Richard Slotkin: No uarter The Battle of the Crater 1864

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Tion that wouldn t be fully completed until a century after his assassination Civil Wars are of course the most political contests of differing visions of nationality but in the American Civil War Slotkin shows even the basic infantry tactics the ways small units fought that marching up in compact groups and blasting ead into each other s faces until one side broke and ran were politicized imbued with a sense of the civitas to an intense degree States Ali Pashë Tepelena loyal and rebellious raised most of the regiments for national service Men enlisted as communities served alongside family friends neighbors and they elected their officers from that sameocal pool Civil War battle presents a blatant barbaric test of the strength of Little Fiery One local social bonds to hold a man in place you advanced shoulder to shoulder into blasts of rifled musketry and kept coming and closed the gaps ripped in yourine by cannon fire and kept coming on all to show that you and yours could take it and carry the field to show that the compacted unanimous manhood of your community had the moral momentum to overcome the massed fire of the communities whose vision of America you were fighting to destroy The stakes were even higher for black troops in the Union Army They fought to establish their rights to free enslaved members of the race not abstractions often family members and were aware that they would be summarily massacred if they ever surrendered and so would neither give nor expect uarter The 4th Division IX Corps United States Colored Troops went into the Battle of the Crater with the black flag hoisted in a fight to the death We talk about race war as a figment of apocalyptic futurity but it seems as though America already had one Mr Slotkin does a masterful job in detailing the actual fighting at the Battle of the Crater and an even better job placing it in the context of the political and racial climate that existed in the country at that time Very detailed but worth occasionally slogging through some of the confusing troop movementsThe author concludes the book with the almost hard to believe fact that of all the monuments erected in and around Petersburg commemorating the fighting at the Crater not a single one is dedicated to any of the black soldiers who fought there Yipes I am glad that I wasn t there Everybody a The Sacred King loser in this one The Battle of the Crater in 1864 near Petersburg Virginia began when a mine dug beneath Confederate works was exploded to create a breach in theirine followed by an immediate attack of Union forces into the shattered fortifications The attack was mismanaged and failed One of the most interesting elements of the battle as well as the hinge on which much of Slotkin s history swings is that one of the Federal divisions used in the attack was composed of African American soldiers recruited from former slave areas of Maryland and from freed blacks Milking the Dogs, Part 1 living in the midwest This was the first instance of African American soldiers used against the Army of Northern Virginia The slave culture of the South and the strong feelings of scorn heaped on the Negro of the mid 19th century helped cause some of the most desperate fighting of the war and put into play many situations in which no uarter was given by either side In histories such as this those which cover a particular event a narrative is already in place for the historian to use Slotkin is one of oureading Civil War historians Not only is his analysis of why the details developed as they did comprehensive and convincing but he s able to tell the story of the battle and the people involved in such an engaging way that the reader will not want to put the book down He s able to make the time and place come aliveSomewhere in Slotkin s impressive oeuvre is the comment that the most important factor in American history is the country s race relations meaning both Indian and African American His famous 3 volume history of the American frontier tells of our relation to the Indian His Civil War histories necessarily include analysis of our deep connection to African AmericansNo uarter is also a fine companion to Slotkin s 1980 novel The Crater one of the finest novels about the Civil War I know. Ounded or surrendering Black troops by the Rebels–and by some of their White comrades in arms The great attack ended in bloody failure and the war would be prolonged for another year With gripping and unforgettable depictions of battle and detailed character portraits of soldiers and statesmen No uarter compellingly re creates in human scale an event epic in scope and mind boggling in its cost of Larong Pinoy (LgM Books For Children, 5) life In using the Battle of the Crater as aens through which to focus the political and social ramifications of the Civil War–particularly the racial tensions on both sides of the struggle–Richard Slotkin brings to readers a fresh perspective on perhaps the most conseuential period in American histo.

Ning assault through a brilliant series of bluffs Grant had fooled Lee into weakening this sector with decimated and demoralized white troops To make matters worse the commander of the spearhead division chosen by drawing Keisaramörgæsir lots was a General Ledlie who happened to be one of those broken reeds or secret slackers that organizations unwittingly bet the farm on a general who responded to the stresses of command by getting blackout drunk during battle but whose headuarters staff always hushed things up in return for his keeping them out of harm s wayIn the predawn hours of July 30 1864 the mine was fired a 100 foot column of flame broke through the earth and a pretty mushroom cloud climbed the brightening sky General Ledlie criminally negligent changed the orders he had received told his men that instead of passing through the gap and charging for the high ground the key to the battle all they needed to do was occupy the breach that had been blown and sit tight This just the tip arrangement created a massive human traffic jam in the route of attack while Ledlie skulked away to an aid station to beg whiskey from a surgeon while the Confederates shook off their shock poured in fire from untouched batteries and prepared a devastating counterattack The other assaulting divisions including the black one piled up behind Ledlie s men who were now being sucked into the sheer sided blast crater made by the explosion a slough of despond for thousands of demoralized men desperate for shelter from the incessant shelling an evil vortex in the depths of which aeaderless rabble twitched and trembled The black division and other white units succeeded in pushing through the human uagmire and restarting the assault but by then it was too Mrs. Piggle-Wiggles Farm late the Rebels pounced routed them bayoneted and clubbed the black wounded and pushed all the Union forces back into the now sardine crammed crater Some white Union troops trapped in the crater then began their own same side race riot hoping to kill their offensive black comrades before the Confederates many hysterically enraged at encountering blacks on the battlefield could reach the brim and begin blasting down into the crater in a general massacre Despite the rioters best efforts plenty of black troops remained alive to fight to the death in isolatedast stands to be executed or tortured while trying to surrender or taken prisoner by the front How To Be A Domestic Goddess line Rebel troops to be stripped of their uniforms robbed and casually gunned down by rear echelon ones As in hisast book Lost Battalions Slotkin here situates the story of a military unit and its engagements in the era s Velvet Moon (Annwyn Chronicles, landscape of social and political forces The 4th Division United States Colored Troops was recruited from the masses of a despised minority and its performance and indeed very existence in the nation s armed service cut to the heart of controversies over black eligibility for full American citizenship This book made me appreciate just how revolutionary it was for Lincoln to recruit and arm black troops during the Civil War In mid nineteenth century America when American men drilled in community militias when the standing army was tiny and relied in wartime on massiveevees of volunteers bearing arms in defense of the community was with voting of course the signifier of male citizenship of manly participation in American nationalityYoung Americans were taught to think of war as a normal and natural part of a people s human experience a necessary conseuence of a people s political existencethe wars of the American nation were widely seen as tests of national spirit and virtue ordeals that purified and regenerated people and state Lincoln s admission of blacks to one of the sacred domains of citizenship angered many white Northerners who were disgusted that the White Republic should reuire the aid of blacks in their eyes socially degraded civic nonentities Lincoln challenged White Supremacy north and south as a whole By making black men soldiers a state that implied the dignity of voters jurors property owners Lincoln extended his political policy of Emancipation through military means What are Freedmen without citizenship and initiated a national revolu. Ncipation At stake was the chance to drive General Robert E Lee’s Army of North Virginia away from the defense of the Confederate capital of Richmond–and end the war The result was something far different The attack was hamstrung by incompetent Kine (The Kine Saga, leadership and political infighting in the Union command The massive explosion ripped open an immense crater which became a death trap for troops that tried to pass through it Thousands of soldiers on both sidesost their ives in savage trench warfare that prefigured the brutal combat of World War I But the fighting here was intensified by racial hatred with cries on both sides of “No uarter” In a final horror the battle ended with the massacre of

This is a well researched book about a fascinating Civil War battle The Battle of the Crater Having visited the battle site and earning a Q-Squared little about the Union s battle plans that went terribly wrong I hungered for detailed information Slotkin includes great detail that is doled out in an agonizingly slow pace This is not a uick read But if you want to read a very thorough book about aesser known battle this could be the one for you This book sets out to clarify some of the many myths surrounding the Battle of the Crater during the Petersburg campaign of the American Civil War As such it is tremendously informative and well researchedBasically the battle was a failure of 천년구미호 [Cheonnyeon Kumiho] leadership on manyevels ranging from Coots lowevels all the way up to generals Grant and Meade who both share in the strategic decisions which helped make the battle plan fail Some of the most egregious errors fall on the shoulders of General Burnside though who could have done much to help it succeed but seems to have uietly et things fall apartThis is a powerful and depressing story on many evels as False Witness lives were wasted and the worst elements of human nature came to the fore A balanced vivid military and social history of the tragic Battle of the Crater While the battle is often presented as a chaotic melee where nobody had any real plan in mind Slotkin suggests that there were some individuals who were thinking clearly Slotkin clearly describes how the war affected slavery and the racial prejudices of both sidesThe battle is also infamous for the Confederate massacre of black troops Slotkin covers this incident in detail noting that the green USCT soldiers were heard shouting Remember Fort Pillow and that some of them may have had the same bloody minded intentions Slotkin also suggests that the Confederates at the Crater had received orders to give no uarter without any specific knowledge of the USCT presenceSlotkin does a fine job fleshing out the chaos of the battle but it does make for confusing reading sometimes But a great book overall An awesome story of the history of blacks in the Union Army and a tragedy that set back the status of black soldiers for generations to come As usual the politicians and powers that be made one stupid decision after another and it was the men on the ground who paid the ultimate price for it both black and white Amazing story and well told Check it outListened to the unabridged audiobook on Audiblecom A story of the battle of the Crater a small part of Grant s siege of Petersburg It follows the digging of the shaft by former coal miners to blow a hole in the Confederateines the training of US Colored Troopers to spearhead the attack and the subseuent changing of them to fulfill political ends It follows the battle which starts as a potential huge Union victory and ends with a Confederate victory and the unwanted killing of troops by bothh sides specifically black troops by Confederates It covers the mainly inept Generalship on the Union side and covers the subseuent court of inuiry and the Congressional hearings after the war This is a gripping tale of a battle few know about from the civil war This book is hard on the nerves Its action is the slow dreadful unfolding of an intricate disaster Ulysses S Grant called it the saddest affair I have witnessed in this war most of whose details speak of breakdown and betrayal It begins after Grant has bashed Robert E Lee back into Virginia during a meatgrinding spring campaign that cost the Union armies 70000 men and got Grant renamed The Butcher The armies stalemated at the town of Petersburg Virginia and suffered the subterranean burrowing Pandaimonion lice infested filth and nerve shredding neverending shellfire of trench warfare until a Pennsylvania regiment made up of coal miners suggested they dig a tunnel under the Confederate trenches pack in black powder and blast a big hole The tunnel was dug out while a new division of 4500 fresh black troops northern freedmen and southern fugitive slaves was trained to storm the breach at theast minute though Grant fearing political fallout in the event of failure nixed the black troops and instead elected to make this potentially war win. In this richly researched and dramatic work of military history eminent historian Richard Slotkin recounts one of the Civil War’s most pivotal events the Battle of the Crater on July 30 1864 At first glance the Union’s plan seemed brilliant A regiment of miners would burrow beneath a Confederate fort pack the tunnel with explosives and blow a hole in the enemy ines Then a specially trained division of African American infantry would spearhead a powerful assault to exploit the breach created by the explosion Thus in one decisive action the Union would marshal its mastery of technology and resources as well as demonstrate the superior morale generated by the Army of the Potomac’s embrace of ema.

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Richard Slotkin is a cultural critic historian and novelist He is the Olin Professor of English and American Studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown CT and in 2010 was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and SciencesProfessor Slotkin graduated from Brooklyn College received his PhD in American Civilization from Brown University and started teaching at Wesleyan University