Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation

Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation

by Timothy B. Smith


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Fletcher Pratt Award

McLemore Prize

In the spring of 1862, there was no more important place in the western Confederacy—perhaps in all the South—than the tiny town of Corinth, Mississippi.

Major General Henry W. Halleck, commander of Union forces in the Western Theater, reported to Washington that "Richmond and Corinth are now the great strategical points of war, and our success at these points should be insured at all hazards." In the same vein, Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard declared to Richmond that "If defeated at Corinth, we lose the Mississippi Valley and probably our cause." Those were odd sentiments concerning a town scarcely a decade old. By this time, however, it sat at the junction of the South's two most important rail lines and had become a major strategic locale.

Despite its significance, Corinth has received comparatively little attention from Civil War historians and has been largely overshadowed by events at Shiloh, Antietam, and Perryville. Timothy Smith's panoramic and vividly detailed new look at Corinth corrects that neglect, focusing on the nearly year-long campaign that opened the way to Vicksburg and presaged the Confederacy's defeat in the West.

Combining big-picture strategic and operational analysis with ground-level views, Smith covers the spring siege, the vicious attacks and counterattacks of the October battle, and the subsequent occupation. He has drawn extensively on hundreds of eyewitness accounts to capture the sights, sounds, and smells of battle and highlight the command decisions of Halleck, Beauregard, Ulysses S. Grant, Sterling Price, William S. Rosecrans, and Earl Van Dorn.

This is also the first in-depth examination of Corinth following the creation of a new National Park Service center located at the site. Weaving together an immensely compelling tale that places the reader in the midst of war's maelstrom, it substantially revises and enlarges our understanding of Corinth and its crucial importance in the Civil War.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation is a great read and is a must for the Civil War enthusiast."—Military Review

"This is an outstanding battle narrative, and it goes beyond the fighting. . . . Smith's book is an excellent commemoration of Civil War Corinth and a worthwhile addition to any Civil War library."—Blue & Gray Magazine

"Smith is successful in presenting this comprehensive study of the political and military importance of Corinth during the first three years of the war, as well as of the civil affairs of Corinth throughout the War. . . . This is an excellent military and social history that fills a gap in our Civil War knowledge of the Western theater in the period between the Battle of Shiloh and the fall of Vicksburg. It will both entertain and inform you, and I highly recommend it to you."—Tennessee Valley Civil War Roundtable Newsletter

"A noteworthy accomplishment. It has broken new ground on a long ignored aspect of the war. The information on the movement to, the operations around, and occupation of Corinth by Union forces should excite the interest of any Civil War enthusiast. This is a must have volume, especially those who are particularly interested in the western theater of operations."—TOCWOC - A Civil War Blog

"Corinth 1862 is a terribly important and original contribution to the Civil War literature. . . . The parts covering the siege and occupation are truly unmatched. Corinth 1862 is highly recommended reading for all students of the war, not just those with a primarily western outlook."—Civil War Books and Authors

"This is Civil War military history at its finest."—William C. Davis, author of Lincoln's Men and Jefferson Davis

"A splendid blending of military and social history that brings to life the tragedies and humanity of a war-torn town."—Michael B. Ballard, author of Vicksburg: The Campaign that Opened the Mississippi

"Deftly fills in the crucial gap between Shiloh and Vicksburg and does it in grand style."—William L. Shea, author of Fields of Blood: The Prairie Grove Campaign

"Should become the book on Corinth in the Civil War."—John Marszalek, author of Commander of All Lincoln's Armies: A Life of Henry W. Halleck

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780700623457
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publication date: 10/07/2016
Series: Modern War Studies Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 8.90(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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