12th VA: The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War: A History of the 12th Virginia Infantry from John Brown’s Hanging to Appomattox, 1859-1865

   

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in Virginia Regimental Histories

12thVAPetersburgRegimentHorn2019Unit: 12th Virginia

Unit Affiliation: (Mahone/Weisiger), Mahone, III

Title: The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War: A History of the 12th Virginia Infantry from John Brown’s Hanging to Appomattox, 1859-1865

Author: John Horn

SOPO’s Take: John Horn, author/editor of multiple books on both the Siege of Petersburg as well as the 12th Virginia, has delivered an excellent unit history. The 12 Virginia’s war started slowly in Norfolk and elsewhere in Southside Virginia.  Then they participated in their first big battle at Seven Pines, an uneven performance, before seeing action for the rest of the war with Mahone’s Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia., seeing action at 2nd Manassas, Crampton’s Gap, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Overland Campaign, and finally Petersburg and Appomattox.  The regiment and its brigade did not have a stellar reputation…until the Siege of Petersburg changed all of that.  Mahone had worked as a surveyor prior to the war for a railroad in the area, and knew the ground intimately.  Partly as a result, Mahone’s Division was often used as Lee’s shock troops in the battles near Petersburg. Horn utilizes a lot of first person accounts, both from well-known members like George Bernard of “War Talks” fame, as well as many others, including some who were wounded and/or died in battle.  While this is very much a traditional military history account of the 12th, Horn also looks at a lot of social data in this account.  He also has excellent maps for some often forgotten battles, especially at Petersburg and during the Appomattox Campaign.  You can clearly see where the 12th Virginia was located on each and every one.  Many, many regimental histories lack this crucial information. The advance praise is a who’s who of Siege of Petersburg authors, including Ed Bearss, Gordon Rhea, the late, great Richard J. Sommers, William Glenn Robinson, and Noah Andre Trudeau. This is an excellent book and one anyone interested in the Siege of Petersburg will want to own.

Book Summary/Review:

    SOPO Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:

      Publisher: Savas Beatie

      Publication Date: 2019

      ISBN-13: 978-1-61121-436-9

      Links to Read/Buy:

      1. The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War: A History of the 12th Virginia Infantry from John Brown’s Hanging to Appomattox, 1859-1865 (Google Books)
      2. The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War: A History of the 12th Virginia Infantry from John Brown’s Hanging to Appomattox, 1859-1865 (Amazon.com)

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      { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

      Bryce Suderow August 20, 2020 at 10:43 am

      I think this regimental history provides something that historians to write about big battles Often miss. John discovered all kinds of new facts because he looked at the diaries and memoirs of observant soldiers, soldiers that the authors had missed

      Brett Schulte August 20, 2020 at 10:46 am

      Bryce, I completely agree. If an author is willing to do their due diligence and put in the work to find and evaluate all possible available sources, their work will be improved immeasurably. And finding those sources is easier than it has ever been due to the internet.

      Brett

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