|About the Book|
a a aUntil relatively recently, conventional wisdom held that the Trans-Mississippi Theater was aabackwater of the American Civil War. Scholarship in recent decades has corrected this oversight, aand a growing number of historians agree that the events west of the Mississippi River provedaintegral to the outcome of the war. Nevertheless, generals in the Trans-Mississippi have receivedalittle attention compared to their eastern counterparts, and many remain mere footnotes to CivilaWar history. This welcome volume features cutting-edge analyses of eight Southern generalsain this most neglected theaterOCoThomas Hindman, Theophilus Holmes, Edmund Kirby Smith, aMosby Monroe Parsons, John Marmaduke, Thomas James Churchill, Thomas Green, and JosephaOrville ShelbyOCoproviding an enlightening new perspective on the Confederate high command.a a aAlthough the Trans-Mississippi has long been considered a dumping ground for failedagenerals from other regions, the essays presented here demolish that myth, showing instead that, awith a few notable exceptions, Confederate commanders west of the Mississippi wereahomegrown, not imported, and compared well with their more celebrated peers elsewhere. Withaits virtually nonexistent infrastructure, wildly unpredictable weather, and few opportunities forascavenging, the Trans-Mississippi proved a challenge for commanders on both sides of theaconflict. As the contributors to this volume demonstrate, only the most creative minds couldaoperate successfully in such an unforgiving environment.a a aWhile some of these generals have been the subjects of larger studies, others, includingaGenerals Holmes, Parsons, and Churchill, receive their first serious scholarly attention in theseapages. Clearly demonstrating the independence of the Trans-Mississippi and the nuances of theamilitary struggle there, while placing both the generals and the theater in the wider scope of theawar, these eight essays offer valuable new insight into Confederate military leadership and theaever-vexing questions of how and why the South lost this most defining of American conflicts.Lawrence Lee Hewitt was professor of history at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is theacoeditor, with Bruce S. Allardice, of Kentuckians in Gray: Confederate Generals and FieldaOfficers of the Bluegrass State. He and Arthur W. Bergeron Jr. coedited three volumes ofaConfederate Generals in the Western Theater.Until his death in 2010, Arthur W. Bergeron Jr. was a reference historian with the United StatesaArmy Military History Institute. He was the author of Confederate Mobile, 1861OCo1865, andacoeditor, with Lawrence Lee Hewitt, of Louisianians in the Civil War.Thomas E. Schott worked for many years as a historian for the U. S. Air Force and U. S. Special Operations Command. He is the author of Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, which won the Jefferson Davis Award. He has authored numerous articles on subjects ranging from the Civil War to baseball. Schott is co-editor, with Lawrence Lee Hewitt, of Lee and His Generals: Essays in Honor of T. Harry Williams.