An “essential addition to serious students’ libraries” detailing the historic military offensive that helped sway the outcome of the American Civil War (Civil War News).
In the late summer of 1864, Union General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant set one absolutely unconditional goal: to sweep Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley “clean and clear.” His man for the job: Maj. Gen. “Little Phil” Sheridan—a temperamental Irishman who’d proven himself just the kind of scrapper Grant loved.
The valley had already played a major part in the war for the Confederacy as both the location of major early victories against Union attacks, and as the route used by the Army of Northern Virginia for its invasion of the North, culminating in the battle of Gettysburg.
But when Sheridan returned to the Valley in 1864, the stakes heightened dramatically. For the North, the fragile momentum its war effort had gained by the capture of Atlanta would quickly evaporate. For Abraham Lincoln, defeat in the Valley could mean defeat in the upcoming election. And for the South, its very sovereignty lay on the line.
Here, historians Davis and Greenwalt “weave an excellent summary of the campaign that will serve to introduce those new to the Civil War to the events of that ‘Bloody Autumn’ and will serve as a ready refresher for veteran stompers who are heading out to visit those storied fields of conflict” (Scott C. Patchan, author of The Last Battle of Winchester).