by Stephen D. Engle
Chapel Hill: Univ.of North Carolina Press, 1999. Pp. xvii, 476 pp.
Illus, maps, notes, biblio., index.. $45.00. ISBN:0-80782-512-3
A solid biography – surprisingly the first ever – of one of the lesser lights of the Civil War. Engle takes a good look at Buell’s early career, during which he seemed, as the book’s sub-title indicates the “most promising of all” the officers in the army, who, despite some bright moments, turned out to be a poor commander.
Well-written, the book has a lot of good word-portraits and some very clear analysis of Buell’s essentially Jominian views on warfare and his inability to understand the political dimensions of the conflict.