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 presents here 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, which was 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.
This book is published by University of North Carolina Press.
©1997 The University of North Carolina Press (P)2010 Redwood Audiobooks
"The Darkest Days of the War: The Battles of Iuka and Corinth brings to startling life the vivious fights at these two important north Mississippi towns in September and October of 1862.... Cozzens' treatment is fast-paced and exciting as he tells with precision and flair of the personalities of the commanders and their subordinates, the small unit movements and the deadly nature of the fighting." (The Orlando Sentinel)
"An illuminating account of an 1862 Confederate campaign in northern Mississippi, whose importance may only be matched by the obscurity into which it has fallen and the grand mistakes made by its planners... An excellent case study of how army politics, miscommunication, and missed chances could decisively influence a campaign." (Kirkus Reviews)
This was as fascinating book for me to listen to. It certainly isn't for someone who has just a casual interest in the Civil War though. In my opinion, it is geared towards someone who is at least somewhat familiar with the generals of both sides in the Civil War, especially in the Western Theater of operation.
Cozzens continues to be the reliable good ole story teller for those interested in the particulars of tactics and fighting during the American Civil War battles. Iuka and Corinth have long been overdue for a retelling and I feel confident that they have now been properly honored. The narrator does detract from this version. He is not awful by any stretch, but tends be slow and very deliberate in speech. The best description is to imagine Agent Smith from the Matrix movies narrating this book. If you can slow your brain down enough to march in step with the narration, then you will be quite satisfied with the content.
American patriot, veteran, historical researcher and writer.
Thank you Peter Cozzens for bringing childhood memories and stories to life. As a young boy, I walked behind my grandfather while he plowed the fields on his farm in Corinth Mississippi where civil war soldiers camped and fought. Now and then, he would reach down to pick up objects turned over by the plow, and pass them on to me. Mini balls mostly, but some buckles and other objects of interest. I found the book to be detailed and the material meticulously researched. Mr. Cozzens has a way of creating an excellent historical read, while mixing the quirks and warts of the men involved in this surprisingly hard fought campaign. I would have given five stars however, I found the narration a somewhat dry.
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