Fields of Blood

The Prairie Grove Campaign

By William L. Shea

368 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 41 halftones, 17 maps, appends., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-0989-8
    Published: August 2013
  • eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-9868-0
    Published: November 2009
  • Large Print ISBN: 978-0-8078-6602-3
    Published: November 2010

Civil War America

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Awards & distinctions

2009 Fletcher Pratt Award, Civil War Round Table of New York

2010 J. G. Ragsdale Book Award, Arkansas Historical Association

William L. Shea offers a gripping narrative of the events surrounding fighting at Prairie Grove, Arkansas, one of the great unsung battles of the Civil War, which effectively ended Confederate offensive operations west of the Mississippi River. Fields of Blood provides a colorful account of a grueling campaign that lasted five months and covered hundreds of miles of rugged Ozark terrain. In a fascinating analysis of the personal, geographical, and strategic elements that led to the fateful clash in northwest Arkansas, Shea describes a campaign notable for rapid marching, bold movements, hard fighting, and the most remarkable raid of the Civil War.

About the Author

William L. Shea is professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He is coauthor of several books, including Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West (UNC Press) and Vicksburg Is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River.
For more information about William L. Shea, visit the Author Page.


"Characterized by deep research, clear organization, shrewd analysis, and engaging writing, William L. Shea's Fields of Blood should be regarded as the new standard history of the Prairie Grove Campaign. A weighty contribution to the literature of the Trans-Mississippi theater, it is deserving of a place on the bookshelf of every Civil War student. Very highly recommended."--Andrew Wagenhoffer, Civil War Books and Authors

"A great read and . . . very informative about a lesser-known battle that had major consequences."--The Oklahoman

"If further proof were needed of William L. Shea's mastery of the Civil War campaign history, this is it. . . . He has attained even loftier heights with a thoughtful and meticulous account of Prairie Grove."--Civil War Book Review

"A first rate history of this remote part of the Civil War."--Blue & Gray Magazine

"Combined with excellent maps, Shea's description of the operational maneuvers and his detailing of the tactical actions are masterful. . . . A superb account of a signature campaign of the theater."--Journal of Military History

"Shea brings to his work a great deal of familiarity with the campaign . . . enjoyable and insightful. . . . Will stand as the standard account of the Prairie Grove campaign, which, thanks to Shea, no longer resides in underserved obscurity."--Arkansas Historical Quarterly