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Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market

Charles Knight

32 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1932714804 / ISBN 13: 9781932714807
Published by Savas Beatie, El Dorado Hills, 2010
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Military History Books (El Dorado Hills, CA, U.S.A.)

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Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market is based upon years of primary research and a firsthand appreciation of the battlefield terrain. Knight's balanced and objective approach includes a detailed examination of the complex prelude leading up to the day of battle. His entertaining prose introduces a new generation of readers to a wide array of soldiers, civilians, and politicians who found themselves swept up in one of the war's most gripping engagements. Bookseller Inventory # 79

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market

Publisher: Savas Beatie, El Dorado Hills

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Signed: Comes with signed author bookplate

Book Type: book

About this title

Synopsis:

Charles R. Knight's 'Valley Thunder' is the first full-length account in more than three decades to examine the combat at New Market on May 15, 1864-the battle that opened the pivotal 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who set in motion the wide-ranging operation to subjugate the South in 1864, intended to attack the Confederacy on multiple fronts so it could no longer "take advantage of interior lines." One of the keys to success in the Eastern Theater was control of the Shenandoah Valley, a strategically important and agriculturally abundant region that helped feed Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Grant tasked Maj. Gen. Franz Sigel, a German immigrant with a mixed fighting record, and a motley collection of units numbering some 10,000 men to clear the Valley and threaten Lee's left flank. Opposing Sigel was John C. Breckinridge, a former vice president and now Confederate major general who assembled a scratch command to repulse the invading Federals. Included within the ranks of his 4,500-man army were cadets from the Virginia Military Institute under the direction of VMI Commandant of Cadets Lt. Col. Scott Ship, who had marched eighty miles in just four days to fight Sigel.

When the two armies faced off at New Market, Breckinridge boldly announced, "I shall advance on him. We can attack and whip them here and we will do it!" As the general rode by the cadets he shouted, "Gentlemen, I trust I will not need your services today; but if I do, I know you will do your duty." The sharp fighting seesawed back and forth during a drenching rainstorm, and was not concluded until the cadets were dramatically inserted into the battle line to repulse a Federal attack and launch one of their own.

The Confederate victory drove Union forces from the Valley, but they would return, reinforced and under new leadership, within a month. Before being repulsed, these Federals would march over the field at New Market and capture Staunton, burn VMI in Lexington (partly in retaliation for the cadets' participation at New Market), and very nearly capture Lynchburg. Operations in the Valley on a much larger scale that summer would permanently sweep the Confederates from the "Bread Basket of the Confederacy."

'Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market' is based upon years of primary research and a firsthand appreciation of the battlefield terrain. Knight's balanced and objective approach includes a detailed examination of the complex prelude leading up to the day of battle. His entertaining prose introduces a new generation of readers to a wide array of soldiers, civilians, and politicians who found themselves swept up in one of the war's most gripping engagements.

About the Author: Charles R. Knight is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He is a former Historical Interpreter at New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, and currently serves as the curator of the Douglas MacArthur Memorial. Charlie has written articles for various Civil War and railroad publications, including Blue and Gray, Classic Trains, and NRHS Bulletin. He lives in Norfolk, Virginia, with his wife and son.

REVIEWS

"Valley Thunder surely takes its place now among the dozen finest and most complete accounts of any Civil War action, and it would be hard to name any account of a secondary fight of this size that has been better treated. Knight's study is a contribution not just to Virginia or Confederate literature, but a book that will serve the entire Civil War community for generations to come, and probably much longer than my thirty-six years. The only way we will get a better account is if Breckinridge and the others come to life and give it to us from their own lips." -- William C. Davis, former editor of Civil War Times, Illustrated, author of The Batt

About the Author:

Charles R. Knight is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He is a former Historical Interpreter at New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, and currently serves as the curator of the Douglas MacArthur Memorial. Charlie has written articles for various Civil War and railroad publications, including Blue & Gray, Classic Trains, and NRHS Bulletin. He lives in Norfolk, Virginia, with his wife and son.

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Store Description

Savas Beatie LLC is an El Dorado Hills-based book publishing company established in 2004. The company has published more than 100 military, general history, and sports history titles, many of which have won awards and been selected by national book clubs.

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