War in Kentucky
From Shiloh to Perryville
James Lee McDonough
A compelling new volume from the author of Shiloh—In Hell before Night and Chattanooga—A Death Grip on the Confederacy, this book explores the strategic importance of Kentucky for both sides in the Civil War and recounts the Confederacy's bold attempt to capture the Bluegrass State. In a narrative rich with quotations from the diaries, letters, and reminiscences of participants, James Lee McDonough brings to vigorous life an episode whose full significance has previously eluded students of the war.
In February of 1862, the fall of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson near the Tennessee-Kentucky border forced a Confederate retreat into northern Alabama. After the Southern forces failed that spring at Shiloh to throw back the Federal advance, the controversial General Braxton Bragg, newly promoted by Jefferson Davis, launched a countermovement that would sweep eastward to Chattanooga and then northwest through Middle Tennessee. Capturing Kentucky became the ultimate goal, which, if achieved, would lend the war a different complexion indeed.
Giving equal attention to the strategies of both sides, McDonough describes the ill-fated Union effort to capture Chattanooga with an advance through Alabama, the Confederate march across Tennessee, and the subsequent two-pronged invasion of Kentucky. He vividly recounts the fighting at Richmond, Munfordville, and Perryville, where the Confederate dream of controlling Kentucky finally ended.
The first book-length study of this key campaign in the Western Theater, War in Kentucky not only demonstrates the extent of its importance but supports the case that 1862 should be considered the decisive year of the war.
The author: James Lee McDonough, a native of Tennessee, is professor of history at Auburn University. Among his other books are Stones River—Bloody Winter in Tennessee and Five Tragic Hours: The Battle of Franklin, which he co-wrote with Thomas L. Connelly.
The Last Major Combat for American Troops in Germany During the Final Days of World War II
By April 1945, the last German counteroffensive in the west had been defeated, the vaunted Siegfried Line was no more, the Rhine River had been crossed, and major German cities were being bombed relentlessly. The war in Europe appeared to be in its final stages. As American and British armies overran central Germany, the Russians were smashing their way from the east toward Berlin. Optimism reigned up and down the Allied lines. But as the American Army’s 100th Infantry Division pushed along the west bank of the Neckar River across from bomb-shattered Heilbronn, resistance unexpectedly stiffened. In that 700-year-old city, a major industrial and communications center still operating for the benefit of the Nazi war machine, Hitler’s subordinates had battened down for a last-ditch stand. For sheer ferocity, it would exceed anything the now-battle-hardened Americans had experienced. Here, American troops faced a grueling campaign of house-to-house fighting, with Hitler Youth, Volkssturm militia, and an SS division attempting to stop the American advance at this critical sector of the European theater. Having been repeatedly targeted by Alllied aircraft, the city resembled a vast, Hellish ruin, and as American soldiers inched their way forward, they encountered booby traps, withering sniper fire, deadly Panzerfaust rounds, and a fanatical enemy. The nine-day battle for Heilbronn would be the last major combat for American troops in Europe. Within three weeks of their securing the city, Hitler would be dead and Germany defeated.
In War in the Ruins: The American Army’s Final Battle Against Nazi Germany, Edward G. Longacre recounts this neglected but essential chapter in the history of World War II, describing the 100th Division’s swift but grueling advance through the Vosges Mountains, their Rhine River crossing, the assault on the historic Maginot Line, and the ominous approach to Heilbronn. The author then describes the entire bitter battle and its aftermath, using private letters, journals, German and American action reports, and other primary source material, to establish War in the Ruins as an essential volume in the history of World War II in Europe.
A masterpiece of prose and research, the definitive history of the struggle for Atlanta during the Civil War, an episode immortalized by the novel Gone with the Wind
Called “the greatest event of the Civil War” by New York diarist George Templeton Strong, the epic struggle for the city of Atlanta in the bloody summer of 1864 was a pivotal moment in American history. Union commander William Tecumseh Sherman’s relentless fight for the city secured the reelection of Abraham Lincoln, sealed the fate of the Southern Confederacy, and set a precedent for military campaigns that endures today. Its depiction in the novel and motion picture Gone with the Wind established the fight for Atlanta as an iconic episode in our nation’s most terrible war. In War Like the Thunderbolt: The Battle and Burning of Atlanta, award-winning author Russell S. Bonds takes the reader behind the lines and across the smoky battlefields of Peachtree Creek, Atlanta, Ezra Church, and Jonesboro, and into the lives of fascinating characters, both the famous and the forgotten, including the fiery and brilliant Sherman; General John Bell Hood, the Confederacy’s last hope to defend Atlanta; Benjamin Harrison, the diminutive young Indiana colonel who would rise to become President of the United States; Patrick Cleburne, the Irishmanturned- Southern officer; and ten-year-old diarist Carrie Berry, who bravely withstood and bore witness to the fall of the city. Here also is the dramatic story of the ordeal of Atlanta itself—the five-week artillery bombardment, the expulsion of its civilian population, and the infamous fire that followed. Based on new research in diaries, newspapers, previously unpublished letters, and other archival sources, War Like the Thunderbolt is a combination of captivating narrative and insightful military analysis—a stirring account of the battle and burning of the “Gate City of the South.”
This engaging narrative history deftly illustrates the War of 1812 as it played out in the Old Northwest — Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and bordering parts of Canada. From the stirrings of conflict in the area beginning as early as the 1760s, through the Battle of Tippecanoe, and to Michigan Territory’s role as a focal point in prewar preparation, the book examines the lead-up to the war before delving into key battles in the region. In this accessible text, Gilpin explores key figures, dates, and wartime developments, shedding considerable light on the strategic and logistical issues raised by the region’s unique geography, culture, economy, and political temperament. Battles covered include the Surrender of Detroit, the Siege of Fort Meigs, and the battles of River Raisin, Lake Erie, the Thames, and Mackinac Island.
With the State of Kentucky in the Lead, the Battle to Secure the American Frontier for Westward Expansion
The spring of 1812 found the young American republic on edge. The British Navy was impressing American seamen with impunity at an alarming rate while vicious attacks on frontier settlements by American Indians armed with British weapons had left a trail of fear and outrage. As calls for a military response increased, Kentucky, the first state west of the Appalachians, urged that only by defeating the British could the nation achieve security. The very thought conjured up embellished memories of the American Revolution, and once war was declared, many soldiers believed that the “Spirit of 76” would lead them to victory. But the conflict quickly transformed from a patriotic parade to a desperate attempt to survive against a major military power. While the War of 1812 is known mostly for later events, including the burning of Washington and the siege of Fort McHenry, much of the first two years of the war was fought in the west, with the British Army and their Indian allies nearly overrunning the Old Northwest and threatening the borders of the original colonies.
In The War of 1812 in the West: From Fort Detroit to New Orleans, David Kirkpatrick chronicles the near catastrophic loss of the Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois Territories, the bitter fight against both Tecumseh’s Confederation and the Creek Nation, and the slow recovery and ultimate victory of American forces—a large portion of which was supplied by Kentucky—from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Battles such as River Raisin, Thames River, Fort Meigs, and New Orleans are placed in context to show how they secured America’s frontier and opened territory to the west to new settlement following the war.
Washington's War 1779
Benjamin Lee Huggins Westholme Publishing, 2018 Library of Congress E312.25.H84 2018 | Dewey Decimal 973.335
While Attacking the Irish at Stony Point and Paulus Hook, George Washington Prepared a Bold Plan to End the War in New York City
Despite great limits of money and manpower, George Washington sought to wage an aggressive war in 1779. He launched the Sullivan–Clinton campaign against Britain’s Iroquois allies in upstate New York, and in response to British attacks up the Hudson River and against coastal Connecticut, he authorized raids on British outposts at Stony Point and Paulus Hook. But given power by Congress to plan and execute operations with the French on a continental scale, Washington planned his boldest campaign. When it appeared that the French would bring a fleet and an army to America, and supported by intelligence from his famed “Culper” spy network, the American commander proposed a joint Franco-American attack on the bastion of British power in North America—New York City—to capture its garrison. Such a blow, he hoped, would end the war in 1779.
Based on extensive primary source material, Washington’s War 1779, by historian Benjamin Lee Huggins, describes Washington’s highly detailed plans and extensive preparations for his potentially decisive Franco-American campaign to defeat the British at New York in the fall of 1779. With an emphasis on Washington's generalship in that year—from strategic and operational planning to logistics to diplomacy—and how it had evolved since the early years of the war, the book also details the other offensive operations in 1779, including the attacks in upstate New York, Stony Point, and Paulus Hook. Although the American and French defeat at Savannah, Georgia, prevented Washington from carrying out his New York offensive, Washington gained valuable experience in planning for joint operations that would help him win at Yorktown two years later.
Gene Jacobsen was a nineteen-year-old Idaho ranch kid when he decided to join the Army Air Corps in September 1940. By December 1941 he was supply sergeant for the Twentieth Pursuit Squadron at Clark Field in the Philippines. Five months later he was a captive of the Imperial Japanese Army, enduring the Bataan death march and subsequent horrors in the Philippines and Japan. Of the 207 officers and men who made up Jacobsen’s squadron at the beginning of the war, sixty-five survived to return to the United States. We Refused to Die recounts Jacobsen’s struggle, against all odds, to remain one of those sixty-five men.
In engaging, direct prose, Jacobsen’s three-and-a-half year experience as a prisoner of war takes the reader on a brutal and harrowing march through hatred and forgiveness, fortitude and freedom. We Refused to Die is an honest memoir that shines light on one of history’s darkest moments.
Vivid and lively letters from a young Confederate in Lee’s Army
In the Spring of 1861, a 22-year-old Alabamian did what many of his friends and colleagues were doing—he joined the Confederate Army as a volunteer. The first of his family to enlist, William Cowan McClellan, who served as a private in the 9th Alabama Infantry regiment, wrote hundreds of letters throughout the war, often penning for friends who could not write home for themselves. In the letters collected in John C. Carter’s volume, this young soldier comments on his feelings toward his commanding officers, his attitude toward military discipline and camp life, his disdain for the western Confederate armies, and his hopes and fears for the future of the Confederacy.
McClellan’s letters also contain vivid descriptions of camp life, battles, marches, picket duty, and sickness and disease in the army. The correspondence between McClellan and his family dealt with separation due to war as well as with other wartime difficulties such as food shortages, invasion, and occupation. The letters also show the rise and fall of morale on both the home front and on the battlefield, and how they were closely intertwined.
Remarkable for their humor, literacy, and matter-of-fact banter, the letters reveal the attitude a common soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia had toward the day-to-day activity and progression of the war. John C. Carter includes helpful appendixes that list the letters chronologically and offer the regimental roster, casualty/enlistment totals, assignments, and McClellan’s personal military record.
A collection of Civil War correspondence exchanged between members of the James Carrington Francis family of Jacksonville, Calhoun County, Alabama
Six of the seven Francis brothers served in the Confederate army, as did their uncle, four servants, and other kinsmen, and all twelve members of the immediate family of Dr. James Carrington Francis and Amy Ingram Francis—as well as several members of their extended family—are represented in this volume. While the letters refer to the war and the brothers’ military service, they also shed light on this family’s struggle to survive the profound cultural, economic, and political upheaval that ensued.
In addition to the correspondence itself, the editor includes a thoroughly researched introduction that provides an overview of the Francis family history before, during, and after the war, which sheds light on the historical context in which the letters were written. Also included are endnotes that document and elucidate figures and events that receive passing reference in the letters, a genealogical chart of the Francis family, and photographs of each family member. The editor includes maps of the Virginia, Georgia, and Carolinas settings, which allow the reader to follow the progress of Francis family members during the Civil War campaigns in which they participated.
Why do some voters split their ballots, selecting a Republican for one office and a Democrat for another? Why do voters often choose one party to control the White House while the other controls the Congress? Barry Burden and David Kimball address these fundamental puzzles of American elections by explaining the causes of divided government and debunking the myth that voters prefer the division of power over one-party control. Why Americans Split Their Tickets links recent declines in ticket-splitting to sharpening policy differences between parties and demonstrates why candidates' ideological positions still matter in American elections.
"Burden and Kimball have given us the most careful and thorough analysis of split-ticket voting yet. It won't settle all of the arguments about the origins of ticket splitting and divided government, but these arguments will now be much better informed. Why Americans Split Their Tickets is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the major trends in U.S. electoral politics of the past several decades."
-Gary Jacobson, University of California, San Diego
"When voters split their tickets or produce divided government, it is common to attribute the outcome as a strategic verdict or a demand for partisan balance. Burden and Kimball strongly challenge such claims. With a thorough and deft use of statistics, they portray ticket-splitting as a by-product of the separate circumstances that drive the outcomes of the different electoral contests. This will be the book to be reckoned with on the matter of ticket splitting."
-Robert Erikson, Columbia University
"[Burden and Kimball] offset the expansive statistical analysis by delving into the historical circumstances and results of recent campaigns and elections. ... [They] make a scholarly and informative contribution to the understanding of the voting habits of the American electorate-and the resulting composition of American government."
-Shant Mesrobian, NationalJournal.com
When the 206th Coast Artillery Regiment of the Arkansas National Guard was called into federal service in January of 1941, few of the soldiers saw this action as anything more than a temporary detour in their lives. The war, after all, was in Europe and Asia and did not seem to involve them; many of the men thought they would serve their one-year enlistment and go home. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changed all that.
The Williwaw War highlights the event sthat shaped the service of Arkansas’s 206th in the Aleutian Islands, including the Japanese strikes on Dutch Harbor on the third and fourth of June 1942, as well as the naval battle of the Komandorski Islands and the recapture of Attu and Kiska.
Written by the noted co-authors of the best-welling books on World War II, The Williwaw War chronicles the efforts of the men of the 206th as they battled terrible weather, overwhelming boredome and deprivation, and the Japanese, who were succesfully attempting to distract the Americans from the main Japanese assault on Midway Island.
With so much at stake and so much already lost, why did World War I end with a whimper-an arrangement between two weary opponents to suspend hostilities? After more than four years of desperate fighting, with victories sometimes measured in feet and inches, why did the Allies reject the option of advancing into Germany in 1918 and taking Berlin? Most histories of the Great War focus on the avoidability of its beginning. This book brings a laser-like focus to its ominous end-the Allies' incomplete victory, and the tragic ramifications for world peace just two decades later.
In the most comprehensive account to date of the conflict's endgame, David Stevenson approaches the events of 1918 from a truly international perspective, examining the positions and perspectives of combatants on both sides, as well as the impact of the Russian Revolution. Stevenson pays close attention to America's effort in its first twentieth-century war, including its naval and military contribution, army recruitment, industrial mobilization, and home-front politics. Alongside military and political developments, he adds new information about the crucial role of economics and logistics.
The Allies' eventual success, Stevenson shows, was due to new organizational methods of managing men and materiel and to increased combat effectiveness resulting partly from technological innovation. These factors, combined with Germany's disastrous military offensive in spring 1918, ensured an Allied victory-but not a conclusive German defeat.
“This memoir illuminates key aspects of the war experience: the enthusiasm for fighting, tensions with officers, tedium with regard to noncombatant work, the variety of trench experiences, the sharp learning curve that the army underwent on the ground, and the confusing nature of combat for ground troops. As the centennial of the war approaches this well-annotated memoir that connects Patterson’s individual experiences to the larger U.S. experience of the war will appeal to general readers and specialists alike.” —Jennifer D. Keene, author of World War I: The American Soldier Experience
A journalist once called Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson “the toughest man in Washington” for his fervid efforts in managing U.S. mobilization in World War II. The World War I Memoirs of Robert P. Patterson: A Captain in the Great War recounts Patterson’s own formative military experiences in the First World War.
Written in the years following the conflict, this is a remarkable rendering of what it was like to be an infantry line officer during the so-called Great War. Patterson started his military career as a twenty-seven-year-old, barely-trained captain in the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.). He was part of the 306th Infantry Regiment of New York’s famous 77th “Statue of Liberty” Division from July to November 1918. In this detailed account, Patterson describes in understated yet vivid prose just how raw and unprepared American soldiers were for the titanic battles on the Western Front. Patterson downplays his near-death experience in a fierce firefight that earned him and several of his men from Company F the Distinguished Service Cross. His depiction of the brutal Meuse-Argonne battle is haunting—the drenching cold rains, the omnipresent barbed wire, deep fog-filled ravines, the sweet stench of mustard gas, chattering German machine-guns, crashing artillery shells, and even a rare hot meal to be savored.
Dealing with more than just combat, Patterson writes of the friendships and camaraderie among the officers and soldiers of different ethnic and class backgrounds who made up the “melting pot division” of the 77th. He betrays little of the postwar disillusionment that afflicted some members of the “Lost Generation.”Editor J. Garry Clifford’s introduction places Patterson and his actions in historical context and illuminates how Patterson applied lessons learned from the GreatWar to his later service as assistant secretary, under secretary, and secretary of war from 1940 to 1947.
J. Garry Clifford, a professor of political science at the University of Connecticut, is the coauthor of America Ascendant: American Foreign Relations since 1939 and The First Peacetime Draft, as well as the coeditor of Presidents, Diplomats, and Other Mortals.
Worlds Apart tells of a well-meaning foreign policy establishment often deaf to the voices of everyday people. Its focus is the Bosnian War, but its implications extend to any situation that prompts the consideration of military intervention on humanitarian grounds. Ambassador Swanee Hunt served in Vienna during the Bosnian War and was intimately involved in American policy toward the Balkans. During her tenure as ambassador and after, she made scores of trips throughout Bosnia and the rest of the former Yugoslavia, attempting to understand the costly delays in foreign military intervention. To that end, she had hundreds of conversations with a wide range of politicians, refugees, journalists, farmers, clergy, aid workers, diplomats, soldiers, and others. In Worlds Apart, Hunt’s eighty vignettes alternate between the people living out the war and “the internationals” deciding whether or how to intervene. From these stories, most of which she witnessed firsthand, she draws six lessons applicable to current conflicts throughout the world. These lessons cannot be learned from afar, Hunt says, with insiders and outsiders working apart. Only by bridging those worlds can we build a stronger paradigm of inclusive international security.
In 1975, James Jones—the American author whose novels From Here to Eternity and The Thin Red Line had made him the preeminent voice of the enlisted man in World War II—was chosen to write the text for an oversized coffee table book edited by former Yank magazine art director Art Weithas and featuring visual art from World War II. The book was a best seller, praised for both its images and for Jones’s text, but in subsequent decades the artwork made it impossible for the book to be reproduced in its original form, and it fell out of print and was forgotten. This edition of WWII makes available for the first time in more than twenty years Jones’s stunning text, his only extended nonfiction writing on the war that defined his generation.
Moving chronologically and thematically through the complex history of the conflict, Jones interweaves his own vivid memories of soldiering in the Pacific—from the look on a Japanese fighter pilot’s face as he bombed Pearl Harbor, so close that Jones could see him smile and wave, to hitting the beach under fire in Guadalcanal—while always returning to resounding larger themes. Much of WWII can be read as a tribute to the commitment of American soldiers, but Jones also pulls no punches, bluntly chronicling resentment at the privilege of the officers, questionable strategic choices, wartime suffering, disorganization, the needless loss of life, and the brutal realization that a single soldier is ultimately nothing but a replaceable cog in a heartless machine. As the generation that fought and won World War II leaves the stage, James Jones’s book reminds us of what they accomplished—and what they sacrificed to do so.