Popular Civil War Western Theater Books

15+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Civil War Western Theater

Discover the list of some best books written on Civil War Western Theater by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Civil War Western Theater highly popular among the readers worldwide.

4.2/5

Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 by Albert E. Castel

Following a skirmish on June 28, 1864, a truce is called so the North can remove their dead and wounded. For two hours, Yankees and Rebels mingle, with some of the latter even assisting the former in their grisly work. Newspapers are exchanged. Northern coffee is swapped for Southern tobacco. Yanks crowd around two Rebel generals, soliciting and obtaining autographs. As the Following a skirmish on June 28, 1864, a truce is called so the North can remove their dead and wounded. For two hours, Yankees and Rebels mingle, with some of the latter even assisting the former in their grisly work. Newspapers are exchanged. Northern coffee is swapped for Southern tobacco. Yanks crowd around two Rebel generals, soliciting and obtaining autographs. As they part, a Confederate calls to a Yankee, "I hope to miss you, Yank, if I happen to shoot in your direction." "May I, never hit you Johnny if we fight again," comes the reply. The reprieve is short. A couple of months, dozens of battles, and more than 30,000 casualties later, the North takes Atlanta. One of the most dramatic and decisive episodes of the Civil War, the Atlanta Campaign was a military operation carried out on a grand scale across a spectacular landscape that pitted some of the war's best (and worst) general against each other. In Decision in the West, Albert Castel provides the first detailed history of the Campaign published since Jacob D. Cox's version appeared in 1882. Unlike Cox, who was a general in Sherman's army, Castel provides an objective perspective and a comprehensive account based on primary and secondary sources that have become available in the past 110 years. Castel gives a full and balanced treatment to the operations of both the Union and Confederate armies from the perspective of the common soldiers as well as the top generals. He offers new accounts and analyses of many of the major events of the campaign, and, in the process, corrects many long-standing myths, misconceptions, and mistakes. In particular, he challenges the standard view of Sherman's performance. Written in present tense to give a sense of immediacy and greater realism, Decision in the West demonstrates more definitively than any previous book how the capture of Atlanta by Sherman's army occurred and why it assured Northern victory in the Civil War.

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4.2/5

Vicksburg Is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River by William L. Shea , Terrence J. Winschel

The struggle for control of the Mississippi River was the longest and most complex campaign of the Civil War. It was marked by an extraordinary diversity of military and naval operations, including fleet engagements, cavalry raids, amphibious landings, pitched battles, and the two longest sieges in American history. Every existing type of naval vessel, from sailing ship to The struggle for control of the Mississippi River was the longest and most complex campaign of the Civil War. It was marked by an extraordinary diversity of military and naval operations, including fleet engagements, cavalry raids, amphibious landings, pitched battles, and the two longest sieges in American history. Every existing type of naval vessel, from sailing ship to armored ram, played a role, and military engineers practiced their art on a scale never before witnessed in modern warfare. Union commanders such as Grant, Sherman, Farragut, and Porter demonstrated the skills that would take them to the highest levels of command. When the immense contest finally reached its climax at Vicksburg and Port Hudson in the summer of 1863, the Confederacy suffered a blow from which it never recovered. Here was the true turning point of the Civil War. This fast-paced, gripping narrative of the Civil War struggle for the Mississippi River is the first comprehensive single-volume account to appear in over a century. Vicksburg Is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River tells the story of the series of campaigns the Union conducted on land and water to conquer Vicksburg and of the many efforts by the Confederates to break the siege of the fortress. William L. Shea and Terrence J. Winschel present the unfolding drama of the campaign in a clear and readable style, correct historic myths along the way, and examine the profound strategic effects of the eventual Union victory.

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5/5

Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg by Timothy B. Smith

The Battle of Champion Hill was the decisive land engagement of the Vicksburg Campaign. The May 16, 1863, fighting took place just 20 miles east of the river city, where the advance of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Federal army attacked Gen. John C. Pemberton's hastily gathered Confederates. The bloody fighting seesawed back and forth until superior Union leadership broke apart The Battle of Champion Hill was the decisive land engagement of the Vicksburg Campaign. The May 16, 1863, fighting took place just 20 miles east of the river city, where the advance of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Federal army attacked Gen. John C. Pemberton's hastily gathered Confederates. The bloody fighting seesawed back and forth until superior Union leadership broke apart the Southern line, sending Pemberton's army into headlong retreat. The victory on Mississippi's wooded hills sealed the fate of both Vicksburg and her large field army, propelled Grant into the national spotlight, and earned him the command of the entire U.S. armed forces.Timothy Smith, who holds a Ph.D. from Mississippi State and works as a historian for the National Park Service, has written the definitive account of this long overlooked battle. His vivid prose is grounded upon years of primary research and is rich in analysis, strategic and tactical action, and character development. Champion Hill will become a classic Civil War battle study. REVIEWS WINNER, NON-FICTION, 2005, MISSISSIPPI INSTITUTE OF ARTS AND LETTERS

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3.1/5

Road to Shiloh: Early Battles in the West by David Nevin

Beautifully bound and illustrated volume of the Civil War featuring The Road to Shiloh, Early Battles in the West.

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3.6/5

The Vicksburg Campaign, March 29–May 18, 1863 by Steven E. Woodworth (Editor) , Charles D. Grear (Editor) , Michael B. Ballard (Contributor) , Stephen Nathaniel Dossman (Contributor) , William Feis (Contributor) , Jason M. Frawley (Con

Ulysses S. Grant’s ingenious campaign to capture the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River was one of the most decisive events of the Civil War and one of the most storied military expeditions in American history. The ultimate victory at Vicksburg effectively cut the Confederacy in two, gave control of the river to Union forces, and delivered a devastating b Ulysses S. Grant’s ingenious campaign to capture the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River was one of the most decisive events of the Civil War and one of the most storied military expeditions in American history. The ultimate victory at Vicksburg effectively cut the Confederacy in two, gave control of the river to Union forces, and delivered a devastating blow from which the South never fully recovered. Editors Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear have assembled essays by prominent and emerging scholars, who contribute astute analysis of this famous campaign’s most crucial elements and colorful personalities. Encompassed in this first of five planned volumes on the Vicksburg campaign are examinations of the pivotal events that comprised the campaign’s maneuver stage, from March to May of 1863. The collection sheds new light on Grant’s formidable intelligence network of former slaves, Mississippi loyalists, and Union spies; his now legendary operations to deceive and confuse his Confederate counterparts; and his maneuvers from the perspective of classic warfare. Also presented are insightful accounts of Grant’s contentious relationship with John A. McClernand during the campaign; interactions between hostile Confederate civilians and Union army troops; and the planning behind such battles as Grierson’s Raid, Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, and Big Black River Bridge.

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3/5

Shiloh: Confederate High Tide in the Heartland by Steven E. Woodworth

The Battle of Shiloh was one of the most important battles of the Civil War, and it offers a particularly rich opportunity to study the ways in which different leaders reacted to unexpected challenges. Shiloh: Confederate High Tide in the Heartland provides a fascinating and fast-paced narrative history of the key campaign and battle in the Civil War's decisive western the The Battle of Shiloh was one of the most important battles of the Civil War, and it offers a particularly rich opportunity to study the ways in which different leaders reacted to unexpected challenges. Shiloh: Confederate High Tide in the Heartland provides a fascinating and fast-paced narrative history of the key campaign and battle in the Civil War's decisive western theater--the heartland of the Confederacy west of the Appalachians. The book emphasizes the significance of contingency in evaluating the decisions of the Union and Confederate commanders, as well as the tenacity displayed by both sides, which contributed to the tremendous bloodshed of the conflict and revealed the depth of Union determination that would ultimately doom the Confederacy. Intended for Civil War enthusiasts as well as scholars of American military history, this work reveals the complex challenges and decisions of leadership and documents how the Confederacy was never as close to scoring a truly decisive victory as its forces were on the first day of the Battle of Shiloh.

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3.6/5

No Better Place to Die: The Battle Of Stones River by Peter Cozzens

Peter Cozzens meticulously traces the chain of events as the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of Tennessee meet in Middle Tennessee on New Year's Eve 1862 in one of the bloodiest encounters of the Civil War. A mere handful of battlefields have come to epitomize the anguish and pain of America's Civil War: Gettysburg, Shiloh, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga. Yet another nam Peter Cozzens meticulously traces the chain of events as the Army of the Cumberland and the Army of Tennessee meet in Middle Tennessee on New Year's Eve 1862 in one of the bloodiest encounters of the Civil War. A mere handful of battlefields have come to epitomize the anguish and pain of America's Civil War: Gettysburg, Shiloh, Chancellorsville, Chickamauga. Yet another name belongs on that infamous list: Stones River, the setting for Peter Cozzens's No Better Place to Die.

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3.3/5

The Chickamauga Campaign—Glory or the Grave: The Breakthrough, the Union Collapse, and the Defense of Horseshoe Ridge, September 20, 1863 by David A. Powell

David Powell's The Chickamauga Campaign—Glory or the Grave: The Breakthrough, Union Collapse, and the Retreat to Chattanooga, September 20-23, 1863 is the second volume in his magnificent projected three-volume study of this overlooked and largely misunderstood campaign. According to soldier rumor, Chickamauga in Cherokee meant "River of Death". The name lived up to that gr David Powell's The Chickamauga Campaign—Glory or the Grave: The Breakthrough, Union Collapse, and the Retreat to Chattanooga, September 20-23, 1863 is the second volume in his magnificent projected three-volume study of this overlooked and largely misunderstood campaign. According to soldier rumor, Chickamauga in Cherokee meant "River of Death". The name lived up to that grim sobriquet in September 1863 when the Union Army of the Cumberland and Confederate Army of Tennessee waged a sprawling bloody combat along the banks of West Chickamauga Creek. This installment of Powell s tour-de-force depicts the final day of battle, when the Confederate army attacked and broke through the Union lines, triggering a massive rout, an incredible defensive stand atop Snodgrass Hill, and a confused retreat and pursuit into Chattanooga. Powell presents all of this with clarity and precision by weaving nearly 2,000 primary accounts with his own cogent analysis. The result is a rich and deep portrait of the fighting and command relationships on a scale never before attempted or accomplished. His upcoming third volume, Analysis of a Barren Victory, will conclude the set with careful insight into the fighting and its impact on the war, Powell s detailed research into the strengths and losses of the two armies, and an exhaustive bibliography. Powell's magnum opus, complete with original maps, photos, and illustrations, is the culmination of many years of research and study, coupled with a complete understanding of the battlefield s complex terrain system. For any student of the Civil War in general, or the Western Theater in particular, Powell s trilogy is a must-read.

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3.2/5

Mountains Touched with Fire: Chattanooga Besieged, 1863 by Wiley Sword

Historian Wiley Sword offers a richly detailed account that captures the vivid personalities behind the battle for Chattanooga. Grant, Thomas, Bragg, William Tecumseh Sherman, Phil Sheridan, William Rosecrans, Pat Cleburne, Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln - all come alive in a narrative that combines furious battle action with behind-the-scenes political maneuvering and a Historian Wiley Sword offers a richly detailed account that captures the vivid personalities behind the battle for Chattanooga. Grant, Thomas, Bragg, William Tecumseh Sherman, Phil Sheridan, William Rosecrans, Pat Cleburne, Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln - all come alive in a narrative that combines furious battle action with behind-the-scenes political maneuvering and astute analysis. Sword's storytelling gifts are augmented by a wealth of contemporary sources - including diaries, letters, and other unpublished material - where generals, officers, soldiers, and politicians offer their perspectives. A saga of war, power, charged rivalries, and small cogs driving great events, Mountains Touched With Fire tells the absorbing story of a turning point in American history.

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3.3/5

The Shipwreck of Their Hopes: The Battles for Chattanooga by Peter Cozzens

Civil War enthusiasts will welcome this concluding volume of Peter Cozzens's highly praised trilogy on the Civil War in the West. The battles around Chattanooga in the late fall of 1863 were among the most decisive of the Civil War, opening the Deep South to the Union and setting the stage for the Atlanta campaign and the March to the Sea. After Chattanooga, the principal Civil War enthusiasts will welcome this concluding volume of Peter Cozzens's highly praised trilogy on the Civil War in the West. The battles around Chattanooga in the late fall of 1863 were among the most decisive of the Civil War, opening the Deep South to the Union and setting the stage for the Atlanta campaign and the March to the Sea. After Chattanooga, the principal Confederate army in the West fought without spirit or hope of victory. Cozzens's comprehensive account details movements of individual regiments, even as it reveals the larger impact of the campaign on the outcome of the war. In The Shipwreck of Their Hopes, Cozzens draws on his acclaimed storytelling skills and exhaustive research efforts to fully chronicle one of the South's most humiliating defeats. As in his earlier books, he brings to life the officers and enlisted men who fought the war.

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3.5/5

This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga by Peter Cozzens

When North and South met among the desolate mountains of northwestern Georgia in 1863, they began one of the bloodiest and most decisive campaigns of the Civil War. The climactic Battle of Chickamauga lasted just two days, yet it was nearly as costly as Gettysburg, with casualties among the highest in the war. In this study of the campaign, the first to appear in over thir When North and South met among the desolate mountains of northwestern Georgia in 1863, they began one of the bloodiest and most decisive campaigns of the Civil War. The climactic Battle of Chickamauga lasted just two days, yet it was nearly as costly as Gettysburg, with casualties among the highest in the war. In this study of the campaign, the first to appear in over thirty years and the most comprehensive account ever written on Chickamauga, Peter Cozzens presents a vivid narrative about an engagement that was crucial to the outcome of the war in the West. Drawing upon a wealth of previously untapped sources, Cozzens offers startling new interpretations that challenge the conventional wisdom on key moments of the battle, such as Rosecrans's fateful order to General Wood and Thomas's historic defense of Horseshoe Ridge. Chickamauga was a battle of missed opportunities, stupendous tactical blunders, and savage fighting by the men in ranks. Cozzens writes movingly of both the heroism and suffering of the common soldiers and of the strengths and tragic flaws of their commanders. Enhanced by detailed battle maps and original sketches by the noted artist Keith Rocco, this book will appeal to all Civil War enthusiasts and students of military history.

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3.8/5

A Blaze of Glory by Jeff Shaara

In the first novel of a spellbinding new trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara returns to the Civil War terrain he knows best. A Blaze of Glory takes us to the action-packed Western Theater for a vivid re-creation of one of the war’s bloodiest and most iconic engagements—the Battle of Shiloh. It’s the spring of 1862. The Confederate Army in the West teeter In the first novel of a spellbinding new trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara returns to the Civil War terrain he knows best. A Blaze of Glory takes us to the action-packed Western Theater for a vivid re-creation of one of the war’s bloodiest and most iconic engagements—the Battle of Shiloh. It’s the spring of 1862. The Confederate Army in the West teeters on the brink of collapse following the catastrophic loss of Fort Donelson. Commanding general Albert Sidney Johnston is forced to pull up stakes, abandon the critical city of Nashville, and rally his troops in defense of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad. Hot on Johnston’s trail are two of the Union’s best generals: the relentless Ulysses Grant, fresh off his career-making victory at Fort Donelson, and Don Carlos Buell. If their combined forces can crush Johnston’s army and capture the railroad, the war in the West likely will be over. There’s just one problem: Johnston knows of the Union plans, and is poised to launch an audacious surprise attack on Grant’s encampment—a small settlement in southwestern Tennessee anchored by a humble church named Shiloh. With stunning you-are-there immediacy, Shaara takes us inside the maelstrom of Shiloh as no novelist has before. Drawing on meticulous research, he dramatizes the key actions and decisions of the commanders on both sides: Johnston, Grant, Sherman, Beauregard, and the illustrious Colonel Nathan Bedford Forrest. Here too are the thoughts and voices of the junior officers, conscripts, and enlisted men who gave their all for the cause, among them Confederate cavalry lieutenant James Seeley and Private Fritz “Dutchie” Bauer of the 16th Wisconsin Regiment—brave participants in a pitched back-and-forth battle whose casualty count would far surpass anything the American public had yet seen in this war. By the end of the first day of fighting, as Grant’s bedraggled forces regroup for could be their last stand, two major events—both totally unexpected—will turn the tide of the battle and perhaps the war itself.

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4.4/5

Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West by Steven E. Woodworth

Jefferson Davis is a historical figure who provokes strong passions among scholars. Through the years historians have placed him at both ends of the spectrum: some have portrayed him as a hero, others have judged him incompetent. In Jefferson Davis and His Generals, Steven Woodworth shows that both extremes are accurate--Davis was both heroic and incompetent. Yet neither vi Jefferson Davis is a historical figure who provokes strong passions among scholars. Through the years historians have placed him at both ends of the spectrum: some have portrayed him as a hero, others have judged him incompetent. In Jefferson Davis and His Generals, Steven Woodworth shows that both extremes are accurate--Davis was both heroic and incompetent. Yet neither viewpoint reveals the whole truth about this complicated figure. Woodworth's portrait of Davis reveals an experienced, talented, and courageous leader who, nevertheless, undermined the Confederacy's cause in the trans-Appalachian west, where the South lost the war. At the war's outbreak, few Southerners seemed better qualified for the post of commander-in-chief. Davis had graduated from West Point, commanded a combat regiment in the Mexican War (which neither Lee nor Grant could boast), and performed admirably as U.S. Senator and Secretary of War. Despite his credentials, Woodworth argues, Davis proved too indecisive and inconsistent as commander-in-chief to lead his new nation to victory. As Woodworth shows, however, Davis does not bear the sole responsibility for the South's defeat. A substantial part of that burden rests with Davis's western generals. Bragg, Beauregard, Van Dorn, Pemberton, Polk, Buckner, Hood, Forrest, Morgan, and the Johnstons (Albert and Joseph) were a proud, contentious, and uneven lot. Few could be classed with the likes of a Lee or a Jackson in the east. Woodworth assesses their relations with Davis, as well as their leadership on and off the battlefields at Donelson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and Atlanta, to demonstrate their complicity in the Confederacy's demise. Extensive research in the marvelously rich holdings of the Jefferson Davis Association at Rice University enriches Woodworth's study. He provides superb analyses of western military operations, as well as some stranger-than-fiction tales: Van Dorn's shocking death, John Hood and Sally Preston's bizarre romance, Gideon Pillow's undignified antics, and Franklin Cheatham's drunken battlefield behavior. Most important, he has avoided the twin temptations to glorify or castigate Davis and thus restored balance to the evaluation of his leadership during the Civil War. "A long-awaited work on an important topic--a counterpart for T. Harry Williams's celebrated Lincoln and His Generals. Experts in the field will have to take Woodworth into account. He writes well--in a good, clear style that should appeal to a wide audience. I found many passages to be pure pleasure to read. . . . The really exciting thing, though, is his insightful series of conclusions."--Herman Hattaway, author of How the North Won. "Highly readable, stimulating, and at times even provocative. This fast-paced and compelling narrative provides a very effective overview of Confederate command problems in the West."--Albert Castel, author of General Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West.

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3.3/5

Shiloh: The Battle That Changed the Civil War by Larry J. Daniel

The battle of Shiloh, fought in April 1862 in the wilderness of south central Tennessee, marked a savage turning point in the Civil War. In this masterful book, Larry Daniel re-creates the drama and the horror of the battle and discusses in authoritative detail the political and military policies that led to Shiloh, the personalities of those who formulated and executed the The battle of Shiloh, fought in April 1862 in the wilderness of south central Tennessee, marked a savage turning point in the Civil War. In this masterful book, Larry Daniel re-creates the drama and the horror of the battle and discusses in authoritative detail the political and military policies that led to Shiloh, the personalities of those who formulated and executed the battle plans, the fateful misjudgments made on both sides, and the heroism of the small-unit leaders and ordinary soldiers who manned the battlefield.

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4.6/5

Battle Above the Clouds: Lifting the Siege of Chattanooga and the Battle of Lookout Mountain, October 16 - November 24, 1863 by David A. Powell

In October 1863, the Union Army of the Cumberland was besieged in Chattanooga, all but surrounded by familiar opponents: The Confederate Army of Tennessee. The Federals were surviving by the narrowest of margins, thanks only to a trickle of supplies painstakingly hauled over the sketchiest of mountain roads. Soon even those quarter-rations would not suffice. Disaster was i In October 1863, the Union Army of the Cumberland was besieged in Chattanooga, all but surrounded by familiar opponents: The Confederate Army of Tennessee. The Federals were surviving by the narrowest of margins, thanks only to a trickle of supplies painstakingly hauled over the sketchiest of mountain roads. Soon even those quarter-rations would not suffice. Disaster was in the offing. Yet those Confederates, once jubilant at having routed the Federals at Chickamauga and driven them back into the apparent trap of Chattanooga's trenches, found their own circumstances increasingly difficult to bear. In the immediate aftermath of their victory, the South rejoiced; the Confederacy's own disasters of the previous summer--Vicksburg and Gettysburg--were seemingly reversed. Then came stalemate in front of those same trenches. The Confederates held the high ground, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge, but they could not completely seal off Chattanooga from the north. The Union responded. Reinforcements were on the way. A new man arrived to take command: Ulysses S. Grant. Confederate General Braxton Bragg, unwilling to launch a frontal attack on Chattanooga's defenses, sought victory elsewhere, diverting troops to East Tennessee. Battle above the Clouds by David Powell recounts the first half of the campaign to lift the siege of Chattanooga, including the opening of the "cracker line," the unusual night battle of Wauhatchie, and one of the most dramatic battles of the entire war: Lookout Mountain.

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