Woodworth, Steven E. 1961-
Woodworth, Steven E. 1961-
(Steven Edward Woodworth)
Born January 28, 1961, in Akron, OH; son of Ralph Leon (a pastor and educator) and Erma Jean (a homemaker) Woodworth; married Leah Dawn Bunke (a homemaker), August 13, 1983; children: Nathan William, Jonathan Steven, David Eric, Daniel Timothy, Anna Constance, Elizabeth Grace. Education: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, B.A. (with high honors), 1982; attended University of Hamburg, 1982-83; Rice University, Ph.D., 1987. Politics: Republican. Religion: Bible Methodist.
Writer, historian, and educator. Teacher at Baptist schools in Houston, TX, 1984-86; Bartlesville Wesleyan College, Bartlesville, OK, instructor in history, 1987-89; Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa Falls, GA, assistant professor, 1989-94, associate professor of history, 1994-97; Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, assistant professor of history, then associate professor of history, 1997—. Houston Community College, adjunct instructor, 1984-87.
American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Southern Historical Association.
Fletcher Pratt Award, 1991, for Jefferson Davis and His Generals, and 1996, for Davis and Lee at War.
Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1990.
The Essentials of United States History, 1500 to 1789: From Colony to Republic, Research and Education Association (Piscataway, NJ), 1990.
(With Jerome McDuffie and Gary Piggrem) The Advanced Placement Examination in United States History, Research and Education Association (Piscataway, NJ), 1990.
Davis and Lee at War, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1995.
(Editor) The Musick of the Mocking Birds, the Roar of the Cannon: The Civil War Diary and Letters of William Winters, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1998.
Six Armies in Tennessee: The Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1998.
(Editor) The Art of Command in the Civil War, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1998.
(Editor) Civil War Generals in Defeat, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 1999.
(Editor) Chickamauga: A Battlefield Guide with a Section on Chattanooga, cartography by Marcia McLean, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1999.
No Band of Brothers: Problems in the Rebel High Command, University of Missouri Press (Columbia, MO), 1999.
(Editor) The Human Tradition in the Civil War and Reconstruction, SR Books (Wilmington, DE), 2000.
(With Jerome McDuffie and Gary Piggrem) The Best Test Preparation for the Advanced Placement Examination, United States History, with CD-ROM, Research and Education Association (Piscataway, NJ), 2000, revised version edited by Max Fogiel, 2001.
Cultures in Conflict: The American Civil War, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 2000.
A Scythe of Fire: The Civil War Story of the Eighth Georgia Regiment, HarperCollins, 2001, W. Morrow (New York, NY), 2002.
(Editor) Grant's Lieutenants, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2001.
While God Is Marching On: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers, University Press of Kansas (Lawrence, KS), 2001.
The Loyal, True, and Brave: America's Civil War Soldiers, edited by Steven E. Woodworth, SR Books (Wilmington, DE), 2002.
Beneath a Northern Sky: A Short History of the Gettysburg Campaign, SR Books (Wilmington, DE), 2003.
(Author of introduction) Southern Sons, Northern Soldiers: The Civil War Letters of the Remley Brothers, Twenty-second Iowa Infantry, edited by Julie Holcomb, Northern Illinois University Press (DeKalb, IL), 2004.
Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2005.
(With Jerome McDuffie and Gary Piggrem) United States History, edited by Paul R. Babbitt, Research & Education Association (Piscataway, NJ), 2005.
(With Mark Grimsley) Shiloh: A Battlefield Guide, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 2006.
Also author of (with Gary Piggrem, N.R. Holt, and W.T. Walker) The Graduate Record Examination in History, 1993; (editor) Leadership and Command in the American Civil War, 1995; A Deep Steady Thunder: The Battle of Chickamauga, 1995; and The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research, 1996. Work represented in anthologies, including The Confederate General, edited by William C. Davis, Cowles Magazines. Contributor of articles and reviews to history and education journals.
Writer, educator, and Civil War historian Steven E. Woodworth is a professor of history at Texas Christian University. He is the author or editor of more than two dozen books, most of which concern topics relevant to the American Civil War. His books cover specific regiments, individual generals and campaigns, and overall concepts such as religion as it was practiced by Civil War soldiers. In Davis and Lee at War, Woodworth analyzes the strategies two of the Civil War South's most prominent military figures, Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Woodworth explores how Davis's strategy was not aggressive, but employed endurance and persistence in an attempt to win the war simply by not losing it. Davis believed that Lee would exhaust himself and pave the way for a Northern win. Lee, in contrast, was a bold and aggressive strategist, preferring to fight hard and let his victories accumulate. A succession of quick, decisive victories, Lee believed, would convince the North to give up the war. Woodworth notes how both approaches had merit, but that neither was applied consistently, eroding their effectiveness. It was Lee and Davis's professional relationship, Woodworth argues, that prevented a decision on which strategy to use. Without a strong and consistent strategy, the Confederacy eventually lost. A Publishers Weekly contributor called Woodworth's book an "engaging, well-written account" of Davis and Lee's approach to war. "Woodworth has produced a lively and readable narrative account of a topic in need of exploration," commented Kenneth H. Williams in Civil War History, though Williams also expressed a desire to see more corroborating evidence. Chris Patsilelis, writing in the New York Times, concluded: "This well-written and highly illuminating work is not only an incisive study of military command but a penetrating psychological analysis of Davis, Lee" and other prominent personalities of the Confederacy.
A Scythe of Fire: The Civil War Story of the Eighth Georgia Regiment contains a ground-level history of the Eighth Georgia, a regiment that participated in some of the major battles of the Civil War, including Gettysburg, numerous Shenandoah Valley campaigns, and Appomattox. Woodworth derives his history from a number of primary source documents, such as letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and other written materials. Woodworth notes that few of the soldiers even mention slavery, nor do they seem to have made any personal decision as to its morality. The narrative demonstrates a strong loyalty among the Eighth's soldiers, both to each other and to the regiment itself. Woodworth relates stories of common experiences, daily hardships, and individual victories, as well as harrowing battle stories. He tells of how even the valiant Eighth Georgia eventually dissolved under the stress of combat and starvation. Jay Freeman, writing in Booklist, observed that Woodworth's book illustrated "what war is like at ground level as experienced by common foot soldiers." Woodworth "brings an intensely human Face to this unit, detailing the casualties and human suffering the Civil War entailed," remarked a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Woodworth's account chronicles the transformation of the soldiers of the Eight Georgia from "enthusiastic, patriotic boys to war-hardened, weary men who pray for an end to the fighting," noted Robert Flatley in Library Journal.
With While God Is Marching On: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers, Woodworth addresses a topic that is often overlooked, downplayed, or ignored in Civil War scholarship: the ways in which Civil War soldiers on both sides of the conflict practiced their religion and managed to justify their religious beliefs with the war they were fighting. Again relying on important primary documents such as diaries and letters, Woodworth describes how most Civil War soldiers, Union and Confederate alike, were Christians, both praying to the same God for guidance and protection, both believing in the righteousness of their struggle and that God would ultimately deliver victory to them. Many of the soldiers found victories in battle to be evidence of God's favor, while defeats were seen as testing and purifying the soldiers. Woodworth explores issues related to the soldiers' views on personal salvation and how both Union and Confederate sides were swept by a "Great Revival" that kept religious observance consistently in the minds of the faithful. Regular prayer meetings and religious services also helped soldiers resist the sins and temptations common to military life. Others, Woodworth notes, believed that their Christianity helped prevent even greater carnage, widespread looting, and violation of the enemy. Soldiers of the Civil War, Woodworth concludes, had a thorough understanding of fundamental Christian concepts and doctrine, and these soldiers continued to practice their religion even in the most difficult periods of the war. In looking at the importance of religion during the Civil War itself, Woodworth "contributes something important to the study of American religious history," commented a Publishers Weekly critic. Kathleen M. Conley, writing in Library Journal, called Woodworth's book a "much-needed addition to Civil War scholarship." The author "has a fine ear for the telling anecdote, and his narration will satisfy Civil War buffs and American religious historians alike," concluded Dan McKanan in the Journal of Religion.
Beneath a Northern Sky: A Short History of the Gettysburg Campaign contains a concise history of what may be the Civil War's best-known battle. In the face of unrelenting volumes of academic and popular scholarship on Gettysburg and the Civil War, "This book is designed to synthesize the voluminous body of literature currently available on the topic into a compelling and concise narrative that will satisfy both novice and logician," noted David Dixon in the Journal of Southern History. Woodworth assembles modern scholarship from notable researchers such as Earl J. Hess, David G. Martin, and Richard S. Shue. He "does a masterful job of weaving these complex modern interpretations into a seamless overview" of Gettysburg and the war, Dixon remarked. Woodworth also brings to bear earlier classics and other works. The book includes photographs of the Gettysburg battlefield as well as portraits of significant leaders.
Woodworth and coauthor Kenneth J. Winkle offer a detailed visual resource covering important Civil War places and concepts in Oxford Atlas of the Civil War. The book includes "narrative sketches, illustrations, and annotated maps of the major events and battles of the Civil War era," noted Willard Carl Klunder in History: Review of New Books. The major portion of the book is divided into five chapters, each of which covers events and activities during a single year from 1861 to 1865. The authors present antebellum topics related to such areas as the spread of slavery, industrial expansion, immigration, and territorial growth. They also provide visual references for post-war subjects such as reconstruction, the spread of Jim Crow legislation, homesteading, sharecropping, and presidential elections to 1892. Maps and illustrations depict not just war-related information, but other data relevant to the world surrounding the war, such as the price of farm land, the spread of railroads, population, and cultural aspects of the Civil War years. Woodworth and Winkle also include a chronology of the war and a glossary of terms and concepts. Klunder concluded that the book "provides the general reader with a handy reference guide to the Civil War era."
In Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865, Woodworth examines a largely ignored military division of the North that boasted an impressive string of victories over opponents at Shiloh and elsewhere, that played important roles in decisive battles such as Vicksburg and Atlanta, and that served as a proving ground for many of the Civil War's best generals. The Army of the Tennessee, Woodworth notes, has been neglected while greater attention was paid to hard-fighting units such as the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Cumberland. He delves into the history and accomplishments of the Army of the Tennessee to show that this unit was just as important as its better-known counterparts, that it served with distinction as great as any other Civil War unit, and that its victories were had through skill and finesse rather than blunt force. He describes how the unit was assembled from volunteers from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, and how its character and abilities were shaped by commanders such as Ulysses S. Grant and William Sherman. Woodworth notes how the pride of excellence extended through lower-ranked field commanders, company officers, and civilian corps commanders. Woodworth's history of the Army of the Tennessee is "arguably the best one-volume history written to date of a Civil War field army," remarked a Publishers Weekly reviewer. "Balanced and readable, Woodworth's work is an exemplary army-level unit history," concluded Booklist reviewer Gilbert Taylor.
Woodworth told CA: "If I write books, even on topics that are not explicitly Christian, it is for the glory of God. I hope someday to be able to do some writing that will be more explicit in relating history and the Christian world-view."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, October, 1991, Michael B. Ballard, review of Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West, p. 1296; April, 1997, Richard E. Beringer, review of Davis and Lee at War, p. 525.
Booklist, November 15, 1996, review of The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research, p. 607; February 15, 2002, Jay Freeman, review of A Scythe of Fire: The Civil War Story of the Eighth Georgia Regiment, p. 989; July, 2005, Abbie Landry, review of Oxford Atlas of the Civil War, p. 1938; October 1, 2005, Gilbert Taylor, review of Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861-1865, p. 21.
Books & Culture, July-August, 2003, David Rolfs, "When Thou Goest out to Battle: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers," review of While God Is Marching On: The Religious World of Civil War Soldiers, p. 19.
Choice, January, 2000, L.E. Babits, review of Chickamauga: A Battlefield Guide with a Section on Chattanooga, p. 1000.
Chronicle of Higher Education, October 5, 2001, Nina C. Ayoub, review of While God Is Marching On.
Civil War History, March, 1997, Kenneth H. Williams, review of Davis and Lee at War, p. 75; December, 1997, Lesley Gordon, review of The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research, p. 335.
First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, December, 2001, George McKenna, review of While God Is Marching On, p. 50.
Historian, spring, 2001, Mark A. Weitz, review of No Band of Brothers: Problems of the Rebel High Command, p. 659.
History: Review of New Books, summer, 2005, Willard Carl Klunder, review of Oxford Atlas of the Civil War, p. 141.
Journal of American History, December, 1996, Craig L. Symonds, review of Davis and Lee at War, p. 1022; September, 1997, Edward Hagerman, review of The American Civil War: A Handbook of Literature and Research, p. 666.
Journal of Military History, January, 1999, Judith Lee Hallock, review of Six Armies in Tennessee: The Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns, p. 190; April, 2000, Sharon S. MacDonald, review of No Band of Brothers, p. 538; July, 2000, Richard M. McMurry, review of Civil War Generals in Defeat, p. 846; October, 2001, Herman Hattaway, review of The Art of Command in the Civil War, p. 1098; July, 2002, Craig L. Symonds, review of Grant's Lieutenants: From Cairo to Vicksburg, p. 853.
Journal of Religion, July, 2002, Dan McKanan, review of While God Is Marching On, p. 450.
Journal of Southern History, August, 1999, Kenneth W. Noe, review of Six Armies in Tennessee, p. 638; August, 2000, Edward J. Hagerty, review of The Art of Command in the Civil War, p. 640; November, 2000, Edward Hagerman, review of Civil War Generals in Defeat, p. 877; November, 2001, James M. Beeby, review of The Human Tradition in the Civil War and Reconstruction, p. 877; February, 2002, Peter S. Carmichael, review of Cultures in Conflict: The American Civil War, p. 193; May, 2003, Anne C. Rose, review of While God Is Marching On, p. 441; November, 2003, Dan R. Frost, review of The Loyal, True, and Brave, p. 918; November, 2004, David Dixon, review of Beneath a Northern Sky: A Short History of the Gettysburg Campaign, p. 934.
Library Journal, March 15, 1999, John Carver Edwards, review of Civil War Generals in Defeat, p. 90; August, 2001, Kathleen M. Conley, review of While God Is Marching On, p. 134; January, 2002, Robert Flatley, review of A Scythe of Fire, p. 126.
Mississippi Quarterly, winter, 1992, William Alan Blair, review of Jefferson Davis and His Generals, p. 156.
New York Times, January 28, 1996, Chris Patsilelis, review of Davis and Lee at War.
Publishers Weekly, September 25, 1995, review of Davis and Lee at War, p. 37; July 23, 2001, "October Publication," review of While God Is Marching On, p. 74; January 21, 2002, review of A Scythe of Fire, p. 75; September 5, 2005, review of Nothing but Victory, p. 46.
Reference & User Services Quarterly, summer, 1998, Hope Yelich, review of The American Civil War, p. 307.
Reviews in American History, March, 1994, Brooks D. Simpson, review of Jefferson Davis and His Generals, p. 73.
School Library Journal, June, 2005, Patricia Ann Owens, review of Oxford Atlas of the Civil War, p. 94; October, 2005, review of Oxford Atlas of the Civil War, p. S68.
Teaching History: A Journal of Methods, spring, 2004, Michael E. Long, review of The Loyal, True, and Brave, p. 53.