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Southern Miss NEWS Hattiesburg – History: PROFESSORS PUBLISH TWO NEW HISTORY BOOKS

Date    12/19/05
Contact Christopher Mapp at 601.266.4497.

 

History Professors at Southern Miss Publish Two New Books

 

HATTIESBURG – French colonial Louisiana and a major Civil War victory masterminded by Robert E. Lee are the topics of two new books by history professors at the University of Southern Mississippi.

 

The Peninsula Campaign of 1862: A Military Analysis is the first book by Lt. Col. Kevin Dougherty, former Army ROTC battalion commander and chair of the Department of Military Science at Southern Miss now teaching in the Department of History. The 183-page book, co-authored by J. Michael Moore, is published by University Press of Mississippi.

 

French Colonial Louisiana and the Atlantic World is a collection of essays edited by Dr. Bradley Bond, who also wrote the book’s introduction. Published by Louisiana State University Press, it is the third book either authored or edited by Bond.    

 

Putting it in the context of current and long-standing military doctrine, The Peninsula Campaign of 1862 analyzes Union General George B. McClellan’s unsuccessful assault toward Richmond, Va., and how the personality traits of generals can sometimes undermine their troops.

 

“This is a history book, but it’s designed for those with an interest in the military aspect of the event,” Dougherty said. “It offers great lessons about leadership and doctrine and the importance of chance.”

 

The book allows students of military history many opportunities to study the art of war on multiple levels – strategic, operational and tactical.  In the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, where battles between ironclad ships changed the nature of naval warfare forever, McClellan and his army was undone by a mixture of bad luck, apprehension and an inability to adjust to changing situations.

 

“McClellan was in love with his own plan, but when the Rebels moved their troops, ruining the plan of attack, McClellan forced it anyway, refusing to adapt,” Dougherty said. The message, while delivered in a military context, is applicable to most any situation, he said.

 

“There’s a saying in the military that ‘no plan survives first contact.’ That’s why you have to fight the battle at hand, and not the plan. I think that’s as true in business or elsewhere as it is in the military, which makes this an interesting read for people of different backgrounds,” Dougherty said.

 

French Colonial Louisiana and the Atlantic World examines the important but often overlooked role in American history played by a region that at one time consisted of the majority of the United State’s undeveloped interior.

 

Despite its significance in the nation’s early stages of development, however, French colonial Louisiana does not stand out in the historical consciousness of most Americans, Bond said.

 

“This is a region that for various reasons has been largely ignored. History has always tended to skip over the great interior of our country, which at that time occupied most all of the lower Mississippi valley,” he said.

 

The French colonial region provided for a cultural converging of Indians, Africans and Europeans and served as a gateway between French, British and Spanish colonies in North America and the Caribbean. But the geographical region was short-lived, lasting between 1699 and 1762, and its subservience to the dominant narrative of the British colonies relegated the region to the dustbin of history.

 

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.

 

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For more information, contact Christopher Mapp at 601.266.4497.

 

 


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