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June 1, 2016
9781421419374
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June 1, 2016
9781421419381
9781421419374
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December 14, 2017
9781421425160
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Engineering Victory

How Technology Won the Civil War

Engineering Victory brings a fresh approach to the question of why the North prevailed in the Civil War. Historian Thomas F. Army, Jr., identifies strength in engineering—not superior military strategy or industrial advantage—as the critical determining factor in the war’s outcome.

Army finds that Union soldiers were able to apply scientific ingenuity and innovation to complex problems in a way that Confederate soldiers simply could not match. Skilled Free State engineers who were trained during the antebellum period benefited from basic educational reforms, the spread of informal educational practices, and a culture that encouraged learning and innovation. During the war, their rapid construction and repair of roads, railways, and bridges allowed Northern troops to pass quickly through the forbidding terrain of the South as retreating and maneuvering Confederates struggled to cut supply lines and stop the Yankees from pressing any advantage.

By presenting detailed case studies from both theaters of the war, Army clearly demonstrates how the soldiers’ education, training, and talents spelled the difference between success and failure, victory and defeat. He also reveals massive logistical operations as critical in determining the war’s outcome.

About the Author

Thomas F. Army, Jr., is an adjunct assistant professor of history at Quinebaug Valley Community College.

Reviews

"Highly recommended."

- Choice

"A thoughtful treatise on an important subject related to war, culture, and society, Engineering Victory is highly recommended reading."

- Civil War Books and Authors

"Army's description of Union Army engineers and their accomplishments is certainly thorough and impressive. He relates numerous examples of how the effective use of engineers led to victory while an ineffective application led to defeat."

- The Michigan Historical Review

"Thomas Army Jr. has produced an interesting and thought-provoking study of military engineering in the Civil War with which students of the war, logistics, and technology will have to reckon."

- Civil War Book Review

"... Army has made a major contribution to the understanding of how engineering and technology played a vital role in Union victory. Every scholar interested in the Civil War, the Union war effort, and the history of technology should grapple with his arguments and their implications."

- The Journal of Southern History

"... Engineering Victory deserves praise..."

- Journal of the Shenandoah Valley During the Civil War Era

Endorsement

"A comprehensive, highly erudite history of military engineering in the Civil War, Engineering Victory should become the standard work against which all others are measured."

- Michael C. C. Adams, Northern Kentucky University, author of Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War

"Engineering Victory will appeal to historians in the areas of technology, education, and military studies. Obviously, historians of science and technology will benefit the most from this book since it is primarily written for the purposes of highlighting engineering advancements and implementations by the Union Army during the Civil War... While Army does not deny that the Union had material and industrial advantages over the Confederacy, by examining the state of education in the North and the role Union engineers played in winning the war, he has opened a new avenue to explore in why the Civil War ended with a Union victory. Military historians would be wise to follow the trail that Army has started and continue this exploration of avenue of Civil War history."

- Joshua Camper, University of Tennessee Martin - H-War Book Reviews
Johns Hopkins University Press
Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology
2016
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