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William L. Shea holds a Ph.D. from Rice University and is Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Monticello
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Hardtack and Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life (1887) — Einführung, einige Ausgaben539 Exemplare, 10 Rezensionen





This is about a hundred page-long book describes two major western battles in Arkansas, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove. The text is quite dry and the nature of the flow doesn't always make clear who is fighting on what side. There are massive footnote biographies of the major players that would have been better placed in their own sections rather than occupy 2/3 of some pages. The maps are simple in 1990s style but effective. There are a few other black and white illustrations and photographs from the war. There are some blatant typos, including an officer who time travels to the 1950s.

I bought this at a library used book sale. It was evident then that a chunk of pages was coming loose. Unfortunately, as I read, the majority of the pages broke free of the binding. I suppose it's just as well that I was underwhelmed by the book's content, as it is now very difficult to read and is fated for the recycling bin.
… (mehr)
ladycato | May 29, 2022 |
All in all this is a very good examination of the battle that shutdown the Confederacy's final hope of reentering Missouri and retaining Arkansas; this being the last of Richmond's 1862 counter-attacks. The problem for Thomas Hindman's Army of the Trans-Mississippi is that it was at the very end of its logistical tether when it met the Union Army of the Frontier. This meant that even though Hindman arguably won a tactical victory, he had no choice but to vacate the field immediately; that this battle didn't count for more is a commentary on Hindman losing his nerve and not sticking with his original plan, as he was in a position to beat the divided Union force in detail. That the Union commanders on the spot, James Blunt & Francis Herron, aren't better known is possibly a commentary on the intrigues of John Schofield, the nominal commander of the Union field force, as he managed not to reach the field of battle before the contest was decided and resented his subordinates getting their 15 minutes of glory. Then again, both of these Union and Confederate armies pretty much evaporated after this battle; there being bigger fights for which their troops were needed.… (mehr)
Shrike58 | 2 weitere Rezensionen | Jul 15, 2020 |
Very detailed study of the often overlooked Trans-Mississippi battle of Prairie Grove. While the battle may lack name recognition due to location or due to a lack of the most prominent commanders in the war, the battle still featured brutal fighting and consequences for those involved. The book dives into the relationships between various leaders including between the Confederates Hindman and Holmes as well as the senior Federal commanders including Blunt, Herron, Curtis and Schofield. Hindman's strategy to bring about a fight while keeping two Federal forces separated ultimately failed but not before a back and forth struggle, charge and counter-charge across the prairie in a one day battle ended by nightfall. The fighting and movements of the armies are well described, and several maps are included.… (mehr)
Rover4 | 2 weitere Rezensionen | Feb 28, 2020 |
This landmark book is an excellent treatment of an often neglected decisive American Civil War battle near Bentonville, AR (of Walmart fame), which knocked Arkansas out of the war. The Confederates should never have undertaken the campaign - their forces might have made the difference at Shiloh.

The Union commander, Samuel Curtis, displayed excellent generalship, steely nerves and a good grasp of logistics. He was fortunate in having excellent brigade commanders, though burdened with the second in command Franz Sigel. It is an irony of history that the incompetent politician-general Sigel was transferred to the Eastern Theater to play an expanded and catastrophic role in further campaigns while the quiet, professional soldier Curtis languished in the marginal theater.

Shea and Hess have written a compelling and beautifully illustrated study of the battle.
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jcbrunner | Jul 10, 2007 |


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