Civil War

Download Decision in the Heartland: The Civil War in the West by Steven E. Woodworth PDF

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By Steven E. Woodworth

The decision is in: the Civil struggle used to be received within the West—that is, within the nation's heartland, among the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. but, someone who follows the literature at the battle may perhaps nonetheless imagine that it was once the clash in Virginia that finally made up our minds the result. every year sees the looks of recent books geared toward the preferred marketplace that easily suppose that it was once within the East, frequently at Gettysburg, that the decisive clashes of the struggle came about. for many years, critical historians of the Civil warfare have accomplished one cautious examine after one other, approximately all tending to point the pivotal significance of what humans through the warfare known as the West. during this fast-paced evaluate, Woodworth provides his case for the decisiveness of the theater.Overwhelming facts now shows that it was once battles like fortress Donelson, Shiloh, Chattanooga, and Atlanta that sealed the destiny of the Confederacy-not the approximately mythical clashes at Bull Run or Chancellorsville or the legendary high-water mark at Gettysburg. The western campaigns fee the Confederacy substantial territories, the producing middle of Nashville, the monetary middle of recent Orleans, communications hubs resembling Corinth, Chattanooga, and Atlanta, in addition to the rural produce of the breadbasket of the Confederacy. They sapped the morale of Confederates and buoyed the spirits of Unionists, eventually sealing the northern electorate's determination to come Lincoln to the presidency for a moment time period and hence to determine the conflict via to ultimate victory. Detailing the Western clashes that proved so major, Woodworth contends that it was once there on my own that the Civil conflict may well be—and was—decided.

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Extra info for Decision in the Heartland: The Civil War in the West (Reflections on the Civil War Era)

Sample text

His maddening slowness in crossing Alabama and then his unenterprising retreat all the way to Kentucky without making any effort to halt Bragg’s progress, along with his apparent willingness to allow the Confederate forces to remain in Kentucky indefinitely, was finally too much for the patience of Lincoln, Secretary of War Stanton, and General-in-Chief Halleck. An order went out relieving Buell of command and replacing him with his senior subordinate, George Thomas. The officer carrying the order reached Louisville on the morning of September 29, only hours after one of the most remarkable events in any army’s high command.

Grant was disgusted with the colonel’s failure but saw the new development as an opportunity to attack Price. Grant had been on the defensive lately, partly because Halleck had left his forces widely scattered and partly because his superiors, chiefly Halleck, seemed displeased with aggressive action. Now, however, Halleck, who was in a state of intense anxiety about affairs in Kentucky, was sending Grant messages urging him to attack any Confederate force that appeared likely to reinforce Bragg.

In a night lit by the flashes of hundreds of heavy guns and the glare of fire rafts that threatened to ignite Farragut’s wooden ships, the fleet came through, battered but intact. The next day it reached New Orleans, and the largest city in the South surrendered without a fight. A small Union army under Benjamin Butler occupied the city while Farragut led his ships up the river to link up with the gunboats coming down. They met at Vicksburg, which alone among Confederate river bastions successfully defied Union naval might.

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