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The Real Horse Soldiers

Year

2020

Language

ENGLISH

Publication Information

Savas Beatie

Summary

There were other simultaneous operations to distract Confederate attention from the real threat posed by U. S. Grant's Army of the Tennessee. Benjamin Grierson's operation, however, mainly conducted with two Illinois cavalry regiments, has become the most famous, and for good reason: For 16 days (April 17 to May 2) Grierson led Confederate pursuers on a high stakes chase through the entire state of Mississippi, entering the northern border with Tennessee and exiting its southern border with Louisiana. Throughout, he displayed outstanding leadership and cunning, destroyed railroad tracks, burned trestles and bridges, freed slaves, and created as much damage and chaos as possible. Grierson's Raid broke a vital Confederate rail line at Newton Station that supplied Vicksburg and, perhaps most importantly, consumed the attention of the Confederate high command. While Confederate Lt. Gen. John Pemberton at Vicksburg and other Southern leaders looked in the wrong directions, Grant moved his entire Army of the Tennessee across the Mississippi River below Vicksburg, spelling the doom of that city, the Confederate chances of holding the river, and perhaps the Confederacy itself. Based upon years of research and presented in gripping, fast-paced prose, Timothy B. Smith's The Real Horse Soldiers captures the high drama and tension of the 1863 horse soldiers in a modern, comprehensive, academic study. Readers will find it fills a wide void in Civil War literature.

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