Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864

By Levin, Kevin M. | The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, October 1, 2005 | Go to article overview

Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864


Levin, Kevin M., The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography


Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864 * Earl J. Hess * Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005 * xix, 428 pp. * $45.00

For many Civil War enthusiasts, the Petersburg campaign of 1864-65 represented a sharp break with the first three years of the war. Confederate and Union armies abandoned costly frontal assaults and embraced the protection of complex chains of earthworks. According to this view, the final year of the war in Virginia had more in common with the Western Front of World War I than with the costly assaults of earlier years. Earl J. Hess challenges such long-standing assumptions and argues convincingly for the centrality of fortifications in understanding how armies operated and adapted to changing conditions throughout the first three years of the war. Though this is not the first modern study of the role of fortifications in the Civil War, it is the first study from outside archaeological and National Park Service circles.

In the first three volumes, Hess analyzes fifty-seven battles and campaigns of the Eastern Theater between the battle of Big Bethel and the fall of Plymouth within a wide net that spans operations not only in Virginia, but also in the coastal areas of North and South Carolina and the western mountains. Additional volumes will explore both the Overland and Petersburg campaigns. The author addresses not just the technical questions of how fortifications were constructed, but also how their presence affected the outcome of an attack, and how soldiers responded to the presence of earthworks on battlefields. In examining such questions, readers will be challenged to learn a relatively new set of terms that cover a spectrum of field fortifications from hasty breastworks to semi-permanent earthworks. A glossary makes this job much easier.

One of the overarching claims in this study is that "some degree of earthwork construction" defined Civil War battles in the first half of the war "even if the average soldier doubted the usefulness of the labor he expended" (p. 30). Reliance on earthworks ebbed and flowed as commanders continually assessed the value of offensive operations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Field Armies and Fortifications in the Civil War: The Eastern Campaigns, 1861-1864
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.