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This is a "must read" for anyone who desires to better understand those four days in June of '64. Had Federal troops taken Petersburg on June 15th, ( or the following three days), Petersburg would not have become the longest siege in American history. The author gives ample background regarding the city prior to both the war and the arrival of Wm F. Smith's XVIII Corps. (Army of the James) The actions of June 16th and 17th have often been overlooked by Civil War writers. While Howe's treatment of those days is hardly exhustive, he does provide ample explanation of the overall action on both days. This is a "quick" read, but well researched and cited. As with many of the volumes in the H.E. Howard series, this work is academic in its research, but, not "over the head" of the casual historian. And, if the reader is not the type to make margin notes or highlight passages, finding a used copy in less than "new" condition is recommended. One will certainly enjoy making such additions to this work. Huzzah for Thomas Howe. John F. Marler, former seasonal park ranger @ Petersburg National Battlefield and former owner/operator of "The Appomattox Touring Company".