US Civil War history book – “River of Death” (University of North Carolina Press, 2018) – William Robertson interview – MHIO Episode 52

William Glenn Robertson has a PhD in History and has written books and numerous articles on the US Civil War. He became a faculty member of the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1981. There he revived the educational technique known as the Staff Ride and wrote the Army’s manual on the subject. He retired as the Director, Combat Studies Institute in 2011. We spoke about his latest US Civil War book on the Chickamauga campaign.

0:47 – William talks about how he got into studying military history. He grew up around it.

4:24 – William talks about the book itself. He talks about the motivation to write it.

7:27 – William talks about how his study differs from previous studies of the Chickamagua campaign. William talks about the personalities of the military leaders and also how they moved through and mapped the terrain they were fighting in.

16:05 – William talks about feeding and supplying large Civil War armies.

18:41 – William talks about the staffs of these armies.

23:49 – William talks about a southern family that had a son in the Union Army and who fed false information to the Confederate Army.

25:34 – William talks about the role of technology in the campaign.

32:04 – William talks about how no one had ever managed armies the size of those in the US Civil War.

34:43 – William talks about what documents he used for his research.

50:43 – William talks about some of the Civil War stories that saddened him.

59:26 – William talks about a serious problem he sees in the study of US Civil War history.

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Guests: William Glenn Robertson

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, US history, US military history, US Civil War, Georgia, Chickamauga, Union, Confederacy