Here’s a video from C-SPAN of author David Moore talking about Union General William S. Rosecrans.
I have to say I was not impressed. In my opinion, he crossed the line into advocacy. He really seems to be trying to put Rosie in the best light possible in all situations. In the process, he seems to me to make Ulysses S. Grant his enemy. He seems to always try to minimize Grant’s achievements. In one instance, he quotes someone speaking favorably of Rosie and says that this was a period when “honesty was paramount,” yet when the same person is critical of Rosie he casts aspersions on the veracity of the critique.
Certainly Rosie wasn’t a perfect general, yet I didn’t hear any criticisms at all from Mr. Moore. He paraphrases what he claims are critics of Rosecrans, then defends Rosecrans from those criticisms. Mr. Moore claims that Rosecrans invented mounted infantry. I’m sure John Buford, and old dragoon, would have been surprised to hear that. Additionally, he doesn’t seem to understand what strategy is. He describes a tactic of feinting and calls it “strategy.” He considers comments about Rosecrans from the Richmond newspapers to be completely reliable when they praise Rosie. Toward the end of his talk he seems to be campaigning for a statue for Rosecrans in Washington, DC. To judge by this talk, this book is not an objective look at Rosecrans. In the Q&A he accuses academics of not liking Rosecrans because he was a religious person. This shows quite an ignorance of historians and how they operate today.
Still, this is the first biography of Rosie in several decades. I think I’ll wait for it to appear in the remainders bin.