General Edwin Vose Sumner, USA

A Civil War Biography


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About the Book

This biography of General Edwin Vose Sumner emphasizes his role in developing the mounted arm of the U.S. Army. Born in Boston in 1797 he abandoned a merchant’s career and entered the U.S. Infantry in 1819. Transferring to the Dragoons in the 1830s, Sumner established the Cavalry School of Practice at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Among his students was the future Confederate General Richard S. Ewell. Sumner served with distinction throughout the Mexican War and maintained a balance between the warring factions in Kansas in the mid–1850s (his efforts earning him the displeasure of the Pierce administration). He led an expedition against the Cheyennes with subordinates that included future Civil War generals John Sedgwick and Samuel Sturgis as well as the capable but headstrong Lieutenant Jeb Stuart. Replacing Albert Sidney Johnston in California in 1861, Sumner kept the state in the Union. Returning east, he commanded the Second Corps throughout 1862 and died of pneumonia in March 1863.

About the Author(s)

Thomas K. Tate is the author of two Civil War biographies and numerous articles. He lives in Orefield, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Thomas K. Tate
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 8 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7258-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0186-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
Part One: The Making of a Soldier
1. The Road Not Taken 7
2. The Black Hawk War and Captain of Dragoons 15
3. Carlisle Barracks 20
4. The Mexican War 28
Part Two: The Commander
5. The Southwest 43
6. Kansas and Popular Sovereignty 48
7. The Cavalry 59
8. The Cheyenne Expedition 63
9. The Campaign Begins 70
10. Trouble Along the Way 74
11. Sumner and Sedgwick Meet 87
12. The Utah Expedition and Further Trouble with Native Americans 108
Part Three: Civil War
13. Politics 115
14. Sumner Comes East 126
15. Fair Oaks and Seven Days 143
16. Antietam 160
17. Fredericksburg 180
Epilogue 195
Appendix 197
Chapter Notes 203
Bibliography 213
Index 223

Book Reviews & Awards

“meticulously researched and deftly written…invaluable…very highly recommended”—Midwest Book Review; “this book is one that was greatly needed to fill a void in the field of Civil War history. This book deserves a place on your Civil War bookshelf”—Blue & Gray Magazine.