Mark A. Smith and Wade Sokolosky
Savas Beatie, 2017, 248 pp., $29.95
Image courtesy of amazon.com
If there is one thing which I do not believe gets enough coverage in Civil War study, it is the war in the west. Also, I do not believe that the end of the Civil War in the West gets enough coverage, even when it gets coverage. While today’s book does not completely cover the end of the Civil War in the West, it is one of the stepping stones which leads us there. “No Such Army since the Days of Julius Caesar,” chronicles Sherman and his Carolinas campaign in March of 1865. Mark A. Smith and Wade Sokolosky have brought us a book not only well researched and developed, but a fine book which covers that which is not covered enough.
Colonel Wade Sokolosky is a graduate of East Carlolina University and a veteran of the United States Army. He leads tours of Civil War battlefields and is a well seasoned speaker to many. He also co-authored “To Prepare for Sherman’s Coming,” which precedes this work. He is also the author of Final Roll Call: Confederate Losses during the Carolinas Campaign. Major Mark A. Smith is a veteran of the United States Army holding various positions in his career. He holds a Masters degree in military studies. He is the other co-author of “To Prepare for Sherman’s Coming.”
In their previous work, both Smith and Sokolosky showed us the Battle of Wise Forks which occurred in March of 1865. This book focuses on the fighting immediately following the “March to the Sea” with Sherman’s plan to head north into the Carolinas. As I was reading the opening pages, I was fascinated not only by the plans coming ahead by moving into the Carolinas, but by Sherman himself. I will not get into it here since Sherman is so well covered by other works, but as a side note, both Smith and Sokolosky handled the commander quite well. But what was interesting was the coverage of the Confederate side of the ordeal coming into this campaign. Most usually focus on Sherman and his movements, but here there is plenty of coverage on the opposition. Of course, the narrative on the Battle of Averasboro showed that Sherman could be halted. While it was an inconclusive fight, there was still enough time to be given to the Confederacy for Johnston to assemble his forces. I have to say that while reading these narratives, I was enthralled by the accounts. I was happy to see these battles getting their due diligence with research and that both authors continued their dedication to the Carolinas campaign that we saw in their earlier work.
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Civil War in the West. For far too long, these engagements have not been covered in history and I am happy to say that Smith and Sokolosky brought about a well written work for the fighting. The narrative is aided not only by well drawn maps, but photographs which are relevant to the events at hand. Highly Recommended!