Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New and Noteworthy---Maney's Confederate Brigade At The Battle of Perryville

Maney's Confederate Brigade At The Battle of Perryville, Stuart W. Sanders, History Press, 40 illustrations, 5 maps, endnotes, index, $19.99.

Stuart W. Sanders, the author of The Battle of Mill Springs Kentucky and Perryville Under Fire: The Aftermath of Kentucky's Largest Civil War Battle, continues to offer clear and concise work on the Civil War in Kentucky.Sam Watkins of the First Tennessee Infantry who after the war became the  author of Company Aytch stated the the battle was the hardest fought battle in which that he had participated.

Relying equally upon secondary histories of the battle and primary sources of the eyewitness, Sanders' presents a  moving account of a Confederate brigade that suffered over 50% in casualties. Consisting of Tennessee and Georgia soldiers, Maney lead two separate assaults in which two Federal generals were killed, two artillery positions were overrun and caused the Federal left to nearly collapsing. Sanders' narrative captures both the momentum and exhaustion of the Confederate brigade.

Additionally, Sanders opens up the issues and even hostility that Confederate regimental, brigade and division commanders could show each other. Though the Maney's brigade gave a stellar effort during the battle, other commanders laid complaints against Maney and afterward a duel was fought between Maney and a surgeon. The author also presents an interesting discussion of how the citizens of Perryville dealt with the bodies and the wounded after the battle.  Stuart W. Sanders' Maney's Confederate Brigade At The Battle of Perryville is accessible to general readers. Those interested in both a cogent presentation regarding Tennessee and Georgia troops and the Civil War west of the Appalachian Mountains will be pleased. 

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