Read: June 5 - June 28
Format: Paperback 623 pages
Source: Public Library
Subject: Civil War
Challenges: 11 in 11, 75 Book, TIOLI, SYLL
Category: The Engagement: this is getting serious
In the past 18 months I have ready numerous books on the Civil War - mainly non-military - so I picked up this book to fill in all those blanks that were still empty. A few facts I hadn't gathered from other books were:
- recent developments of the time in food preservation, especially canning led to the Union soldiers being best fed military force on record up to that point in time.
- Southern strategy was to deny access to union invaders. This was a major difficulty with such a large perimeter to defend.
- At Antietam, McClellan did not use all the forces at his disposal. He also lacked the killer instinct and refused to augment hatreds by confiscating property, living off the land, or freeing slaves.
- inadequacy of the southern railroads with their non-strategic routes hampered the Union efforts after their invasion
- The battle at Gettysburg is believed by many to be the turning point of the war. What is not surprising is that "both sides at Gettysburg were animated by belief in the justice of their cause and fought with greater determination because of that."
- 10,000 battles took place during the ACW between 1861 and 1865 = 7 per day on average.
- It is much easier to understand battles with great maps to illustrate - this book had them.
Lastly, I was surprised to read that Karl Marx studied the American War and yet as much as he urged and suggested that the ACW would lead to socialism the author concludes that "American socialism was stillborn on the battlefields of Shiloh and Gettysburg."