Monday, December 1, 2008

Antietam, South Mountain, and Harpers Ferry: A Battlefield Guide

by Ethan S. Rafuse

From the publisher:
In September 1862 the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac conducted one of the truly great campaigns of the Civil War. At South Mountain, Harpers Ferry, and Antietam, North and South clashed in engagements whose magnitude and importance would earn this campaign a distinguished place in American military history. The siege of Harpers Ferry produced the largest surrender of U.S. troops in the nation’s history until World War II, while the day-long battle at Antietam on September 17 still holds the distinction of being the single bloodiest day of combat in American history.

This invaluable book provides a clear, convenient, stop-by-stop guide to the sites in Maryland and West Virginia associated with the Antietam campaign, including excursions to Harpers Ferry and South Mountain. Thorough descriptions and analyses, augmented with vignettes and numerous maps, convey the mechanics as well as the human experience of the campaign, making this book the perfect companion for both serious students of the Civil War and casual visitors to its battlefields.

Ethan S. Rafuse is an associate professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He is the author of several books, including McClellan’s War: The Failure of Moderation in the Struggle for the Union, and is the coeditor of The Ongoing Civil War: New Versions of Old Stories.

"Excellent guides at a reasonable price, written by experts on the battle."—James Durney, Suncoast Civil War Society Newsletter

“A refreshing and original study of America’s bloodiest day that is free of the clich├ęs found in some previous works on this subject. Using original sources and consulting the latest scholarship on Antietam, Rafuse has written a superb battle and campaign study.”—Ted Alexander, chief historian of Antietam National Battlefield

“Insightful and informed, written in a graceful style, with excellent maps, Antietam, South Mountain, and Harpers Ferry: A Battlefield Guide will be an invaluable resource for the Civil War aficionado, as well as the casual visitor to the battlefield.”—Edwin C. Bearss, chief historian emeritus of the National Park Service

“Teems with incisive narratives, telling vignettes, and astute analysis. First-time visitors and seasoned students of the Civil War alike can learn much by consulting this work before, during, and after they tour the site of the costliest single day in American military history.”—Carol Reardon, professor of military history at Pennsylvania State University