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Stoneman's Raid, 1865

Chris J. Hartley

John F. Blair, Publisher
$27.95 hardcover
6 x 9
464 pages
30 black-and-white photographs
September 2010

In the spring of 1865, Federal major general George Stoneman launched a cavalry raid deep into the heart of the Confederacy. Over the next two months, Stoneman’s cavalry rode across six Southern states, fighting fierce skirmishes and destroying supplies and facilities. When the raid finally ended, Stoneman’s troopers had brought the Civil War home to dozens of communities that had not seen it up close before. In the process, the cavalrymen pulled off one of the longest cavalry raids in U.S. military history.

Despite its geographic scope, Stoneman’s 1865 raid failed in its primary goal of helping to end the war. Instead, the destruction the raiders left behind slowed postwar recovery in the areas it touched. In their wake, the raiders left a legacy that resonates to this day, even in modern popular music such as The Band’s “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Based on exhaustive research in 34 repositories in 12 states and from more than 200 books and newspapers, Hartley’s book tells the complete story of Stoneman’s 1865 raid for the first time.



"Major General George Stoneman's unjustly neglected final raid has at last received the book-length treatment it deserves. Author Chris Hartley does a masterful job of recounting the events and placing the campaign in its proper context.  Stoneman's Raid, 1865 is the definitive study of the raid and will likely remain so for many years to come." —Mark L. Bradley, author of This Astounding Close: The Road to Bennett Place
"Chris Hartley's Civil War work is known for the depth and scope of his research, combined with a lively narrative. In Stoneman's Raid, 1865, a study of the last major cavalry raid of the war, he has provided just that. Hartley's deeply researched and eminently readable narrative brings George Stoneman's raid of the spring of 1865 to life. Made famous by the song 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,' this raid deep into Tennessee, North Carolina, and Western Virginia devastated what little remained of the Confederacy's war-making capacity and helped bring the long war to an end. For anyone interested in the campaigns of 1865, this book is a must-have."
—Eric J. Wittenberg, award-winning Civil War historian
"Stoneman's Raid, 1865 fills a woeful gap in North Carolina's Civil War history. Chris Hartley's carefully researched account filled with personal anecdotes from that time period accurately details what Tar Heels were thinking and feeling as the war's loss hit home." —Clint Johnson, author of Touring the Carolinas' Civil War Sites and Touring Virginia's and West Virginia's Civil War Sites