The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War

Paperback | August 9, 2012

byDonald Stoker

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Of the tens of thousands of books exploring virtually every aspect of the Civil War, surprisingly little has been said about what was in fact the determining factor in the outcome of the conflict: differences in Union and Southern strategy. In The Grand Design, Donald Stoker provides a comprehensive and often surprising account of strategy as it evolved between Fort Sumter and Appomattox. Reminding us that strategy is different from tactics (battlefield deployments) and operations (campaigns conducted in pursuit of a strategy), Stokerexamines how Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis identified their political goals and worked with their generals to craft the military means to achieve them - or how they often failed to do so. Stoker shows that Davis, despite a West Point education and experience as Secretary of War, failed as a strategist by losing control of the political side of the war. His invasion of Kentucky was a turning point that shifted the loyalties and vast resources of the border states to the Union.Lincoln, in contrast, evolved a clear strategic vision, but he failed for years to make his generals implement it. At the level of generalship, Stoker notes that Robert E. Lee correctly determined the Union's center of gravity, but proved mistaken in his assessment of how to destroy it. Stoker alsopresents evidence that the Union could have won the war in 1862, had it followed the grand plan of the much-derided general, George B. McClellan.Arguing that the North's advantages in population and industry did not ensure certain victory, Stoker reasserts the centrality of the overarching military ideas - the strategy - on each side, showing how strategy determined the war's outcome.

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Of the tens of thousands of books exploring virtually every aspect of the Civil War, surprisingly little has been said about what was in fact the determining factor in the outcome of the conflict: differences in Union and Southern strategy. In The Grand Design, Donald Stoker provides a comprehensive and often surprising account of str...

Donald Stoker is Professor of Strategy and Policy for the U.S. Naval War College's program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:512 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:August 9, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199931143

ISBN - 13:9780199931149

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Table of Contents

Preface1. 'We only want to be left alone.' - The Confederacy's Political Objective and the Union's Rebuttal2. Making War a Little at a Time3. Mr. Lincoln Goes to War4. The Border States: Policy, Strategy, and Civil-Military Relations5. King Cotton's Tarnished Crown: Confederate Economic and Diplomatic Strategies6. McClellan on Top: The Evolution of Union Strategy, July 1861 - March 18627. The Foundations of Naval Strategy8. The War in the West - Breaking the Cordon9. A New Year and a New Strategy10. War in Virginia11. The Summer of 1862 in the West12. To Free Maryland and Tennessee!13. The Union Rebuffed: The Autumn of 186214. The Emancipation Proclamation - Strategy, Policy, and Escalation15. 1863: A New Year and New Hopes16. Vicksburg and Exhaustion17. The Cruel Summer: 1863 - The Gettysburg Campaign18. From Vicksburg, to Chickamauga, to the Rappahannock19. Indecision and the West20. Decision and Desperation, 186421. The Full Fury of Modern War - Exhaustion and Attrition22. War TerminationSome ConclusionsAcknowledgmentsNotesIndex