Burnside

William Marvel, Author University of North Carolina Press $55 (552p) ISBN 978-0-8078-1983-8
Union General Ambrose Burnside is the most maligned figure of the Civil War, according to the author of this first-rate biography. Accused of tactical lethargy during the battle of Antietam, Burnside then suffered a crushing defeat at Fredeno e?/sp. correct as given here.gs ricksburg and was later held partially responsible for the fiasco at Petersburg. Marvel ( The Horrid Pit: The Battle of the Crater ) notes that Burnside was no battlefield genius but argues persuasively that his performance at Antietam was equal to that of the other corps commanders, that he suffered an honorable defeat at Fredericksburg and that his operations in North Carolina and Tennessee contributed significantly to the Union victory. The book reveals how Burnside's humility and integrity, combined with his refusal to defend himself against his critics, made him vulnerable in the backbiting context of the Army of the Potomac's high command. A deeply researched and gracefully written biography of an important but overlooked Union leader, this account deserves the attention of Civil War buffs. Photos. History Book Club selection. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Paperback - 514 pages - 978-0-8078-7134-8
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