Sunday, March 30, 2008

Civil War in New Bern & Fort Macon, North Carolina

by Drew Pullen

From the publisher:
This book describes the period after capturing Confederate positions on Hatteras Island and Roanoke Island, when the loyal Union soldiers directed their attention to the town of New Bern, located on North Carolina's mainland. As a strategically important port of Neuse River, New Bern also served as a railroad centre -- meaning that its capture could allow the Union forces to control territory near the major supply line for Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. New Bern's Confederate forces were understaffed and inadequately prepared to face the Federal assault. The fall of New Bern enabled Union forces to proceed to the small coastal town of Beaufort and lay siege to Fort Macon, thus confirming New Bern's infamous place in history.

From CWBN:
This book is carried in Britain, Canada and New Zealand with a publication date of November 2007 and given an "out of stock" status. Stateside, Amazon shows it being published on 30 March 2008 while Barnes & Noble do not list it at all. The title appears in a picture-oriented North Carolina series.

The Civil War in Arizona: The Story of the California Volunteers, 1861-1865

by Andrew E. Masich

From the publisher:
Bull Run, Gettysburg, Appomattox. For Americans, these battlegrounds, all located in the eastern United States, will forever be associated with the Civil War. But few realize that the Civil War was also fought far to the west of these sites. The westernmost battle of the war took place in the remote deserts of the future state of Arizona.

In this first book-length account of the Civil War in Arizona, Andrew E. Masich chronicles the all-but-forgotten story of the California Column, volunteer soldiers who served in the U.S. Army from 1861 to 1866 and played a key role in creating and shaping Arizona Territory.

The Civil War in Arizona is divided into two parts: a lively narrative history of the California Column in wartime Arizona, followed by a rare compilation of letters - originally published in the popular newspaper Alta California - written by the volunteer soldiers themselves. Enriched by Masich's meticulous annotation, these letters provide firsthand testimony of the grueling desert conditions the soldiers endured as they fought on many fronts, not the least of which was an uncaring army command structure preoccupied with war in the East.

Traitors: The Secession Period November 1860 - July 1861

by Edward S. Cooper

From the publisher:
A myth has grown that there were no traitors during the period leading up to the American Civil War. Edward S. Cooper debunks that myth in this book.

He provides documentation that officers on active duty in the army and navy of the United States secretly negotiated for positions in the Confederacy, surrendered their ships, forts, and posts to state authorities, conspired in the seizure of other forts, deserted their posts and advised their subordinates to join them, and wrote letters detailing how the Confederacy could defeat the very army and navy in which they were serving.

Members of the president's cabinet ensured southern arsenals were stocked with northern weapons, posted southern sympathizers to forts and arsenals in the south, and sold weapons to agents for states that had announced their intention to secede. Other cabinet members urged states to secede and gave southern states advance notice of United States troop movements. Members of the United States Congress, collectively and individually, used their positions to warn southern states of Federal troop movements, obtain plans of arsenals and forts and how they were manned, and acquire lists of military officers along with their pay in order to seduce them into Confederate service. The governors of some slave-holding states had men seize forts and arsenals, burned bridges to impede the movement of Federal troops, and allowed Confederate troops into their states before they had seceded or even called conventions to consider secession.

George F. Root, Civil War Songwriter: A Biography

by P. H. Carder

From the publisher:
When the Civil War broke out in 1861, “The Battle Cry of Freedom” became perhaps the most common patriotic song echoing throughout the North. The author of that famous tune was George F. Root, and his many other patriotic songs established him as “the musician of the people.”

Beginning with his earliest days as a child prodigy, this biography follows Root closely through his prewar career as a popular composer, his wartime role as a patriotic songwriter, and his postwar songwriting endeavors. His later songs document such events as the settling of the West, the assassination of President Lincoln, the literature and humor of his day, and the many reform movements that defined the values of that era. His biography reveals how he became the musician of the people and how his critics responded nationally.

P.H. Carder is retired from the music department of Silver Burdett Company. She lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Causes of the Civil War: The Political, Cultural, Economic and Territorial Disputes Between the North and South

by Paul Calore

From the publisher:
While South Carolina's preemptive strike on Fort Sumter and Lincoln's subsequent call to arms started the Civil War, South Carolina's secession and Lincoln's military actions were simply the last in a line of volatile events which began as early as 1619.

Increasing moral conflicts over the issue of slavery and constant political debates regarding its existence—exacerbated by the inequities inherent between an established agricultural society and a growing industrial one—led to a fierce sectionalism which manifested itself through cultural, economic, political and territorial disputes.

This volume reduces sectionalism to its most fundamental form, examining the underlying source of this antagonistic climate. From protective tariffs to the expansionist agenda, it illustrates the ways in which the foremost issues of the time influenced relations between the North and the South. State sovereignty and the interpretation of congressional and constitutional powers play major parts in this concise narrative on the antebellum politics that inadvertently nurtured the growth of sectional conflicts and contributed to the inevitability of war.

Paul Calore was an operations branch chief with the Defense Logistics Agency of the Department of Defense before retiring. In addition to writing on the causes of the Civil War, he has written books about its naval and land campaigns. He is a supporting member of the U.S. Civil War Center and the Civil War Preservation Trust, and lives in Seekonk, Massachusetts.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Beneath a Northern Sky: A Short History of the Gettysburg Campaign

by Steven Woodworth

From the publisher:
Of all the places and events in this nation's history, Gettysburg may well be the name best known to Americans. In Beneath a Northern Sky, eminent Civil War historian Steven E. Woodworth offers a balanced and thorough overview of the entire battle, its drama, and its meaning. From Lee's decision to take his heretofore successful Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac and into Pennsylvania to the withdrawal of the battle-battered Confederate's back across the river into Virginia, Woodworth paints a vivid picture of this pivotal campaign. Instead of focusing on only one aspect of the Gettysburg Campaign as most other books do, Beneath a Northern Sky tells the tale of the entire battle in a richly detailed but swiftly moving narrative. This new approach to a defining battle is sure to fascinate Civil War buffs and all those interested in the rich history of the United States.

The volume is illustrated with b&w photographs and diagrams of the battle. Woodworth teaches history at Texas Christian University.

For those with time to read only one book about Gettysburg, this is the one.
- James M. McPherson

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

West from Appomattox: The Reconstruction of America after the Civil War

by Heather Cox Richardson

From the publisher:
The story of Reconstruction is not simply about the rebuilding of the South after the Civil War. Instead, the late nineteenth century defined modern America, as Southerners, Northerners, and Westerners gradually hammered out a national identity that united three regions into a country that could become a world power. Ultimately, the story of Reconstruction is about how a middle class formed in America and how its members defined what the nation would stand for, both at home and abroad, for the next century and beyond.

A sweeping history of the United States from the era of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, this engaging book stretches the boundaries of our understanding of Reconstruction. Historian Heather Cox Richardson ties the North and West into the post–Civil War story that usually focuses narrowly on the South, encompassing the significant people and events of this profoundly important era.

By weaving together the experiences of real individuals—from a plantation mistress, a Native American warrior, and a labor organizer to Andrew Carnegie, Julia Ward Howe, Booker T. Washington, and Sitting Bull—who lived during the decades following the Civil War and who left records in their own words, Richardson tells a story about the creation of modern America.

This thoughtful, engaging examination of the Reconstruction Era began as a way for author and historian Richardson to understand the deep divide-over issues like taxes, size of government and the influence of special interests-that still separate "red states" from "blue states." Richardson's persuasive thesis is that the Reconstruction, rather than the Civil War itself, is the place to look for guidance through these thorny problems. - Publishers Weekly

Heather Cox Richardson is professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the author of The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post–Civil War North. She lives in Winchester, MA.

The Maryland Campaign by Carman and Pierro

From CWBN:
The winding road to publication for Joseph Pierro's Ezra Carman manuscript has not passed its last bend yet (see previous posts here, here, and here).

Publisher Routledge lists the tome as out on March 18; Joseph Pierro writes to say he has had his copies for two weeks; meanhwile, Amazon is stuck in pre-order mode as if the book is yet to be released.

On the silver lining side, Amazon adds a further 5% discount to pre-ordered books, so "pre-ordering" from their site now will compound the discounts to produce the cheapest opportunity to buy what might otherwise be book beyond many budgets.

We had posted the publisher's information on this title earlier; please see links at top of post.

Cross-posted to Civil War Bookshelf.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Unfurl Those Colors: McClellan, Sumner, and the Second Army Corps in the Antietam Campaign

by Marion V. Armstrong Jr.

From the publisher:
A detailed account of the battle of Antietam that clarifies the epic struggle

Unfurl Those Colors! examines the operational fabric of leadership and command in the Army of the Potomac during one of the most critical campaigns and battles of the Civil War. The Battle of Antietam remains "the bloodiest single day of combat in American history" with over 5,000 killed, 20,000 wounded, and 3,000 missing. Many eminent Civil War historians consider it the turning point of the war. As a result of the perceived Federal success at Antietam, Abraham Lincoln was able to issue the Emancipation Proclamation to make the war about ending slavery and terminating any hope of European recognition for the South.

This book constitutes an operational study of the Army of the Potomac during this campaign and battle, carefully documenting the command decisions of army commander George B. McClellan and following the execution of those decisions through the corps level of command and down to the ordinary soldier in the Second Army Corps. It reappraises the leadership and decisions of Edwin V. Sumner during the battle of Antietam as the one federal corps commander who was steadfast in carrying out McClellan's plan of battle and effectively directed the battle on the Federal right. It details as no previous account has the fighting of the Second Army Corps at Antietam to include Sedgwick's division in the West Woods and French's and Richardson's divisions at Bloody Land.

"Unfurl Those Colors! is a very important contribution to the field of Civil War and military history. While a number of significant books have been written on the Battle of Antietam and the Maryland Campaign, none have narrowed down a particular phase as this book does." — Ted Alexander, Chief Historian at Antietam National Battlefield Park and a Smithsonian Associates tour guide specializing in Civil War sites

"Marion Armstrong has a done a good job examining the generalship at Antietam. This is a terrific book." — John Michael Priest, noted author of books on Antietam and teacher at South Hagerstown High School in Boonsboro, Maryland

Marion V. Armstrong Jr. is a retired U.S. Army reserve officer and teaches history at colleges in middle Tennessee.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weary of War: Life on the Confederate Home Front

by Joe A. Mobley

From CWBN:
Providing a fresh look at a crucial aspect of the American Civil War, this new study explores the day-to-day life of people in the Confederate States of America as they struggled to cope with a crisis that spared no one, military or civilian. Mobley touches on the experiences of everyone on the home front-white and black, male and female, rich and poor, young and old, native and foreign born. He looks at health, agriculture, industry, transportation, refugees city life, religion, education, culture families, personal relationships, and public welfare. In so doing, he offers his perspective on how much the "will of the people" contributed to the final defeat of the Southern cause. Although no single experience was common to all Southerners, a great many suffered poverty, dislocation, and heartbreak. For African Americans, however, the war brought liberation from slavery and the promise of a new life. White women, too, saw their lives transformed as wartime challenges gave them new responsibilities and experiences. Mobley explains how the Confederate military draft, heavy taxes, and restrictions on personal freedoms led to widespread dissatisfaction and cries for peace among Southern folk. He describes the Confederacy as a region of divided loyalties, where pro-Union and pro-Confederate neighbors sometimes clashed violently. This readable, one-volume account of life "behind the lines" will prove particularly useful for students of the conflict.

JOE A. MOBLEY is a former historian and administrator with the North Carolina Office of Archives and History. He currently teaches in the Department of History at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. He is the author of a number of books, articles, and book reviews.

From CWBN:
We missed the release of this date on February 28.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Saddle Bag and Spinning Wheel: Being the Civil War Letters of George W. Peddy, MD, Surgeon, 56th Georgia Volunteer Regiment, CSA

by George P. Cuttino

From the publisher:
Much ink and paper have been expended on the Civil War. But most of it has been for the professional observer’s recollections or research results. Even most memoirs are after-the-facts, studied writings, self consciously edited. Here is something different—the as-it-was-happening chronicle of two persons caught up in the events themselves.

Here are 216 letters, the personal correspondence between George Washington Peddy, surgeon, 56th Georgia Volunteer Regiment, CSA., and his wife Kate. More of his letters (166) than hers (50) survived. Nevertheless the chronicle is complete (October 1861–April 1865). The letters were edited by a grandson of the letter writers, Georgie Peddy Cuttino. Cuttino, a professional historian himself, recognized the value of these documents in their original form. The spontaneous intimacy, the grammatical and spelling idiosyncrasies, all in the vernacular of the times, it is all here, unchanged. What results is an unstudied, and consequently genuine and believable, portrayal of life during those trying times. This is the stuff of which real history is made—a chronicle of the unfamous about whom the historian knows so little but would liketo know so much.

GEORGE P. CUTTINO† was a distinguished medieval historian in the department of History at Emory University for thirty two years.

From CWBN:
The publisher describes this new release as "back in print." Amazon shows the release date as March, with no day specified, and the publisher shows it as Spring 2008.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gettysburg Heroes: Perfect Soldiers, Hallowed Ground

by Glenn W. LaFantasie

From the publisher:
How Gettysburg shaped the lives of the Civil War generation

"We continually hear that the Gettysburg subject has been exhausted. Glenn LaFantasie proves this wrong. Beautifully written and splendidly researched Gettysburg Heroes is a delight to read." —D. Scott Hartwig

"Gettysburg is more than a pivotal battlefield for Americans. It has also, in its way, become something of a national Pantheon. For American heroes have trod that ground, both those who fought there, and those who came after to learn and remember. Warriors like Generals James Longstreet and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, share that field with Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, and Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery. In a stimulating series of essays, Glenn LaFantasie looks at all of them in Gettysburg Heroes, examining not only why they came and what they did, but also the impact this hallowed ground had upon them and all Americans." — William C. Davis, author of An Honorable Defeat: The Last Days of the Confederate Government and The Union that Shaped the Confederacy

"Glenn LaFantasie is one of the finest writers in the field of Civil War history. His prose is accessible, pleasurable to read, and always insightful and provocative . . . this book should excite a lot of interest." —Joan Waugh, co-editor of The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture

The Civil War generation saw its world in ways startlingly different from our own. In these essays, Glenn W. LaFantasie examines the lives and experiences of several key personalities who gained fame during the war and after. The battle of Gettysburg is the thread that ties these Civil War lives together. Gettysburg was a personal turning point, though each person was affected differently. Largely biographical in its approach, the book captures the human drama of the war and shows how this group of individuals—including Abraham Lincoln, James Longstreet, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, William C. Oates, and others—endured or succumbed to the war and, willingly or unwillingly, influenced its outcome. At the same time, it shows how the war shaped the lives of these individuals, putting them through ordeals they never dreamed they would face or survive.

Glenn W. LaFantasie is Richard Frockt Family Professor of Civil War History at Western Kentucky University. He is author of Twilight at Little Round Top and Gettysburg Requiem: The Life of William C. Oates. He lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

From CWBN:
The publisher shows this title as released in January; Barnes & Noble show it still to be released in May; and Amazon shows it released this month with no date specified.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

America's Civil War: The Operational Battlefield, 1861-1863

by Brian Holden Reid

From the publisher:
In 1861, when the Confederate States of America seceded from the Union and Civil War broke out between the North and the South, few people had much idea of the scale, intensity, and duration of the conflict they were about to enter. Politicians, generals, and common folk on both sides blithely assumed that the conflict would be over quickly and were naively convinced of the superiority of the leadership and the forces at their disposal. Three years later, after many horrendous battles and huge loss of life, the tragic realities of this war had begun to sink in. Stalemate had led to great frustration and suggested a protracted conflict with no end in sight.
In this successor volume to his acclaimed Origins of the American Civil War (1996), Civil War historian Brian Holden Reid examines in depth the operational military history during the first three years of America's Civil War. In particular, he focuses on generalship, command decisions, strategy, and tactics, as well as the experiences of ordinary soldiers.

Besides lack of experience among generals, Holden Reid reveals that for the first few years of the war there was considerable indecisiveness in the North, a hesitancy to punish the South, and a fruitless hope that the Confederacy would agree to some form of reconciliation. He highlights certain important political and social developments during the course of the war that had an effect on Union soldiers and shows how their views became a catalyst in hardening the attitudes in the North toward the South.

This important analysis makes a major contribution to Civil War military history within the larger context of a turbulent political and social climate. It will be followed by another work covering the final eighteen months of the conflict.

Brian Holden Reid (London, England) is professor of American history and military institutions and head of the Department of War Studies at King's College, London. Since 1993, he has been a member of the Council of the Society for Army Historical Research and from 1998 to 2004 served as chairman. In 2004-2005, he was the first non-American to serve as a member of the Lincoln Prize jury panel, which awards the most important literary prize in the field of Civil War history. His many books include The Origins of the American Civil War, The Civil War and the Wars of the Nineteenth Century, and Robert E. Lee: Icon for a Nation.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Military Records, Pensions Applications, Heirs at Law and Civil War Military Records From the Fauquier County, Virginia Court Minute Books 1840-1904

by Joan W. Peters

From the publisher:
This book presents some of the many types of records that are found in the court minutes. This volume contains those concerned with military affairs of the county, which includes data on men who served in the military.

From CWBN:
This book originally appeared in 1999.

Campaign for Wilson's Creek: The Fight for Missouri Begins

by Jeffrey L. Patrick

From the publisher:
In early 1861, most Missourians hoped they could remain neutral in the upcoming conflict between North and South. In fact, a popularly elected state convention voted in March of that year that "no adequate cause" existed to compel Missouri to leave the Union. Instead, Missourians saw themselves as ideologically centered between the radical notions of abolition and secession.

By that summer, however, the situation had deteriorated dramatically. Due to the actions of politicians and soldiers such as Missouri Gov. Claiborne Jackson and Union Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, Missourians found themselves forced to take sides.

Campaign for Wilson's Creek is a fascinating story of high-stakes military gambles, aggressive leadership and lost opportunities. It is also a tale of unique military units, untried but determined commanders, colorful volunteers and professional soldiers. The first major campaign of the Civil War west of the Mississippi River guaranteed that Missourians would be engaged in a long, cruel civil war within the larger, national struggle.

Jeffrey L. Patrick is the National Park Service librarian at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. He is the author of numerous articles on various aspects of American military history, and is the editor/coeditor of two Civil War diaries. He lives in Republic, Missouri.

Nevada Civil War Claims: Legislative Reports, 1888-1900

by Diane E Greene

From the publisher:
This excellent resource book contains facsimile reprints of legislative reports submitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives for Nevada Civil War claims between April 16, 1888 and May 16, 1900. The reports are a goldmine of information, liberally peppered with the names of persons and places. Reports are written in a narrative style and offer a richly detailed explanation of conditions and events related to "the suppression of the rebellion." Reports concern: persons reimbursed for money expended during "the Indian war in 1860 in what was then western Utah, now Nevada;" claims of the state of Nevada "for the general defense and in furnishing troops to the United States during the suppression of the war of the rebellion, and for guarding the overland mail and emigrant route between the Missouri River and California, and for suppressing Indian hostilities;" money expended by California, Oregon, and Nevada "to assist in guarding the overland mail and emigrant routes, in preventing Indian outbreaks in the States, and to aid the United States in various ways during the war of the rebellion;" and war claims of California, Oregon, and Nevada-"the larger portions of the claims of these States are for extra pay and bounty paid by them during the war of the rebellion." Numerous tables and lists are included in these reports.

Friday, March 14, 2008

On Sherman's Trail: The Civil War's North Carolina Climax

by Jim Wise

From the publisher:
Join journalist and historian Jim Wise as he follows Sherman's last march through the Tar Heel State from Wilson's Store to the surrender at Bennett Place. Retrace the steps of the soldiers at Averasboro and Bentonville. Learn about what the civilians faced as the Northern army approached and view the modern landscape through their eyes. Whether you are on the road or in a comfortable armchair, you will enjoy this memorable, well-researched account of General Sherman's North Carolina campaign and the brave men and women who stood in his path.

The Civil War in Loudoun County, Virginia: A History of Hard Times

by Stevan F. Meserve

From the publisher:
In this look at Loudoun County's role in the Civil War, historian Stevan Meserve narrates not only the large-scale fighting at Ball's Bluff in 1861 and in the Loudoun Valley cavalry battles of 1863, but also the lives of the citizens who sacrificed their crops and livestock, cared for the wounded and buried the dead of storied regiments such as White's Comanches, Cole's Potomac Home Brigade, Mosby's Rangers and the Independent Loudoun Rangers.

Drawing upon military accounts and other historical documents, The Civil War in Loudoun County celebrates their eventual triumph and the vibrant communities that exist today.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858

by James L. Huston (Author), Robert W. Johannsen (Editor)

2008 marks the 150th Anniversary of the most famous political debate in U.S. history. Oxford is pleased to present Robert W. Johannsen's newly revised and thoroughly edited transcript of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Framed by a timely and relevant new introduction by James L. Huston, this series of debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas communicates the eloquence, urgency, and immediacy of its historical moment. As Lincoln and Douglas fiercely competed for the Illinois seat in the U.S. Senate, they debated many of the crucial and controversial issues--including slavery--that would later come to define Lincoln's political career. This invaluable resource also includes Douglas's Chicago speech and Lincoln's "House Divided" speech. With updated notes and suggestions for further reading, the new edition of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates continues to be the authoritative presentation of these lively, landmark orations.

Robert W. Johannsen is J. G. Randall Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Illinois. He is the author of Stephen A. Douglas (OUP, 1973; Francis Parkman Prize); To the Halls of the Montezumas: The Mexican War in the American Imagination (OUP, 1985); The Frontier, the Union, and Stephen A. Douglas; and Lincoln, the South, and Slavery: The Political Dimension.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

What This Cruel War Was over: Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil War

by Chandra Manning

From the publisher:
A vivid, unprecedented account of why Union and Confederate soldiers identified slavery as the root of the war, how the conflict changed troops’ ideas about slavery, and what those changing ideas meant for the war and the nation.

Using soldiers’ letters, diaries, and regimental newspapers, Chandra Manning allows us to accompany soldiers—black and white, northern and southern—into camps and hospitals and on marches and battlefields to better understand their thoughts about what they were doing and why. Manning’s work reveals that Union soldiers, though evincing little sympathy for abolitionism before the war, were calling for emancipation by the second half of 1861, ahead of civilians, political leaders, and officers, and a full year before the Emancipation Proclamation. She recognizes Confederate soldiers’ primary focus on their own families, and explores how their beliefs about abolition—that it would endanger their loved ones, erase the privileges of white manhood, and destroy the very fabric of southern society—motivated even non-slaveholding Confederates to fight and compelled them to persevere through military catastrophes like Gettysburg and Atlanta, long after they grew to despise the Confederate government and disdain the southern citizenry. She makes clear that while white Union troops viewed preservation of the Union as essential to the legacy of the Revolution, over the course of the war many also came to think that in order to gain God’s favor, they and other white northerners must confront the racial prejudices that made them complicit in the sin of slavery. We see how the eventual consideration of theenlistment of black soldiers by the Confederacy eliminated any reason for many Confederate soldiers to fight; how, by 1865, black Union soldiers believed the forward racial strides made during the war would continue; and how white Union troops’ commitment to racial change, fluctuating with the progress of the war, created undreamt-of potential for change but failed to fulfill it.

An important and eye-opening addition to our understanding of the Civil War.

Chandra Manning, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, received an M.Phil from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and took her Ph.D. at Harvard in 2002. She has lectured in history at Harvard and taught at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Currently, she is assistant professor of history at Georgetown University and lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with her husband and son. This is her first book.

From the critics:
For this impressively researched Civil War social history, Georgetown assistant history professor Manning visited more than two dozen states to comb though archives and libraries for primary source material, mostly diaries and letters of men who fought on both sides in the Civil War, along with more than 100 regimental newspapers. The result is an engagingly written, convincingly argued social history with a point—that those who did the fighting in the Union and Confederate armies "plainly identified slavery as the root of the Civil War." - Publisher's Weekly

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

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jewel of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln's Re-election and the End of Slavery

by David E. Long

From the publisher:
The Jewel of Liberty marks a milestone in Civil War and Lincoln history, combining in-depth research with challenging new arguments to present the case for the election of 1864--which returned Lincoln to office to continue the war and cemented emancipation--as the most important in American history. Had Lincoln lost, the Confederacy might have achieved its two main goals: independence as a nation and the perpetuation of slavery. Never in our past has the nature and future of the nation depended so much on the ballot box.

David E. Long holds J.D. and Ph.D. degrees and is a professor of history at East Carolina University. His articles have appeared in Civil War Times Illustrated, Journal of Southern History, and other publications. In 2001 he provided commentary for the PBS miniseries Abraham and Mary Lincoln.

From the publisher:
This splendid book is the best account of Northern politics during the Civil War to hae appeared in years. -- James M. McPherson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Battle Day of Freedom

The Jewel of Liberty is the most important study of Lincoln and the Civil War to appear in more than a decade. -- Stephen B. Oates, author of Abraham Lincoln

Friday, March 7, 2008

Roll Call to Destiny: The Soldier's Eye View of Civil War Battles

by Brent Nosworthy

From CWBN:
Roll Call to Destiny puts readers on the frontlines of the Civil War by providing the point of view of small bands of men who braved unique combat situations. Acclaimed military historian Brent Nosworthy answers such questions as what it was like for artillery to beat back an aggressive infantry assault or to take part in a fast-paced cavalry charge, and how Civil War infantry conflict was waged in thick, forest foliage. From firsthand accounts, Nosworthy has pieced together Burnside's infantry at Bull Run (infantry-versus-infantry on the open field), the Fifty-Seventh New York at Fair Oaks (fighting in the woods), Daniel Webster's section at Arkansas Post (artillery attacking a fort), the third day at Gettysburg (cavalry-versus-cavalry), plus much more.

A must-read for anyone who wants to know what Confederate and Union soldiers saw, heard, and felt, as well as how they acted at critical moments of the Civil War.

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

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine

by Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein

From the publisher:
The story of Civil War medicine--the staggering challenge of treating wounds and disease on both sides of the conflict--is one of the most compelling aspects of the war. Written for general readers and scholars alike, this first-of-its kind encyclopedia will help all Civil War enthusiasts to better understand this amazing medical saga.

Clearly organized, authoritative, and readable, The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine covers both traditional historical subjects and medical details. It offers clear explanations of unfamiliar medical terms, diseases, wounds, and treatments. The encyclopedia depicts notable medical personalities, generals with notorious wounds, soldiers' aid societies, medical department structure, and hospital design and function. It highlights the battles with the greatest medical significance, women's medical roles, period sanitation issues, and much more.

Presented in A-Z format with more than 200 entries, the encyclopedia treats both Union and Confederate material in a balanced way. Its many user-friendly features include a chronology, a glossary, cross-references, and a bibliography for further study.

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

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lincoln and the Speeds

by Bryan S. Bush

From the publisher:
This book is a dual biography of Joshua and James Speed and tells the story of how closely the friendship between Joshua Speed and Abraham Lincoln continued to affect not only Joshua Speed’s life, but also the life of his brother James Speed. Both Joshua and James were dedicated to the Union, even though they followed different paths. James was a Unionist, emancipationist, abolitionist, and Radical Republican. He entered politics, becoming a state representative and later Attorney-General under Abraham Lincoln and later Andrew Johnson.

Joshua Speed lived his life as a businessman. He differed from his brother and Lincoln on the subject of emancipation, but felt that the issue should not hinder his support of the Union. In April of 1861 after the attack on Fort Sumter, the citizens of Kentucky debated the issue of whether to join the Union or Confederacy. Because of Joshua and James Speed’s loyalty to the Union, Lincoln depended on the brothers to help secure Kentucky for the Union. With their help, Lincoln managed to transport thousands of weapons into Kentucky for distribution among the loyal Union Home Guard.

During the war Lincoln needed trustworthy friends to help him deal with the delicate situation in Kentucky. James and Joshua Speed kept him informed on both the political and the civilian affairs. After Lincoln’s death, James and Joshua helped to preserve his legacy in their individual ways. James became a Radical Republican and fought to gain equality under the law for blacks, even though most of Kentucky did not want to follow the Radial Republican stance on reconstruction. Joshua helped to maintain Lincoln’s legacy by contributing to Lincoln’s memorial and speaking and writing about him.

With the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, the story of Joshua and James Speed can give the reader another window into his friendships. The story of Joshua and James Speed can also reveal information about Kentucky politics during the Civil War; the struggle between Union loyalists and Confederate sympathizers, and the struggle for emancipation, abolition, and those who opposed equal rights for blacks in Kentucky.

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

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Day Freedom Died: The Colfax Massacre, the Supreme Court, and the Betrayal of Reconstruction

by Charles Lane

From the publisher:
The untold story of the slaying of a Southern town’s ex-slaves and a white lawyer’s historic battle to bring the perpretators to justice

Following the Civil War, Colfax, Louisiana, was a town, like many, where African Americans and whites mingled uneasily. But on April 13, 1873, a small army of white ex–Confederate soldiers, enraged after attempts by freedmen to assert their new rights, killed more than sixty African Americans who had occupied a courthouse. With skill and tenacity, The Washington Post’s Charles Lane transforms this nearly forgotten incident into a riveting historical saga.

Seeking justice for the slain, one brave U.S. attorney, James Beckwith, risked his life and career to investigate and punish the perpetrators—but they all went free. What followed was a series of courtroom dramas that culminated at the Supreme Court, where the justices’ verdict compromised the victories of the Civil War and left Southern blacks at the mercy of violent whites for generations. The Day Freedom Died is an electrifying piece of historical detective work that captures a gallery of characters from presidents to townspeople, and re-creates the bloody days of Reconstruction, when the often brutal struggle for equality moved from the battlefield into communities across the nation.

“One of the most memorable opening lines in English literature, from Ford Maddox Ford's novel The Good Soldier, is: ‘This is the saddest story I have ever heard.’ That could be the epigraph for Charles Lane's shattering account of the post-Civil War betrayal of African Americans and the bloody collapse of Reconstruction.” — George F. Will

"A highly impressive, deeply researched, engagingly written account of one of the lowest chapters in U.S. Supreme Court history." — David J. Garrow, author of Bearing the Cross

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Untold Story of Shiloh: The Battle and the Battlefield

by Timothy B. Smith

From the publisher:
At the mention of Shiloh, most tend to think of two particularly bloody and crucial days in April 1862. The complete story, however, encompasses much more history than that of the battle itself. While several accounts have taken a comprehensive approach to Shiloh, significant gaps still remain in the collective understanding of the battle and battlefield.

In The Untold Story of Shiloh, Timothy B. Smith fills in those gaps, looking beyond two days of battle and offering unique insight into the history of unexplored periods and topics concerning the Battle of Shiloh and the Shiloh National Military Park.

This collection of essays, some previously unpublished, tackles a diverse range of subjects, including Shiloh's historiography, the myths about the battle that were created, and the mindsets that were established after the battle. The book reveals neglected military aspects of the battle, such as the naval contribution, the climax of the Shiloh campaign at Corinth, and the soldiers' views of the battle. The essays also focus on the Shiloh National Military Park's establishment and continuation with particular emphasis on those who played key roles in its creation.

Taken together, the essays tell the overall story of Shiloh in greater detail than ever before. General readers and historians alike will discover that The Untold Story of Shiloh is an important contribution to their understanding of this crucial episode in the Civil War.

Timothy B. Smith is on staff at the Shiloh National Military Park. He is author of Champion Hill: Decisive Battle for Vicksburg and This Great Battlefield of Shiloh: History, Memory, and the Establishment of a Civil War National Military Park.

Pensacola during the Civil War: A Thorn in the Side of the Confederacy

by George F. Pearce

From the publisher:
"A pathbreaking study of one of the forgotten enclaves of the Civil War. . . . [It] opens new understanding of the role of Fort Pickens and Pensacola and the onset of the Civil War." -- B. F. Cooling, author of Forts Henry and Donelson: Key to the Confederate Heartland

Well before the outbreak of the Civil War, both North and South recognized the strategic importance of Pensacola, Florida’s largest city in 1861. Bruce Catton has characterized nearby Fort Pickens, on the northwestern Gulf Coast, as "a case that was fully as explosive as that of Fort Sumter." Until this new work by George Pearce, however, historians have neglected Pensacola’s role in the secession crisis and the conflict that ensued.

This straightforward narrative account begins with the secession movement and the Fort Pickens truce, then follows the course of events in this forgotten corner of the war. From the secessionist capture of Pensacola's navy yard and hospital and Forts Barrancas and McRee in February 1861, to Bragg’s failed raid on Fort Pickens, to the operations of the East and West Gulf Blockading Squadrons creating unrest along the coast, Pearce follows the actions by which the Union denied Confederate resupply by sea and tied down a considerable Confederate force that was increasingly needed elsewhere. He details Union cavalry raids as far north as Alabama, which disrupted vital rail transportation between Mississippi and Georgia, and the defeat of the Confederates at Blakely, which forced the surrender of Mobile.

Pearce also follows the impact of the war on Pensacola itself. Coping with white refugees, freed slaves, scorched-earth evacuations, raiding and foraging by the military, and the constant presence of Union and Confederate troops led to the abandonment of the city. By July 1863, a once vibrant population had dwindled to 72 whites and 10 blacks, and the scars of conflict gave this antebellum metropolis a ghostly appearance.

Illustrated with maps and period photos and drawings, this first examination of Pensacola's forgotten role in the Civil War will appeal to both Civil War buffs and those interested in the history of the Gulf Coast from Pensacola to the Rio Grande.

George F. Pearce, professor emeritus of history at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, is the author of The U.S. Navy in Pensacola: From Sailing Ships to Naval Aviation, 1825-1930 (UPF, 1980).

Soldier Boy: The Civil War Letters of Charles O. Musser, 29th Iowa

by Barry Popchock

From the publisher:
Blood and anger, bragging and pain, are all part of this young Iowa soldier's vigorous words about war and soldiering. A twenty-year-old farmer from Council Bluffs, Charles O. Musser was one of the 76,000 Iowans who enlisted to wear the blue uniform. He was a prolific writer, penning at least 130 letters home during his term of service with the 29th Iowa Volunteer Infantry.

Soldier Boy makes a significant contribution to the literature of the common soldier in the Civil War. Moreover, it takes a rare look at the Trans-Mississippi theater, which has traditionally been undervalued by historians.

Always Musser dutifully wrote and mailed his letters home. With a commendable eye for historical detail, he told of battles and marches, guerrilla and siege warfare, camp life and garrison soldiering, morale and patriotism, Copperheads and contraband, and Lincoln's reelection and assassination, creating a remarkable account of activities in this almost forgotten backwater of the war.

Raising Freedom's Child: Black Children and Visions of the Future After Slavery

by Mary Mitchell

From CWBN:
”Mitchell's sophisticated, nuanced reading of a wealth of previously untapped documents and period photographs casts a dazzling fresh light on the way that abolitionists, educators, missionaries, planters, politicians, and free children of color envisioned the status of African Americans after emancipation.” — Steven Mintz, University of Houston

“Raising Freedom’s Child demonstrates the importance of childhood studies for understanding the nation’s political, economic, and social history. In this carefully researched book, Mitchell keeps the black child at the center of the struggle to define freedom in the aftermath of Civil War and emancipation.” — Marie Jenkins Schwartz, University of Rhode Island

The end of slavery in the United States inspired conflicting visions of the future for all Americans in the nineteenth century, black and white, slave and free. The black child became a figure upon which people projected their hopes and fears about slavery’s abolition. As a member of the first generation of African Americans to grow up in freedom, the black child — freedom’s child — connoted a future where African Americans might enjoy the same privileges as whites: landownership, equality, autonomy. Yet this image was a nightmare for most white southerners. Even many northerners expressed doubts about the consequences of abolition for the nation and its identity as a “white” republic.

From the 1850s and the Civil War to emancipation and the official end of Reconstruction in 1877, Raising Freedom’s Child examines slave emancipation and opposition to it as a far-reaching, national event with profound social, political, and cultural consequences. Mary Niall Mitchell analyzes a dizzying array of representations of the black child—letters, photographs, newspaper columns, court cases, and more—to illustrate how Americans contested and defended slavery, tracing sharp debates over black children’s education, labor, racial classification, and citizenship. Only with the triumph of segregation in public schools in 1877 did the black child lose its public role in the national struggle over civil rights, a role it would not play again until the 1950s.