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A Campaign of Giants: The Battle for Petersburg, Volume 1: From the Crossing of the James to the Crater by A. Wilson Greene

A Campaign of Giants--The Battle for Petersburg: Volume 1: From the Crossing of the James to the Crater (Civil War America) by A. Wilson GreeneA Campaign of Giants: The Battle for Petersburg, Volume 1: From the Crossing of the James to the Crater

by A. Wilson Greene

BTC’s Take:

The first of three planned volumes covering the entire, massive Siege of Petersburg from beginning to end by longtime Petersburg student, Park Ranger at Petersburg, and Superintendent of Pamplin Park A. Wilson Greene. This is the multi-volume, comprehensive look at the Siege many of us have been looking for by someone who has walked the ground for literally decades. I’m about halfway through Volume 1, and the amount of research, the ease of explanation of often conflicting accounts, and the ability to tell the story well are all hallmarks of what should be the definitive account of the Siege for decades to come (at least!). There are many maps

The detail is not quite as great on the tactical portions of battles as I had perhaps thought would happen, but being realistic, no one was ever going to write a history of the Siege of Petersburg at the level of detail John Horn did for the Fourth Offensive, Dr. Richard Sommers did for the Fifth Offensive, Hampton Newsome did for the Sixth Offensive, or Wil Greene himself did for the Ninth Offensive.

Book Summary/Review:

BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Notes:

    BTC Siege of Petersburg Book Sources:

      Publisher Info:

      Grinding, bloody, and ultimately decisive, the Petersburg Campaign was the Civil War’s longest and among its most complex. Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee squared off for more than nine months in their struggle for Petersburg, the key to the Confederate capital at Richmond. Featuring some of the war’s most notorious battles, the campaign played out against a backdrop of political drama and crucial fighting elsewhere, with massive costs for soldiers and civilians alike. After failing to bull his way into Petersburg, Grant concentrated on isolating the city from its communications with the rest of the surviving Confederacy, stretching Lee’s defenses to the breaking point. When Lee’s desperate breakout attempt failed in March 1865, Grant launched his final offensives that forced the Confederates to abandon the city on April 2, 1865. A week later, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House.Here A. Wilson Greene opens his sweeping new three-volume history of the Petersburg Campaign, taking readers from Grant’s crossing of the James in mid-June 1864 to the fateful Battle of the Crater on July 30. Full of fresh insights drawn from military, political, and social history, A Campaign of Giants is destined to be the definitive account of the campaign. With new perspectives on operational and tactical choices by commanders, the experiences of common soldiers and civilians, and the significant role of the United States Colored Troops in the fighting, this book offers essential reading for all those interested in the history of the Civil War.

      Hardcover Edition

      ISBN: 978-1-4696-3857-7

      Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

      Release Date: June 11, 2018

      Pages: 712

      The Siege of Petersburg Online: Beyond the Crater Pages Which Mention This Book:

      { 1 comment… add one }
      • John Horn June 25, 2018, 12:01 am

        A. Wilson Greene’s “A Campaign of Giants, The Battle for Petersburg: From the Crossing of the James to the Crater,” the first volume of a projected three, is a must read for all students of the Petersburg Campaign. It contains a lot of research that will prove helpful to future authors on the subject and will constitute one of the starting points for them. Greene’s chronicle will serve as the base camp for the ascent to better and more accurate accounts of the fighting.

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