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I have been up to see the Congress and they do not seem to be able to do anything except to eat peanuts and chew tobacco, while my army is starving… Robert E. Lee

Civil War command and strategy :  the process of victory and defeat New York : Free  Press ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New  York : Maxwell Macmillan International, c 1992 Archer Jones Military art and science United States  History 19th century Hardcover. xi, 338 p.  : ill., maps ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical  references (p. 301-307) and index. Clean, tight and  strong binding with clean dust jacket. No  highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG  

In this “nuts and bolts” comparative history of union and Confederate command and strategy, the  historian Archer Jones shows us how the Civil War was actually conducted. Looking at decision-making at the highest levels, from mobilization and organiza­tion to planning and operation, Jones argues that Presidents Lincoln and Davis and most of their senior generals brought to the context of the Civil War a broad grasp of established military strategy and its historical applications, as well as the ability to make significant strategic decisions.

In spite of superior numbers, the union advantage was greatly diminished by the extent of Southern territory, the intrinsic superiority of the defense over the offense, and the problems of supplying armies over long distances. North­ern industrial dominance also proved almost use­less in a war which depended less on complex weapons and ammunition than on the man with thee rifle. The two sides were, in fact, almost evenly matched. As a result of this parity, strat­egy and command were the critical elements deteriming the course and outcome of the war.

Thematic in his approach to the military aspects of the war, Archer Jones organizes his chapters around distinct strategic concepts which he delineates and traces through the var­ious phases of the conflict. He reveals how such ideas as the turning movement, the concentra­tion of force in space and time, and a diversity of raids shaped the performance of both North and South and provided the military means to advance their political ends.

Jones emphasizes the role of maneuvers as well as the significance of battles in explaining how military leaders like Grant and Lee worked in remarkable harmony with the political objec­tives of Presidents Lincoln and Davis, who had one eye on the battlefields and another on the upcoming elections. Closely analyzing and eval­uating the commands of these exemplary leaders, the author demonstrates that the war was neither total nor modern, limited classical, but rather a multi-faceted blend of traditional warfare with early influences of the industrial age.

With forty pages of diagrams to complement his fresh revisionist analysis, Jones offers unadulterated military history that gets to the root of how the Civil War was won and lost.

Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis ride to immortality at Stone Mountain, Georgia.

 

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