Joiner, Gary D. | Through the Howling Wilderness Through the Howling Wilderness

Through the Howling Wilderness

The 1864 Red River Campaign and Union Failure in the West

Joiner, Gary D.

Paper Edition, $25.95
Paper ISBN: 1-62190-096-7
Status: In Print
Publication Date: 10/1/2006

ISBN: 1621900967
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“This work will have strong appeal across the spectrum of students and be of equal benefit to the casual reader as well as the scholar. His maps are excellent and will aid readers in their study.”
—Terrence J. Winschel, co-author of Vicksburg is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River
and author of Triumph and Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign

“Joiner's book is an excellent telling of this convoluted tale. He brings this intricate campaign together in a clear and understandable way. The many informative maps assist considerably. I recommend the book for everyone interested in the War in the Trans-Mississippi Theater and for all those with a particular fascination for this little-covered campaign.” —Civil War News
Full Review:

“Readers of all stripes should find this book useful. Those seeking an introductory history will gain a suitably broad understanding of the campaign. At the other end of the spectrum, dedicated Red River students already familiar with the campaign’s literature—including author Gary Joiner’s previous work—will likely discover enough new information to satisfy them.” —Civil War Books and Authors
Full Review:

The Red River Campaign of 1864 was a bold attempt to send large Union army and navy forces deep into the interior of Louisiana, seize the Rebel capital of the state, and defeat the Confederate army guarding the region enabling uninhibited access to Texas to the west. Through the Howling Wilderness emphasizes the Confederate defensive measures and the hostile attitudes of commanders toward each other as well as toward their enemies.

Gary D. Joiner contends that the campaign was important to both the Union army and navy in the course of the war and afterward, altering the political landscape in the fall presidential elections in 1864. The campaign redirected troops originally assigned to operate in Georgia during the pivotal Atlanta campaign, thus delaying the end of the war by weeks or even months, and it forced the navy to refocus its inland or “brown water” naval tactics. The Red River Campaign ushered in deep resentment toward the repatriation of the State of Louisiana after the war ended. Profound consequences included legal, political, and sociological issues that surfaced in Congressional hearings as a result of the Union defeat.

The efforts of the Confederates to defend northern Louisiana have been largely ignored. Their efforts at building an army and preparations to trap the union naval forces before the campaign began have been all but lost in the literature of the Civil War. Joiner’s book will remedy this lack of historical attention.

Replete with in-depth coverage on the geography of the region, the Congressional hearings after the Campaign, and the Confederate defenses in the Red River Valley, Through the Howling Wilderness will appeal to Civil War historians and buffs alike.

Gary D. Joiner is assistant professor of history at Louisiana State University in Shreveport where he is director of the Red River Regional Studies Center. He is also owner of Precision Cartographics in Shreveport. Dr. Joiner is the co-editor of No Pardons to Ask, nor Apologies to Make and the author of One Damn Blunder from Beginning to End: The Red River Campaign of 1864, winner of the 2004 Albert Castel Award and the 2005 A.M. Pate, Jr., Award.

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