Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Civil War & Lincoln

Series on Civil War Campaigns

In preparation for teaching two courses in the Ashland MAHG program this summer (America at War, 1845-1865 with John Waghelstein, my colleague at the Naval War College; and the Civil War and Reconstruction with Lucas Morel), I have resumed writing my commentaries on Civil War campaigns. My hope is that when when completed, they can be supplmented with maps and published as a short primer on the strategy and operations of the war.

The idea is to keep it simple while at the same time trying to show how campaigns were planned and executed to achieve strategic and political goals. For far too long, Civil War military history has focused on individual battles without providing the necessary context.

The most recent essay is here. It covers the Virginia Overland Campaign of spring and summer 1864. Next week, Ben will post the essay on the Petersburg siege and Appomattox.

I have two more to complete: The Atlanta Campaign and then one that looks at Sherman's march to the sea and the Carolinas Campaign and also Hood's attempted counteroffensive into Tennessee, culminating in the destruction of his army at Nashville.

I hope folks read these, but the fact is I just enjoy writing them.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Always an amazing story. Thanks. We're reminded of the importance of the presence or absence particular men--Stonewall and then Longstreet. And even that Grant's strategic success might have been thwarted by the effect of all that blood on public opinion. We're reminded again that the South could have won with just a bit more skill or a bit more luck, as well as of the incredible human cost of this war that required the armies on both sides to be reduced to shadows.

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