Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Booknotes: The Story of a Cavalryman

New Arrival:
The Story of a Cavalryman: The Civil War Memoirs of Bvt. Brig. Gen. Edward F. Winslow, 4th Iowa Cavalry edited by Dick Titterington & Daniel L. Smith (Author/Trans-Mississippi Musings Pr, 2016).

A complete novice to military affairs, Edward Francis Winslow forged an impressive Civil War career in the western theater, becoming one of the conflict's many under-celebrated Union cavalry officers. A native of Maine, Winslow was working in railroad construction in Iowa when war broke out. Elected captain of Company F, 4th Iowa Cavalry, he led blue troopers throughout the war. In the latter stages of the war, Winslow commanded brigades in campaigns fought across Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, and Alabama, and he was eventually promoted to brigadier general by the end of 1864. 

His memoir, written with no intention to publish, begins with Winslow's elevation to regimental command during the Vicksburg Campaign, where his performance during a May 1863 fight at Fourteenmile Creek earned him notice by Grant and Sherman. The memoir's narrative recounts Winslow's participation in many western theater military operations at some length. They include his August 1863 expedition from Vicksburg to Memphis, the Yazoo and Canton expeditions, the 1864 Meridian Campaign, Brice's Crossroads, Tupelo, the Price Expedition in Missouri, and the late-war Grierson and Wilson raids (the latter including the battles at Selma and Columbus). Editors Titterington and Smith contribute to the volume an introduction, photographs, and maps. They also heavily annotate the text, with the chapter notes offering numerous mini-biographies of persons mentioned in Winslow's memoir.

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