edited by Caroline E. Janney
SOPO’s Take: Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the War in Virginia marks yet another solid entry in the University of North Carolina Press’ “essay series” on the great campaigns of the Eastern Theater in the Civil War. Covering the last part of the Siege of Petersburg through Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in 1864-65, a collection of nine essays explores the military, political, and social aspects of the end of the Civil War in the Eastern Theater. The book is notable as editor Caroline Janney’s first solo effort in the series, taking on the task alone after having worked with prior editor Gary Gallagher on the previous book in the series, Cold Harbor to the Crater: The End of the Overland Campaign. Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the War in Virginia is another in a long line of excellent books in this series, and should be of interest to anyone who enjoys studying the Civil War in the east.
Here’s the lineup per the table of contents:
- Grant Finally Takes Command: How the Race to Appomattox Was Won by William W. Bergen
- We Can Keep All the Yankees Back That They Can Send: Morale among Hodd’s Texas Brigade’s Soldiers and Their Families, 1864-1865 by Susannah J. Ural
- A Whole Lot of Blame to Go Around: The Confederate Collapse at Five Forks by Peter S. Carmichael
- Lucky Inspiration: Philip Sheridan’s Uncertain Road to Triumph with the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac by Wayne Wei-Siang Hsieh
- Lee, Breckinridge, and Campbell: The Confederate Peacemakers of 1865 by William C. Davis
- Many Valuable Records and Documents Were Lost to History: The Destruction of Confederate Military Records during the Appomattox Campaign Keith Bohannon
- We Were Not Paroled: The Surrender of Lee’s Men beyond Appomattox Court House by Caroline E. Janney
- Sheridan’s Personal Memoirs and the Appomattox Campaign by Stephen Cushman
- The Last Hour of the Slaveholders’ Rebellion: African American Discourse on Lee’s Surrender by Elizabeth R. Varon
- BONUS: Bibliographic Essay by Editor Caroline Janney
The title of Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the War in Virginia is somewhat misleading, especially paired with its status as “volume 2” of the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign in this series. But once you realize it is really mostly about the Appomattox Campaign, this book is an excellent addition to the series so ably started by Gallagher and continued by Janney. Nine essays, mostly on aspects of the time period from April 1-9, 1865, cover the usual spectrum of military political, and social topics readers have come to expect in this series. If this is the third to last book in the venerable “Military Campaigns of the Civil War” series, no slip in quality has been detected here. Buy this book if you are at all interested in the Civil War. Its variety of coverage and uniformly excellent set of essays will challenge traditional views as well as enlighten and entertain.
BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:
BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Sources:
The last days of fighting in the Civil War’s eastern theater have been wrapped in mythology since the moment of Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House. War veterans and generations of historians alike have focused on the seemingly inevitable defeat of the Confederacy after Lee’s flight from Petersburg and recalled the generous surrender terms set forth by Grant, thought to facilitate peace and to establish the groundwork for sectional reconciliation. But this volume of essays by leading scholars of the Civil War era offers a fresh and nuanced view of the eastern war’s closing chapter. Assessing events from the siege of Petersburg to the immediate aftermath of Lee’s surrender, Petersburg to Appomattox blends military, social, cultural, and political history to reassess the ways in which the war ended and examines anew the meanings attached to one of the Civil War’s most significant sites, Appomattox.
Contributors are Peter S. Carmichael, William W. Bergen, Susannah J. Ural, Wayne Wei-Siang Hsieh, William C. Davis, Keith Bohannon, Caroline E. Janney, Stephen Cushman, and Elizabeth R. Varon.
About the Author
“A fine collection of essays written by experienced and knowledgeable scholars.”–Daniel E. Sutherland, author of A Savage Conflict
“This volume admirably mixes traditional military history with social and cultural history to offer valuable insights on the battles and events of the Appomattox campaign.”–Earl J. Hess, author of The Battle of Peach Tree Creek
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press
Release Date: April 9, 2018
Pages: 320 pages
The Siege of Petersburg Online Pages Which Mention This Book: