304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, notes, bibl., index
Civil War America
The Old Army in War and Peace
2009 New York Military Affairs Symposium Civil War Book Award
Most Civil War generals were graduates of West Point, and many of them helped transform the U.S. Army from what was little better than an armed mob that performed poorly during the War of 1812 into the competent fighting force that won the Mexican War. Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh demonstrates how the "old army" transformed itself into a professional military force after 1814, and, more important, how "old army" methods profoundly shaped the conduct of the Civil War.
"Combining synthetic elements and solid research with the author's own (often subtle) interpretive slant, Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh's West Pointers and the Civil War is worthwhile reading for those interested in the transformational steps taken by the antebellum U.S. Army, and what they would ultimately mean for the conduct of the war fought between Union and Confederate forces. Recommended."
"An excellent book that was thoroughly researched by Hsieh. It is technical in nature, perhaps geared more towards a serious student of the military, but written in such a style as to be a worthy read for anyone with an interest in the military, or the Civil War."
--This Mighty Scourge
"Trac[es] the evolution of military professionalism from the War of 1812 to the Civil War."
"A scholarly, well-footnoted book. The author has many ideas that he supports with logical documented arguments. . . . The author writes well, having an excellent readable way of presenting that never makes reading this book a chore."
"Skillfully explores institutional efforts to develop and maintain the army's infantry, artillery, and mounted standards."
--Civil War Book Review
"Leaves few stones unturned in examining how the professional officer corps produced by the U.S. Military Academy in the 19th century influenced the evolution of battlefield tactics at this critical point in our nation's history. . . . [Adds] another perspective to the historiography of a complex topic."
--Civil War Times
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