Thursday, October 22, 2015

Booknotes: Border Wars

New Arrival:

Border Wars: The Civil War in Tennessee and Kentucky edited by Kent T. Dollar, Larry H. Whiteaker & W. Calvin Dickinson (Kent St Univ Pr, 2015).

Border Wars is the military companion to Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee (Kentucky, 2009), an essay collection that deliberately avoided the battles and leaders approach to focus on economic, political and social themes. Border Wars restores the balance. "Part 1: Battles, Skirmishes, and Soldiers" is composed of six essays. They contrast Kentucky and Tennessee militias, discuss the Battle of Franklin, explore occupation and irregular warfare along the Green River and also in the Jackson Purchase, recount the abandoned 1861 campaign to rescue the Unionists of East Tennessee, and examine the sometimes contentious relationship between homegrown Tennessee Union regiments and other U.S. occupying forces. "Part 2: Leaders" also has six contributors plus an Afterword by B.F. Cooling, who has written extensively about all aspects of the war in the region. Included in this section are essays reassessing Felix Zollicoffer, Don Carlos Buell, and Braxton Bragg's conduct of the Stones River Campaign. Confederate high command disharmony is the subject of another chapter as is one comparing the successful command traits of Grant and Forrest. The final piece looks at the relationship between Tennessee Governor Isham Harris and the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

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