Part of John's Military History Page
Harpers Ferry Armory and Arsenal
Strategy and Tactics
Civil War Tactics in Perspective - No, tactics were not Napoleonic - Why Civil War combat was indecisive
Quit Talkin' Smack About Bob - A Reasoned Justification for Offensive Operations and Tactics
Gods and Generals: You vs. The Critics
Battlefield Travel Advice for the Virginia area.
Essays by Matt Hering
The Wilderness Campaign
Assault at Franklin
Military History Bookstore An extensive selection of good books.
The Civil War Battlefield Guide ****1/2 Hundreds of battles are covered with topo maps are used for the more significant battles. Even a relatively obscure battle like Cloyds Mountain and Second Kernstown get a maps. Importantly, smaller battles are placed into the context of the larger battles and campaigns. Although it isn't perfect, it is an indispensable touring guide, probably the best available.
Last Chance for Victory ***** By Scott Bowden and Bill Ward. Although marred by typographical errors, this is one of the best military history books I've ever read. The authors analyze Lee's generalship and convincingly argue a number of controversial assertions. Specifically that - it was impractical and improper to send troops from Virginia to relieve Vicksburg. That Lee did not issue discretionary orders but rather orders with discretion that allowed the subordinate to decide how best to complete the task. That Stuart's ride around the Union army was therefore against orders, and it was originally intended as a ride THROUGH the Union army. That Ewell's orders were also not discretionary so he too disobeyed orders in not capturing the high ground. That delays in Longstreet's deployment were reasonable and his performance on July 2nd was superb. That a Confederate attack on July 3rd was the proper decision, but that the attack was not properly supported, and Longstreet's performance was poor. Bowden's Napoleonic expertise is very useful regarding staff work. Although many authors mention the problem, Bowden vividly illustrates it by showing how Napoleon successfully used many times the number of staff officers that Civil War armies used, and he explains their functions. The authors also explain the en echelon attack on the 2nd, and show that it succeeded in its purpose of diverting Union troops away from the rest of the Union line. They also show that the failure to extend the attack along the whole line resulted in failure, and they explain who was responsible and why. The opportunity on the 2nd was great as Meade's shifting of troops had completely denuded some sections of his line. Although too much ink has obviously been spilled on this battle, you should not miss this book.
Links to Other Civil War Websites includes other virtual battlefield websites.
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With sections on John's Military History Tour of Britain, Europe, Revolutionary War Virtual Battlefields, Armored Fighting Vehicles, Return to Korea, essays, and Miscellaneous Tours including New Orleans and the Little Big Horn.
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