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By Richard R. Duncan

In the spring of 1864, Ulysses S. supply as general-in-chief of the Union armies devised a plan of concerted motion to deliver down the Confederacy. As a part of that process, furnish aimed to break common Robert E. Lee's offer resource for his military of Northern Virginia in western Virginia and to exploit army task there as a longer turning circulation to threaten Lee from the west. during this striking examine, Richard R. Duncan deals a riveting evaluate of those army operations in addition to their impression at the civilian inhabitants, laying off mild on a frequently forgotten bankruptcy of the Civil battle in Virginia.

Initially, Duncan explains, provide proposed a three-pronged pincer stream to strike on the depots and transportation procedure in southwest Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley's breadbasket. the military of the Kanawha, below normal George criminal, struck on the New River Bridge to chop the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, whereas a subordinate cavalry day trip lead by way of basic William Averell moved opposed to the saltworks and lead mines in southwestern Virginia. in the meantime, normal Franz Sigel complicated up the Shenandoah Valley to threaten Staunton and shape a junction with criminal. If all went good, the mixed military was once then to increase on Lynchburg.

As Duncan indicates, those Federal operations proved in simple terms in part winning. regardless of a victory on the conflict of Cloyds Mountain and the destruction of the recent River Bridge, Grant's pincer flow faltered within the Shenandoah Valley on the conflict of recent marketplace. A renewal of the initiative by way of common David Hunter in past due may well and early June in brief secured Federal ambitions and dominance over western Virginia. yet basic Jubal Early stopped the military of West Virginia on the gates of Lynchburg, and accomplice forces went directly to regain the Shenandoah Valley or even to threaten Washington.

Unlike so much works at the japanese theater, Lee's Endangered Left emphasizes the excessive cost civilians paid for those campaigns. The Federal troops' want for foodstuff and horses and the Union aim of crippling the South's skill to salary battle introduced severe losses to accomplice and Unionist civilians alike, reflecting the more and more harmful nature of the battle. The devastation civilians skilled in western Virginia, Duncan asserts, might later reverberate within the burning of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, through accomplice troops and within the sufferings inflicted upon Georgians by way of William T. Sherman.

Providing a much-needed evaluate of the 1st a part of the Virginia crusade, Lee's Endangered Left completely integrates the army operations in western Virginia into the bigger canvas of the complete japanese theater. Civil conflict historians and buffs alike will welcome Duncan's work.

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