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Re: Review: Sherman's Horsemen by David Evans

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  • carlw4514
    Brett, have a copy now of your full review and will try to get to it. I have to admit that this book had not made it to my wishlist but now you have me
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 3, 2005
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      Brett, have a copy now of your full review and will try to get to it.
      I have to admit that this book had not made it to my wishlist but now
      you have me reconsidering. A longtime goal of learning more about the
      Atlanta Campaign has had little progress, alas, but sounds like this
      book could fill some of that in.

      Carl

      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "b_schulte70" <brett@b...> wrote:
      >
      > Sherman's Horsemen by David Evans does not cover the entire Atlanta
      > Campaign, but picks up with the numerous raids starting on July 3,
      > 1864 and going to the end of Kilpatrick's Raid on August 22, 1864.
      > This book came recommended by several people in the "civilwarwest"
      > Yahoo Message Board, so after over 5 years on my shelf, I have finally
      > decided to give this one a try. Credit goes to those guys for getting
      > me to open it and start reading. I've never been a huge fan of Cavalry
      > operations in any theater, but the topic is becoming more interesting
      > to me and I've bought several other books as well. I am, however, a
      > big fan of the Atlanta Campaign, so this book filled in quite nicely a
      > missing piece of the overall puzzle for me. Sherman's Horsemen is on
      > the larger side at 645 pages, with 479 pages of text. The prodigious
      > amount of notes fills pages 481-592, or over 100 pages! I always like
      > seeing this amount of detail in the notes. It usually indicates the
      > author did his work and knows what he is talking about. Pages 593-623
      > contain the large bibliography, which is another good sign. The index
      > follows and brings up the rear from pages 625-645. There are 24 maps,
      > and the mix is nice with overview maps of raids, followed by tactical
      > level battle maps depicting regiments and sometimes less. And lastly,
      > Evans includes an Order of Battle, which I always consider a must in
      > books of this type. Evans contends that in no other major campaign
      > were horsemen as important as Sherman's were at Atlanta. He focuses on
      > the six raids Sherman's Cavalry made around Atlanta and he states,
      > "These raids, Sherman's motives for launching them, and their impact
      > on the course of the campaign are among the least known and less
      > understood aspects of one of the most interesting and most important
      > chapters of our Civil War". Evans sets out to educate readers and
      > rectify that situation. I highly recommend having a map of the Atlanta
      > area handy when reading my summary, as it will not make too much sense
      > without one.
      >
      > Although it took me awhile to read this book, if I had been reading it
      > without taking notes, I would've probably finished it in a week or so.
      > The story, as the title makes obvious, is told from the Federal point
      > of view, and Evans has a definite knack for storytelling,
      > interspersing the "whens" and "wheres" with a lot of human-interest
      > stories. You will certainly know what it was like being in a town in
      > the way of any of Sherman's raiders around Atlanta when you finish, at
      > the very least. The reader is also given a good idea of what it was
      > like to go on a Cavalry raid deep in enemy territory, where straggling
      > or getting wounded meant certain capture, and possibly even death.
      > Sherman's Cavalry commanders were a mixed lot, with many castoffs from
      > the Army of the Potomac, George Stoneman included. But some men such
      > as Lovell Rousseau, Bob Minty, and Tom Harrison, were more than
      > capable of handling the tasks set out for them by Sherman. Evans does
      > what he promises to do at the opening of the book, namely to provide
      > insight into Sherman's thinking and reasoning when sending his Cavalry
      > out on these raids, and also to explain the significance each raid had
      > on the successful conclusion (to the North at least!) of the Atlanta
      > Campaign As I stated in the introduction, the maps were good, but
      > after reading the book I wish they had indicated the routes the
      > raiders took, as it would have been just a little easier to follow the
      > action. This book is aimed at the serious Civil War buff. A good
      > working knowledge of Sherman's Campaign for Atlanta, while not
      > technically absolutely necessary, does help fill in the blanks for the
      > informed reader. Many people recommended this book to me, and I
      > wholeheartedly endorse their recommendations. Sherman's Horsemen fills
      > a void in Civil War literature, and will be the definitive study on
      > the Union cavalry operations around Atlanta for a long time to come.
      > 688 pp., 21 maps
      >
      > For a full summary click go to:
      > http://www.brettschulte.net/ACWBooks/reviews/ShermHorseEvans.doc
      >
      > Brett S.
      > www.brettschulte.net/ACWBooks/
    • b_schulte70
      Carl, It came highly recommended to me by several members of this group in a thread about a year ago, and also by several other collectors of Civil War books
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 3, 2005
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        Carl,

        It came highly recommended to me by several members of this group in a
        thread about a year ago, and also by several other collectors of Civil
        War books whose opinions I value. It definitely helped me fill in a
        portion of the campaign about which I had very little knowledge prior
        to reading the book.

        Brett

        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "carlw4514" <carlw4514@y...> wrote:
        >
        > Brett, have a copy now of your full review and will try to get to it.
        > I have to admit that this book had not made it to my wishlist but now
        > you have me reconsidering. A longtime goal of learning more about the
        > Atlanta Campaign has had little progress, alas, but sounds like this
        > book could fill some of that in.
        >
        > Carl
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