In the Trenches at Petersburg: Field Fortifications and Confederate Defeat

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University of North Carolina Press, 2013 - History - 403 pages
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The Petersburg campaign began June 15, 1864, with Union attempts to break an improvised line of Confederate field fortifications. By the time the campaign ended on April 2, 1865, two opposing lines of sophisticated and complex earthworks stretched for thirty-five miles, covering not only Petersburg but also the southeastern approaches to Richmond. This book, the third volume in Earl Hess's trilogy on the war in the eastern theater, recounts the strategic and tactical operations in Virginia during the last ten months of the Civil War, when field fortifications dominated military planning and the landscape of battle. The book covers all aspects of the campaign, especially military engineering, including mining and countermining, the fashioning of wire entanglements, the laying of torpedo fields, and the construction of underground shelters to protect the men who manned the works. It also humanizes the experience of the soldiers working in the fortifications, revealing their attitudes toward attacking and defending earthworks and the human cost of trench warfare in the waning days of the war.

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Excellent Campaign study

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Joined with “Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns” and “Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign”, this book completes an ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Earl J. Hess is associate professor of history at Lincoln Memorial University. He is author of many books on the Civil War, including, most recently, "The Civil War in the West: Victory and Defeat from the Appalachians to the Mississippi.

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