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"Soldiers from Experience: The Forging of Sherman's..." Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2023 3:14 p.m. PST

… Fifteenth Army Corps, 18621863

"In Soldiers from Experience, Eric Michael Burke examines the tactical behavior and operational performance of Major General William T. Sherman's Fifteenth US Army Corps during its first year fighting in the Western Theater of the American Civil War. Burke analyzes how specific experiences and patterns of meaning-making within the ranks led to the emergence of what he characterizes as a distinctive corps-level tactical culture. The concept―introduced here for the first time―consists of a collection of shared, historically derived ideas, beliefs, norms, and assumptions that play a decisive role in shaping a military command's particular collective approach on and off the battlefield.

Burke shows that while military historians of the Civil War frequently assert that generals somehow imparted their character upon the troops they led, Sherman's corps reveals the opposite to be true. Contrary to long-held historiographical assumptions, he suggests the physical terrain itself played a much more influential role than rifled weapons in necessitating tactical changes. At the same time, Burke argues, soldiers' battlefield traumas and regular interactions with southern civilians, the enslaved, and freedpeople during raids inspired them to embrace emancipation and the widespread destruction of Rebel property and resources. An awareness and understanding of this culture increasingly informed Sherman's command during all three of his most notable late-war campaigns…"


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Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2023 5:25 p.m. PST

Looks like a very interesting book, especially if you are interested in the ACW Western Theater. A must have for me.

Wonderful find, Tango. Thank you.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2023 2:20 p.m. PST

A votre service mon ami….


gprokopo06 Mar 2023 9:48 a.m. PST

Author interview here: link
on the Civil War Talk Radio podcast.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2023 2:22 p.m. PST



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