12/22/2014 10:05 AM
BATON ROUGE – LSU Press’ Civil War history list, recently added two new titles: Lesley
Gordon’s “A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War” and “Corps Commanders in Blue: Union Major Generals in the Civil War,” edited by Ethan Rafuse.
“A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War” recounts the tragic history
of one of the Civil War’s most ill-fated Union military units. Organized in the late
summer of 1862, the 16th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was unprepared for battle
a month later, when it entered the fight at Antietam. The results were catastrophic:
nearly a quarter of the men were killed or wounded, and Connecticut’s 16th panicked
and fled the field. In the years that followed, the regiment participated in minor
skirmishes before surrendering en masse in North Carolina in 1864.
Over time, competing stories emerged of who the men of the 16th were, why they endured
what they did, and how they should be remembered. By the end of the century, their
collective recollections reshaped this troubling and traumatic past, and the “unfortunate
regiment” emerged as the “Brave Sixteenth,” their individual memories and accounts
altered to fit the more heroic contours of the Union victory. The product of over
a decade of research, Gordon’s “A Broken Regiment” is a fascinating and heartrending
story of one regiment’s wartime and postwar struggles.
Gordon is professor of history at the University of Akron and author of “General George
E. Pickett in Life and Legend.”
The outcomes of campaigns in the Civil War often depended on top generals having the right corps commanders in the right place at the right time. “Corps Commanders in Blue: Union Major Generals in the Civil War,” offers eight case studies that illuminate the critical roles the Union corps commanders played in shaping the war’s course and outcome. The contributors examine, and in many cases challenge, widespread assumptions about these men while considering the array of internal and external forces that shaped their efforts on and off the battlefield.
Providing insight into the military conduct of the Civil War, “Corps Commanders in
Blue” fills a significant gap in the historiography of the war by offering compelling
examinations of the challenges of corps command in particular campaigns, the men who
exercised that command, and the array of factors that shaped their efforts, for good
or for ill.
Rafuse is professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff
College and the author of eight books on the Civil War, including “Robert E. Lee and
the Fall of the Confederacy.”
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014