Monday, April 24, 2006

"The Raiders of 1862"

Retired army officer James Brewer's The Raiders of 1862 is one of my favorite 'cavalry books'. Sure, it's treatment of its subjects is not as exhaustive as say David Evans' Sherman's Horsemen, but the level of research is adequate and author's writing style is a pleasure to read. What really hooked me was Brewer's choice of cavalry raids for study.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I covers Frank Armstrong's West Tennessee raid (Aug.24 - Sept.4, 1862). This one appealed to me the most as it had direct relevance to one of my wargame design projects. Fights at Medon Station, Middleburg, and Britton's Lane are detailed in this section. Part II is a history of Forrest's West Tennessee raid (Dec.13, 1862 - Jan.3, 1863), with its battles at Lexington, Salem Cemetary, and Parker's Crossroads. Lastly, you get a nice overview of John Hunt Morgan's Christmas Raid (Dec.22, 1862 - Jan.5, 1863) in Part III.

Raiders is a fairly high quality hardback, similar to a McFarland effort. Although grainy computer generations, the maps are numerous, detailed, and very helpful in fostering an operational and tactical understanding of each raid. I would recommend the book to anyone interested in western theater cavalry raids.

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