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Shenandoah Valley 1862: Stonewall Jackson Outmaneuvers the Union

 By Clayton and James Donnell, Osprey Publishing

His stubborn stand on Henry Hill at First Manassas may have  given him a catchy nickname,  but it was Maj. Gen. Thomas J.  Jackson’s campaign to distract,  divert and ultimately defeat three Union forces in Virginia’s  Shenandoah Valley that brought him international attention. After suffering the only clear-cut tactical defeat of his career,  at Kernstown on March 23,  1862, Jackson withdrew up the  Valley, drilled his men to march  and fight, made full use of the  outstanding mapping talents of Jedediah Hotchkiss and then proceeded to spend the period of May 8–June 9 inflicting  one humiliating reversal after another on Maj. Gen. Nathaniel  Banks, Brig. Gen. James Shields  and Maj. Gen. John Frémont.

Jackson’s dazzling achievements are traced in words and maps in Shenandoah Valley 1862. The book follows the format of previous efforts in the Osprey Campaign series. Adam Hook’s illustrations, in particular, are superb, especially one  depicting a Zouave vs. Zouave encounter in Middletown, Va.  Aside from a few annoying typos (Brig. Gen. “James Sedgwick” should be John Sedgwick),  Shenandoah Valley 1862 is a good, compact overview that will  undoubtedly leave many Civil War buffs grousing over why it took Osprey so long to tackle this subject.


Originally published in the October 2014 issue of Civil War Times. To subscribe, click here.