Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Management in the American Civil War

Edwin B. Coddington's The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command can be read as history but it can also be devoured as an intriguing view of how the leadership of both sides related to the North's ultimate victory.

I didn't plan on reading the book until a few others on my stack have been finished but once into the first few pages, it was hard to stop. Now I have to finish it.

Call it a management consultant's guide to the war. Coddington, who died shortly before the book was published in 1979, delves into the indirect effects of policies. He details misguided recruitment policies; the Confederate cavalry's way of acquiring horses; and how the Union Army began to stress sanitation and proper diet. There are plenty of personality conflicts  - J.E.B Stuart could not stand one of the other Confederate commanders - and communication glitches. You'll read reports that could have been written in any large organization just a few hours ago. You'll also feel the anguish of soldiers who had to follow the commands of fools.

A number of items that you have already read about the war may be challenged.

A fascinating book. Thought-provoking. Check it out.


At 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alright, you sold me. Gotta put this Christmas gift certificate to some use. - Bobboccio

At 8:24 AM, Blogger Michael Wade said...


I think you'll like it.


At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Wally Bock said...

Damn it! Put another book on the pile. Curse you, Michael Wade, agent of Amazon!


At 4:27 PM, Blogger Michael Wade said...


I've been called worse.

You'll like the book.


At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Wally Bock said...

I suspect I will. It combines two subjects that fascinate me. And you haven't steered me wrong yet.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Michael Wade said...


That's good to hear!




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