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Lee's endangered left : the Civil War in western Virginia, spring of 1864 / Richard R. Duncan.

By: Duncan, Richard R.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c1998Description: xvi, 346 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0807122912 (alk. paper); 9780807122914 (alk. paper).Subject(s): Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 | West Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 | Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1807-1870DDC classification: 973.7/455 | 975.503 Other classification: 15.85
Contents:
Preparation for battle -- The Dublin raid -- The valley -- Valley of humiliation -- Hunter takes command -- Piedmont -- Staunton, at last! -- On to Lynchburg -- Debacle.
Summary: In the spring of 1864, Ulysses S. Grant as general-in-chief of the Union armies devised a plan of concerted action to bring down the Confederacy. As part of that strategy, Grant aimed to destroy General Robert E. Lee's supply source for his Army of Northern Virginia in western Virginia and to use military activity there as an extended turning movement to threaten Lee from the west. In this study, Richard R. Duncan offers a riveting overview of these military operations as well as their impact on the civilian population, shedding light on an often overlooked chapter of the Civil War in Virginia.Summary: Unlike most other works on the eastern theater, Lee's Endangered Left emphasizes the high price civilians paid for these campaigns. Driven beyond their supply lines, the Federal troops were forced to live off the countryside. The need for food and horses and the Union objective of crippling the South's ability to wage war brought serious losses to Confederate and Unionist civilians alike, reflecting the increasingly destructive nature of the war.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E581 .D86 1998 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001397801

Includes bibliographical references (p. [303]-328) and index.

Preparation for battle -- The Dublin raid -- The valley -- Valley of humiliation -- Hunter takes command -- Piedmont -- Staunton, at last! -- On to Lynchburg -- Debacle.

In the spring of 1864, Ulysses S. Grant as general-in-chief of the Union armies devised a plan of concerted action to bring down the Confederacy. As part of that strategy, Grant aimed to destroy General Robert E. Lee's supply source for his Army of Northern Virginia in western Virginia and to use military activity there as an extended turning movement to threaten Lee from the west. In this study, Richard R. Duncan offers a riveting overview of these military operations as well as their impact on the civilian population, shedding light on an often overlooked chapter of the Civil War in Virginia.

Unlike most other works on the eastern theater, Lee's Endangered Left emphasizes the high price civilians paid for these campaigns. Driven beyond their supply lines, the Federal troops were forced to live off the countryside. The need for food and horses and the Union objective of crippling the South's ability to wage war brought serious losses to Confederate and Unionist civilians alike, reflecting the increasingly destructive nature of the war.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

With great skill, Duncan (history, Georgetown Univ.) probes the final military strategies of Union and Confederacy in the Eastern theater, where success hinged on control of the Shenandoah Valley, the artery of supply and the avenue for invading armies moving north or south. Federal initiatives in 1864 succeeded only partially owing to bungled commands and Confederate energy, and the war dragged on into 1865. Duncan invests much in describing generals and battles but also finds the miseries inflicted on civilians. Although he does not hitch his arguments to other recent books discussing the ways leaders on both sides not only accepted but encouraged "total war," Duncan does suggest that by 1864 the old order was collapsing in the Shenandoah. He makes us smell the sulfur in his rousing battle accounts but fails to show the full significance of spring 1864 or how war remade the Valley. A useful addition to academic and special collections on the Civil War.‘Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Duncan (Georgetown Univ.) has written a good modern analysis of the military operations and maneuvers in western Virginia in 1864 prior to Confederate General Jubal Early's dramatic raid on Washington. This study includes the Dublin raid, and the fighting at Cloyd's Mountain, New Market, Piedmont, and Lynchburg. Rather than provide details of the battles, the author focuses on strategy and on the impact an increasingly destructive war was having on the civilian population. Especially demoralizing to Virginians, Confederate and Unionist alike, were the cruel activities of Union General David Hunter, who briefly secured Federal objectives in the Shenandoah Valley breadbasket. Duncan provides a comprehensive overview of the moves and countermoves of Generale Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant in this secondary theater, which became critical to their plans in 1864. With numerical superiority, Grant maneuvered to destroy Lee's supply source and in an extended turning movement threatened Lee from the west, but Grant was hampered by his commanders--Generals Franz Sigel and Hunter, while Lee was well served by his--Generals John C. Breckinridge and Early. Recommended for Civil War collections. All levels. E. M. Thomas Gordon College

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