Savas Beatie, 2018, 192 pages, $14.95
Image courtesy of amazon.com
If there is one thing that is certain, the Emerging Civil War Series, has brought some interesting subjects to our attention. While there are the usual campaigns and battles which the series tackles, the series continues with intriguing studies as well. Here in The Great Battle Never Fought, Chris Mackowski handles the subject of George Meade and the Mine Run Campaign, along with the mistakes made in the commander’s mind after the Battle of Gettysburg. Not only that, the book handles some of the political issues, something that the series has knocked out of the park in the past. The story of pressure from the administration, along with the looming threat of the campaign as a whole, makes for a great read.
Chris Mackowski is a name many in the Civil War realm know as a major voice in the Emerging Civil War Series. He also posts on the blog for Emerging Civil War. He is the editor in chief for that blog and is a writing professor at Saint Bonaventure University. He is also the historian in residence at Stevenson’s Ridge on the Spotsylvania battlefield. He has authored a number of works throughout this series, along with Chancellorsville’s Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church, and Seizing Destiny.
When it comes to a study of the Mine Run Campaign, most people tend to forget what happened throughout. However, Mackowski works hard to detail everything we would need to know about this campaign and the battles fought throughout. But the other thing which Mackowski does well is the political sphere which Meade suffered through after the major victory in Pennsylvania. But even though the political sphere is important, Mackowski focuses more on the action which occurred in this campaign. I enjoyed the great detail which the author placed into the Battle of Payne’s Farm, along with the road which brought the armies there, and even the aftermath of the campaign. I mention that because it was a pivotal time for General Meade as he juggled the possibilities that he could be removed, while trying to end a campaign at the same time. His surety of being relieved of command was a great insight into the mind of this commander, and gave me a better outlook onto this man whom many have criticized through the years for not following Lee fast enough after Gettysburg.
I highly recommend The Great Battle Never Fought to people interested in the Gettysburg Campaign, especially the aftermath of what occurred with Meade. Mackowski once again brings a great study, along with a tour through the battlefield, to the Emerging Civil War Series. I always look forward to reading one of these works with they are announced and I am never disappointed. Accompanied by fine maps and photographs, this is yet another fine addition to this series. Highly Recommended.