Re: Review: Sherman's Horsemen by David Evans
- 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.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "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:
> Brett S.
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.
--- In email@example.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.