is paid to Custer and to Pickett. But I leanrned much that I didn't know about cadet life, leisure, frustrations and chalenges at West Point.

I really enjoyed this book, even thougfh I had thought it was only about Custer and Pickett when I bought it. At first I was disappointed, but then I was really pleased to learn so much about life at West Point and even to learn that being the very last in the class was seen as a type of honor.

Last edited on Mon Apr 30th, 2007 04:38 pm by CleburneFan



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 Posted: Mon Apr 30th, 2007 05:04 pm
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CleburneFan
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Another book that is limited to Confederate officers is "Staff Officers in Gray: A Biographical Register of the Staff Officers in the Army of Northern Virginia" by Robert E. L. Krick, 2003, The University of North Carolina Press.

This book contains mini-biographies (very minimal, I might add) of 2,300 staff officers in the ANV. This list does not include surgeons, couriers or provost marshalls.There are two appendices that list without biographies) the names of 3000 staff officers who served in other Confederate armies. Appendix 2 limits itself to the ANV and goes general-by-general listing by name, rank  and position every staff officer ever known to have served with that general.

How I wish there were such a book for every army, both North and South. It would make a vital addition to the shelf of anyone who does research on the Civil WAr.



 Posted: Mon Oct 1st, 2007 11:29 am
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chrisr
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Two books that I recommend on the subject are:

The Warrior Generals: Combat Leadership in the Civil War by Thomas B. Buell. This book looks at three pairs of generals from the Union and the Confederacy at three different levels of command; Grant and Lee, Thomas and Hood and Barlow and Gordon. IMO an excellent read and well put together.

and

Civil War Leadership: The Art of Command by W.J. Wood. The first part discusses the pre-civil war military thought; the "lesson"s from the Napoleonic Wars and the art of command while the bulk of it looks at three sets of generals from the Union and the Confederacy in the context of three battles in which each pair opposed each other. They are Banks and Jackson at Cedar Mountain; Rosecrans and Bragg at Chickamauga and Thomas and Hood at Nashville. A very good read.

Cheers
Chris

Last edited on Mon Oct 1st, 2007 11:34 am by chrisr



 Posted: Mon Oct 1st, 2007 02:09 pm
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David White
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Calcav nails this one go with the Sifikas if you want just one volume and you get the admirals and politicians and other interesting people to boot.  But Warner is still the best for just the generals.  If you are willing to accept a two book answer than another one to consider is The Medical Histories of the Confederate (Union) Generals by Dr. Jack Welsh.  It doesn't provide as much details as Warner or Sifikis but a very basic biography is there but you get details on their medical ailments and wounds that are most interesting.



 Posted: Mon Oct 8th, 2007 04:08 pm
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SamGrant
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ole wrote: They are two of my most referred to books on the shelf. 

Mine as well, Miss Susan. Sifakis' book meets the single-volume requirement, but isn't as thorough as the Warner set. If one is to get carried away with generals, Freeman's, Lee's Lieutenants (three volumes), and Williams', Lincoln Finds a General (5 volumes) are logical extensions.

Ole

While Lincoln Finds a General by Kenneth P. Williams is a fine work for the Union generals side, it IS 5 volumes and it ends with Grant at Chattanooga as Mr. Wiliams passed away before he could conclude the series.  Another well written but single volume alternative would be the other Williams' (T. Harry) Lincoln and His Generals.



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