" John D. Imboden is an important but often overlooked figure in Civil War history. With only limited militia training, the Virginia lawyer and politician rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate Army and commanded the Shenandoah Valley District, which had been created for Stonewall Jackson. Imboden organized and led the Staunton Artillery in the capture of the U.S. arsenal at Harper's Ferry. He participated in the First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas and organized a cavalry command that fought alongside Stonewall Jackson in his Shenandoah Valley Campaign. The Jones/Imboden Raid into West Virginia cut the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and ravaged the Kanawha Valley petroleum fields. Imboden covered the Confederate withdrawal from Gettysburg and later led cavalry accompanying Jubal Early in his operations against Philip Sheridan in Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Imboden completed his war service in command of Confederate prisons in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. Spencer C. Tucker fully examines the life of this Confederate cavalry commander, including analysis of Imboden's own post-war writing, and explores overlooked facets of his life, such as his involvement in the Confederate prison system, his later efforts to restore the economic life of his home state of Virginia by developing its natural resources, and his founding of the city of Damascus, which he hoped to make into a new iron and steel center. Spencer C. Tucker, John Biggs Professor of Military History at the Virginia Military Institute, is the author of Vietnam and the author or editor of several other books on military and naval history. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.
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Spencer C. Tucker holds the John Biggs Chair of Military History at the Virginia Military Institute.Review:
"Both a serious study of a controversial figure and a very readable story of a nineteenth century American."―Army History
"Follows Imboden's career through and beyond the Civil War. Tucker profiles a non-military man, more inclined to business and local politics, who with troops drawn primarily from the areas that they defended, made the most of his own innovation, initiative and drive to serve state and country. Imboden's efforts in the closing days of the war on behalf of Union prisoners at Andersonville highlight his humanity."―Blue Ridge Country
"With extensive research in primary and secondary sources, Tucker highlights Imboden's strengths and points out that he has not received proper credit for his contributions to the Confederate war effort."―Civil War History
"Tucker has endeavored to rescue John D. Imboden from the ranks of the little-understood and unjustly pilloried."―Fredericksburg (VA) Free Lance-Star
"Well written and persuasively argued, Tucker's biography of John D. Imboden provides a new look at the life of a fascinating man and the turbulent times he lived through."―H-Net Reviews
"Comprehensively researched and narrated in detail, Spencer Tucker's biography will endure as the standard study of General Imboden. The book places Imboden's reminiscences of Stonewall Jackson in perspective and reveals new insight on Imboden's supervision of Andersonville and postwar promotion of railroads and mining in Virginia."―James A. Ramage
"Imboden's interesting life and career make for good biography."―Journal of Military History
"Tucker has written well about the career and record of John D. Imboden."―Journal of Southern History
"Tucker examines the life of this Confederate cavalry commander, including Imboden's postwar writing, and explores overlooked facets of his life, such as his involvement in the Confederate prison system, his efforts to restore the economic life of his home state of Virginia by developing its natural resources and his founding of the city of Damascus, which he hoped to make into a new iron and steel center."―Lexington (VA) News-Gazette
"Tucker fully examines the life of this Confederate cavalry commander."―McCormick (SC) Messenger
"Carefully and critically compares Imboden's own accounts of events against each other, as well as against other sources, to come up with an excellent look at the general's role in the war."―NYMAS Review
"Reexamines the career of a distinguished Confederate cavalry commander who has largely been ignored."―Pelgram (TN) Advocate
"Tucker has provided a solid work on Imboden. No other biography will be necessary in the foreseeable future."―Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Fills a useful role―the account of the life of a Virginian general, dedicated in war and peace to Virginia."―Roanoke Times
"Imboden had a fascinating career, both in and out of the Confederate Army. . . . Students of the Shenandoah Valley campaigns, and those just plain interested in the remarkable lives of the lesser-known military leaders will enjoy this biography."―Signal Flag
"Prof. Tucker has provided a good critical military biography of the man, fitting his career into the wider framework of operations."―The NYMAS Review
"Tucker has provided a good critical military biography of the man, fitting his career into the wider framework of operations."―NYMAS Review
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