November 22, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

How to Lose the Civil War: Military Mistakes of the War Between the States

How to Lose the Civil War: Military Mistakes of the War Between the States

Bill Fawcett

Language: English

Pages: 186

ISBN: 0061807273

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

“Fawcett rivals Jim Dunnigan as a general-audience military analyst.”
Publishers Weekly

An expert on historical military incompetence, Bill Fawcett now offers an engrossing, fact-filled collection that sheds light on the biggest, dumbest screw ups of the America’s bloodiest conflict. How to Lose the Civil War is a fascinating compendium of battlefield blunders and strategic mistakes on both sides of the line. History and military buffs, trivia lovers, and students of the War Between the States will all be mesmerized by this amazing collection of gaffes and bungles perpetrated by idiot officers and short-sighted politicians, Union and Confederate alike— published on the 150th anniversary of the brutal conflict that changed America forever.

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Infallibility The Union’s Army of Virginia was a bastard child fathered by incompetence and born of defeat. Its three independent corps, now bundled into an army, were commanded respectively by Major Generals John Frémont, Nathaniel Banks, and Irwin McDowell. Stonewall Jackson had whipped all three of them in a brilliant campaign of battle and movement in the Shenandoah Valley earlier that spring. The more senior Frémont refused to serve under the army’s new commander, Major General John Pope,

screwed up by ordering the division of John Reynolds, which faced west toward Longstreet, to pull out of line and fill the gap left by Porter’s retreat. Only two brigades were left on Chinn Ridge to cover Pope’s left flank. General Robert E. Lee gave Longstreet the green light. Five divisions sprang forward, looking to overrun Chinn Ridge and seize Henry House Hill just a half mile beyond. Taking that hill would bring the entire Union Army under Confederate artillery fire. But Longstreet had to

Richardson’s division. This unwound Lee’s center. Two divisions fell back in disorder. Richardson pushed his division farther, taking the high ground behind the Sunken Road and trashing Lee’s center. But the attack lost steam when Richardson was mortally wounded by artillery fire. It was now early afternoon. Another corps under Franklin was close by, just behind the forces of Sumner and Williams. But Sumner thought it folly to press the attack with Franklin’s fresh troops. McClellan concurred

can’t call a blockade ineffective if goods don’t move. Liverpool, which was pro-Confederate, played both sides. The speculators cleaned up on the high prices they got for stored cotton, and the Confederate commerce raiders came from Liverpool shipyards. Another factor: western European harvests were poor in the early 1860s. Governments importing grain and meat from the North were not inclined to bite the hand that was feeding them. Moreover, the North imported a fair amount of war matériel at

May 6, 1863. The typically aggressive Lee divided his force of 60,892 men and struck hard at elements of Hooker’s massive 133,868-man army, beating them soundly and forcing Hooker to leave the field. Almost incapacitated by a near miss from a cannonball that hit a wooden pillar he’d been leaning on, Hooker was timid and unaggressive in command, unable to muster his large army in a concerted effort. He would resign his command three days before one of the most critical battles of the

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