Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Civil War Sites, 2nd Edition: The Official Guide to the Civil War Discovery Trail

by Civil War Preservation Trust

From the publisher:
This easy-to-use guide, completely revised and updated in clear, concise prose, features more than hundreds of sites in 31 states--solemn battlefields, gracious mansions, state parks, cemeteries, memorials, museums, and more. Specific directions, hours, and contact information help to plan the trip; evocative description and detailed maps help orient you when you're there. Also, boxed sidebars highlight select people and events of the Civil War.

The Civil War Preservation Trust is a private, nonprofit organization with more than 36,000 members across the country.

Gettysburg Requiem: The Life and Lost Causes of Confederate Colonel William C. Oates

by Glenn W. LaFantasie

From the publisher:
William C. Oates is best remembered as the Confederate officer defeated at Gettysburg's Little Round Top, losing a golden opportunity to turn the Union's flank and win the battle--and perhaps the war. Now, Glenn W. LaFantasie--bestselling author of Twilight at Little Round Top--has written a gripping biography of Oates.

Oates was no moonlight-and-magnolias Southerner, as LaFantasie shows. Raised in the hard-scrabble Wiregrass Country of Alabama, he ran away from home as a teenager, roamed through Louisiana and Texas--where he took up card sharking--and finally returned to Alabama, to pull himself up by his bootstraps and become a respected attorney. During the war, he rose to the rank of colonel, served under Stonewall Jackson and Lee, was wounded six times and lost an arm. Returning home, he launched a successful political career, becoming a seven-term congressman and ultimately governor. LaFantasie shows how, for Oates, the war never really ended--he remained devoted to the Lost Cause, and spent the rest of his life waging the political battles of Reconstruction.

Here then is a richly evocative story of Southern life before, during, and after the Civil War, based on first-time and exclusive access of family papers and never-before-seen archives.

Glenn W. LaFantasie is the Frockt Family Professor of Civil War History and the Director of the Center for the Civil War in the West at Western Kentucky University. He is the bestselling author of Twilight at Little Round Top. He has also written for several magazines and newspapers, including American History, North & South, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, The New York Times Book Review, America's Civil War, Civil War Times Illustrated, and The Providence Journal.

From the critics:
"Exhaustively researched and elegantly written, this captivating biography is a signal contribution to Civil War historiography.... In LaFantasie's penetrating analysis, Oates becomes the avatar of everything both objectionable and laudable in the antebellum and postwar South as well as in the intervening Civil War." - Library Journal

LaFantasie's thorough scholarship and ability to marshal facts in readable prose means that the book will especially reward students of the Confederacy's "middle management"--the local entrepreneurs who became field-grade officers. A valuable addition to the Civil War shelves. - Booklist

Hated Ideas and the American Civil War Press

by Hazel Dicken-Garcia and Giovanna Dell'Orto

From CWBN:
One of the most cherished principles in American journalism is the notion that unpopular and even hated ideas deserve First Amendment protection and fair-handed treatment from journalists. But has this principle always existed, and how are hated ideas treated during times of crisis, such as war?

In this book, media historians Hazel Dicken-Garcia and Giovanna Dell’Orto search for some of the answers by analyzing newspaper coverage of hated ideas — such as abolitionism and slavery — during the American Civil War. They found that the Civil War strengthened the idea of journalism’s responsibility to the public; editors often had eloquent free speech discussions; and opposition presses were sometimes defended.

However, the data also showed that tolerance was the exception rather than the rule. "[E]ditors consistently supported the larger political system over any professional journalism ideology, the ‘common good’ over individual rights, and military ‘discretion’ over constitutional principles," the authors write.

The authors conclude that "although the editors’ intolerance makes their statements about the Constitution ... seem hollow, it must be remembered that they were in the midst of a highly abnormal national crisis. ... [T]he Civil War experience underscores the fact that marginalized ideas across history have persisted, often to become accepted as part of mainstream culture. Despite intolerance by journalists ... of certain ideas ... the First Amendment has continued to sustain civil liberties ... ."

Hazel Dicken-Garcia (Ph.D. University of Wisconsin) is a professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Minnesota. She is author of Journalistic Standards in Nineteenth-Century America, which received the Kappa Tau Alpha Best Book Award in 1990. She received the Sidney Kobre Award, given by the American Journalism Historians Association for contributions to journalism history in 2006.

Giovanna Dell'Orto (Ph.D. University of Minnesota) is an Associated Press journalist. She has been studying 19th- century journalists' interpretation of free speech rights for more than 10 years. Her first book, Giving Meanings to the World, explored how the first U.S. newspaper foreign correspondents created images of the world for readers.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Fierce, Wild Joy: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Edward J. Wood, 48th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment

by Stephen E. Towne

From the publisher:
The ninety letters in this collection document the Civil War career of Col. Edward Jesup Wood, an officer of the 48th Indiana. Evocative and rich in detail, A Fierce, Wild Joy offers a view of the war from an officer's perspective and provides important insights into the day-to-day administration of a Civil War regiment.

Wood was born in Florida to a Connecticut father and slave-owning mother, and orphaned in early youth. He was raised in New England to be an abolitionist, and at the age of fifteen he entered Dartmouth College. His military career began in 1861, and over the course of the war Wood's regiment participated in several key battles and campaigns, including Corinth, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and the March to the Sea.

Thoughtful, intelligent, and articulate, Wood was a keen observer of details during his time in the Western Theater. His letters vividly bring the war to life as he describes the events of some of its most important campaigns. His change in perspective over time is evident: readers will witness Wood's naïve optimism for a quick and sure victory transform to dawning realization about the long haul and horrors of war.

Readers will appreciate Wood's broad view of the military campaign, political exigencies surrounding the war, and the effects of war on both North and South. A stark reminder of the war's costs are emphasized by Wood's later tragic life. He returned home and committed suicide before his fortieth birthday. A Fierce, Wild Joy includes biographical essays that put Wood in context and aptly remind readers that many who served in the war did not go home to peace and happiness.

Stephen E. Towne is assistant university archivist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. His articles have appeared in Indiana Magazine of History, Journalism History, and Civil War History.

Drummer Boy Willie Mcgee, Civil War Hero and Fraud

by Thomas Fox

From the publisher:
On December 7, 1864, just one week after the bloody battle of Franklin, Tennessee, William McGee, a drummer boy from Newark, New Jersey, was credited with leading a Federal force to a decisive victory over the Confederates in a clash just thirty miles from the carnage at Franklin. This 15-year-old Irish-American, on convalescent duty and acting as an orderly to General Lovell Rousseau, was recognized for the capture of two guns, several hundred prisoners, and the saving of Fortress Rosecrans in Murfreesboro from the famed Nathan Bedford Forrest.

For his actions, young McGee would soon be awarded a Medal of Honor, written up in newspapers and books as a glorious New Jersey legend, be commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Army at age 18, and then, inexplicably at the height of his notoriety, virtually disappear from history for more than 100 years. This is the story of a lost war hero, a man-child with the world at his feet, whose fall from grace is accelerated by fame, lies, alcohol, bigamy, and murder.

Retired high school basketball coach Thomas Fox is a librarian at a private school in Sussex County, New Jersey.

Civil War Museum Treasures: Outstanding Artifacts and the Stories Behind Them

by Kenneth D. Alford

From the publisher:
A Bible, an officer’s mess kit, a cane arm chair and a blood-stained note... at first glance, these items might not seem to have much in common. But on closer examination they prove to be some of the most interesting artifacts from the Civil War. This volume searches out and details memorabilia in museums spread over 21 states and the District of Columbia.

Beginning with an overview of the Civil War, the book provides a state-by-state guide to various museums and historical societies with particular focus on matchless Civil War objects in their collections. Chapters provide the description of each museum and details on how each artifact came to be in that location. A chronological narrative centering on each rare item is then provided, placing the object within the timeline of the war and linking it to a specific event. An appendix contains a guide to battles which are known by various names.

Kenneth D. Alford has written on the treasures and spoils of World War II. He has served as a historical consultant fro television productions involving looted Nazi treasures and for cases involving reparations for World War II looting. Retired from a career in banking, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.

Lincoln's Own Stories

by Anthony Gross

From the publisher:
Lincoln's Own Stories (published in 1912) is a well-loved collection of tales told about and by Abraham Lincoln throughout his life, from childhood to presidency.


Earlier Years
The Lawyer
Local Politics and the Douglas Debates
At the White House
At the Front
The Commander-in-Chief

The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A Story of Adultery, Murder and the Making of a Great President

by Julie M. Fenster

From the critics:
By 1856, Abraham Lincoln was one of the most successful attorneys in Illinois. He had served a term in the U.S. Congress, but it appeared that he had abandoned a political career. However, as was observed, Lincoln's ambition was an engine that would not quit. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 had intensified the national debate over slavery, and it drew Lincoln back into political activism. At the same time, Lincoln accepted the task of defending a young man accused of murdering the husband of his lover. Fenster's absorbing chronicle follows two tracks: Lincoln's reentry into the tumultuous political wars in Illinois, as Democrats, Know-Nothings, and the newly formed Republican Party vied for power; and how the death of a Springfield blacksmith evolved into a sensational murder trial. When the two tracks merge, Fenster illustrates Lincoln's emergence as a cagey politician and eloquent antislavery voice with an enhanced national reputation. This is a worthy addition to our ever-expanding knowledge concerning America's secular saint. - Booklist

"Fenster's rhythms have Twain-like timing. . . . Grandiloquent statements, dark adumbrations of the president-to-be or the tragedies with which his name is now inescapably entwined, are not necessary. Fenster knows that." - Library Journal

The Soldier's Pen: Firsthand Impressions of the Civil War

by Robert E. Bonner

From the publisher:
They are all infantrymen; none were commissioned officers. One is a German-speaking artist whose sole record is nineteen stunning watercolors that cover a year’s enlistment. Another is a free black from Syracuse, New York. Six are from slave states, one of whom was a Unionist. Drawing from the more than 60,000 documents housed in the privately held Gilder Lehrman Collection, Robert E. Bonner has movingly reconstructed the experiences of sixteen Civil War soldiers, using their own accounts to knit together a ground-level view of the entire conflict.

The immediacy of diaries and the intimacy of letters to loved ones accompany the humor of an anonymous cartoonist from Massachusetts, the vivid paintings of Private Henry Berckhoff.

All reproduced for the first time in The Soldier’s Pen, the documents and images that Bonner weaves together, providing context and explanation as required, powerfully re-create the day-to-day lives of the soldiers who fought and died for Union and Confederacy. Not since the 2000 publication of Robert Sneden’s paintings and papers in Eye of the Storm has a collection of original Civil War documents so evocatively captured the war.

Assistant professor of history at Michigan State University, Robert E. Bonner is the author of two previous books on the Civil War. He lives in Hanover, New Hampshire.

"For anyone interested in viewing America's traumatic Civil War from the perspective of ordinary individuals who found themselves in the Union and Confederate armies, Robert E. Bonner’s The Soldier's Pen: Firsthand Impressions of the Civil War will be a very rewarding experience. This expertly edited collection of letters and drawings mailed to the families and friends of sixteen ‘typical’ but quite diverse citizen–soldiers conveys a deeply human dimension to America’s most dehumanizing war." —David Brion Davis, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World

"Walt Whitman once said of the Civil War that ‘The real war will never get in the books.’ But the real war does get into this book, in the form of letters and diaries written by sixteen enlisted men, Union and Confederate, who tell it like it was."
—James McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom

"Robert E. Bonner has not only found some of the most riveting, impassioned, humorous, and powerful Civil War letters and journals ever written, he has brilliantly woven them together so that the overall collection reads like a first-rate work of literature. The Soldier’s Pen is a masterpiece of scholarship and, without question, one of the most extraordinary anthologies of Civil War correspondence I have ever read." —Andrew Carroll, editor of The New York Times bestselling WAR LETTERS

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History

by Gordon E. Dammann and Alfred Jay Bollet

From the publisher:
Dr. Alfred Bollet’s Civil War Medicine: Challenges and Triumphs won wide acclaim as an expert study. Now, in collaboration with Dr. Gordon Dammann, Dr. Bollet has taken his expertise one step further and pictorially illuminated this fascinating chapter in medical history.

Featuring 250 rare archival photographs, Images of Civil War Medicine is a comprehensive visual encyclopedia of medical care during a seminal event in American history. The book showcases the uniforms, equipment, and members of a large group of individual Civil War doctors — “Cartes de Visites” — along with resonant images of existing pre-war structures used to heal the sick.

Also here are prominent medical educators, hospitals, stewards, and ambulances,as well as images of surgery, dentistry, nursing, and embalming. Ideal for Civil War buffs, historians, and medical history enthusiasts, Images of Civil War Medicine gives a complete overview of this era's medical realities.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Intensely Human: The Health of the Black Soldier in the American Civil War

by Margaret Humphreys

From the publisher:
Black soldiers in the American Civil War were far more likely to die of disease than were white soldiers. In Intensely Human, historian Margaret Humphreys explores why this uneven mortality occurred and how it was interpreted at the time. In doing so, she uncovers the perspectives of mid-nineteenth-century physicians and others who were eager to implicate the so-called innate inferiority of the black body.

In the archival collections of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, Humphreys found evidence that the high death rate among black soldiers resulted from malnourishment, inadequate shelter and clothing, inferior medical attention, and assignments to hazardous environments.

While some observant physicians of the day attributed the black soldiers' high mortality rate to these circumstances, few medical professionals -- on either side of the conflict -- were prepared to challenge the "biological evidence" of white superiority. Humphreys shows how, despite sympathetic and responsible physicians' efforts to expose the truth, the stereotype of black biological inferiority prevailed during the war and after.

Margaret Humphreys is the Josiah Charles Trent Professor in the History of Medicine, a professor of history, and an associate clinical professor of medicine at Duke University. She is the author of Malaria: Poverty, Race, and Public Health in the United States, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Confederate Experience Reader: Selected Documents and Essays

by John D. Fowler

The Confederate Experience Reader provides students and professors with the essential materials needed to understand and appreciate the major issues confronting the Southern Republic's brief existence during the American Civil War.

This anthology covers the full history of the Confederate experience including the origins of the antebellum South, the rise of southern nationalism, the 1860 election and the subsequent Secession Crisis, the military conflict, and Reconstruction.

Drawing from a full range of primary writings that describe the experience of living in the Southern Republic in vivid detail, as well as a careful selection of secondary works by prominent scholars in the field of confederate history, The Confederate Experience Reader will allow students to situate the Confederate experience within the larger context of Southern and American history.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order

by John F. Mars

From the publisher:
Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order is the premier biography of William Tecumseh Sherman, the Civil War commander known for his “destructive war” policy against Confederates and as a consummate soldier. This updated edition of John F. Marszalek’s award-winning book presents the general as a complicated man who, fearing anarchy, searched for the order that he hoped would make his life a success.

Sherman was profoundly influenced by the death of his father and his subsequent relationship with the powerful Whig politician Thomas Ewing and his family.

Although the Ewings treated Sherman as one of their own, the young Sherman was determined to make it on his own. He graduated from West Point and moved on to service at military posts throughout the South. This volume traces Sherman’s involvement in the Mexican War in the late 1840s, his years battling prospectors and deserting soldiers in gold-rush California, and his 1850 marriage to his foster sister, Ellen. Later he moved to Louisiana, and, after the state seceded, Sherman returned to the North to fight for the Union.

Sherman covers the general’s early Civil War assignments in Kentucky and Missouri and his battles against former Southern friends there, the battle at Shiloh, and his rise to become second only to Grant among the Union leadership. Sherman’s famed use of destructive war, controversial then and now, is examined in detail. The destruction of property, he believed, would convince the Confederates that surrender was their best option, and Sherman’s successful strategy became the stuff of legend.

This definitive biography, which includesforty-six illustrations, effectively refutes misconceptions surrounding the controversial Union general and presents Sherman the man, not the myth.

John F. Marszalek is Giles Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Mississippi State University. His publications include several books on William T. Sherman, and biographies of Civil War general Henry W. Halleck, black West Point cadet Johnson C. Whittaker, black congressman George W. Murray, and the infamous Jacksonian, Peggy Eaton.

From CWBN:
Amazon shows an October 2 release date for this title; B&N shows a November release.

Well Satisfied with My Position: The Civil War Journal of Spencer Bonsall

by Michael A Flannery and Katherine H. Oomens (editors)

From the publisher:
Well Satisfied with My Position offers a first-person account of army life during the Civil War’s Peninsula Campaign and Battle of Fredericksburg. Spencer Bonsall, who joined the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry as a hospital steward, kept a journal from March 1862 until March 1863, when he abruptly ceased writing. Editors Michael A. Flannery and Katherine H. Oomens place his experiences in the context of the field of Civil War medicine and continue his story in an epilogue.

Trained as a druggist when he was in his early twenties, Bonsall traveled the world, spent eight years on a tea plantation in India, and settled in Philadelphia, where he worked in the city surveyor’s office. But in March 1862, when he was in his mid-forties, the lure of serving his country on the battlefield led Bonsall to join the 81st Pennsylvania Infantry as a hospital steward.

Bonsall enjoyed his life with the Union army at first, comparing bivouacking in the woods to merely picnicking on a grand scale. “We are about as jolly a set of old bachelors as can be found in Virginia,” Bonsall wrote. But his first taste of the aftermath of battle at Fair Oaks and the Seven Days’ Battles in Virginia changed his mind about the joys of soldiering—though he never lost his zeal for the Union cause.

Bonsall details the camp life of a soldier from firsthand experience, outlines the engagements of the 81st, and traces the Battle of Fredericksburg and the Peninsula Campaign. He records facts not available elsewhere about camp conditions, attitudes toward Union generals and Confederate soldiers, and troop movements.

From the end of June to late October 1862, Bonsall’s illness kept him from writing in his journal. He picked up the record again in December 1862, just before the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, in which the Union suffered a staggering 10,200 casualties and the 81st Pennsylvania lost more than half its men. He vividly describes the bloody aftermath. Bonsall’s horse was shot out from underneath him at the battle of Gettysburg, injuring him seriously and ending his military career. Although he was listed as “sick in hospital” on the regiment’s muster rolls, he was labeled a deserter in the U.S. Army records. Indeed, after recovery from his injuries, Bonsall walked away from the army to resume life in Philadelphia with his wife and child.

Published for the first time, Bonsall’s journal offers an unusually personal glimpse into the circumstances and motives of a man physically ruined by the war. Seventeen illustrations, including some drawn by Bonsall himself, help bring this narrative to life.

Michael A. Flannery, associate professor and associate director for historical collections at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is the author of John Uri Lloyd: The Great American Eclectic (SIU Press, 1998) and Civil War Pharmacy: A History of Drugs, Drug Supply and Provision, and Therapeutics for the Union and Confederacy, and co-author of America’s Botanico-Medical Movements: Vox Populi and Pharmaceutical Education in the Queen City: 150 Years of Service.

Katherine H. Oomens, formerly a Library Associate for the Reynolds Historical Library at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is a graduate of Cornell University and holds master's degrees in museum studies (George Washington University) and library science (University of Alabama). She currently lives in Charlottesville, VA, with her husband and son.

From CWBN:
A release date of October 2 for this work appears on Amazon; B&N shows it as a November release.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Civil War Museum Treasures: Outstanding Artifacts and the Stories Behind Them

by Kenneth D. Alford

From the publisher:
A Bible, an officer’s mess kit, a cane arm chair and a blood-stained note... at first glance, these items might not seem to have much in common. But on closer examination they prove to be some of the most interesting artifacts from the Civil War. This volume searches out and details memorabilia in museums spread over 21 states and the District of Columbia. Beginning with an overview of the Civil War, the book provides a state-by-state guide to various museums and historical societies with particular focus on matchless Civil War objects in their collections. Chapters provide the description of each museum and details on how each artifact came to be in that location. A chronological narrative centering on each rare item is then provided, placing the object within the timeline of the war and linking it to a specific event. An appendix contains a guide to battles which are known by various names.

Kenneth D. Alford has written on the treasures and spoils of World War II. He has served as a historical consultant fro television productions involving looted Nazi treasures and for cases involving reparations for World War II looting. Retired from a career in banking, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title is unknown.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The First Louisiana Special Battalion: Wheat's Tigers in the Civil War

by Gary Screckengost

From the publisher:
From the little-known Filibuster Wars to the Civil War battlefield of Gaines’ Mill, this volume details the fascinating story of one of the South’s most colorful military units, the 1st Louisiana Special Battalion, aka Wheat’s Tigers.

Beginning with a brief look at the Filibuster Wars (a set of military attempts to annex Latin American countries into the United States as slave states), the work takes a close look at the men who comprised Wheat’s Tigers: Irish immigrant ship hands, New Orleans dock workers and Filibuster veterans.

Commanded by one of the greatest antebellum filibusterers, Chatham Roberdeau Wheat, the Tigers quickly distinguished themselves in battle through their almost reckless bravery, proving instrumental in Southern victories at the battles of Front Royal, Winchester and Port Republic. An in-depth look at Battle of Gaines’ Mill, in which Wheat’s Tigers suffered heavy casualties, including their commander, completes the story.

Appendices provide a compiled roster of the Wheat’s Tigers, a look at the 1st Louisiana’s uniforms and a copy of Wheat’s report about the Battle of Manassas. Never-before-published photographs are also included.

Author and historian Gary Schreckengost lives in Elm, Pennsylvania. An infantry officer in the Army Reserves, his work has been published in American Civil War Magazine, World War II Magazine, Field Artillery Journal and Armor Magazine.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title is unknown.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Freebooters and Smugglers: The Foreign Slave Trade in the United States after 1808

by Earnest Obadele-starks

From the publisher:
Why slave smuggling and trafficking persisted after the Abolition Act ...

In 1891 a young W. E. B. DuBois addressed the annual American Historical Association on the enforcement of slave trade laws: "Northern greed joined to Southern credulity was a combination calculated to circumvent any law, human or divine." One law in particular he was referring to was the Abolition Act of 1808. It was specifically passed to end the foreign slave trade. However, as Ernest Obadele-Starks shows, thanks to profiteering smugglers like the Lafitte brothers and the Bowie brothers, the slave trade persisted throughout the south for a number of years after the law was passed.

Freebooters and Smugglers examines the tactics and strategies that the adherents of the foreign slave trade used to challenge the law. It reassesses the role that Americans played in the continuation of foreign slave transshipments into the country right up to the Civil War, shedding light on an important topic that has been largely overlooked in the historiography of the slave trade.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title is unknown.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Making of a Confederate: Walter Lenoir's Civil War

by William L. Barney

From the publisher:
Despite the advances of the civil rights movement, many white southerners cling to the faded glory of a romanticized Confederate past. In The Making of a Confederate, William L. Barney focuses on the life of one man, Walter Lenoir of North Carolina, to examine the origins of southern white identity alongside its myriad ambiguities and complexities.

Born into a wealthy slaveholding family, Lenoir abhorred the institution, opposed secession, and planned to leave his family to move to Minnesota, in the free North. But when the war erupted in 1860, Lenoir found another escape route--he joined the Confederate army, an experience that would radically transform his ideals. After the war, Lenoir, like many others, embraced the cult of the Lost Cause, refashioning his memory and beliefs in an attempt to make sense of the war, its causes, and its consequences.

While some Southerners sank into depression, aligned with the victors, or fiercely opposed the new order, Lenoir withdrew to his acreage in the North Carolina mountains. There, he pursued his own vision of the South's future, one that called for greater self-sufficiency and a more efficient use of the land. For Lenoir and many fellow Confederates, the war never really ended. As he tells this compelling story, Barney offers new insights into the ways that (selective) memory informs history; through Lenoir's life, readers learn how individual choices can transform abstract historical processes into concrete actions.

"In this fascinating and beautifully written portrait . . . William L. Barney breathes life into many key aspects of the Civil War era as it was experienced in the Upper South. A major achievement."--Bruce Levine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, author of Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves during the Civil War

"An enormously intelligent, sensitive, interesting, [and] significant biography of a minor character that takes us inside one white Southerner's life, family, and mind."--Mina Carson, Oregon State University

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What Reconstruction Meant: Historical Memory and the American South

by Bruce E. Baker

From the publisher:
A great deal has been written about southern memory centering on the Civil War, particularly the view of the war as a valiant lost cause. In this challenging new book Bruce Baker looks at a related, and equally important, aspect of southern memory that has been treated by historians only in passing: Reconstruction. What Reconstruction Meant examines what both white and black South Carolinians thought about the history of Reconstruction and how it shaped the way they lived their lives in the first half of the twentieth century.

Baker addresses the dominant white construct of "the dark days of Reconstruction," which was instrumental both in ending Reconstruction and in justifying Jim Crow and the disfranchisement of African Americans in the South, setting the tone for early historians' accounts of Reconstruction. Looking back on the same era, African Americans and their supporters recalled a time of potential and of rights to be regained, inspiring their continuing struggles to change the South.

Baker draws on a tremendous range of newspapers, memoirs, correspondence, and published materials, to show the intricate process by which the white-supremacist memory of Reconstruction became important in the 1890s, as segregation and disenfranchisement took hold in the South, and how it began to crumble as the civil rights movement gained momentum. Examining the southern memory of Reconstruction, in all its forms, is an essential element in understanding the society and politics of the twentieth-century South.

Bruce E. Baker is Lecturer in U.S. History at the University of London. His essays have appeared in numerous publications, including most recently The South Carolina Encyclopedia and Radicalism in the South since Reconstruction.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title is unknown.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Civil War America: Voices from the Home Front

by James C. Marten

From the publisher:
The author of an acclaimed account of the lives of children in the Civil War, Marten here provides a more comprehensive introduction to the civilian history of the Civil War. Concise, vividly written chapters describe the home front through the lives of individuals and the histories of events and institutions in the North and South. The stories are organized around five broad themes: the northern home front, the southern home front, children, African Americans, and the war's aftermath.

The case studies feature voices of the famous, like Edmund Riffin and Booker T. Washington, but more often they offer the testimony of ordinary men, women, and children.The civilian history of the Civil War is one of changes large and small: the destruction of old racial relationships, the challenge to southern whites' assumptions and complacency, the expansion of government power and responsibility. In more personal terms, the changes include shifting notions of personal worth, and the centrality of war-time experiences to individual lives. Marten extends the story beyond the close of the fighting, to the legacies that shaped American culture for generations after the guns fell silent: veterans to care for, memories to file, nightmares to overcome, and lessons to process.

A superb blend of traditional narrative, case studies, and individual stories, Civil War America is a valuable resource for students and their teachers at all seeking to understand the many ways in which the Civil War was truly a people's war.

From CWBN:
This title is a reissue.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Camp Chase and the Evolution of Union Prison Policy

by Roger Pickenpaugh

From the publisher:
Camp Chase was a major Union POW camp and also served at various times as a Union military training facility and as quarters for Union soldiers who had been taken prisoner by the Confederacy and released on parole or exchanged. As such, a careful, thorough, and objective examination of the history and administration of the camp will be of true significance in the literature on the Civil War.

Roger Pickenpaugh has been a history teacher for 27 years. He is the author of forthcoming book Captives in Gray: The Civil War Prisons of the Union.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Recollections and Letters of Robert E. Lee

by Robert Edward Lee

From the publisher:
This remarkable portrait of the idol of the Confederacy features personal reminiscences by his son as well as the general's letters to his family.

Dating from the Mexican-American War in the 1840s to Lee's death in 1870, they provide intimate glimpses of a well-known but enigmatic man.

Length: 480 pages.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Brady's Civil War Journal: Day-by-Day Events 1861-65

by Michael J. McAfee

From the publisher:
Mathew Brady and his team of ground-breaking assistants risked life and liberty to capture up-close images of the Civil War; Brady actually got so close to the action during the First Battle of Bull Run that he only narrowly avoided capture. His evocative sepia-toned photographs of generals, soldiers, freed slaves, and battlefields have lived on, giving new generations a close-up view of the war that ended slavery and created modern America. Here, Michael J. McAfee, Curator of History at the West Point Museum, adds his own extensive knowledge of the Civil War to Brady’s photographs, creating an account of the war as it unfolded. This fascinating view of a conflict that continues to haunt the hearts and minds of Americans is visually stunning, an excellent reference, and great reading.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title is unknown.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

To Honor These Men: A History of the Phillips Georgia Legion Infantry Battalion

by Richard M. Coffman and Kurt D. Graham

From the publisher:
To Honor These Men is a thoroughly researched, comprehensive book that details the organization of a “legion” and its combat odyssey. The authors have followed the trail of the story of the Phillips Georgia legion. The result is a highly readable book that takes the reader on foot and horseback through most of the major battles in the eastern theater of the Civil War. The words of soldiers express the sights, sounds, screams, and odors of the battlefield. The agony of festering wounds, and the misery of typhoid fever and pneumonia grab the reader as does the loneliness and yearning for contact with loved ones.

Coffman and Graham track the legion troops from the mountains of Western Virginia to the tears of Appomattox, pausing only for savage interludes of ten major battles and countless skirmishes. The stink of black powder, the blast of musketry and cannons flood the senses and keep the pages turning. Bravery, cowardice, fatigue, and boredom are documented throughout the text in this first-ever saga of Phillips Georgia legion. Detailed appendices include a capsule history of Macon Light Artillery, the Sharpshooter Battalion, and the band, as well as annotated rosters for each infantry company.

Richard M. Coffman graduated from the Ohio State University and the University of South Carolina. He was a career Air Force officer serving in Europe and Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

Kurt D. Graham retired from IBM in 1996 and lives in historic Vinings, Georgia, with his wife, Mary, and sons Griff and Jack. His lifelong love affair with American history was fueled by a father and grandfather who “had dragged him across every Civil War battlefield by the time he was ten.” Kurt is an enthusiastic supporter of battlefield preservation and a collector of military art and books.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title is unknown.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Twilight at Little Round Top: July 2, 1863--The Tide Turns at Gettysburg

by Glenn W. Lafantasie

From the publisher:
On July 2nd, 1863, forces from the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia and the Union’s Army of the Potomac clashed over the steep, rocky hill known as Little Round Top. This battle was one of the most brutal and devastating engagements of the American Civil War, and the North’s bloody victory there insured their triumph at Gettysburg, setting the stage for the South’s ultimate defeat. Using newly discovered documents and rare firsthand sources, acclaimed historian Glenn LaFantasie sheds new light on the dramatic story of this pivotal battle and tells the story as it truly unfolded, from the perspective of the brave men who fought and died there.

From the critics:
“Vivid. . . . Eloquent. . . . Here is the real story of the epic fight for Little Round Top.” — Stephen W. Sears, author of Gettysburg

“Fascinating. . . . An eloquently written narrative. . . . A fine example of military and social history.” — The Civil War News

“A gem. . . . LaFantasie’s beautifully written narrative goes beyond the movement of troops to provide an understanding of who the men were who fought there...and how the grim afternoon shaped their lives.” — America’s Civil War

Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words

by Douglas L. Wilson

From the publisher:
Abraham Lincoln now occupies an unparalleled place in American history, but when he was first elected president, a skeptical writer asked, “Who will write this ignorant man’s state papers?” Literary ability was, indeed, the last thing the public expected from the folksy, self-educated “rail-splitter,” but the forceful qualities of Lincoln’s writing eventually surprised his supporters and confounded his many critics. Since his assassination in 1865, no American’s words have become more familiar or more admired, and their enduring power has established him as one of our greatest writers. Now, in a groundbreaking study, the distinguished Lincoln scholar Douglas L. Wilson demonstrates that exploring Lincoln’s presidential writing provides a window onto his presidency and a key to his accomplishments.

Lincoln’s Sword tells the story of how Lincoln developed his writing skills, how they served him for a time as a hidden presidential asset, how it gradually became clear that he possessed a formidable literary talent, and it reveals how writing came to play an increasingly important role in his presidency. “By the time he came to write the Gettysburg Address,” Wilson says, “Lincoln was attempting to help put the horrific carnage of the Civil War in a positive light, and at the same time to do it in a way that would have constructive implications for the future. By the time he came to write the Second Inaugural Address, fifteen months later, he was quite consciously in the business of interpreting the war and its deeper meaning, not just for his contemporaries but for what he elsewhere called the‘vast future.’ ”

Illustrated with reproductions of Lincoln’s original manuscripts, Lincoln’s Sword affords an unprecedented look at a distinctively American writer.

Douglas L. Wilson is codirector of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College. His previous book, Honor's Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln, was awarded the Lincoln Prize in 1999. He lives in Galesburg, Illinois.

From the critics:
Ever since publication of Garry Wills's Pulitzer Prize–winning Lincoln at Gettysburg (1992), the woods have been alive with considerations of Lincoln's rhetoric, both spoken and written, by among others Henry Mark Holzer, Allen C. Guelzo and Ronald C. White. Thus this new work by Wilson (author of the Lincoln Prize winner Honor's Voice) is necessarily redundant. Wilson's emphasis—aside from placing key remarks into historical context—is on applying excruciatingly detailed and tireless (sometimes tiresome) textual analysis to such utterances as Lincoln's farewell to Springfield, Ill.; the First Inaugural; the July 4th, 1861, message to Congress; the Emancipation Proclamation; and the Gettysburg Address. Robert Lincoln recalled his father as "a very deliberate writer, anything but rapid." It is Lincoln's very deliberate, painstaking, multidraft process that Wilson seeks to document. Readers deeply immersed in Lincoln trivia will find Wilson's intricate forensics inviting. Others, nurturing a more casual interest, will fast find themselves drowned in details of subtle variations between drafts of Lincoln's various major addresses, all so carefully dissected in order to reveal the mechanical, trial-and-error process that lay behind Lincoln's soaring eloquence. - Publishers Weekly

Monday, October 8, 2007

Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated With Our Greatest President

By Edward Steers Jr.

From the publisher:
The folklore surrounding history's towering figures often overshadows actual scholarship, both in terms of quantity and in terms of prevalence in the public consciousness. As one might expect with a revered national icon, nearly every facet of Abraham Lincoln's life has been subject to mythmaking as well as academic inquiry of widely varying quality and accuracy.

In Lincoln Legends, noted historian and Lincoln expert Edward Steers Jr. carefully scrutinizes some of the most notorious tall tales and distorted ideas about America's sixteenth President. Did Abraham Lincoln write his greatest speech on the back of an envelope on the way to Gettysburg? Did he appear before a congressional committee to defend his wife against charges of treason? Was Lincoln an illegitimate child? Was he gay? Edward Steers weighs the evidence in these and other heated debates about the Great Emancipator. Steers's conclusions will satisfy some and disappoint others, and he just might settle some of these enduring questions once and for all.

Edward Steers Jr. is the author of several books, including Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and The Trial: The Assassination of President Lincoln and the Trial of the Conspriators. He appears frequently as a Lincoln expert on C-Span and the History Channel.

From the critics:
"Noted Lincoln scholar Steers succinctly and eloquently debunks 14 popular myths about the Great Emancipator's life and death."--Publishers Weekly

"Steers has written a prodigiously researched history of a provocative subject."--Booklist

"Ed Steers' delightful romp through the myths, whacking them down one-by-one, is funny and instructive all at the same moment. Once you've watched Steers crunch down on such horse-chestnuts as the 'martyrdom' of Samuel Mudd, the 'escape' of John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln's sexuality and illegitimacy and paternity, your view of Lincoln will never the be the same--and it's a good thing"--Allen C. Guelzo, Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era & Director, Civil War Era Studies, Gettysburg College

"Brilliantly arranged and one of the most informative Lincoln books ever written. A captivating and informative book that belongs on the bookshelf of every lover of history"--Joseph Garrera, President, The Lincoln Group of New York

"Steers takes many widely held views about Abraham Lincoln and places them under the microscope to see if all the supporting evidence holds up under scrutiny. These are the very stories that have wide circulation because academic historians tend to dismiss them rather than confront them. As a result, the stories become adopted by the public, lacking any serious vocal debunking by experts in the field. Lincoln Legends serves as a very useful corrective to many of these 'myths' about Lincoln."--Thomas F. Schwartz, Illinois State Historian, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

"With the acuity of the scientist he is, Ed Steers Jr. searches for the truth about many of the stories relating to Abraham Lincoln. And he discovers it to--in subjects ranging from the genesis of the Gettysburg Address; whether the President appeared before the Committee on the Conduct of the War to defend his wife, Mary; to the legitimacy of his birth. Was Lincoln gay? Did his secretary, John Hay, really write the "Bixby Letter" to the Boston widow who purportedly lost five sons in combat? These and more fascinating tales are discussed in a beautiful and succinct style that is not only a credit to the author but to the study of our greatest President."--Frank J. Williams, founding Chair of the Lincoln Forum

"An enlightening look at the myths and outright lies that have both glorified and slandered the sixteenth president. Reading it is like seeing a deifying marble statue of the Great Emancipator, one that had suffered vandalism, slowly come to life, step down from its pedestal, and allow us to meet an unassuming but great man."--Joe Nickell, author of Unsolved History: Investigating Mysteries of the Past

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title is unknown.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Robert E. Lee's Softer Side

by Thomas, Jr. Forehand

From the publisher:
A collection of anecdotes and quotes displaying Lee's tender side. Though at times he was known to have a "fierce and violent temper," Lee nonetheless had a heart that editor Thomas Forehand contests was "as soft as velvet."

Through letters, diary excerpts, and touching stories, Forehand demonstrates that in his personal life Lee was indeed a peacemaker, full of a surprisingly sensitive and gentle nature that his family and others recorded. One cadet's mother wrote in her diary that Lee was "very human, kind, and calm," and Lee's letters home to his wife and children illuminate the man behind the legend.

Chapters on chivalry, family, peace, slaves, and enemies show Lee's conscientious and compassionate side in various situations. This book makes a fine companion to Forehand's previous Pelican book, "Robert E. Lee's Lighter Side: The Marble Man's Sense of Humor" ($12.95 pb).

After reading Stanley F. Horn's "The Robert E. Lee Reader" in the 1990s, Mr. Forehand's reading, research, and writing became solely focused on the famous general. Since the summer of 2001, he has been portraying Robert E. Lee at Sons of Confederate Veterans camps, historical societies, United Daughters of the Confederacy chapters, and other historically interested groups. In 2004 he was granted the Robert E. Lee Award from the Tennessee Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for his authentic portrayals.

After spending most of his life in the field of public and religious education, Mr. Forehand is now a civil servant. When not researching or portraying the "Marble Man," he enjoys exercising and spending time with his family.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title is unknown.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Blood, Tears, & Glory: How Ohioans Won the Civil War

by James Bissland

From the publisher:
It's the greatest untold story of the Civil War ... and one of the newest.

For 150 years, the battlefields of Virginia, Gettysburg, and Antietam were what Americans thought of first when they thought of the Civil War. Wrong. While Easterners were battling to a bloody stalemate, Midwestern farmers, shopkeepers, and country lawyers fighting elsewhere were shaping the war's outcome. Dismissed by haughty Easterners as "armed rabble" or "drunkards," these citizen-soldiers, white and black, often were poorly trained and poorly equipped--but they were tough, confident, and supported by strong women who found their own ways to get into the fight. And the Midwesterners included most of the Union's top generals. From brilliant, if flawed, commanders to feisty enlisted men who were hard to discipline but hard to scare, Blood, Tears, & Glory tells powerful stories of the war, many for the first time, and all from a new point of view.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title was unknown at the time of posting. We have since learned that it is October 16.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Tennessee's Civil War Battlefields: A Guide to Their History and Preservation

by Randy Bishop

From the publisher:
Tennessee has over 2900 recorded sites from the Civil War; 1000 of these were locations of military actions of varying sizes. Today many of these sites are threatened by or lost to commercial or residential development.

In this book a chronological overview of more than twenty of the major battles in the state is conducted using first hand documents and established sources. Maps and over 100 photographs enhance the text to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of the significance of these battles and the current preservation efforts of Tennessee's battlefields from the War Between the States.

Randy Bishop is a long-time student of the American Civil War and a collector of Civil War relics. Bishop has taught at Middleton High School for sixteen years in Middleton, Tennessee where he and his famly reside. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Memphis in Education and History. Randy and his wife Sharon, a teacher as well, have two sons, Jay and Ben, and enjoy traveling. A member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Civil War Preservation Trust, and First Baptist Church, where he and his wife teach Sunday School, Bishop has published articles related to family vacation destinations and the War Between the States. In addition, he has been glad to serve his community as President of the local elementary and high school P.T.O. groups and of the library board. His first book, The Tennessee Brigade, was published in 2005.

Colonels in Blue

by Roger D. Hunt

From the publisher:
Meticulously researched, Colonels in Blue compiles biographical sketches and photographs of the diverse group of men—mostly citizen-soldiers from a wide variety of backgrounds—who attained the rank of colonel in the Union Army and commanded regiments from the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.

Roger D. Hunt is the author two previous Colonels in Blue books, one covering the New England states and the other covering New York state , and Brevet Brigadier Generals in Blue. He lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

From CWBN:
The exact day of release for this October title is unknown. Amazon lists its release in August but both the publisher and B&N make this out to be an October release.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation

by Ira Berlin, Marc Favreau, and Steven F. Miller (editors)
(with MP3 Audio CD)

From the critics:
Two projects begun independently and presented together here provide chilling witness to slavery's persistent legacies. Transcripts of 124 former slaves interviewed in the 1920s and 1930s are accompanied by recently restored recorded interviews that have languished in the Library of Congress since 1941.

Historian Berlin, founding director of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland, is a master of allowing the natural drama of history to unfold. The tapes particularly are riveting perhaps especially for those seeking their roots in Southern slavery. - Publishers Weekly

But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction

by George C. Rable

From the publisher:
This is a comprehensive examination of the use of violence by conservative southerners in the post-Civil War South to subvert Federal Reconstruction policies, overthrow Republican state governments, restore Democratic power, and reestablish white racial hegemony. Historians have often stressed the limited and even conservative nature of Federal policy in the Reconstruction South. However, George C. Rable argues, white southerners saw the intent and the results of that policy as revolutionary. Violence therefore became a counterrevolutionary instrument, placing the South in a pattern familiar to students of world revolution.

George C. Rable is Professor and Charles G. Summersell Chair in Southern History at the University of Alabama. His books include Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! and The Confederate Republic.

Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream

by Lerone Bennett

From the publisher:
Beginning with the argument that the Emancipation Proclamation did not actually free African American slaves, this dissenting view of Lincoln's greatness surveys the president's policies, speeches, and private utterances and concludes that he had little real interest in abolition. Pointing to Lincoln's support for the fugitive slave laws, his friendship with slave-owning senator Henry Clay, and conversations in which he entertained the idea of deporting slaves in order to create an all-white nation, the book, concludes that the president was a racist at heart—and that the tragedies of Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era were the legacy of his shallow moral vision.

Lerone Bennett Jr. is the executive editor emeritus of Ebony magazine and the author of 10 books, including Before the Mayflower, Great Moments in Black History, Pioneers in Protest, The Shaping of Black America, and What Manner of Man, a biography of Martin Luther King. He lives in Chicago.

"The most systematic, best-researched, and compelling critique of Lincoln's [beliefs about race] that I know of." — Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

This book must be taken seriously. - James M. McPherson

From CWBN:
This is the first paperback edition of a hardcover book.

Dixie Betrayed: How the South Really Lost the Civil War

by David J. Eicher

From the publisher:
For more than a century, since the end of the Civil War, the conventional wisdom has been that the South lost because of overwhelming Union strength and bad luck. The politicians and generals on the Confederate side have been lionzed as noble warriors who bravely fought for an honorable cause that had little chance of succeeding. But in Dixie Betrayed, historian David J. Eicher reveals for the first time the real story, a calamity of political conspiracy, discord, and dysfunction that cost the South the Civil War.

From CWBN:
This is the first paperback edition of a hardcover book.