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This Grand Havoc of Battle

Kenneth W. Noe

Narrated by Tom Sleeker

Available from Audible

Book published by The University Press of Kentucky

On October 8, 1862, Union and Confederate forces clashed near Perryville, Kentucky, in what would be the largest battle ever fought on Kentucky soil. The climax of a campaign that began two months before in northern Mississippi, Perryville came to be recognized as the high water mark of the western Confederacy. Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle is the definitive account of this important conflict. While providing all the parry and thrust one might expect from an excellent battle narrative, the book also reflects the new trends in Civil War history in its concern for ordinary soldiers and civilians caught in the slaughterhouse. The last chapter, unique among Civil War battle narratives, even discusses the battle’s veterans, their families, efforts to preserve the battlefield, and the many ways Americans have remembered and commemorated Perryville.

Kenneth W. Noe holds the Draughon Chair in Southern History at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. He is the author of several books and articles.


“An indispensable source for an understanding of the events in Kentucky in the fall of 1862, when Braxton Bragg’s Southern soldiers fought courageously to achieve what turned out to be the ‘high water mark’ of the western Confederacy.”

America's Civil War

“For anyone seriously interested in the Civil War in Kentucky, Noe’s books is a must buy. It should remain the definitive work of the Perryville campaign for many years.”

Bowling Green Daily News

“Noe has authored the essential book on this battle. ”

Civil War Book Review

“None of the professional works that touch on Perryville ... can offer the breadth of perspective and the innovative investigation that inform Noe’s Perryville.

Civil War History

“An exceptional book. Buffs and serious scholars alike will enjoy what should be the definitive work on this battle for some time to come. ”

Civil War News

“Does a masterful job of placing the Battle of Perryville, and Kentucky more generally, in the context of the Civil War and southern history. ”

Filson History Quarterly

“Noe's study of this pivotal campaign will be the standard work on the subject for some years to come. Essential reading on the military events in the west, and a model for future studies. ”

Florida Historical Quarterly

“A model study that helps expand the definition of campaign histories.”

Washington Post

“Noe has produced a model study that has comprehensively included a broad picture of military strategy and action as well as larger political issues.... This comprehensive effort constitutes what battle history ought to be.”

H-Net Reviews

“An excellent book that will be hard to surpass in covering this battle.”

Journal of America's Military Past

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