The authors of A Savage War join a growing chorus of Civil War scholars, including Herman Hattaway and Archer Jones in How the North Won 1991 and David Eicher in The Longest Night 2001 , in placing greater emphasis on the West as the crucial theater of war. Despite the Union's material superiority, a Union victory remained in doubt for most of the war. I could not agree more. A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War. They show how this new way of waging war was made possible by the powerful historical forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, yet how the war was far from being simply a story of the triumph of superior machines.
The military context vast distances, limited infrastructure, nationalism is reviewed, and show how the Army of the Potomac, the Army of Northern Virginia, and the other major armies developed different cultures. They also examine how the Army of the Potomac, the Army of Northern Virginia, and the other major armies developed entirely different cultures that influenced the war's outcome. Sutherland has set the stage for further considerations on the place of guerilla warfare within American society. For a relative newcomer to the Civil War, the book do A Savage War is a masterclass examination of the military elements of the American Civil War. Both armies learned on the fly--and through creating mountains of corpses--producing a conflict that, in 1861 looked like an 18th century war, and by 1864, eerily presaged what the Western Front would look like 50 years later. Unfortunately, the presentation dilutes the message. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.
A winner for Civil War history buffs. It was for this reason I ordered A Savage War: A Military History of the Civil War on the strength of one of its co-authors, Williamson Murray. Murray and Hsieh paint indelible portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. In the face of modern history with so much study of movements and class and grand forces, the authors lay credit for winning the war at the feet of the Great Leader - Abraham Lincoln. Namely the interplay of strategy, leadership and logistics upon which wars —not just battles— are won or lost. Hsieh is assistant professor of history at the U.
In a masterful narrative that propels listeners from the first shots fired at Fort Sumter to the surrender of Robert E. One of the things that made this war so devastating was, in my opinion, the wedding of modern arms with Napoleonic tactics. If you wish to understand the military side of the war without a lot of distractions, this book is for you. An outstanding history of the civil war. There is also real praise for N. The authors remarks about Bragg being the worst yet still honored in having a fort named after him were indeed ironic. Chance as well as leadership played a role in the outcome.
They show how this new way of waging war was made possible by the powerful historical forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, yet how the war was far from being simply a story of the triumph of superior machines. The Civil War represented a momentous change in the character of war. He is the author of West Pointers and the Civil War. The show how this new way of waging war was made possible by the powerful historical forces unleashed by the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution, yet how the war was far from being simply a story of the triumph of superior machines. So yes, this is a Grant-heavy, and to a lesser extent a Sherman-heavy, book. Because learning about the Civil War is awesome.
This book continues in the tradition of James MacPherson's The Battle Cry of Freedom, in that it lays the blame for the Civil War squarely on slavery. Jefferson Davis was a spiteful s. The analyses are splendid and are peppered with references to Thucydides, Clausewitz, and comparisons to many other conflicts all the way up to the Iraqi War there are even two quotes from Gen. When these logistics were played out against the sheer continental size of the Confederacy, where most of the War took place, the strategic frameworks of the war and its battles became something largely new in modern history. Murray and Hsieh point out that Union forces needed to subdue an area greater in size than Britain, Spain, France, Italy, and Germany combined, along with a lengthy seacoast.
Indeed the North's industrial capacity was both far larger and better managed that the South's This is one of the best books I have read in years. Brief: Combines scholarly and military perspectives in a study that emphasizes the distinct martial cultures of North and South, and the conflict's role in the rise of modern warfare. The authors suggest that this, combined with the tactical genius that allowed Lee to survive in Virginia despite the odds against him at this time, could have destroyed political support for the cause in the North, thus costing Lincoln the election and bringing a President McClellan to the bargaining table with Richmond. Here as well, the authors explain the differences between the poor showing of the Army of the Potomac as compared with the Union's western armies. In a masterful narrative that propels readers from the first shots fired at Fort Sumter to the surrender of Robert E. Yet despite the revolutionizing aspects of the Civil War, its leaders faced the same uncertainties and vagaries of chance that have vexed combatants since the days of Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War. I would put it right up there with Battle Cry of Freedom as a companion concentrating only on the military history of the conflict.
The book is also provides strong analysis of the politics of the war--everything from the incompetence of the various political-appointee generals who hampered the Northern war effort, to the noxious, petty command cultures of the Armies of the Potomac and Tennessee, to Jeff Davis's petty favoritism and myopic micro-management of the Western Theatre that doomed the Confederacy well before the fall of Atlanta, to the aforementioned need for Lincoln's reelection, and the way both his leadership in Washington and the battlefield performances of Sherman and Grant ensured that happened. Lee's army at Appomattox, Williamson Murray and Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh bring every aspect of the battlefield vividly to life. Nevertheless, despite the problems with narrative and the linguistic oddities, this book is a masterpiece of historical analysis that situates the War into the overall history of the evolution of human conflict in ways I had not encountered before. A scholarly assessment briefly becoming a political screed, only to see a quick return to a scholarly assessment, is just fundamentally odd and distracting. They also examine how the Army of the Potomac, the Army of Northern Virginia, and the other major armies developed entirely different cultures that influenced the war's outcome. A Savage War will appeal to both academic and popular audiences with its resonance, accessible prose, and fresh treatment of the events that still captivate America's public consciousness over 150 years later. A Savage War sheds critical new light on this defining chapter in military history.
Too often I find the genre focused on the actions of incredible, but insignificant individual soldiers. This is one of those books I might have set aside, had I not chosen to read it during my morning and afternoon commute on the train. It was huge, much larger than anything the Europeans had experienced. Murray and Mr Hsieh look at the Civil War through the lens of military leadership, strategies, the development of tactics during the conflict and the military context vast distances, limited infrastructure, nationalism. A Savage War : A Military History of the Civil War.