In the Shadows of Victory

America's Forgotten Military Leaders, 1776-1876

Thomas Phillips

A fascinating survey through America's first century of warfare, focusing not on the famous names who ultimately claimed success, but on the down-and-dirty fighters—sometimes killed in action—who made such triumphs happen . . .
Date Published :
April 2016
Publisher :
Illustration :
16pp photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612003603
Pages : 288
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Out of stock. Available in 6-8 weeks
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History plays tricks sometimes. During the course of America’s experience it has enshrined an exceptional few military leaders in our collective consciousness as “great,” while ignoring others often equally as deserving. In the Shadows of Victory takes a look at an array of American battlefield commanders who were as responsible for triumph as their more famous peers, yet have often gone unsung.

For example, few of the thousands who pass by the traffic square between Fifth Avenue and Broadway in Manhattan each day realize that it houses a tomb. Fewer still understand that beneath the obelisk rests one of America’s best military commanders—William Worth—a hero in not one but two of the nation’s wars. Similarly, the Civil War general who never lost a battle and who many military historians believe fought one of the two most perfect battles in history was not Grant, Sherman, Lee, or Jackson; it was Thomas—who never extolled his own cause but in all likelihood saved his nation’s.

From the War of Independence, through the Mexican War and Civil War, and during the numerous Indian wars throughout, great combat leaders have emerged across America’s battlefields, yet have just as suddenly slipped through the cracks of history once the guns went silent. At the same time conflicts themselves have often disappeared from consciousness, the public forgetting the fights the country waged against the Barbary Pirates, the British in 1812, and against the Seminoles and Apaches.

In the Shadows of Victory describes the heroics and command acumen of 25 superb military leaders whose sacrifice and skill have often been neglected. As such it provides a fascinating tour through early American military history and the various martial challenges the young nation faced during its first century of existence.

About The Author

During 36 years in the military, Tom Phillips led an isolated unit through a terrorist episode, ran a think tank for the Commander-in-Chief Strategic Air Command, served as the Director of the Air Force Personnel Readiness Center during Operation Desert Storm, and led some of the first American troops into Sarajevo. Following his military service, Phillips worked as a university administrator before beginning a full-time writing career. Tom is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College and Air War College.


Explanatory Notes

1 The War of Independence
2 The Barbary Wars
3 The War of 1812
4 The Seminole Wars
5 The Mexican War
6 The Civil War
7 The Indian Wars of the West

Closing thoughts
Selected Bibliography


"...a valuable addition to the history of American military leaders because of its viewpoint. I highly recommend this book to students of history and military history, especially American military history. It is a necessary addition to the libraries of all such students and the public at large."

- Michael F. Dilley, Author of GALAHAD: A History of the 5307th Composite Unit, (Provisional) and Behind The Lines – A Critical Survey of Special Operations in World War II, Co-author (with Lance Q. Zedric) of Elite Warriors – 300 Years of America’s Best Fighting Troops

"It is obvious that Phillips has done a lot of research for this book. A look at his bibliography will confirm this but it is only necessary to read the various chapters to see the depth of his research and analysis. He did not just cut and paste the information together. Rather, he has taken the time to put his research into perspective by drawing his own conclusions. This book is easy to read, informative, and well written. It is a valuable addition to the history of American military leaders because of its viewpoint. I highly recommend this book to students of history and military history, especially American military history. It is a necessary addition to the libraries of all such students and the public at large."

- Military History Online

"...a welcome addition to popular writing on military history... both informative and a pleasure to read. The individual narratives are well structured, carefully researched and nicely written. The use of brief biographies (“Before and After”) for many of those chronicled is a particular strength... I would recommend it to those who wish to get new perspectives on interesting chapters in American history. Also to those who simply like a good story well told... an excellent book, well worth reading – even for those who don’t particularly like military history. I had the privilege of serving with Tom Phillips while on active duty. I got to know him as a superb officer. And he may well turn out to be an even better writer."

- Raymond E. Franck Brig Gen, USAF Retired

"...well written prose...being reminded of and reading about these officers' achievements is an enjoyable experience. Phillips predicts a second volume covering the subsequent century of U.S. military history, and we look forward to it."

- The Journal of America’s Military Past

"...on the whole he’s made some excellent picks. The men are grouped according to their wars. For each officer Phillips gives us a discussion of his services in the war, and then a “Before and After” look at his life, which helps set them into the framework of America in its first century."

- The NYMAS Review

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