It was the largest campaign ever attempted in the Civil War: the Peninsula campaign of 1862. General George McClellan planned to advance from Yorktown up the Virginia Peninsula and destroy the Rebel army in its own capital. But with Robert E. Lee delivering blows to the Union army, McClellan’s plan fell through at the gates of Richmond. Now, in a study of the great Civil War engagement that weaves together narrative, military analysis, and eyewitness accounts drawn from the diaries and letters of soldiers, historian Stephen W. Sears showcases all the reasons why Ken Burns, the producer of the PBS series The Civil War, calls Sears “one of our best Civil War historians.”
©1992 Stephen W. Sears (P)1995 Recorded Books
The recording has high production values, an understandable pace, and a good narrator. This is a part of the Civil War that I find fascinating- before either army really gets its act together and figures out how to coordinate the movement of seventy thousand or a hundred thousand soldiers. Sears is particularly effective in chronicling McClellan's deteriorating state of mind and its brutal effects on the Army of the Potomac. But nobody really shines in this chronicle- even Lee, who had not yet developed his style of command to an effective level.
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