Civil War Book Review: The Fate of War: Fredericksburg, 1862

The Fate of War: Fredericksburg, 1862
by Duane Schultz

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing; 1 edition (October 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594161453
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594161452

A unique history that works

The Fate of War: Fredericksburg, 1862 by Duane SchultzHistory sees Fredericksburg as a bloody debacle wasting men’s lives for no advantage.  The battle “proves” Burnside is unfit to command a major army.  For many, this is just another attempt at finding competent men to command the Army of the Potomac.  Fredericksburg is an important battle in many ways.  This is the first time the United States Army forced the crossing of a major river.  Additionally, this is the last battle where the “old army” senior officers hold significant commands.  By Gettysburg, only about six months in the future, the brigade and division commanders hold all the significant commands.  Most of these officers will finish the war as senior commanders in the Army of the Potomac.

Duane Schultz provides a unique view of the battle.  The book is a full history as seen through the words and experiences of the common soldiers.  This could result in a disjointed narrative in the hands of a less skilled author.  The author’s skill results in a very readable and informative story that is fun to read.

This book’s notes are not numbered and the Notes section is by chapter.  Most of the notes are on direct quotes.  The Bibliography is extensive and the book has a complete index.  Illustrations and maps are in the right place without intruding on the narration.  The publishers produced a handsome quality book that is as pleasing to hold, as it is to read.


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