David Eicher

The Longest Night
  • The Longest Night

  • 'Like no other conflict in our history, the Civil War casts a long shadow onto modern America,' writes David Eicher. In his compelling new account of that war, Eicher gives us an authoritative modern single-volume battle history that spans the entire war. Although there are other one-volume histories of the Civil War - most notably James M. McPherson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom - The Longest Night is strictly a military history. It covers hundreds of engagements on land and sea, and along rivers. The often neglected Western theatre, and the naval actions along the coasts and major rivers are at last given their due. Such major battles as Gettysburg and Chancellorsville are, of course, described in detail, but Eicher also examines lesser-known actions such as Sabine Pass, Texas and Fort Clinch, Florida. The result is a gripping popular history that will fascinate anyone learning about this war for the first time while at the same time offering more than a few surprises for longtime students. The Longest Night draws on hundreds of sources and includes numerous excerpts from letters and diaries by the soldiers who fought the war. Eicher analyses each side's evolving strategy and examines the tactics of Lee, Grant, Johnston, Sherman and other leading figures of the war. He also discusses such militarily significant topics as prisons, railroads, shipbuilding, clandestine operations and the expanding role of African Americans in the war. The Longest Night is a riveting, indispensable history of the war that James McPherson in the Foreword to this book calls 'the most dramatic, violent and fateful experience in American history.''A comprehensive military overview-he ably presents delicious nuggets of information-The Longest Night will surely be an important reference work for students of the war.' Jay Winik, New York Times Book Review

David J Eicher is an astronomer and Civil War historian. The managing editor of Astronomy magazine, he is the author of several books on the Civil War. He lives with his wife and son in the Milwaukee suburbs.

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