The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles of Iuka and Corinth

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-08-07
  • Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Pr
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During the late summer of 1862, Confederate forces attempted a three-pronged strategic advance into the North. The outcome of this offensive--the only coordinated Confederate attempt to carry the conflict to the enemy--was disastrous. The results at Antietam and in Kentucky are well known; the third offensive, the northern Mississippi campaign, led to the devastating and little-studied defeats at Iuka and Corinth, defeats that would open the way for Grant's attack on Vicksburg. Peter Cozzens here presents the first book-length study of these two complex and vicious battles. Drawing on extensive primary research, he details the tactical stories of Iuka--where nearly one-third of those engaged fell--and Corinth--fought under brutally oppressive conditions--analyzing troop movements down to the regimental level. He also provides compelling portraits of Generals Grant, Rosecrans, Van Dorn, and Price, exposing the ways in which their clashing ambitions and antipathies affected the outcome of the campaign. Finally, he draws out the larger, strategic implications of the battles of Iuka and Corinth, exploring their impact on the fate of the northern Mississippi campaign, and by extension, the fate of the Confederacy.

Table of Contents

Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
1 Six and a Half Feet of Missouri Soil
2 Fifth Wheel to a Coach
3 The Darkest Days of the War
4 This Will Be Our Opportunity
5 Things Were Beginning to Wear a Threatening Aspect
6 Let Us Do All We Can
7 Their Delay Was Our Salvation
8 Like Lightning from a Clear Sky
9 Night Quickly Set In
10 We'll I-uker Them Today! 109(9)
11 Where, in the Name of God, Is Grant? 118(9)
12 A Pursuit Can Amount to Little 127(8)
13 We Had Better Lay Down Our Arms and Go Home 135(14)
14 More Trouble Than We Could Care For 149(10)
15 Well, Boys, You Did That Handsomely 159(16)
16 They Ran Like Hens 175(19)
17 I Bid Them All Good Bye 194(9)
18 No Time to Cool Off Now 203(18)
19 The Men Would Do All They Could 221(11)
20 Death Came in a Hundred Shapes 232(21)
21 My God! My Boys Are Running! 253(18)
22 We Must Push Them 271(9)
23 I Never Saw Such Slaughter 280(11)
24 Van Dorn Has Done It, Sure Enough 291(14)
25 The Best We Had in the Ranch 305(10)
26 The Reckoning 315(10)
Appendix. The Opposing Forces in the Battles of Iuka, Corinth, and Davis Bridge 325(6)
Notes 331(32)
Bibliography 363(16)
Index 379

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