Joseph E Johnston and the Defense of Richmond Modern War Studies

Joseph E Johnston and the Defense of Richmond Modern War Studies[Download] ➸ Joseph E Johnston and the Defense of Richmond Modern War Studies By Steven H. Newton – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk Most often viewed as a prelude to Robert E Lee's Civil War victories of 1862 Joseph E Johnston's campaign in Virginia early that year has been considered uninspired at best catastrophic at worst Steve Most often Johnston and PDF/EPUB ¶ viewed as a prelude to Robert E Lee's Civil War victories of Joseph E Johnston's campaign in Virginia early that year has been considered uninspired at best catastrophic at worst Steven Newton now offers a revisionist account of Johnston's operations between the York and James Rivers to show how his performance in the Peninsular War contributed to a crucial strategic victory for the Confederacy. Out of all the field commanders of the War Between the States besides Bragg McClellan and to a lesser extent Hood no other commander has been as routinely defamed and excoriated than Confederate General Joseph E Johnston In this relatively small volume Steven Newton argues against this refrain and claims that Johnston was the one truly responsible for Lee's victory in the Seven Days Battles and for saving Richmond First of all if you're looking for a tale of the campaign itself from the banks of the Potomac to the end of the first day of the Battle of Seven Pines you will be somewhat let down This book deals with strategy both at the army and the political level and only goes into minor detail when recounting the Peninsula Campaign itself However for that look into strategy this book is indispensable This book is fairly hard to read it's argumentative and so not so much a narrative as a polemic as such it's not light reading The author will spend a great deal of time though not over much to be fair correcting the biases' of Freeman and Dowdey for the most part and a few modern military historians And as mentioned his campaign coverage itself is sparse For that I give it three stars instead of four it's just not a pleasurable book to read though it is an important bookI do take some issue with some of the points Newton raises in the book Like Ethan Rafuse does with McClellan Newton I feel gives a little too much lee way and forgiveness to Johnston He makes a valid point that we shouldn't judge the value of his Peninsula Campaign by his later handling of the Department of the West in 1863 or his field command of the Army of Tennessee in northern Georgia Agreed However he seems far too forgiving of Johnston's inability to command a battle with any cohesion For all of his ambition and genuinely good ideas on strategy and operations Johnston was never able to handle effectively an offensive battle He did do fairly well in defensive engagements Kennesaw Mountain being a prime example but his handling of the meeting engagement of Williamsburg was left to Longstreet and when he neared the field of battle he did nothing to lessen the chaotic nature of that encounter Though afterwards he took great credit for the limited tactical victory that the Confederate army won there His handling of Seven Pines perhaps his high point in the entire war was atrocious Johnston lost all coordination and cohesion over the movement of the army prior to assaulting the Federal IV Corps While Newton makes a good point that Longstreet and the headstrong DH Hill are to blame for the mess that was the battle of Seven Pines the truth is that ultimate responsibility fell upon Johnston's slender shoulders and he took far too little care to ensure his tactical plan was enacted properly by closely coordinating the operational movement to contact that was so hideously botched purposefully it would seem by Longstreet It is only Johnston's severe wounding at the close of the day and the damage his army inflicted on a surprised Army of the Potomac that keeps Johnston from being even harshly observed for his conduct hereNewton however does make a solid case that despite Johnston's flaws and he does cover them Johnston laid the groundwork for the successful defense of Richmond and the eventual defeat of McClellan's massively ambitious operations Newton points out that Johnston's withdrawals from Yorktown to the gates of Richmond were due to something that the Confederacy would never have a counter to and that too few modern military historians give credit too the near omnipotence of the United States Navy As the British proved against the Colonials in the War for Independence command of the seas made up for a plethora of operational sins and ensured the ability to launch surprise operations at will The opposing side can only react unless they have effective land based counters the South did not or sufficient naval tonnage of their own to meet ship for ship again no Johnston also did do very well by taking advantage of McClellan's ill advised deployment around the Chickahominy River prior to Seven Pines by striking an isolated wing of the Federal Army Johnston took advantage of the golden opportunity McClellan presented him It would be Johnston's relative 'green' nature as a general which botched the subseuent Battle of Seven Pines which ended in a bloody tactical draw However for all of his failings he did build the army that Lee used to drive McClellan away from the gates of Richmond All in all this is a good book just a somewhat hard to read one if you're looking to enjoy a book It is also a slim volume and as a volume from the University of Kansas Press it will be pricey which lowers the available audience However it's a needed corrective to the overly harsh judgements rendered Johnston An easy three stars recommended

Joseph E Johnston and the Defense of Richmond Modern War
  • Hardcover
  • 296 pages
  • Joseph E Johnston and the Defense of Richmond Modern War Studies
  • Steven H. Newton
  • English
  • 02 June 2016
  • 9780700609215