The enthusiastic but largely inexperienced soldiers serving on both sides in the Civil War had to adapt quickly to the appalling realities of warfare in the industrial age. Author Ron Field, an authority on the Civil War, investigates three clashes that illustrate the changing realities of combat. Pitched into combat after an exhausting march to reach the battlefield, newly recruited infantrymen of both sides clashed at First Bull Run/Manassas in 1861.Two years later, the outcome of the Civil War's pivotal battle at Gettysburg hung in the balance as the Confederate veterans of Pickett's Division mounted a set-piece attack on Union positions at `The Bloody Angle'. In 1864, African-American troops fighting for the Union took part in a bloody assault on formidable Confederate positions at Chaffin's Farm/New Market Heights, outside Petersburg. This absorbing study casts light on what it was like to take part in close-quarters battle during the Civil War, as increased infantry firepower and an increasing reliance on prepared defensive positions spelled the end of close-order tactics in the conflict that shaped America.
Ron Field was Head of History at the Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water, until his retirement in 2007. Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1982, he taught History at Piedmont High School in California from 1982 to 1983. Ron was also associate editor of the Confederate Historical Society of Great Britain, from 1983 to 1992. He is an internationally acknowledged expert on US military history, and was elected a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, based in Washington, DC, in 2005. Peter Dennis was born in 1950. Inspired by contemporary magazines such as Look and Learn he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK.