Academic journal article Military Review

CAVALRY OF THE HEARTLAND: The Mounted Forces of the Army of Tennessee

Academic journal article Military Review

CAVALRY OF THE HEARTLAND: The Mounted Forces of the Army of Tennessee

Article excerpt

CAVALRY OF THE HEARTLAND: The Mounted Forces of the Army of Tennessee, Edward G. Longacre, Westhome Publishing, Yardley, PA, 2009, 429 pages, $35.00.

Building on some of his earlier works, Lee's Cavalrymen and Lincoln's Cavalrymen, Edward Longacre 's Cavalry of the Heartland: The Mounted Forces of the Army of Tennessee is a rich, comprehensive history of the Confederacy's Western Army cavalry operations, which arguably had some of the most colorful mounted officers of the American Civil War. Longacre takes the reader from the Western Army's creation in Tennessee and Kentucky through its final battles in North Carolina. He chronicles mounted operations across the theater through the experiences of key officers, particularly generals Nathan Bedford Forrest, John Hunt Morgan, and Joseph Wheeler. In doing so, Longacre provides an even narrative, balancing the more renowned raids with the mundane duties of the Southern mounted arm in support of its army in the field.

The book's title is misleading. Rather than confining the book to merely the Army of Tennessee's operations, Longacre tells a far more comprehensive story of mounted operations across the expanse of the entire western theater. Realizing the interrelated nature of operations between the scattered western departments, he skillfully includes examples from all three. For instance, he recounts Joseph Johnston's decision in early 1863 to gather cavalry forces in west Tennessee and northern Mississippi into a single, powerful corps under Earl Van Dorn - a decision that proved disastrous to the Confederate war effort. …

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