Thursday, February 28, 2019

Booknotes: Confederate Generals in the Trans-Mississippi, Volume 3

New Arrival:
Confederate Generals in the Trans-Mississippi, Volume 3: Essays on America's Civil War edited by Lawrence Lee Hewitt and Thomas E. Schott (Univ of Tenn Press, 2019).

I was happy to learn soon after UT Press's Confederate Generals in the Western Theater series ended its run that a third and final Trans-Mississippi volume was in the works. Released earlier this month, Confederate Generals in the Trans-Mississippi, Volume 3: Essays on America's Civil War "offers eight new essays on generals engaged in the effort to secure a region whose unique challenges would have daunted the best of commanders."

As before, the essays examine the Civil War careers of Confederate generals either in part (focusing on particular battles, campaigns, or other specific periods) or in full. Of the latter variety in Volume 3 are chapters on generals Hamilton Bee, James Fagan, and John Wharton. Of the former category we get "Joseph G. Dawson III on Earl Van Dorn’s efforts to bring order to the chaos of the Trans-Mississippi District and how his experiences affected his battlefield performance in 1862; Jeffery M. Prushankin on the administrative nightmares facing Edmund Kirby Smith when he assumed responsibility for the region in 1863; and Richard Holloway on the formidable army commander Richard Taylor and the all-but-forgotten effort to move Confederate troops east of the Mississippi in 1864." The remaining essays follow William Boggs's actions in Louisiana and cavalry general Tom Green's 1863 rise to a prominent leadership position in the same state.

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