Based primarily on his 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign journal, this biographical work on Colonel Joseph Thoburn, Commander, 1st Infantry Division, Army of West Virginia, provides significant insight on this period of the Civil War, as well as background on an important field commander of the Union Army who was a physician from Wheeling, West Virginia.
“Joseph Thoburn was both a physician and a warrior. His martial skills caused him to stand out among his peers in Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah. The Scotch-Irish immigrant became an outstanding brigade and division commander who left his mark on the numerous battlefields of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. His diary provides keen insight into the workings of Thoburn’s mind and likewise provides keen insight into the physician-turned-warrior’s battlefield exploits. Scott Patchan, the dean of 1864 Valley Campaign historians, has done a fine job of editing Thoburn’s diary and getting it ready for publication.This diary will become an important resource for any historian seeking to document the fightingthat occurred in the Shenandoah Valley in 1864 and will be an excellent source for those who enjoy reading primary sources.”
– Eric J.Wittenberg, award-winning author
“This is a gem of a journal – particularly because it comes from the hand of a brigade and division commander, perhaps one of the Civil War’s most underappreciated Union martyrs. Colonel Joseph Thoburn’s insights and details provide abundant grist for understanding and appreciating the first three months of the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Scott Patchan’s expertise as the leading authority of the campaign enhances this rich account with adept annotations as well as valuable bookends to the journal, including Thoburn’s life and career before his first journal entry and his heroic performances and untimely death after his final one. After completing this enjoyable read, one cannot escape the mix of hope and regret that appear from the realization that Thoburn’s earlier journals of the War may still exist but have yet to be discovered.”
– Gary Ecelbarger, a leading authority on the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign.