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Engineering Victory

, 392 pages

18 halftones, 10 maps

January 2018



Availability Text

Pre-order. Will ship in December 2017

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.

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

"Highly recommended."

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

"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."

"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."

"... 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."

"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."

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