The Official Blurb
General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was one of the senior commanders of Southern forces during the Civil War. It was he who initiated the hostilities by opening fire on Ft. Sumter in Charleston harbor, in April, 1861.
In July of that year, having taken command of the Confederate Army of the Potomac, he triumphed in the first serious clash of the war, at Manassas, Virginia. His army, aided by reinforcements from Johnston’s army in the Shenandoah Valley, routed a Federal army under General McDowell. Had it been his army instead that routed, it is possible the Civil War might have ended that same year, as the path to Richmond would have been wide open.
This is his account of the battle, including the strategic situation leading up to it. As an afterward, he added a very revealing appraisal of the relations between him and Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and the reasons why, in his opinion, the South failed to win its war of secession.
I have an interest in the American Civil War going back many years and so when I noticed this non fiction book on Librivox I rushed home to download it. To my delight I found that it was read by one of my favourite Librivox readers, Mark Smith.
The book was well paced, with the General leading us though the run up to the battle and into the events of the battle itself. I found it very interesting and satisfying to hear the details and concerns of a General who was actually there in the middle of the action.
My only disapointment with the book was that it was so short. These military memoirs often are.
If you have any interest in the American Civil War, then this book is a must read(listen) and due to it being a short one, you no excuse not to!
Total Score 8/9
This book is available from Librivox
There is an Audio Promo for this book.