Lethal Glory: Dramatic Defeats of the Civil War / in Their Own Words: Civil War Commanders
White, Charles E., Infantry
Lethal Glory: Dramatic Defeats of the Civil War. By Philip Katcher. Arms and Armour Press, 1995. 224 Pages. $24.95.
In Their Own Words: Civil War Commanders. Collected and Edited by TJ. Stiles. The Berkley Group, 1995. 327 Pages. $14.00. Reviewed by Dr. Charles E. White, Infantry Branch Historian.
The U.S. Civil War continues to fascinate people. With the publication of Lethal Glory comes an interesting attempt to find some new and relevant contribution to the plethora of works on that war. Unfortunately, it adds little to our understanding of our nation's greatest tragedy.
This book recreates 15 so-called "Dramatic" defeats: the Surrender of Fort Sumter; the Battle of Ball's Bluff; the Defense of Fort Henry; the Loss of Fort Donelson; the Campaign in New Mexico; the Assault on Fredericksburg; Pickett's Charge; the Assaults on Battery Wagner; the Capture of the USS Satellite and USS Reliance; the Siege of Plymouth, North Carolina; the Defense of Fort Pillow; the Battle of the Crater; the Raid on Centralia, Missouri; the Battle of Cedar Creek; and the Battle of Fort Stedman. None of these were actually either "lethal" or "glorious"; in fact, the selection of these particular engagements demonstrates just how desperate the author and publisher were to produce yet another title on the U.S. Civil War.
Philip Katcher seeks to show that all 15 "defeats" were catastrophic in the eyes of the losers. Some, he contends, turned the tide of the war, while others had no impact on the outcome whatsoever. For the most part, Katcher argues, all IS were hollow victories for the winners. None of the winners exploited their victories, although Grant certainly wanted to pursue the Confederates after capturing Fort Donelson.
What the reader finds is a series of poorly …
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Publication information: Article title: Lethal Glory: Dramatic Defeats of the Civil War / in Their Own Words: Civil War Commanders. Contributors: White, Charles E. - Author. Magazine title: Infantry. Volume: 86. Issue: 5 Publication date: September/October 1996. Page number: 51. © Infantry Magazine Nov/Dec 1996. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.