Preview – Sommers, “Challenges of Command in the Civil War”

1 07 2018

51TDgdVTcvLNew from Savas Beatie is Dr. Richard J. Sommers’s Challenges of Command in the Civil War: Generalship, Leadership, and Strategy at Gettysburg, Petersburg, and Beyond, Vol. I: Generals and Generalship. This is the first of two volumes, focusing on the actors and their performance. Volume II will look at Civil War Strategy, Operations, and Organization.

Five chapters of the ten in this volume focus on Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee throughout the war. The next five chapters examine: Union civilian corps commanders; Federal wing and corps commanders in the 1862 Maryland campaign; Federal wing and corps commanders in the Gettysburg campaign; senior Federal commanders in the fifth offensive at Petersburg; and Revolutionary War relatives of significant Civil War soldiers and politicians.

In addition to these ten chapters in 232 pages, you get:

  • An epilogue.
  • A 12 page bibliography
  • Bottom of page footnotes
  • Five tables and charts
  • Seven maps
  • 80 photographs

Dr. Sommers is a name with which all students of the American Civil War is familiar. You’ve seen his name in the acknowledgements of countless books, as he was for more than four decades associated with the Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) in Carlisle, Pa. He has authored dozens of articles, chapters, entries, and reviews, as well as the epic Richmond Redeemed, recently updated and published by Savas Beatie.


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1 07 2018
Ted Savas

There is a slanderous 1-star hit piece on Amazon, which I can only think is a personal vendetta, that describes this as the worst book in decades, the magisterial “Richmond Redeeemed as garbage, and more. This is an anthology collection of his staff rides, lectures, mullings and thinkings on these generals their actions. And it’s excellent.

Check it out Harry and you will see. Just disgusting.

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