Army of the Heartland: The Army of Tennessee, 1861--1862

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LSU Press, Aug 1, 2001 - History - 305 pages
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A companion volume to Autumn of Glory

Most of the Civil War was fought on Southern soil. The responsibility for defending the Confederacy rested with two great military forces. One of these armies defended the “heartland” of the Confederacy—a vital area which embraced the state of Tennessee and large portions of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Kentucky.

This is the story of that army—the first detailed study to be based upon research in manuscript collections and the first to explore the military significance of the heartland.

The Army of Tennessee faced problems and obstacles far more staggering than any encountered by the other great Confederate force. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Lee’s army was charged with the defense of an area considerably smaller in size. And while Lee’s line of defense extended only about 125 miles, the front defended by the Army of Tennessee stretched for some 400 miles.

Yet the Army of the Heartland has heretofore been given relatively slight attention by historians. With this volume Thomas Lawrence Connelly, a native Tennessean, has brought Confederate military history more nearly into balance.

Throughout the war the Army of Tennessee was plagued by ineffective leadership. There were personality conflicts between commanding generals and corps commanders and breakdowns in communications with the Confederate government at Richmond. Lacking the leadership of a Lee, the Army of Tennessee failed to attain a real esprit at the corps level. Instead, the common soldiers, sensing the quarrelsome nature of their leaders, developed at regimental and brigade levels their own peculiar brand of morale which sustained them through continuous defeats.

Connelly analyzes the influence and impact of each successive commander of the Army. His conclusions regarding Confederate command and leadership are not the conventional ones.

 

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User Review  - dhughes - LibraryThing

This is by far one of the best histories of the Army of Tennessee. The author gets the reader involved in the emotion of the events. His narrative style has the reader involved in the poor decisions ... Read full review

Army of the heartland: the Army of Tennessee, 1861-1862

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Connelly's volumes, published in 1967 and 1970, respectively, are standards in chronicling Tennessee's role in the Civil War. Both titles offer fresh perspectives on well-covered episodes as well as a ... Read full review

Contents

three AN UNCERTAIN HAND
59
six A SEASON OF BLUNDERS
103
THE BEAUREGARD INTERLUDE
145
THE BRAGGKIRBY SMITH INFLUENCE
187
thirteen YouR POWERFUL CHIEF MAGISTRATE
243
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About the author (2001)

Thomas Lawrence Connelly, professor of history at the University of South Carolina for many years, was the author or coauthor of numerous books on the Civil War, including Autumn of Glory: The Army of Tennessee, 1862–1865; The Politics of Command: Factions and Ideas in Confederate Strategy; The Marble Man: Robert E. Lee and His Image in American Society; and God and General Longstreet: The Lost Cause and the Southern Mind.

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