The Civil War in the Western Theater

Civil War historiography has been dominated by the actions of armies in the eastern theater. Thankfully, the past twenty plus years has seen a growing interest in the military affairs west of the Appalachians where many historians think the outcome of the war was truly decided. Being “westerners” ourselves, we have a continuing interest in this theater of the war. In this space, we will share our reviews of books of interest on the subject, summaries of our travels to western theater battlefields, and other commentaries on the significance of the struggle in that part of the country.

Battlefield and Historic Site Touring

Battle of Shiloh

Battle of Iuka

Civil War Corinth

Civil War Kentucky

The Vicksburg Campaign

The Red River Campaign

Nashville Campaign

Battle of Ebenezer Church

Battle of Columbus

Beauvoir

Book Reviews

Theater Overviews

Best Books on the Army of Tennessee

Daniel, Larry J. Conquered: Why the Army of Tennessee Failed

Hess, Earl, The Civil War in the West: Victory and Defeat from the Appalachians to the Mississippi

Hurst, Jack. Born to Battle: Grant and Forrest; Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga, The Campaigns That Doomed the Confederacy

Joiner, Gary D. Mr. Lincoln’s Brown Water Navy: The Mississippi Squadron

Battle of Belmont

Hughes, Nathaniel C., Jr. The Battle of Belmont: Grant Strikes South

Battle of Wilson’s Creek

Piston, William G. and Richard W. Hatcher, III. Wilson’s Creek: The Second Battle of the Civil War and the Men Who Fought It

Battle of Mill Springs

Sanders, Stuart W. The Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky

Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign

Gott, Kendall. Where the South Lost the War: An Analysis of the Fort Henry-Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862

Battles of Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove

Shea, William. L. War in the West: Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove

Island #10

Daniel, Larry J. and Lynn N. Bock. Island #10: Struggle for the Mississippi Valley

Battle of Shiloh

Cunningham, O. Edward. Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862

Groom, Winston. Shiloh 1862

Mertz, Gregory. Attack at Daylight and Whip Them: The Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862

Smith, Timothy. Shiloh: Conquer or Perish

Sword, Wiley. Shiloh: Bloody April

Woodworth, Steven E., ed. The Shiloh Campaign

The Capture of New Orleans and the Campaigns on the Lower Mississippi

Dufrene, Dennis J. Civil War Baton Rouge, Port Hudson, and Bayou Sara: Capturing the Mississippi

Hearn, Chester. The Capture of New Orleans, 1862

Battle of Corinth

Cozzens, Peter. The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles for Iuka and Corinth

Smith, Timothy. Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation

The Kentucky Campaign

Hess, Earl, Banners to the Breeze: The Kentucky Campaign, Corinth, and Stones River

Kolakowski, Christopher L. The Civil War at Perryville: Battling for the Bluegrass

McDonough, James Lee. War in Kentucky: From Shiloh to Perryville

Peterson, Larry. Decisions of the 1862 Kentucky Campaign: The Twenty-Seven Critical Decisions that Defined the Operation

Battle of Stones River

Cozzens, Peter. No Better Place to Die: The Battle of Stones River

Vicksburg Campaign

Ballard, Michael B. Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi

Groom, Winston. Vicksburg, 1863

Miller, Donald. Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign That Broke the Confederacy

Winschel, Terrence. Vicksburg: Fall of the Confederate Gibraltar

Woodrick, Jim. The Civil War Siege of Jackson

Woodworth, Steven and Charles D. Grear, eds. The Vicksburg Campaign, March 29-May 18, 1863

Port Hudson Campaign

Cunningham, Edward. The Port Hudson Campaign, 1862-1863

Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaign

Cozzens, Peter. This Terrible Sound: The Battle of Chickamauga

Hallock, Judith. General James Longstreet in the West: A Monumental Failure

McDonough, James Lee. Chattanooga: A Death Grip on the Confederacy

White, William Lee. Bushwacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga, September 18-20, 1863

Woodworth, Steven E. Six Armies in Tennessee: The Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns

Sherman’s Meridian Campaign

Foster, Buck T. Sherman’s Mississippi Campaign

Red River Campaign

Joiner, Gary D. One Damn Blunder From Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864

Joiner, Gary D. Through the Howling Wilderness: The 1864 Red River Campaign and Union Failure in the West

Battle of Fort Pillow

Wills, Bryan Steel. The River Was Dyed With Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow

Atlanta Campaign

Castel, Albert. Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864

Wortman, Marc. The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta

Nashville Campaign

Beck, Brandon. Holly Springs: Van Dorn, the CSS Arkansas and the Raid that Saved Vicksburg

Groom, Winston. Shrouds of Glory: From Atlanta to Nashville, The Last Great Campaign of the Civil War

Knight, James R. Hood’s Tennessee Campaign: The Desperate Venture of a Desperate Man

Battle of Bentonville

Davis, Daniel T. and Phillip S. Greenwalt. Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville, March, 1865

Battle of Mobile Bay and the Mobile Campaign

Bergeron, Jr., Arthur. Confederate Mobile

Blount, Jr., Russell W. Besieged: Mobile 1865

Brueske, Paul. The Last Siege: The Mobile Campaign, Alabama 1865

Hearn, Chester. Mobile Bay and the Mobile Campaign

Parker, Jr., Foxhall. The Battle of Mobile Bay

Smithweck, David. In Search of the CSS Huntsville and CSS Tuscaloosa, Confederate Ironclads

Waugh, John C. Last Stand at Mobile

Webb, Paula. Mobile Under Siege: Surviving the Union Blockade

Wilson’s Raid

Blount, Jr., Russell W. Wilson’s Raid: Final Blow to the Confederacy

Misulia, Charles. Columbus, Georgia 1865: The Last True Battle of the Civil War

Statewide Summaries

Harrison, Lowell H. The Civil War in Kentucky

McIlwain, Sr., Christopher Lyle. Civil War Alabama

Sledge, John. These Rugged Days: Alabama in the Civil War

Smith, Timothy. Mississippi in the Civil War: The Homefront

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