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During 1862, a pivotal year in the War Between the States, Southern cavalry leaders Brig. Gen. Frank C. Armstrong, Brig. Gen. Nathan B. Forrest, and Brig. Gen. John H. Morgan conducted cavalry raids that had both an immediate tactical effect and a long-term strategic impact upon Federal offensive operations in the Mississippi Valley, central Kentucky, and western Tennessee. The Raiders of 1862 examines the tactics that made each raid more or less successful, as well as how the leadership style of each commander impacted the mission. Using detailed map studies, diary accounts, official records, memoirs, and even battlefield relic recoveries, this book presents new information--never before published--on each commander and how he executed his particular mission. By getting into the mind of the commanders, this book examines their decisions and actions in light of current and past operational terms, for example, decisive engagement, the approach march, and so forth.
No other book covers the important battles and consequences of Armstrong's raid into west Tennessee, the Battle of Parker's Crossroads as it affected Forrest's first West Tennessee Raid, or the story of Morgan's Christmas Raid. Brewer has established that Armstrong fought to avoid defeat rather than to win; that Forrest used artillery well forward in his assault--a technique unheard of at the time; and that Morgan employed one of the first effective uses of electronic warfare. By examining the correspondence of Federal commanders, Brewer also demonstrates how the Confederate cavalry leaders were able to get into the decision cycle of their enemies, and thus influence the outcome on the batlefield. But the individual soldier's view of the war also comes through clearly as diary accounts and regimental histories describe the attitudes of privates and sergeants, both North and South, in the midst of these three history-making cavalry raids. Grant's offensive against Vicksburg was derailed, Federal garrisons in west Tennessee learned their very real vulnerability, and Rosecrans' supply lines were laid to waste--all during 1862--all by the daring Confederate Raiders described in this book.