The Battle of Monroe's Crossroads, fought March 10, 1865, was one of most important but least known engagements of William T. Sherman's Carolinas Campaign. Confederate cavalry, led by Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton and Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, launched a savage surprise attack on the sleeping camp of Maj. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick, Sherman's cavalry chief. After three hours of some of the toughest cavalry fighting of the entire Civil War, Hampton broke off and withdrew. His attack, however, had stopped Kilpatrick's advance and bought another precious day for Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee to evacuate his command from Fayetteville. This, in turn, permitted Hardee to join the command of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and set the stage for the climactic Battle of Bentonville nine days later.
Noted Civil War author Eric Wittenberg has written the first detailed tactical narrative of this important but long-forgotten battle, and places it in its proper context within the entire campaign. His study features 28 original maps and 50 illustrations. Finally, an author of renown has brought to vivid life this overlooked portion of the Carolinas Campaign.
“All the elements that we expect in great battle are here: high drama, command decisions good, bad, and ugly; courage and cowardice, sacrifice and fortitude. Readers both new to the genre and veteran to the literature will find much of value in The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads.” (Noah Andre Trudeau, author of The Last Citadel: Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865)
“Eric J. Wittenberg’s The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads features a marvelous cast of characters and a riveting story impeccably researched and judiciously interpreted. It is the definitive account of this fascinating battle.” (Mark L. Bradley, author of Last Stand in the Carolinas: The Battle of Bentonville)
Eric J. Wittenberg is an accomplished American Civil War cavalry historian and author. An attorney in Ohio, Wittenberg is the author of many articles and the author or co-author of more than a dozen books on Civil War cavalry subjects, including The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads and the Civil War’s Final Campaign; Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg; and One Continuous Fight: The Retreat from Gettysburg and the Pursuit of Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, July 4-14, 1863. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife Susan.