Publication Date





University of North Carolina Press


Yes, Virginia, to paraphrase David Goldfield’s book title (2002), we are “still fighting the Civil War.” Lest we forget, this is probably a good thing and the carnage of military history is always worth remembering. In this case, trying once again to explain (rationalize) Confederate military collapse, well-known authority on the Army of Tennessee Larry Daniel has taken on other doyens of the war in the western theater from Stanley Horn, Tom Connelly, James McDonough, Steven Woodworth, Earl Hess and Richard McMurray to Grady McWhiney, Nathaniel Hughes, Wiley Sword to Michael Ballard, and others. Sometimes pretentious and sometimes convincing but always thought-provoking, Daniels’ analysis of generals, men in the ranks and civilian politicians charged with defending that vast swath of territory from the Mississippi to the Alleghenies presents a welcome return to the discussion of the Confederacy’s “other” or “Second” army. Maybe keying off Bruce Catton’s old phrase this was “Mr. Davis’s Other Army.” Unfortunately, Americans both then and now may have missed the principal (if debatable) point; this may well have been the South’s principal army for geo-political, geographic and strategic reasons and warrants more modern attention than Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, treated in Joseph Glatthaar’s General Lee’s Army that Daniels uses as a model for his own study.