THE BLOODY CRUCIBLE OF COURAGE: FIGHTING METHODS & COMBAT EXPERIENCE OF THE CIVIL WAR
Author: Brent Nosworthy
Publisher: PERSEUS / RUNNING PRESS, Jun 2003
Covers the variety of Civil War combat methods in their entirety. New weapons, changes in military doctrine, innovations applied to the battlefield; detailing methods of warfare. Firsthand accounts; exceptional. Maps, diagrams, & illus; index, notes. 9.5x6.5 inches, 752 pgs.
Whether because of the difficulty of the task or because most historians have traditonally been more interested in the chronological, political, or biographical dimensions of the Civil War, a comprehensive analysis of the fighting methods employed during this conflict has been largely overlooked.
In this groundbreaking achievement in Civil War scholarship, acclaimed military historian Brent Nosworthy leads an all-out attack on the many myths and misunderstandings about how the North and South fought, and covers for the first time in any book the variety of Civil War combat methods in their entirety. Now everything from grand tactics to hand-to-hand combat during our nation?s costliest war is given its proper due in the development of warfare.
Nosworthy weaves together the story of newly emerging weapons, the resulting changes in military doctrine, and the combatants? experiences as these innovations were applied to the battlefield. Detailing methods of warfare from General Irvin McDowell?s first tentative efforts at Bull Run to Lee?s and Grant?s final exertions at Petersburg and Appomattox, the author examines tactical variations due to regional differences and the distinctive circumstances of each campaign. Along with maps, diagrams, and illustrations throughout, The Bloody Crucible of Courage recognizes the primacy of the war?s most compelling voices, and contains hundreds of firsthand accounts from the front lines.
Some historians argue that the Civil War, with its use of rifled muskets and artillery, was the first great "modern" war; others argue that it was a sideshow of amateur generals and citizen soldiers whose tactics yielded few innovations or lasting lessons. Acclaimed military historian Brent Nosworthy takes on this great controversy and, for the first time in any book, covers the methods of Civil War warfare in their entirety. This work presents the most thorough study of Civil War military practices ever written. With diagrams, photos, and maps throughout, Nosworthy weaves together the story of newly emerging weapons, the resulting changes in military doctrine, and the combatants' experiences as these innovations were applied to the battlefield. Detailing the four-year evolution of warfare from General Irvin McDowell's first tentative efforts to Lee's and Grant's final exertions at Petersburg, the author examines tactical variation due to regional differences and the distinctive circumstances of each campaign: the methods used in the eastern theater versus those in the west; the confused fighting in the wilderness; the "trench" warfare at Vicksburg; and the techniques used in other famous battles, like Gettysburg and Antietam.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY:
"The indispensable starting point which all future battle studies of the war need to address...Without doubt the most important book published on the Civil War this year." --North & South
"It is difficult to write a truly original book on the Civil War, but Brent Nosworthy has done it." --Civil War Book Review
"A well-researched & compelling consideration of the complex range of factors that shaped Civil War combat." -- Civil War Times
"An exceptional reference." --Publishers Weekly
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brent Nosworthy's two previous books on military history. The Anatomy of Victory: Battle Tactics 1689-1763 and With Musket, Cannon, & Sword: Battle Tactics of Napoleon and His Enemies are considered classics in their field. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island.