On Fields of Fury: From the Wilderness to the Crater : An Eyewitness History

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9780060921637: On Fields of Fury: From the Wilderness to the Crater : An Eyewitness History

This compelling collection of eyewitness accounts--an engrossing chronological narrative extracted from memoirs and soldiers' letters--depicts the bloody battles of Grant's desperate, all-out assault on Lee's armies from May through July, 1864. "A gripping chronicle."--Kirkus Reviews. 100 halftones.

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From Publishers Weekly:

The latest entry in Wheeler's Civil War history covers Grant's Virginia campaign against Lee from May 5 through July 30, 1864. Told largely through the memoirs and letters of participants, quotations are linked together in a smooth chronological narrative that vividly illuminates the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor and the early phase of the siege of Petersburg. The book concludes with an account of the Crater fiasco, in which a tunnel was dug from Union to Confederate lines, packed with explosives and ignited. The Union command failed to exploit the resultant breach in the Southern lines and the war dragged on for eight more months. Wheeler ( Witness to Gettysburg ) explains well the strategy and tactics of the confrontation between the two great captains, but his emphasis throughout is on the human side of events. This includes not only military impressions but civilian as well, with poignant glimpses of slaves being liberated as the battle lines swept across the Virginia plantations. Illustrations.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This book by a prolific writer of Civil War tomes ( Witness to Appomattox, LJ 4/1/89; Sword Over Richmond, LJ 4/1/86) follows the tested formula of "eyewitness" histories: lots of quotations from various participants strung into a chronological rendering with only a minimum of connective narrative tissue. The book is intended for general readers and will meet the needs of the vast majority well. Indeed, it is an excellent introduction for readers unfamiliar with the military events of the war. The campaign covered here--from May to July 1864--was dramatic, momentous, bloody, elements all in abundance in this book. The worm-eyed perspective inevitably resulting from the book's method will prove disappointing to some readers, however. Good for high school and public libraries where such books have proved popular.
- Thomas E. Schott, 17th Air Force, Office of History, Sembach AB, Germany
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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