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Failure in the Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joe Wheeler, and the…

– tekijä: David A. Powell

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
471431,205 (3.88)1
WINNER, 2010, RICHARD HARWELL AWARD, GIVEN BY THE CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE OF ATLANTA Confederate cavalry has a storied and favorable relationship with the history of the Civil War. Tales of raids and daring exploits create a whiff of lingering romance about the horse soldiers of the Lost Cause. Sometimes, however, romance obscures history. In August 1863 William Rosecrans' Union Army of the Cumberland embarked on a campaign of maneuver to turn Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee out of Chattanooga, one of the most important industrial and logistical centers of the Confederacy. Despite the presence of two Southern cavalry corps (nearly 14,000 horsemen) under legendary commanders Nathan Bedford Forrest and Joe Wheeler, Union troops crossed the Tennessee River unopposed and unseen, slipped through the passes cutting across the knife-ridged mountains, moved into the narrow valleys, and turned Bragg's left flank. Threatened with the loss of the railroad that fed his army, Bragg had no choice but to retreat. He lost Chattanooga without a fight. After two more weeks of maneuvering, skirmishing, and botched attacks Bragg struck back at Chickamauga, where he was once again surprised by the position of the Union army and the manner in which the fighting unfolded. Although the combat ended with a stunning Southern victory, Federal counterblows that November reversed all that had been so dearly purchased. David A. Powell's Failure in the Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joseph Wheeler, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign is the first in-depth attempt to determine what role the Confederate cavalry played in both the loss of Chattanooga and the staggering number of miscues that followed up to, through, and beyond Chickamauga. Powell draws upon an array of primary accounts and his intimate knowledge of the battlefield to reach several startling conclusions: Bragg's experienced cavalry generals routinely fed him misleading information, failed to screen important passes and river crossings, allowed petty command politics to routinely influence their decision-making, and on more than one occasion disobeyed specific and repeated orders that may have changed the course of the campaign. Richly detailed and elegantly written, Failure in the Saddle offers new perspectives on the role of the Rebel horsemen in every combat large and small waged during this long and bloody campaign and, by default, a fresh assessment of the generalship of Braxton Bragg. This judiciously reasoned account includes a guided tour of the cavalry operations, several appendices of important information, and original cartography. It is essential reading for students of the Western Theater. About the Author: David A. Powell is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (Class of 1983) with a BA in history. He has published numerous articles in magazines, more than fifteen historical simulations of various battles, and is the co-author (with David A. Friedrichs) of The Maps of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22-September 23, 1863, a selection of the History and Military book clubs.… (lisätietoja)
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Failure in the Saddle indicts Joe Wheeler for mishandling his new cavalry corps prior and during the battle of Chickamauga. The text is fine (despite its lazy editing which gets progressively worse ("ankee", "Rscrans"), a publisher should actually read the stuff they publish). It is unfair to blame Wheeler for his failure to lead his forces effectively. He was new at his job and the creation of not one but two cavalry corps created unnecessary layers upon layers of commands (similar to Burnside's Grand Divisions). Both Wheeler and Forrest acted like brigade commanders concentrating on local matters instead of on the big picture. The main failure rests with Bragg, however, who never developed a clear defensive strategy. Where was the South's "Ills ne passeront pas" line?

In reality, it was not a failure in the saddle at all. The Army of Tennessee had an oversupply of rear ends. It just took two years for the Federals to build up better armed, disciplined cavalry. Both Bragg at Chickamauga and Lee at Gettysburg lacked mounted reconnaissance and flank protection, a service splendidly done by the Federal cavalry. The missing comparison to its outstanding Federal counterpart as well as to Stuart's cavaliers prevents the book from being above average. ( )
  jcbrunner | Feb 2, 2011 |
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (4)

WINNER, 2010, RICHARD HARWELL AWARD, GIVEN BY THE CIVIL WAR ROUND TABLE OF ATLANTA Confederate cavalry has a storied and favorable relationship with the history of the Civil War. Tales of raids and daring exploits create a whiff of lingering romance about the horse soldiers of the Lost Cause. Sometimes, however, romance obscures history. In August 1863 William Rosecrans' Union Army of the Cumberland embarked on a campaign of maneuver to turn Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee out of Chattanooga, one of the most important industrial and logistical centers of the Confederacy. Despite the presence of two Southern cavalry corps (nearly 14,000 horsemen) under legendary commanders Nathan Bedford Forrest and Joe Wheeler, Union troops crossed the Tennessee River unopposed and unseen, slipped through the passes cutting across the knife-ridged mountains, moved into the narrow valleys, and turned Bragg's left flank. Threatened with the loss of the railroad that fed his army, Bragg had no choice but to retreat. He lost Chattanooga without a fight. After two more weeks of maneuvering, skirmishing, and botched attacks Bragg struck back at Chickamauga, where he was once again surprised by the position of the Union army and the manner in which the fighting unfolded. Although the combat ended with a stunning Southern victory, Federal counterblows that November reversed all that had been so dearly purchased. David A. Powell's Failure in the Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joseph Wheeler, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign is the first in-depth attempt to determine what role the Confederate cavalry played in both the loss of Chattanooga and the staggering number of miscues that followed up to, through, and beyond Chickamauga. Powell draws upon an array of primary accounts and his intimate knowledge of the battlefield to reach several startling conclusions: Bragg's experienced cavalry generals routinely fed him misleading information, failed to screen important passes and river crossings, allowed petty command politics to routinely influence their decision-making, and on more than one occasion disobeyed specific and repeated orders that may have changed the course of the campaign. Richly detailed and elegantly written, Failure in the Saddle offers new perspectives on the role of the Rebel horsemen in every combat large and small waged during this long and bloody campaign and, by default, a fresh assessment of the generalship of Braxton Bragg. This judiciously reasoned account includes a guided tour of the cavalry operations, several appendices of important information, and original cartography. It is essential reading for students of the Western Theater. About the Author: David A. Powell is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (Class of 1983) with a BA in history. He has published numerous articles in magazines, more than fifteen historical simulations of various battles, and is the co-author (with David A. Friedrichs) of The Maps of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22-September 23, 1863, a selection of the History and Military book clubs.

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