The Mississippi Valley in the Civil War

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Houghton, Mifflin, 1900 - Mississippi River Valley - 368 pages
Although often over-shadowed in Civil War literature by accounts of the Army of the Potomac's struggles against Robert E. Lee in Virginia and the bold Confederate invasion of the Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Western theatre of the Civil War was the scene of some of the most desperate, hard-fought and strategically important battles of the five year conflict. John Fiske's eloquent narrative begins with the seizure of the secessionist arsenal at Camp Jackson in St. Louis, MO, and follows the Union Army through its campaign to control the Mississippi River and its subsequent actions in Georgia and Tennessee. The text draws heavily on remembrances and personal journals of Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman and examines in painstaking detail not just events on the field of battle but the logistical considerations and political maneuvering that helped shape these campaigns. The result is a fascinating, informative and engrossing account of the turning of the Confederacy's left flank and the resulting defeat of the Army of the Rebellion.

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Page 300 - As there may still be some non-combatants in Chattanooga, I deem it proper to notify you that prudence would dictate their early withdrawal.
Page 67 - I have had no communication with General Grant for more than a week. He left his command without my authority, and went to Nashville. His army seems to be as much demoralized by the victory of Fort Donelson as was that of the Potomac by the defeat of Bull Run.
Page 240 - Until this moment I never thought your expedition a success. I never could see the end clearly until now. But this is a campaign. This is a success, if we never take the town.
Page 100 - I saw an open field, in our possession on the second day, over which the Confederates had made repeated charges the day before, so covered with dead that it would have been possible to walk across the clearing, in any direction, stepping on dead bodies, without a foot touching the ground.
Page 246 - If you can't feed us, you had better surrender us, horrible as the idea is, than suffer this noble army to disgrace themselves by desertion. I tell you plainly, men are not going to lie here and perish, if they do love their country dearly.
Page 246 - Self-preservation is the first law of nature, and hunger will compel a man to do almost anything. You had better heed a warning voice, though it is the voice of a private soldier. This army is now ripe for mutiny, unless it can be fed.
Page 67 - The future success of our cause demands that proceedings such as Grant's should at once be checked. Generals must observe discipline as well as private soldiers. Do not hesitate to arrest him at once if the good of the service requires it, and place CF Smith in command. You are at liberty to regard this as a positive order if it will smooth your way.
Page 207 - I believe my success here is gall and wormwood to the clique of West Pointers who have been persecuting me for months.
Page 275 - About 3 o'clock in the afternoon I asked the Commanding General for some of the troops of the right wing, but was informed by him that they had been beaten back so badly that they could be of no service to me.
Page 126 - In less than an hour and a half from the commencement of the action the enemy was in full retreat.

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