View Full Version : Attack and Die

01-01-2009, 09:11 PM
I just finished this book. Is it "old news?"

Attack and Die: Civil War Military Tactics and the Southern Heritage (Paperback)
by Grady McWhiney (Author)


# Paperback: 232 pages
# Publisher: University Alabama Press (July 30, 1984)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0817302298
# ISBN-13: 978-0817302290

01-01-2009, 10:20 PM
I read it twenty years ago. Although a scholarly and theoretical book, I remember that I could hardly put it down. It remains the best book about CW combat tactics I've ever read, but I never bought into the whole Celtic theory.

01-02-2009, 09:07 AM
I got a lot out of the tactics chapters, but the last chapter was kind of: "There! I said it!" I've read other works that were "opinions" about why Southerners are the way they are. This was the only one that was referenced.

01-02-2009, 09:38 AM
The book, because of the whole Celtic argument, has been discredited by many scholars, but in regards to the tactics, it is also just one side of an argument, check out Brent Nosworthy's Bloody Crucible of Courage or the works of Paddy Griffith for the other side. Oh, forgot to mention Earl Hess's new book, The Rifle Musket and Civil War Combat. Basically the other argument goes that the Rifle didnt make the impact that McWhiney makes it out to be, Hess presents some pretty impressive evidence of this as well. Anyway, all good reading.


01-02-2009, 12:59 PM
Thanks I ordered one of the Paddy Griffith books (used) from Amazon and I'm going to use my Barnes and Noble card on The Bloody Crucible of Courage.

01-02-2009, 02:13 PM
Bloody Crucible of Courage is a dang good read! I would recommend it heartily

Rob Weaver
01-02-2009, 02:58 PM
There's a good bit of "Why the South Lost the Civil War" that is a deliberate rebuttal of "Attack and Die." I read it, and a number of critiques about 20 years ago also. I appreciate the approach that tactics might be tied to less-tangible things than efficiency or effectiveness, even if some of the conclusions are unwarranted.

01-14-2009, 01:09 PM
Up date. I'm reading Paddy Griffith's book (not his coloring book format work) right now and I'll look at "Why the South Lost" again. I'm just catching up on a 25 year old controversy. Thanks!