336 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 7 halftones, 4 tables, appends., notes, bibl., index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5445-4
Published: April 2020
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-5446-1
Published: February 2020
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Awards & distinctions
2018 Edward M. Coffman Prize, Society for Military History
For decades, historians have been content to view the Army of the Potomac primarily through the prism of its general officer corps, portraying it as an arm of the Democratic Party loyal to McClellan's leadership and legacy. Fry, in contrast, shifts the story's emphasis to resurrect the successful efforts of proadministration junior officers who educated their men on the war's political dynamics and laid the groundwork for Lincoln's victory in 1864.
About the Author
Zachery A. Fry is assistant professor of military history at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
For more information about Zachery A. Fry, visit the Author Page.
"Highly recommended because of the insights on the time period, and a valuable contribution to understanding the common Civil War soldier."--Library Journal, starred review
"The metamorphosis of the Army of the Potomac from 'McClellan's Bodyguards' into the self-styled 'guardians of the republic's virtue' is one of the most momentous, improbable, and--until now--untold tales of the Civil War. Drawing on a trove of previously untapped sources, this closely argued and clearly written book demonstrates how the army's junior officers remade the enlisted ranks in the image of Republican loyalty. Skillfully balancing stirrings on the home front, events on the battlefield, and the too-often-neglected months that yawned between military campaigns, Fry expertly chronicles the political seasoning of soldiers whose work--like the war's--would not end at Appomattox."--Brian Matthew Jordan, author of Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War, a Pulitzer Prize finalist
"Fry's treatment of the presidential election of 1864, reenlistments in 1863–64, and, perhaps most revealingly, the importance of junior officers in shaping opinion within the ranks merits the attention of anyone interested in how the United States sustained its costly effort to suppress the Confederate rebellion."--Gary W. Gallagher, author of The Union War