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Tennessee in the Civil War: Selected Accounts of Military and Other Events, Month by Month

James B. Jones; McFarland

From the first campaigns at Forts Henry and Donelson to large-scale fighting at Franklin and Nashville, the Volunteer State figured prominently in the war in the West. James Jones encapsulates participants’ and witnesses’ travails through primary accounts. The real treasure lies in his narrative of minor skirmishes, the guerrilla war and the home front (for example, a gripping account of bare-knuckle boxing in Nashville). Some are newspaper excerpts, others are letters or diary entries. Jones also includes citations and a bibliography.

Readers expecting extensive coverage of the major campaigns in Tennessee—Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga—may be disappointed, since Jones, as he puts it, gives “greater weight…to the smaller kinds of combat action.” But there’s a lot to be gleaned from his approach. Union perspectives and firsthand accounts, art, education and the problems of race: These views all reflect the historical reality in Tennessee. Jones’ goal was for these accounts to serve as a supplement to other campaign and home-front studies. The result is a broad view of how the conflict influenced Tennesseans as a whole.


Originally published in the February 2012 issue of Civil War Times. To subscribe, click here.