Friday, June 3, 2016

Booknotes: The Confederacy at Flood Tide

New Arrival:
The Confederacy at Flood Tide: The Political and Military Ascension, June to December 1862 by Philip Leigh (Westholme, 2016).

Many Civil War scholars and writers have framed the period encompassing the summer and fall months of 1862 as the "high tide" of the Confederacy. Leigh's slim volume closely focuses its attention upon this brief time of apparent Confederate resurgence after a demoralizing series of defeats suffered earlier in the year. The book begins with the Seven Days battles and covers all three major theaters of war. According to the author "on every battlefront and in the governmental halls of Europe, the Confederate effort reached its furthest extent during the second half of 1862. But with the president’s [Emancipation] proclamation, the possibility of slave revolts and decline in the production of the very products that were sustaining the Southern economy became real; coupled with Europe’s decision to reject Confederate overtures and halt the sale of the ironclads, the opportunity for Confederate success ended."


  1. Is there anything new here? Interpretations? Sources? I am curious.

    1. Ted,
      It's a short book with a pretty limited bibliography. For the first two questions, I don't know yet.

    2. The bibliography provides 130 sources.

  2. Thanks for the prompt "new arrivals" review, Drew.

    Actually, instead of beginning with the Seven Days Campaign, the book starts with an assessment of the European viewpoint of the war at the beginning of the flood tide period (June - December of 1862). Throughout the story the book integrates the political, diplomatic, and espionage developments as well as the military progress.


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