• The Real Horse Soldiers

  • Benjamin Grierson’s Epic 1863 Civil War Raid Through Mississippi
  • By: Timothy B. Smith
  • Narrated by: Ben Collins
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Benjamin Grierson’s Union cavalry thrusting through Mississippi is one of the most well-known operations of the Civil War. The last serious study was published more than six decades ago. Since then, other accounts have appeared, but none are deeply researched full-length studies of the raid and its more-than-substantial (and yet often overlooked) results. The publication of Timothy B. Smith’s The Real Horse Soldiers: Benjamin Grierson’s Epic 1863 Civil War Raid Through Mississippi rectifies this oversight.

There were other simultaneous operations to distract Confederate attention from the real threat posed by US Grant’s Army of the Tennessee. Grierson’s operation, however, mainly conducted with two Illinois cavalry regiments, has become the most famous, and for good reason: For 16 days (April 17 to May 2) Grierson led Confederate pursuers on a high-stakes chase through the entire state of Mississippi, entering the Northern border with Tennessee and exiting its Southern border with Louisiana. The daily rides were long, the rest stops short, and the tension high. Ironically, the man who led the raid was a former music teacher who some say disliked horses. Throughout, he displayed outstanding leadership and cunning, destroyed railroad tracks, burned trestles and bridges, freed slaves, and created as much damage and chaos as possible.

Grierson’s Raid broke a vital Confederate rail line at Newton Station that supplied Vicksburg and, perhaps most importantly, consumed the attention of the Confederate high command. While Confederate Lt. Gen. John Pemberton at Vicksburg and other Southern leaders looked in the wrong directions, Grant moved his entire Army of the Tennessee across the Mississippi River below Vicksburg, spelling the doom of that city, the Confederate chances of holding the river, and perhaps the Confederacy itself.

Novelists have attempted to capture the large-than-life cavalry raid in the popular imagination, and Hollywood reproduced the daring cavalry action in The Horse Soldiers, a 1959 major motion picture starring John Wayne and William Holden. Although the film replicates the raid’s drama and high-stakes gamble, cinematic license chipped away at its accuracy.

Based upon years of research and presented in gripping, fast-paced prose, Timothy B. Smith’s The Real Horse Soldiers captures the high drama and tension of the 1863 horse soldiers in a modern, comprehensive, academic study. Listeners will find it fills a wide void in Civil War literature.

©2018 Savas Beatie (P)2018 Savas Beatie

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What listeners say about The Real Horse Soldiers

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good read!!

Good story. Was hard to follow at times but overall a good book. Would recommend to other war lovers. "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good Story, Mediocre Performance

The story is interesting and well told. The performance is not bad. However, it is rather bland leaving the listener trying to determine who is saying what at times.

1 person found this helpful

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Narration Needs Help

Good content but the narration made this audio book close to unbearable. Narrator Collins thinks Illinois is pronounced Illin Noise. Audible producers need to find someone with at least an 8th grade educations.

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Great Story Ruined by the Narrator

I love reading Civil War history in the west. The Grierson's Raid is one of the little known parts of the Grant's Vicksburg Campaign. The story though is ruined by the narrator's mispronunciations of cities and states. I am from Illinois and his pronunciation of the 'S' in Illinois is like fingernails on a chalkboard. I want to scream "there is no noise in Illinois", other errors in mispronunciation, New Madrid. is MAA-drid not Mah-drid, Muscatine is Mus-ca-teen, not Mus-ca-tine, Cario is not the Egyptian city but pronounced "Karo". Good grief narrators should learn the correct pronunciations first before beginning to record the narration. A good book made terrible by bad narration.

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Narrator constantly mispronounces words

Seems like it could be a great book but I couldn't handle hearing "illinoise" and "calvary" all the time.

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Good book but many mispronunciations

I was born at the hospital which was built on the site of the raid on the railroad station in Newton. Forbes company of the 7th Illinois rode past my house on their ride to Enterprise. Grierson’s papers are housed at Texas Tech University about 300 yards from my office. So needless to say, I already knew quite a bit about the raid. However I found this book well worth the listen. My only complaint is the many mispronunciations of Mississippi place names.

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good read

very annoying that Illinois is mispronounced though out the book! otherwise an interesting and enjoyable story!

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A peach

The book was really a nice find and for those who enjoy a true war adventure...go there!

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Please Learn How to Pronounce Illinois

This is the worst reading of a book I have ever experienced. The reader mispronounces words left and right. The worst is the pronunciation of the State of Illinois. It is not "Illi - noise."! And people from the State are not "Illi - noise - ians." Unfortunately, Grierson is from Illinois and he led an Illinois unit so this slaughtering of the name is rampant. Grierson's Raid is one of the best stories of the Civil War. The book is well researched and written. The "performance" is painful!

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Poor knowledge of pronuncuation

the s IP Illinois is silent. Cairo IL is pronounced Kay Ro. The author must have learned this, passed it on, and wa is ignored

1 person found this helpful