March 24, 2015
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June 23, 2017
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v2.1 Reference

For Brotherhood and Duty

The Civil War History of the West Point Class of 1862

During the tense months leading up to the American Civil War, the cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point continued their education even as the nation threatened to dissolve around them. Students from both the North and South struggled to understand events such as John Brown's Raid, the secession of eleven states from the Union, and the attack on Fort Sumter. By graduation day, half the class of 1862 had resigned; only twenty-eight remained, and their class motto—"Joined in common cause"—had been severely tested.

In For Brotherhood and Duty: The Civil War History of the West Point Class of 1862, Brian R. McEnany follows the cadets from their initiation, through coursework, and on to the battlefield, focusing on twelve Union and four Confederate soldiers. Drawing heavily on primary sources, McEnany presents a fascinating chronicle of the young classmates, who became allies and enemies during the largest conflict ever undertaken on American soil. Their vivid accounts provide new perspectives not only on legendary battles such as Antietam, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, and the Overland and Atlanta campaigns, but also on lesser-known battles such as Port Hudson, Olustee, High Bridge, and Pleasant Hills.

There are countless studies of West Point and its more famous graduates, but McEnany's groundbreaking book brings to life the struggles and contributions of its graduates as junior officers and in small units. Generously illustrated with more than one hundred photographs and maps, this enthralling collective biography illuminates the war's impact on a unique group of soldiers and the institution that shaped them.

About the Author

Brian R. McEnany graduated from the United States Military Academy with the class of 1962 and served in artillery assignments in Germany, Korea, and the United States and combat service in Vietnam. A retired lieutenant colonel and operations research analyst, he is the author of several historical articles about West Point during the Civil War.


"The 2015 NYMAS / Eugene Feit Award in Civil War Studies


"This well-researched book is highly recommended for those fascinated by military or Civil War history."—Civil War News

"McEnany has compiled an impressive amount of data about almost every member of the [West Point] class. . . . This is an excellent narrative, and a good read, of the wartime experiences of this 'extraordinary group of young men' to which author McEnany has devoted many years of effort in finding and telling their story of duty and brotherhood."—Journal of America's Military Past

"To honor his 1962 West Point graduation class, retired Lt Col. Brian McEnany has written a moving tribute to the first class of cadets that graduated into the cauldron of the Civil War. . . . By recognizing the contributions made by all these young line officers, McEnany honors the service of all the Army "regulars," men whose contributions to the Union armies are often overlooked."—America's Civil War

"This is a very rich work. We get a look at the Academy in considerable detail, including entry process, curriculum, academic life, social activities, and military training, with short profiles of the many officers and cadets who play a part in life of the Class of 1862."—NYMAS Review

"McEnany gives a fascinating account of the impact the events leading up to war had on the cadets and officers at West Point. . . . McEnany admirably achieves his goal of chronicling the careers of the Class 0f 1862. It would be hard to find another West Point class that has been so well documented. For Brotherhood and Duty will engage and instruct students and historians wishing to learn more about West Point in the Civil War era and the service of its recent graduates in that conflict."—Michigan War Studies Review

"McEnany's deeply researched work is a welcome addition to the West Point canon, shedding a bright light on the men of the class, on their years at the Academy, and their courage in the Civil War."—John C. Waugh, author of The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox : Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan and Their Brothers

"The mythology of brother fighting brother comes to life between these covers. Here we find former fast friends, their fraternal bonds sealed as cadets at West Point, firing on armed soldiers they had considered their countrymen and among whose ranks they might well find, God forbid, one of their cherished classmates."—Tom Carhart, author of Sacred Ties: From West Point Brothers to Battlefield Rivals: A True Story of the Civil War

"A very interesting and very well-written book."—The Book Elucidator

9780813160627 : for-brotherhood-and-duty-mcenany
508 Pages
$80.00 USD
9780813174013 : for-brotherhood-and-duty-mcenany
Paperback / softback
508 Pages
$45.00 USD

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