Matt’s Book Blog reviewed With My Face to the Enemy: Perspectives on the Civil War edited by Robert Cowley for the U.S. Civil War Reading Challenge 2011. Here’s an excerpt:
This anthology collects 35 provocative essays on a range of topics related to military issues during the Amercan Civil War. The essays were first published in Military History Quarterly. Examining national strategies, battle tactics, and famous and obscure personalities, the essays are by 21 eminent historians and intellectuals, among them David Herbert Donald, Gary W Gallagher, and Stephen W. Sears. In three contributions, James M. McPherson delivers interesting information on Lincoln’s memorable use of metaphor, the failed strategies of Davis and Lee, and Grant’s racing to finish his memoir before throat cancer killed him, thereby ensuring financial stability for his survivors.
Sears’ article on Stonewall Jackson’s generalship at Chancellorsville was a rarity for me in that it was written so clearly that I, though I usually struggle getting battle tactics clear in my mind, could understand it on the first reading. His piece about Lee’s infamous lost order and Little Mac’s dithering once he had it in hand was quite readable too.
Read the full review.
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