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The Civil War Generals: Comrades, Peers, Rivals—In Their Own Words

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The Civil War Generals offers an unvarnished and largely unknown window into what military generals wrote and said about each other during the Civil War era. Drawing on more than 170 sources—including the letters, diaries, and memoirs of the general officers of the Union and Confederate armies, as well as their staff officers and other prominent figures—Civil War historian The Civil War Generals offers an unvarnished and largely unknown window into what military generals wrote and said about each other during the Civil War era. Drawing on more than 170 sources—including the letters, diaries, and memoirs of the general officers of the Union and Confederate armies, as well as their staff officers and other prominent figures—Civil War historian Robert Girardi has compiled a valuable record of who these generals were and how they were perceived by their peers. The quotations within paint revealing pictures of the private subjects at hand and, just as often, the people writing about them—a fascinating look at the many diverse personalities of Civil War leadership. More than just a collection of quotations, The Civil War Generals is also a valuable research tool, moving beyond the best-known figures to provide contemporary character descriptions of more than 400 Civil War generals. The quotes range in nature from praise to indictment, and differing opinions of each individual give a balanced view, making the book both entertaining and informative. A truly one-of-a-kind compilation illustrated with approximately 100 historical photographs, The Civil War Generals will find a home not only with the casual reader and history buff, but also with the serious historian and researcher.


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The Civil War Generals offers an unvarnished and largely unknown window into what military generals wrote and said about each other during the Civil War era. Drawing on more than 170 sources—including the letters, diaries, and memoirs of the general officers of the Union and Confederate armies, as well as their staff officers and other prominent figures—Civil War historian The Civil War Generals offers an unvarnished and largely unknown window into what military generals wrote and said about each other during the Civil War era. Drawing on more than 170 sources—including the letters, diaries, and memoirs of the general officers of the Union and Confederate armies, as well as their staff officers and other prominent figures—Civil War historian Robert Girardi has compiled a valuable record of who these generals were and how they were perceived by their peers. The quotations within paint revealing pictures of the private subjects at hand and, just as often, the people writing about them—a fascinating look at the many diverse personalities of Civil War leadership. More than just a collection of quotations, The Civil War Generals is also a valuable research tool, moving beyond the best-known figures to provide contemporary character descriptions of more than 400 Civil War generals. The quotes range in nature from praise to indictment, and differing opinions of each individual give a balanced view, making the book both entertaining and informative. A truly one-of-a-kind compilation illustrated with approximately 100 historical photographs, The Civil War Generals will find a home not only with the casual reader and history buff, but also with the serious historian and researcher.

50 review for The Civil War Generals: Comrades, Peers, Rivals—In Their Own Words

  1. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    This book is billed as The Civil War Generals - In Their Own Words. Is is really nothing of the kind. It is the Civil War Generals- in Each Others' Words. So it actually consists of snippets of memoirs and other histories of the time in which various people, veterans, politicians, and some Generals, discuss every single General on either side. We get the name of the gentleman, his CV (Positions held, notable achievements, his demise if it happened during the war) sometimes a photo- and then seve This book is billed as The Civil War Generals - In Their Own Words. Is is really nothing of the kind. It is the Civil War Generals- in Each Others' Words. So it actually consists of snippets of memoirs and other histories of the time in which various people, veterans, politicians, and some Generals, discuss every single General on either side. We get the name of the gentleman, his CV (Positions held, notable achievements, his demise if it happened during the war) sometimes a photo- and then several paragraphs, seldom over two pages in which the nature and style of subject is discussed. It's very wide- every dude is in here- but not very deep. Still a fun little read. As you might expect, the quotes end up being about equal thirds Complimentary , directly insulting, and thinly veiled insulting. And those dismayed at the hyper-political climate abroad NOW in America, will be amazed to know that party politics and religious differences figure in many of the most aggressive rants. The Confederates are slightly nice to each other , but their generals seemed to have died at a faster clip, in keeping with a losing side. But the back and forth sniping is the meat and potatoes of this book- and you have to find the fun there, since it not that useful for direct historical purposes. I will say that they knew how to construct both sentences and elaborate insults- no mere "Bigly Stupid" or "Sad" for them. Clean and concise or long and windy, their "disses" are a joy to read. This is a fine book for a junior reader if it hold their interest. Some of the concepts are complex and require some historical research- but that's GREAT for kids! For the Gamer/Modeller/Military enthusiast, this is a bit of a mixed bag. Getting to know ALL the Generals is good, and getting some quotes on all of them is a good way to get to know them. Appendixes are Maps, A list of all the Contributing Veterans, a great list of all the battles with who fought where, and a great Bibliography. So this book is great for background, and getting a feel of the period- but I doubt it will contribute directly to Scenario/diorama development. On the other hand- if you add a RPG aspect- then your game master wants this book at hand for pithy quotes- and very pithy some of these dudes were. A qualified recommendation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I cannot say that I read this book cover to cover, but I did go through and pick out interesting things (generals) to read about, and then I went through again and found more interesting people, and then again, and again. I do not believe that this is a book that is meant to be read straight through. Rather, there is a section at the beginning that provides quotes and information on Generalship, and then the next two sections are alphabetical lists of the Union Generals and then the Confederate I cannot say that I read this book cover to cover, but I did go through and pick out interesting things (generals) to read about, and then I went through again and found more interesting people, and then again, and again. I do not believe that this is a book that is meant to be read straight through. Rather, there is a section at the beginning that provides quotes and information on Generalship, and then the next two sections are alphabetical lists of the Union Generals and then the Confederate Generals with brief bios provided for each. Some of these bios are a short paragraph in length, while others are a few pages. Still, it was interesting to read about some of the more obscure people who served as leaders during the Civil War.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maria-Paula

    As a lover of historical fiction, I greatly enjoyed this book. The Civil War era was a very important time in our history and this book highlights the important men of the field with a series of vivid stories. I would recommend to all history lovers. Received as an ARC.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alex Raines

    This book was a complete crock.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Darrell Zuercher

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tsnellprof

  7. 4 out of 5

    James Lynam

  8. 4 out of 5

    George Sr.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Monica

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashly Shroyer

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Dintsch

  12. 5 out of 5

    Frank

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debby

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robert Girardi

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tom Batalias

  17. 4 out of 5

    jeff

  18. 5 out of 5

    Branden Edmonds

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paul LaFontaine

  20. 4 out of 5

    Fred Curty

  21. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  22. 5 out of 5

    David

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tami Nelson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

  25. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Lavender

  26. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kin Pier

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kim Friant

  32. 4 out of 5

    Linda

  33. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  34. 5 out of 5

    Gail

  35. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

  36. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Baker

  37. 4 out of 5

    Kevin. McKernan

  38. 4 out of 5

    Michael O'Toole

  39. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  40. 5 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  41. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

  42. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Read

  43. 5 out of 5

    Vennie

  44. 4 out of 5

    Rand

  45. 5 out of 5

    Leah Shepherd

  46. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Bawelkiewicz

  47. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Polish

  48. 5 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  49. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Carnes

  50. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Dixon

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