Roll Call to Destiny – Brent Nosworthy

The Soldier’s Eye View of Civil War Battles

This is an interesting book. It takes a single moment in a battle, and attempts to give you a feeling for how it was by examining it in great detail through quotes from the men who were there.  This microhistory is then repeated for several battles:

  • Burnside’s Brigade at First Bull Run
  • 57th NY in the woods at Fair Oaks
  • CSA Artillery at Fredericksburg
  • Union Artillery at Arkansas Post (attacking a fort)
  • Cavalry vs Cavalry on the third day of Gettysburg
  • Attacking Fort Sanders, Knoxville
  • The attack up Missionary Ridge
  • The 7th South Carolina at Darbytown Road

These have the additional advantage of not having been done to death before.

The author moves between description and analysis of the overall tactical lesson smoothly in each story, and hearing the soldiers in their own words is nice.  It gives a zoomed in view of a few battles that can be used with other books to get a better feel for how combat as a whole was in other battles.

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