Academic journal article Military Review

Training, Tactics and Leadership in the Confederate Army of Tennessee: Seeds of Failure

Academic journal article Military Review

Training, Tactics and Leadership in the Confederate Army of Tennessee: Seeds of Failure

Article excerpt

TRAINING, TACTICS AND LEADERSHIP IN THE CONFEDERATE ARMY OF TENNESSEE: Seeds of Failure, Andrew R.B. Haughton, Frank Cass Publishers, Portland, OR 2000,356 pages, $49.50.

While the American Civil War is one of the most written about conflicts in history, few books deal with issues outside conventional battle histories, biographies of major commanders, or the war's effect on society. Andrew R.B. Haughton's Training, Tactics and Leadership in the Confederate Army of Tennessee: Seeds of Failure adds an entirely new dimension. Historians and social scientists have attempted for years to answer the question of why soldiers fought in the war. Haughton answers the question of how they fought and why the lack of doctrine and experienced leaders doomed them.

The story follows the Army of Tennessee from its cradle to its grave. Haughton even covers the antebellum period as he refutes the legend of Southern martial prowess. His simple, but ignored, observation is that the "honour, self-will, and recklessness cited so often as evidence of a propensity for military life are qualities that actively militate against the concepts of discipline, absolute obedience, and deliberate fire which were the basis of nineteenth-century tactics."

Southern soldiers who showed the "proper" Southern virtues were more of a hindrance than a help to any officer attempting to fight by the tactics of the era. …

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