The Warrior Generals: Combat Leadership in the Civil War
"The Warrior Generals" examines three pairs of generals from the Union and Confederacy, at three levels of command, each of whom met repeatedly in battle: Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee; George H. Thomas and John B. Hood; and Francis C. Barlow and John B. Gordon. Interweaving the stories of these six men, Buell creates a sweeping panorama of the Civil War. At the same time, he shows us the human face of the drama, taking us into the fiery heart of battles such as Antietam, Shiloh, Chattanooga, and Spotsylvania. Drawing on dozens of sources largely neglected by previous historians, Buell challenges the conventional view that the Confederacy's officers were superior. He argues that Union generals had the edge in strategic thinking, preparation, and the use of innovative tactics. In particular, he questions Lee's reputation as a military genius and suggests that Thomas, the "Rock of Chickamauga, " was the greatest general in the war. Yet all six men are portrayed with sympathy and insight. Buell shows us how these leaders - tested to the limits by a war of unparalleled ferocity - prevailed through strengths of character that often existed side by side with flaws that would have undone other men. Compelling, authoritative, and original, this is a major contribution to Civil War history.