Decisions of the 1862 Kentucky Campaign

The Twenty-seven Critical Decisions That Defined the Operation

  • Author(s): Peterson, Larry
  • Series: Command Decisions in America's Civil War
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2019-05-17
  • Status: Active
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By early 1862, Union forces had won successive victories in the emerging Western Theater of the American Civil War. Forts Henry and Donelson had fallen, handing control of the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers to the US Navy; the siege of Corinth had ceded rail lines to Union control; and New Orleans, the Confederacy’s prized port, had been captured by Admiral Farragut. The Kentucky Campaign was meant to reverse Confederate fortunes and recapture the Bluegrass State for the Confederacy. Though the Rebels won a tactical victory at Perryville and successfully drew Union forces away from northern Alabama and middle Tennessee, their ultimate retreat would leave Kentucky in the hands of the Union Army for the remainder of the war.

Decisions of the 1862 Kentucky Campaign
introduces readers to critical decisions made by Confederate and Union commanders throughout the heartland contest. Rather than offering a history of the Kentucky Campaign, Larry Peterson hones in on a sequence of critical decisions confronting commanders on both sides of the clash to provide a blueprint of the campaign at its tactical core. Identifying and exploring the critical decisions in this way allows students of history to go from a rudimentary sense of the what of warfare, to a mature grasp of why.

Complete with maps and a guided tour, Decisions of the 1862 Kentucky Campaign is an indispensable primer, and readers looking for a digestible introduction to the campaign’s battles can tour this sacred ground—or read about it at their leisure—with key insights into the campaign and a deeper understanding of the Civil War itself.

Decisions of the 1862 Kentucky Campaign is the sixth in a series of books that will explore the critical decisions of major campaigns and battles of the Civil War.

LARRY PETERSON retired from United Airlines as a Boeing 757/767 Standard Captain. He is the author of Confederate Combat Commander: The Remarkable Life of Brigadier General Alfred Jefferson Vaughn Jr. and Decisions at Chattanooga.