One Day of the Civil War (H)

Robert L. Willett, Jr., Author
Robert L. Willett, Jr., Author Potomac Books $12.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-57488-082-3
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Mass Market Paperbound - 352 pages - 978-0-452-27977-3
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On April 10, 1863, the American Civil War was half over. In this absorbing work, Civil War scholar Willett surveys the conflict on that day, on land from the nation's capital to California, and along the coast, on inland rivers and lakes and at sea. In the East, the two great armies in Virginia were still in winter camps, waiting for better weather to resume operations. So were the armies in Tennessee, although cavalry raids against Union rail lines were in progress on April 10, which also saw an attack on the Union garrison at Franklin, Tenn. Ulysses S. Grant's army was struggling through swamps to gain a foothold below Vicksburg, while minor operations were taking place in several states. Making judicious use of both published and unpublished primary sources, the author includes numerous quotations from officers and men of both sides to show how they felt, what they were doing and what happened on the fronts on April 10. When needed, Willett includes background to place in context the events of the day. One appendix cites the names of the 271 men killed, wounded and captured on April 10. Another lists all 135 hospital deaths that occurred in the Union army. At the end of each chapter, Willett lists the individuals introduced therein and their subsequent fates. This is a cleverly conceived and consistently engrossing look at the Civil War, marred only by its lack of coverage of civilians--their struggles, hopes and work to support the boys in blue and gray. Maps and photos. (Nov.)
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