One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 (The American Crisis Series: Books on the Civil War Era)

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9780842029377: One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 (The American Crisis Series: Books on the Civil War Era)
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In the spring of 1864, as the armies of Grant and Lee waged a highly scrutinized and celebrated battle for the state of Virginia, a no- less important, but historically obscured engagement was being conducted in the pine barrens of northern Louisiana. In a year of stellar triumphs by Union armies across the South, the Red River Campaign stands out as a colossal failure. General William Tecumseh Sherman's scathing summation describes it best, "One damn blunder from beginning to end."

Taking its title from Sherman's blunt description, One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 is a fresh inspection of what was the Civil War's largest operation between the Union Army and Navy west of the Mississippi River. In a bold, but poorly managed effort to wrest Louisiana and Texas from Confederate control, a combined force of 40,000 Union troops and 60 naval vessels traveled up the twisting Red River in an attempt to capture the capital city of Shreveport.

Gary D. Joiner provides not a recycled telling of the campaign, but a strategic and tactical overview based on a stunning new array of facts gleaned from recently discovered documents. This never-before-published information reveals that the Confederate army had laid a clever trap by engineering a drop in the water level of the Red River to try to maroon the Union naval flotilla. Only the equally amazing ingenuity of the Union troops saved the fleet from certain destruction, despite a humiliating defeat at the Battle of Mansfield.

The Red River campaign had lasting implications. One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End magnifies just how devastating the diversion of so many men and so much material to this failed campaign was to the Union effort in the pivotal year of 1864. Because of the Union Army's failures, Northern plans to capture Mobile were scrapped. Military careers were made and lost. And at time when the Confederacy was teetering on the brink of oblivion, Southern morale was bolstered.

Joiner puts together

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About the Author:

Gary Dillard Joiner is instructor of history and director of the Red River Regional Studies Center at Louisiana State University.

Review:

Historians have seldom taken on the complex history of the unique and relatively unknown Red River campaign, perhaps because it is such a sprawling, swampy tangle of blunders on both sides. Writing in a clear and unembellished style, Gary Dillard Joiner scouts readers into that tangle and brings them out again not only illuminated, but exhilarated. (David Madden, founding director, United States Civil War Center at LSU)

Even seasoned Civil War scholars know little about the all-but-forgotten Red River Campaign of 1864. With skillful research and an intimate understanding into the geopolitical dynamics of waging civil war in the Red River Valley, Gary Dillard Joiner provides a detailed and long-needed modern analysis of this controversial and sadly neglecetd campaign. The result is military history at its best. (Stacy D. Allen, historian, Shiloh National Military Park)

The reader of this fine and detailed monograph will agree with Sherman that the generally overlooked Red River campaign was 'one damn blunder from beginning to end.' (Military Heritage)

Highly recommended reading for anyone interested in the Trans-Mississippi theater and 1864 campaigns in general. (North and South)

Historian and avid researcher Gary Dillard Joiner possesses a keen regional familiarity that enabled him to author a masterful narrative history of the 1864 Red River Campaign. This is one of the Civil War's major amphibious operations, and Joiner's appreciation of the river's vagaries, and his deep knowledge of naval vessels, riverboats, and personnel provide a special dimension. (Edwin Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus, National Park Service)

Uniquely qualified to write of this region with a level of intimacy seldom seen in Civil War historiography, Joiner demonstrates a deep appreciation for the geography of the region and a thorough understanding of the economic, social, and military complexities that make this story so fascinating. Richly spiced with photographs and maps, One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End will enthrall you. (Terrence J. Winschel, historian, Vicksburg National Military Park, author of Triumph and Defeat, Vicksburg: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar, and Vicksburg Is the Key)

Joiner's book is a well-written overview. (Military History Of The West)

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9780842029360: One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 (The American Crisis Series: Books on the Civil War Era)

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Book Description Scholarly Resources Inc.,U.S., United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Taking its title from Sherman's blunt description, One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 is a fresh inspection of what was the Civil War's largest operation between the Union Army and Navy west of the Mississippi River. Joiner puts together a compelling description of what was one of the most important military operations conducted west of the Mississippi. The fierce military action, the squabbling of the leaders on both sides, and most importantly, essential new knowledge of the Confederate defensive preparations are all contained in the pages of this new book. Civil War buffs and military enthusiasts will revel in this in-depth look at this critical, but previously overlooked campaign. Seller Inventory # LIE9780842029377

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Book Description Scholarly Resources Inc.,U.S., United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Taking its title from Sherman's blunt description, One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 is a fresh inspection of what was the Civil War's largest operation between the Union Army and Navy west of the Mississippi River. Joiner puts together a compelling description of what was one of the most important military operations conducted west of the Mississippi. The fierce military action, the squabbling of the leaders on both sides, and most importantly, essential new knowledge of the Confederate defensive preparations are all contained in the pages of this new book. Civil War buffs and military enthusiasts will revel in this in-depth look at this critical, but previously overlooked campaign. Seller Inventory # AAC9780842029377

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Book Description Scholarly Resources Inc.,U.S., United States, 2003. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Taking its title from Sherman's blunt description, One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864 is a fresh inspection of what was the Civil War's largest operation between the Union Army and Navy west of the Mississippi River. Joiner puts together a compelling description of what was one of the most important military operations conducted west of the Mississippi. The fierce military action, the squabbling of the leaders on both sides, and most importantly, essential new knowledge of the Confederate defensive preparations are all contained in the pages of this new book. Civil War buffs and military enthusiasts will revel in this in-depth look at this critical, but previously overlooked campaign. Seller Inventory # AAC9780842029377

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