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Yankee Blitzkrieg is the first comprehensive survey of Wilson's Raid, the largest independent mounted expedition of the Civil War.

The Confederacy was reeling when Wilson's raiders left their camps along the Tennessee River in March 1865 and rode south. But there was talk of prolonged rebel resistance in the deep South using the agricultural and industrial facilities of a sweep of territory that ran from Macon to Meridian. That area had hardly been touched by the war, and in Columbus, Georgia, and Selma, Alabama, the South had two of its most productive industrial communities. Twenty-seven year-old General Wilson was certain his large, well-officered, well-trained, and well-armed cavalry corps could deny the Confederates a redoubt in the heart of Alabama and Georgia. Wilson, like many cavalry leaders, north and South, believed the mounted arm had been grievously misused through four years of war. But in March 1865, armed with support from Grant, Sherman, and Thomas, Wilson at last could test the theory that massed heavily armed cavalry could strike swiftly in great strength and press to quick victory. . . . Wilson's strategy was to get there "first with the most men," and it would be tested against the man who had invented the very phrase, Nathan Bedford Forrest. —from the book

James Pickett Jones is professor of history at Florida State University.

"Comprehensive and filled with military details calculated to delight the ever faithful Civil War fans. . . A splendid account of Wilson and his raid."—Alabama Review

"Jones handles the narrative details of the campaign in good fashion. He sets the context of events, with full appreciation of the command question involved, and includes the reactions of individual officers and enlisted men. . . . Excellent."—American Historical Review

"Provides readers with an excellent account of action rarely examined."—Civil War Courier

"One of the best studies ever on the often-neglected central region of the Confederacy."—Florida Historical Quarterly

"Jones has done a superb job in reconstructing Wilson’s expedition. . . . The definitive study of one of the Civil War’s most important campaigns."—Georgia Historical Quarterly

"Tells well the story of the largest Union cavalry operation during the Civil War."—Journal of the West

"Wilson’s career, and his raid, are well worth studying, not only for their impact on the Civil War, but for the innovative tactics that characterized them."—NYMAS Newsletter

"Does a great job of detailing battles and problems faced by both sides."—Paper Wars

"A vividly reconstructed account tracing Wilson’s lightning run south . . . places the campaign within the larger context of the last days of the Civil War. . .. Superb reading."—Wisconsin Bookwatch

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






Wilson's Raid, James Harrison Wilson, Cavalry, United States Civil War, American Civil War


Military History


Originally published by the University of Georgia Press, 1976.

Reprint edition by The University of Kentucky Press, 2000.

Yankee Blitzkrieg: Wilson's Raid through Alabama and Georgia
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