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Excellent book As many times as I ve read of the leadership qualities of these men during the Civil War, this is the first book that presents them as men first and Generals later The Class of 1846 from West Point to Appomattox begins where it all started for these 59 eventual members of the class when they were young and unformed George McClellan, after all, was only 15 when he began at the Point and his classmate and future nemesis, Thomas Jackson, was 18 All were some of the best represen Excellent book As many times as I ve read of the leadership qualities of these men during the Civil War, this is the first book that presents them as men first and Generals later The Class of 1846 from West Point to Appomattox begins where it all started for these 59 eventual members of the class when they were young and unformed George McClellan, after all, was only 15 when he began at the Point and his classmate and future nemesis, Thomas Jackson, was 18 All were some of the best representatives of the country and came from all of the then 26 states and every class from wealthy to poor Some were brilliant, Charles Seaforth Stewart and George McClellan, who were 1st and 2nd in class standing the whole four years Some were not, Samuel Bell Maxey and George Pickett, who remained 58 and 59 throughout, Pickett the goat, also laden with demerits Many were like Jackson, who started out perilously but worked so hard that he ended up 17th and in the upper third of the class They wound up both hating and loving their four years at the Point and formed strong bonds with one another that suffered severe strains when war eventually parted them Still, that was far in the future and for military men, luck was with them as they walked out of the Point and straight into the Mexican War Some found glory here Thomas Jackson surprised everyone by being exceptionally good at making war and received brevet promotions and awards McClellan proved true to the promise of excellence he showed at the Academy Everyone got a chance to show their worth Some few found death here also and disabling wounds but that is the nature of war After Mexico, some left and took up civilian life Jackson went home and married and began to teach at VMI Many of the class went out west and participated in the Indian Wars McClellan went back to West Point to train cadets in engineering His peacetime service included tracing the source of the Red River in Arkansas, surveying for routes for the transcontinental railroad and observing the siege of Sevastopol during the Crimea War In 1857he resigned his commission to become vice president of the Illinois Central Railroad and then president of another RR He made a fortune and got married By this time, the other class members were also getting married, having children and generally living normal lives some in, and some out of the military It was all to change in a few short years.The rest of the book follows the careers of these men during the Civil War The main characters from this class are, of course, Mclellan, Stonewall Jackson, and at the end, George Pickett The chapter on Pickett s charge is worth reading on its own Beautifully written and so evocative of courage, dedication and yet, futility, that I cried through the whole thing There are many scenes like that in this book Jackson s death and the poignancy of his last words McClellan s inability to live up to the promise of his young years It s heartbreaking to watch him make one wrong decision after another and never realize it If you want a book about battles and tactics, this is not necessarily it, although they are discussed If you want a book that tells about fighting men at war, how they feel and what they do, you definitely want to read The Class of 1846 This was a really good read The author traces the careers of the 1846 class of West Point graduates, the most famous members being George McClellan and Stonewall Jackson A P Hill and George Pickett were also in this class The author includes a useful table at the beginning of the book listing all the members of the class not all of whom graduated , the service in the Civil War with highest rank attained, and their fate It s coincedental historical relationships like those described in thi This was a really good read The author traces the careers of the 1846 class of West Point graduates, the most famous members being George McClellan and Stonewall Jackson A P Hill and George Pickett were also in this class The author includes a useful table at the beginning of the book listing all the members of the class not all of whom graduated , the service in the Civil War with highest rank attained, and their fate It s coincedental historical relationships like those described in this book that make Civil War history so fascinating to read, especially if you like to ponder the validity of the notions of the Great Man theory of history and the idea that character in your formative years shapes your destiny as an adult My jury s still undecided out on both ideas This is a great book to start out with on the Civil War once you know the basics from reading a general history on this subject as to who served under who and in what theater, and what happened in what battles and whyonce you have that down, you ll enjoy books like these about the Civil WarWell written, too, as I recall Focuses on the class as a whole through the first two parts West Point and the war with Mexico , then a very scattered section on the 1850s.After that, it s largely focused on Stonewall and Little Mac Jackson is stubborn as a mule and crazy like a fox McClellan is arrogant at fifteen even , pompous, paranoid, and incapable of not seeing at least 2 Confederate soldiers behind every tree.An entertaining read. This is an excellent look into the men and instructors at West Point Academy The story gravitates around two of the school s students George McClennan and Thomas J Stonewall Jackson McClennan was revered by all who knew him He was the chosen one Good looks, connections, money, prestige and physical prowess.Jackson on the other hand was only admitted after a fellow Tennessean decided West Point wasn t for him This caused quite a stir and the Congressman Samuel L Hays who nominated Gibso This is an excellent look into the men and instructors at West Point Academy The story gravitates around two of the school s students George McClennan and Thomas J Stonewall Jackson McClennan was revered by all who knew him He was the chosen one Good looks, connections, money, prestige and physical prowess.Jackson on the other hand was only admitted after a fellow Tennessean decided West Point wasn t for him This caused quite a stir and the Congressman Samuel L Hays who nominated Gibson Butcher With his quick exodus, Jackson was no at the forefront It was a daunting task because he hadn t showed the most promise in the initial entrance exam Both of these men would graduate in 1946 along with fifty one other classmates Many would get their first baptism of fire in Mexico of in the Oregon territory during the Indian Wars What s important is they lived, ate and fought together as one cohesive unit even though the horizons the East Coast were building with clouds of dissention and conflict These men knew what war was about and hoped beyond hope, it could be avoided They knew it would be bloody and the talk of a quick victory were delusional Turns out they were right Four bloody years and over 600,000 dead But here is the heart of the story, the diametric poles of McClennan and Jackson The anointed one turned out to be nothingthan a charismatic bag of theories George knew all the right people, he was a learned scholar and an excellent organizer He was not however a competent field commander He became nothingthan a paranoid, incompetent field general His discord surrounded everyone around him, including Lincoln Comparing him to Napoleon wouldn t be a stretch His adversary, Jackson was just the opposite He was not flashy, connected or charming He was a man on a mission and only one person knew how that would be accomplished him He fought tooth and nail to excel at West Point His never die attitude carried him through the tough years of military life until the Civil War broke out In the end, he would be the greatest tactical general the South produced That s right, evenesteemed than Robert E Lee Lee had a keen eye for fortifications and grand strategies as envisioned by Jefferson Davis But it was men like Jackson who rallied the troops and executed the plans.The most important lesson I gleaned from this excellent story, is how the men who went to school together, fought together, fought against each other, were able to amicably meet at Appomattox lay down their arms and start working on the peace I m sure they find the current flurry of monument desecration appalling and laughable An excellent reflection on the men who fought and died to preserve the union Five Stars 4 stars History Waugh follows the West Point class of 1846 through the Mexican War and War Between the States, focusing on members of the class Waugh doesn t linger overlong on details like some large history books, but still has plenty of them mundane to express the daily life, and peculiar to set the experience apart.The quality of writing lessened somewhat around the section of the book concerning the Valley campaigns, but returned to its vigor upon the description of Antietam, particularl 4 stars History Waugh follows the West Point class of 1846 through the Mexican War and War Between the States, focusing on members of the class Waugh doesn t linger overlong on details like some large history books, but still has plenty of them mundane to express the daily life, and peculiar to set the experience apart.The quality of writing lessened somewhat around the section of the book concerning the Valley campaigns, but returned to its vigor upon the description of Antietam, particularly of A.P Hill s critical forced march from Harpers Ferry of which half his division fell out He could have done a better job spenttime contrasting McClellan and Jackson at the end, but at 500 pages, one is somewhat gratified that he didn t He ends the book with a few lines on several 46 members, concluding with the last one, who died in 1917 as the next great war began.Well done to Waugh An interesting and readable book, but the author is careless with some historical facts That gave me pause to wonder if he was equally careless with biographical information. An interesting book that seemed to focus on Thomas J Stonewall Jacksonthan the other famed officers of this class from Westpoint Certainly not the best book I have read on any of the famed American Civil War Commanders but, I have to admit the author pulled in personal information on Jackson that hasn t quite been touched by others before nor since I came away from reading this book thinking the author was completing a requirement for his PhD and may have done so just barely I don t An interesting book that seemed to focus on Thomas J Stonewall Jacksonthan the other famed officers of this class from Westpoint Certainly not the best book I have read on any of the famed American Civil War Commanders but, I have to admit the author pulled in personal information on Jackson that hasn t quite been touched by others before nor since I came away from reading this book thinking the author was completing a requirement for his PhD and may have done so just barely I don t know if this is true or not, but this is what I felt at the end of the book I would recommend this to a person not familiar with the Civil War Officers for a good introduction to both sides of the battle field &Read Pdf ☠ The Class of 1846: From West Point to Appomattox: Stonewall Jackson, George McClellan, and Their Brothers ↰ No single group of men at West Point or possibly any academy has been so indelibly written into history as the class ofThe names are legendary Thomas Stonewall Jackson, George B McClellan, Ambrose Powell Hill, Darius Nash Couch, George Edward Pickett, Cadmus Marcellus Wilcox, and George Stoneman The class fought in three wars, produced twenty generals, and left the nation a lasting legacy of bravery, brilliance, and bloodshedThis fascinating, remarkably intimate chronicle traces the lives of these unforgettable men their training, their personalities, and the events in which they made their names and met their fates Drawing on letters, diaries, and personal accounts, John C Waugh has written a collective biography of masterful proportions, as vivid and engrossing as fiction in its re creation of these brilliant figures and their pivotal roles in American history A good book for fans of the Civil War who want a littlebackground about the shared West Point and Mexican American War experiences which shaped so many of the generals who would ultimately battle each other to the death It convinced methan ever that the Confederate Generals who forgot their oath to America and fought against it should never be celebrated by us and should, instead, be remembered as traitors. This is a very good book of its sort unfortunately, its sort hasn t aged very well In the shadow of fine people on both sides, works premised on that assumption are harder to take either as history or entertainment I had a dim memory of this book being praised when it came out 25 years ago, and so picked it up when I chanced upon a used copy The story of the Civil War told in the 1990s still presented it almost exclusively as a disagreement between white men over Federal power, with broth This is a very good book of its sort unfortunately, its sort hasn t aged very well In the shadow of fine people on both sides, works premised on that assumption are harder to take either as history or entertainment I had a dim memory of this book being praised when it came out 25 years ago, and so picked it up when I chanced upon a used copy The story of the Civil War told in the 1990s still presented it almost exclusively as a disagreement between white men over Federal power, with brother against brother as the principal tragedy, and slavery unfortunate mostly as a cause that conflict And so with this volume slavery doesn t make the index, although there are a few pages that could be cited We hear the conventional, comforting mention that Stonewall Jackson deplored slavery, while McClellan preferred the manners, feelings opinions of the Southerners, McClellan s words , and slavery was not yet dividing the cadets in 1843 Waugh s In this magical way, the profound differences between what the Union came to be fighting for, and freedom as defined by the rebels, vanishes into a sentimental mist As entertainment, a book centered on Stonewall Jackson goes down less easily, as one considers that genius and piety in a commander don t in themselves render his cause virtuous As history, the conflict of brothers narrative poses two problems First, ignores the way that men who resisted the white supremacist tide, whether George Thomas, who fought against his native Virginia for the country to which he had sworn his loyalty, or James Longstreet, who embraced rather than opposed the verdict of the battlefield during reconstruction, did not enjoy comfortable status in the re established brotherhood.But the greater problem is whether, if the book s assertion that the brotherhood of West Point allowed post war peace, that peace at the price of racial justice, a peace that has proved troubled at best, was a good thing