Sheridan's Secret Mission

Sheridan’s Secret Mission by Robert Cwiklik

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for Sheridan’s Secret Mission:

Wasn’t much of secret.

Quick synopsis:

The story of when U.S. Grant sent Philip Sheridan to report on the civil unrest and racism in the South.

Fact for Non-History People:

Black men encompassed 10% of the Union forces.

Fact for History Nerds:

Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard grew up speaking French exclusively.

My Take on Sheridan’s Secret Mission:

There are few historical time periods in American history more frustrating than Reconstruction. Robert Cwiklik’s Sheridan’s Secret Mission is here to remind you just how frustrating and depressing it was!

Cwiklik frames the story around Union war hero Philip Sheridan’s visit to Louisiana during the 1870s. It should be noted that the title of the book is a bit misleading. Sheridan is important to this story, but he is barely in it. If you are looking for a deep meditation on Sheridan, then you will be disappointed. However, as a brief book using Louisiana as a microcosm for the failure of Reconstruction, it is very good. The emphasis is on “brief.” The book is less than 200 pages, but it is a very well written 200 pages.

I would highly recommend this book to someone who doesn’t know a ton about Reconstruction already. Some of the events in Cwiklik’s book have their own exhaustive books just about what happened. This is more high-level but still well done.

(This book was provided as a review copy by the publisher.)


A great book for Reconstruction nerds. Buy it here!

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