★★ Sr. Moderator
Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018 Vicksburg 2019
- Jul 21, 2015
- Houston,TX area
Author: Jamie Gillum
Title: Twenty-five Hours To Tragedy: The Battle Of Spring Hill and Operations on November 29,1864 Precursor to the Battle of Franklin
Published and Copyrighted in 2014
Self-published by the author in Spring Hill,Tennessee
503 pages cover-to-cover
Paperback and currently $27.47 at Amazon. Purchased mine for $25 direct from the author at a symposium.
Author background from Amazon and the Columbia Daily Herald: "Jamie Gillum is a native Tennessean. He grew up fascinated by the stories his grandmother told him about her grandfather’s service in the Civil War. This early interest in family history additionally spawned an interest in military history. After serving 14 years in the United States Marine Corps infantry, Jamie studied history at Middle Tennessee State University with an emphasis in military history. He served as assistant military historian at the Carter House in Franklin and has written numerous titles on Tennesseans in the Civil War as well as studies on the 1864 Tennessee Campaign."
This book is probably the most comprehensive book written and published about the Battle Of Spring Hill. I believe that was the main impetus of the author in writing the book. At most ,Spring Hill usually is a chapter or 2 of other authors' books about the Battles Of Franklin and Nashville. The intended audience is definitely not the casual Civil War reader though I'm sure the author is delighted if a casual reader picks it up,reads it and enjoys it.
The author relies on soldier's letters,contemporaneous reports and dispatches and postwar writings of the participants. Spring Hill has been called "The Spring Hill Affair" and in the book title and text,the author continuously reminds the reader that there was a battle fought there, with 1000+ casualties on 11/29/1864,though not on the scale that Confederate Commander,Gen. John Bell Hood,intended. The book is an hour-by-hour,sometimes 15 minutes-by-15 minutes description of the movement of all Confederate and Union troops from Columbia,TN on 11/28/1864 until the morning of 11/30/1864 when the Confederate forces discovered the Union forces had slipped through there on their way to Franklin. "Tragedy" in the title is the Battle of Franklin and one of the author's goals was to make the case that what happened at Spring Hill is why the Battle of Franklin was fought at the time and in the manner it occurred.
It is a very fair and objective analysis of what the Confederate and Union commanders did right and wrong. The author points out the inconsistencies between some of the commanders' contemporaneous and postwar accounts of the battle and where possible,provides corroboration and hard evidence of what actually happened. The author lives in Spring Hill and is intimately familiar with the battlefield. Pages 202-256 are photographs and maps of the battlefield. Even if you know what happened there,the author lays it out in a manner that this reader could feel the suspense building as the troops moved about the battlefield ,skirmishing, attacking,counterattacking,reforming,redirecting etc. and the confusion that reigned among the Confederate and Union commanders and troops.
The only weakness of the book that this reader observed was due to the thoroughness of the author and amount of details presented. At points,the description of the troop movements and deployments was so detailed that the maps illustrating same could not keep up. Otherwise,it is very readable and this reader had trouble putting it down at night and going to sleep. If this were an Amazon review,it would be 5 stars.