Not War But Murder: Cold Harbor 1864

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Ernest Furgurson, author of Ashes of Glory and Chancellorsville 1863, brings his talents to a pivotal and often neglected Civil War battle–the fierce, unremitting slaughter at Cold Harbor, Virginia, which ended the lives of 10,000 Union soldiers.

In June of 1864, the Army of the Potomac attacked heavily entrenched Confederate forces outside of Richmond, hoping to break the strength of Robert E. Lee and take the capital. Facing almost certain death, Union soldiers pinned their names to their uniforms in the forlorn hope that their bodies would be identified and buried. Furgurson sheds new light on the personal conflicts that led to Grant’s worst defeat and argues that it was a watershed moment in the war. Offering a panorama rich in detail and revealing anecdotes that brings the dark days of the campaign to life, Not War But Murder is historical narrative as compelling as any novel.


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About the author

Ernest B. Furgurson lives in Washington, D.C.


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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Dec 18, 2007
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9780307427045
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / United States
History / United States / Civil War Period (1850-1877)
History / United States / State & Local / South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In his gripping fourth volume on the spring 1864 Overland campaign -- which pitted Ulysses S. Grant against Robert E. Lee for the first time in the Civil War -- Gordon Rhea vividly re-creates the battles and maneuvers from the North Anna stalemate through the Cold Harbor offensive. Once again Rhea's tenacious research elicits stunning new facts from the records of a phase oddly ignored or mythologized by historians. The Cold Harbor of these pages differs sharply from the Cold Harbor of popular lore.
We see Grant, in one of his most brilliant moves, pull his army across the North Anna River and steal a march on Lee. In response, Lee sets up a strong defensive line along Totopotomoy Creek, and the battles spark across woods and fields northeast of Richmond. Their back to the Chickahominy River and on their last legs, the rebel troops defiantly face an army-wide assault ordered by Grant that extends over three days.
Rhea gives a surprising new interpretation of the famous battle that left seven thousand Union casualties and only fifteen hundred Confederate dead or wounded. Here, Grant is not a callous butcher, and Lee does not wage a perfect fight. Every imaginable primary source has been exhausted to unravel the strategies, mistakes, gambles, and problems with subordinates that preoccupied two exquisitely matched minds.
In Cold Harbor, Rhea separates fact from fiction in a charged, evocative narrative. He leaves readers under a moonless sky, Grant pondering the eastward course of the James River fifteen miles south of the encamped armies.
Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981.  Was it murder or self-defense?  For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares.  John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction.  Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

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