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Joseph T. Glathaar's The March to the Sea and Beyond The Civil War is arguably the most intriguing and enigmatic subject in American history. Even after rigorous study of the subject, it's hard to totally understand the reasons for the war. Part of this is because of the inherent complexity of this conflict, but it may also be attributed to the manner about which it's written historically. A lot of the military history of the Civil War concerns itself with the wide tactics and plans of their armies. Historians frequently focus only on the command arrangement of their respective forces, and bulge the soldiers beneath those orders in one group. An exception to that is Joseph T. Glathaar's work, The March to the Sea and Beyond: Sherman's Troops in the Savannah and Carolina Campaigns. The title of Glathaar's work is misleading -- it implies that it is only one more military history. Glathaar, nonetheless, examines Sherman's march through the lenses of the common soldier, making the job more of a social history. Glathaar utilizes the diaries and journals of their enlisted men and junior officers to scrutinize their views of battle, their motives for fighting, blacks, southern whites, camp existence, foraging and pillaging, and the parade itself. Glathaar makes it crystal clear that he is not trying to pass judgment on the participants of one of their very controversial military campaigns in history: My aim, however, is neither to condemn nor condone the behaviour of Sherman and his guys. As I view it, my job is not to throw moral judgment upon the behavior of others; instead, it is to determine exactly what they did and comprehend the reason they did this. Glathaar introduces the subject with a succinct overview of the political and military situation in early 1864. Meanwhile, the Army of the Potomac had undergone a series of military defeats, and President Lincoln had misplaced faith in many of his greatest military commanders, resulting in their termination. Most notable among these was General McClellan, who recognized the Democratic nomination for President in 1864. It seemed as though the failures of the Army of the Potomac would take the Presidency away from the Republicans before General Sherman's effective Atlanta campaign. Hence, the March to the Sea wasn't only strategically crucial in a military sense; its own success or failure may establish the political direction o.. .