The Camden Expedition of 1864 and the Opportunity Lost by the Confederacy to Change the Civil War


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SKU: 9780786437351 Categories: , ,

About the Book

The Confederacy had a great opportunity to turn the Civil War in its favor in 1864, but squandered this chance when it failed to finish off a Union army cornered in Louisiana because of concerns about another Union army coming south from Arkansas. The Confederates were so confused that they could not agree on a course of action to contend with both threats, thus the Union offensive advancing from Arkansas saved the one in Louisiana and became known to history as the Camden Expedition.
The Camden Expedition is intriguing because of the “might-have-beens” had the key players made different decisions. The author contends that if Frederick Steele, commander of the Federal VII Army Corps, had not received a direct order from General Ulysses S. Grant to move south, disaster would have befallen not only the Army of the Gulf in Louisiana but the entire Union cause, and possibly would have prevented Abraham Lincoln from winning reelection.

About the Author(s)

Colonel Michael J. Forsyth (U.S. Army) formerly commanded the 196th Infantry Brigade and now serves as chief of staff of the Alaskan Command. He writes articles for Gettysburg Magazine, Field Artillery Journal, Small Wars Journal and Military Review.

Bibliographic Details

Michael J. Forsyth
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 222
Bibliographic Info: 6 photos, 6 maps, chronology, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008 [2003]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3735-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0804-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii

List of Maps     xi

Introduction     1

1 “A mere demonstration will not be sufficient…”     5

2 The Rebel Commanders     21

3 The Yankee Commanders     38

4 Toward a Common Center?     55

5 Starting “in style”     71

6 A Change in Plans     89

7 “… a destroying mania had seized the rebels”     106

8 “I decided to fall back at once…”     122

9 “There was no dry place to lie down…”     139

10 “There was nothing of the romance of war…”     153

11 Steele Loses a Campaign but Saves an Army     173

Appendix 1: Campaign Chronology     187

Appendix 2: Order of Battle     192

Bibliography     197

Index     205

Book Reviews & Awards

“well-researched and very readable account…maps are excellent and a valuable order of battle and campaign chronology are included…fine study…this exciting account of the Camden Expedition will convince readers that there are still good stories to be found ‘west of the river’”—The Civil War News; “scholarly…recommended”—Colorado Libraries; “compelling…Forsyth is an excellent military author”—The Journal of America’s Military Past.