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New Book Examines the Important Role of German Immigrants in the American Civil War

EL DORADO HILLS, Calif. - Oct. 17, 2017 - s4story -- Savas Beatie recently announced the release of Under the Crescent Moon with the XI Corps in the Civil War, Volume 1: From the Defenses of Washington to Chancellorsville, 1862-1863 by author James S. Pula, a long overdue study, which will stand as the definitive history of the XI Corps.

The Eleventh Corps served in the Army of the Potomac for just twelve months (September 1862-August 1863), but during that time played a pivotal role in the critical battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, hastened westward to reinforce a Union army in besieged Chattanooga, and then marched through brutal December weather without adequate clothing, shoes, or provisions to help rescue a second Northern army, this one under siege in Knoxville, Tennessee. Despite its sacrifices in the Eastern campaigns and successes in Tennessee, the reputation of the Eleventh Corps is one of cowardice and failure. Pula sets the record straight in his two-volume study.

"At long last, the oft-maligned XI Corps is the recipient of a well-written, deeply researched, and richly deserved history," writes John Michael Priest, author of "Stand to It and Give Them Hell": Gettysburg as the Soldiers Experienced it from Cemetery Ridge to Little Round Top, July 2, 1863. "This ranks among the best Civil War books I have ever read."

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Under the Crescent Moon (a reference to the crescent badge assigned to the corps) is the first study of this misunderstood organization. The first volume, From the Defenses of Washington to Chancellorsville, opens with the organization of the corps and a lively description of the men in the ranks, the officers who led them, the regiments forming it, and the German immigrants who comprised a sizable portion of the corps. Once this foundation is set, the narrative flows briskly through the winter of 1862-63 on the way to the first major campaign at Chancellorsville.

The second volume, From Gettysburg to Victory, offers seven entire chapters portraying the Eleventh Corps at Gettysburg, followed by a rich exploration of the corps' participation in the fighting around Chattanooga, its grueling journey into Eastern Tennessee in the dead of winter, and its role in the Knoxville Campaign. Once the corps' two divisions are broken up in early 1864 to serve elsewhere, Pula follows their experiences through to the war's successful conclusion.

"Myths are difficult to challenge, they take on a life of their own through constant repetition," author Pula writes. "There are few more enduring Civil War myths than the bad conduct of the XI Corps at Chancellorsville. What is fascinating is that when one really examines the original sources, rather than later 'interpretations,' a very different story emerges. What makes me most pleased about this book is that it really offers something 'new' in Civil War studies."

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Under the Crescent Moon draws extensively on primary sources and allows the participants to speak directly to readers. The result is a comprehensive personalized portrait of the men who fought in the "unlucky" Eleventh Corps, from the difficulties they faced to the accomplishments they earned. As the author demonstrates time and again, the men of the Eleventh Corps were good soldiers unworthy of the stigma that has haunted them to this day.

About the Author  James S. Pula is Professor of History at Purdue University Northwest and the editor-in-chief of Gettysburg Magazine. Dr. Pula is the author or editor of more than two dozen books, including For Liberty and Justice: A Biography of Brig. Gen. Włodzimierz B. Krzyżanowski, and The Sigel Regiment: A History of the 26th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, 1862–1865, winner of the Gambrinus Prize in History from the Milwaukee County Historical Society.

About Savas Beatie LLC: Savas Beatie is an award-winning independent publishing company specializing in military and general history titles distributed worldwide.

Source: Savas Beatie LLC
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