Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Distant Bugles, Distant Drums: The Union Response to the Confederate Invasion of New Mexico

by Flint Whitlock

From the publisher:
Although most accounts of the Civil War’s New Mexico campaign have focused on the Confederate effort, Distant Bugles, Distant Drums brings to life the epic march of 1,000 men recruited from Colorado’s towns, farms, and mining camps to fight 3,000 Confederate soldiers in New Mexico.

Drawing on previously overlooked diaries, letters, and contemporary newspaper accounts, military historian Flint Whitlock brings the Civil War in the West to life. Distant Bugles, Distant Drums details the battles of Coloradans against Confederate soldiers in New Mexico and offers vivid portraits of the leaders and soldiers involved —men whose strengths and flaws would shape the fate of the nation.

On their way to Colorado in search of gold and silver for the Confederacy’s dwindling coffers, Texan Confederates won a series of engagements along the Rio Grande. Hastily assembled troops that had marched to meet them from Colorado finally turned them back in an epic conflict at GloriĆ©ta Pass.

Miners, farmers, and peacetime officers turned themselves overnight into soldiers to keep the Confederacy from capturing the West’s mines, shaping the outcome of the Civil War. Distant Bugles, Distant Drums tells their story.

Flint Whitlock is the author of The Fighting First, Given up for Dead, The Rock of Anzio, and Soldiers on Skis.

From the critics:
“[Whitlock] is an exceptionally good writer and anyone interested in the Civil War will enjoy what he has to say.” —Western Historical Quarterly

“Worthwhile reading just for its cast of characters, many of whom merge the spirit of the Civil War with the Wild West. . . . An equally wild and woolly read for Civil War or Western buff alike.” —Civil War Times

“By focusing explicitly on the North’s reaction to Confederate dreams of empire in the West, Flint Whitlock adds several new insights to historical knowledge of this increasingly well-publicized theater of the Civil War.” —Journal of Southern History

"An important new book by Denver military historian Flint Whitlock . . . this well-written, solidly researched history of Colorado’s Union troops is eye-opening." —Rocky Mountain News

"Military historian Flint Whitlock’s well-researched, well-written book provides fresh perspectives on the Civil War’s New Mexico battles." —Dallas Morning News

"Whitlock vividly traces the Confederate victories in New Mexico at Valverde, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe and the dubious triumph at Glorieta Mesa in March, 1862. . . . Anyone interested in the Civil War in the Southwest will enjoy this well-written account of the New Mexico campaign with its numerous photographs and outstanding maps clearly showing the paths of the armies." —Las Cruces Sun News

"Whitlock’s Distant Bugles, Distant Drums will strongly interest many readers, whther or not those interests leaned toward military history previously." —Alamosa Valley Courier

Lincoln's Censor

by David W. Bulla

From the publisher:
Lincoln's Censor examines the effect of government suppression on the Democratic press in Indiana during the spring of 1863.

Indiana's Democratic newspaper editors were subject to Milo S. Hascalls General Order No. 9, which proclaimed that all newspaper editors and public speakers that encouraged resistance to the draft or any other war measure would be treated as traitors.

Brigadier General Hascall, commander of the District of Indiana, was amplifying General Order No. 38 of Major General Ambrose Everts Burnside, the commander of the Department of the Ohio. Burnside's order declared that criticism of the president and the war effort was tantamount to declaring sympathies with the enemy. Throughout the war in Indiana, Union soldiers and/or Republican activists intimidated other Democratic editors, ransacking their offices and sometimes running them out of business. President Abraham Lincoln, who suspended the writ of habeas corpus in 1862, claiming presidential prerogatives given by the Constitution at times of invasion or rebellion, had some political misgivings about the intimidation of Democratic newspapers, but let the practice continue in Indiana from April through June of 1863. Finally, at the request of Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton, Lincoln's War Department ordered Burnside to relieve Hascall of his command. Bulla's observation about the sustainability of the free press in times of war have implications in todays world.

Alexandria: 1861-1865

by Charles and Andrew Mills

From the publisher:
Alexandria and Northern Virginia were the first areas to feel the fury of the Civil War. The New York Herald war correspondent observed, “Many hamlets and towns have been destroyed during the war, Alexandria has most suffered. It has been in the uninterrupted possession of the Federals. . . . Alexandria is filled with ruined people; they walk as strangers through their ancient streets, and their property is no longer theirs to possess. . . . these things ensued, as the natural results of civil war; and one’s sympathies were everywhere enlisted for the poor, the exiled, and the bereaved.” This book graphically portrays the scenes of war and occupation.

Alexandria: 1861–1865, by Charles A. Mills and Andrew L. Mills, is a compilation of rare Civil War–era photographs from the Library of Congress and the private collections of Alexandria’s William Francis Smith and Mollie Somerville. Smith began collecting photographs as a boy and specialized in 19th-century views. Somerville was secretary to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Charles A. Mills is the author of numerous books on the Civil War, including Echoes of Manassas and Treasure Legends of the Civil War. Andrew L. Mills is a history teacher and host of the cable TV show Virginia Time Travel.

Into the Valley: A History and Tour Guide of Civil War in the Shennandoah Valley, 1861-1865

by Jim Miles

From the publisher:
The Shenandoah Valley-the mere name sounds enchanting, and its beauty and bounty have captivated the imagination of Americans for 300 years. During the four years of the Civil War, what was once an amazing geological attraction became a vital strategic asset. Possession of the Valley by the Confederacy meant an invasion route into the heart of Maryland and Pennsylvania and to the backdoor of Washington, D.C. In Union hands, the Confederacy would lose a valuable railroad, the agricultural produce of the Valley, and protection from attack via the many gaps through the mountains of Virginia.

Great generals, including Stonewall Jackson, Philip H. Sheridan, John C. Breckinridge, George A. Custer, and Jubal Early, fought desperate battles to control the Shenandoah. Armies marched rapidly and maneuvered brilliantly between green mountains and along the sparkling waters of the Shenandoah River, called Daughter of the Stars by Native Americans. The area was devastated by total war-hundreds of farms and tons of food were wantonly torched.

Into the Valley is the first book to offer a comprehensive history of every campaign that occurred in the Valley during four years of combat. The tour guides explore every battle, road, and mountain gap used by the armies and examines the charming, historic attractions of the Shenandoah, its towns and villages, mansions and mills, churches and cemeteries, monuments and museums.

The book contains hundreds of period photographs and drawings. It also is filled with modern photographs that richly illustrate the driving tours, original battle maps, fascinating sidebar articles, a chronology of key events, sources for additional travel information, a bibliography, and an index.

JIM MILES is a seasoned battlefield explorer, author, historian, and teacher who has written more than one hundred articles and several books on Southern history, archaeology, and the Civil War. The author of the best-selling Weird Georgia, Miles lives in Warner Robbins, Georgia.

Three Days in the Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson at Front Royal and Winchester

by Gary Ecelbarger

From the publisher:
The battles of Front Royal and Winchester are the stuff of Civil War legend. Stonewall Jackson swept away an isolated Union division under the command of Nathaniel Banks and made his presence in the northern Shenandoah Valley so frightful a prospect that it triggered an overreaction from President Lincoln, yielding huge benefits for the Confederacy. Gary Ecelbarger has undertaken a comprehensive reassessment of those battles to show their influence on both war strategy and the continuation of the conflict. Three Days in the Shenandoah answers questions that have perplexed historians for generations.

Gary Ecelbarger, an independent scholar, is the author of Black Jack Logan: An Extraordinary Life in Peace and War and "We Are in for It!": The First Battle of Kernstown, March 23, 1862.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ninth Vermont Infantry: A History and Roster

by Paul G. Zeller

From the publisher:
This work follows the Ninth Vermont from the horrors of its first combat and humiliating capture at Harpers Ferry in September 1862 to its triumphal march into Richmond in April 1865. Through diaries and letters written by members of the unit, one relives the riveting day-by-day account of the men as they were in battle, on the march, and in camp. With seldom seen photos of many of the regiment’s members, detailed maps, and a complete regimental roster, this book tells a compelling story.

Paul G. Zeller is also the author of The Second Vermont Volunteer Infantry Regiment, 1861–1865 (2002). A retired United States Army Reserve colonel, he lives in Williamstown, Vermont.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters

by Elizabeth Brown Pryor

From the publisher:
Robert E. Lee’s war correspondence is well known, and here and there personal letters have found their way into print, but the great majority of his most intimate messages have never been made public. These letters reveal a far more complex and contradictory man than the one who comes most readily to the imagination, for it is with his family and his friends that Lee is at his most candid, most engaging, and most vulnerable. Over the past several years historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor has uncovered a rich trove of unpublished Lee materials that had been held in both private and public collections.

Her new book, a unique blend of analysis, narrative, and historiography, presents dozens of these letters in their entirety, most by Lee but a few by family members. Each letter becomes a departure point for an essay that shows what the letter uniquely reveals about Lee’s time or character. The material covers all aspects of Lee’s life—his early years, West Point, his work as an engineer, his relationships with his children and his slaves, his decision to join the South, his thoughts on military strategy, and his disappointments after defeat in the Civil War. The result is perhaps the most intimate picture to date of Lee, one that deftly analyzes the meaning of his actions within the context of his personality, his relationships, and the social tenor of his times.

"... his letters and Pryor's analysis reinforce our appreciation of Lee's best qualities, including his personal warmth, devotion to friends and family, and sense of fairness." - Booklist

"Pryor moves onto important historical and interpretive terrain with a far more discerning and critical eye than most of her scholarly or popular predecessors." - New Republic

From CWBN:
This is the first softcover edition of a previously released hardback.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War

by Gary W. Gallagher

From the publisher:
More than 60,000 books have been published on the Civil War. Most Americans, though, get their ideas about the war—why it was fought, what was won, what was lost—not from books but from movies, television, and other popular media. In an engaging and accessible survey, renowned Civil War historian Gary Gallagher guides readers through the stories told in recent film and art, showing how they have both reflected and influenced the political, social, and racial currents of their times. Too often these popular portrayals overlook many of the very ideas that motivated the generation that fought the war. The most influential perspective for the Civil War generation, says Gallagher, is almost entirely absent from the Civil War stories being told today.

Gallagher argues that popular understandings of the war have been shaped by four traditions that arose in the nineteenth century and continue to the present: the Lost Cause, in which Confederates are seen as having waged an admirable struggle against hopeless odds; the Union Cause, which frames the war as an effort to maintain a viable republic in the face of secessionist actions; the Emancipation Cause, in which the war is viewed as a struggle to liberate 4 million slaves and eliminate a cancerous influence on American society; and the Reconciliation Cause, which represents attempts by northern and southern whites to extol "American" virtues and mute the role of African Americans.

Gallagher traces an arc of cinematic interpretation from one once dominated by the Lost Cause to one now celebrating Emancipation and, to a lesser degree, Reconciliation. In contrast, the market for art among contemporary Civil War enthusiasts reflects an overwhelming Lost Cause bent. Neither film nor art provides sympathetic representations of the Union Cause, which, Gallagher argues, carried the most weight in the Civil War era.

This lively investigation into what popular entertainment teaches us and what it reflects about us will prompt readers to consider how we form opinions on current matters of debate, such as the use of the military, the freedom of dissent, and the flying of the Confederate flag.

Gary W. Gallagher is John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author or editor of numerous books, including Lee and His Army in Confederate History and The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Slavery and the Peculiar Solution: A History of the American Colonization Society

by Eric Burin

From the publisher:
"An exceptional work that will stand for years as the best study of the African colonization movement. Burin's insights into this often misunderstood idea will be appreciated by all historians of the early national era. The research, both archival and secondary, is excellent."--Douglas Egerton, Le Moyne College

"Burin adds significantly to our understanding of the world view of slaveholding colonizationists, of their negotiations with prospectively freed people, and of their struggle with proslavery critics of colonization. . . . Historians of proslavery thought will find new ideas and information here."--Torrey Stephen Whitman, Mount St. Mary’s College

From the early 1700s through the late 1800s, many whites advocated removing blacks from America. The American Colonization Society (ACS) epitomized this desire to deport black people. Founded in 1816, the ACS championed the repatriation of black Americans to Liberia in West Africa. Supported by James Madison, James Monroe, Henry Clay, and other notables, the ACS sent thousands of black emigrants to Liberia. In examining the ACS’s activities in America and Africa, Eric Burin assesses the organization’s impact on slavery and race relations.

Burin focuses on ACS manumissions—that is, instances wherein slaves were freed on the condition that they go to Liberia. In doing so, he provides the first account of the ACS that covers the entire South throughout the antebellum era. He investigates everyone involved in the society’s affairs, from the emancipators and freedpersons at the center to the colonization agents, free blacks, southern jurists, newspaper editors, neighboring whites, proslavery ideologues, northern colonizationists, and abolitionists on the periphery. In mixing a panoramic view of ACS operations with close-ups on individual participants, Burin presents a unique, bifocal perspective on the ACS.

Although colonization leaders initially envisioned their program as a pacific enterprise, in reality the push-and-pull among emancipators, freedpersons, and others rendered ACS manumissions logistically complex, financially troublesome, legally complicated, and at times socially disruptive enterprises. Like pebbles dropped in water, ACS manumissions rippled outward, destabilizing slavery in their wake. Based on extensive archival research and a database of 11,000 ACS emigrants, Burin’s study offers new insights concerning the origins, intentions, activities, and fate of the colonization movement.

Eric Burin is assistant professor of history at the University of North Dakota.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Stonewall Brigade in the Civil War

by Steve Smith

From the publisher:
This book describes the First Virginia--Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jacksons Brigade--in combat from first mustering to bitter end, when only 210 ragged and footsore soldiers remained of the 6,000 who'd served through the Civil War.

Included are detailed order of battle charts, tables of organization and equipment, technical specifications of the brigades weapons, and special sidebars on the units commanders.

Color maps illustrate the brigades major battles; and a combination of vintage photographs, new images of contemporary re-enactors, and Civil War-era paintings and drawings helps to bring the Stonewall Brigade to life.

Steve Smith started out in military publishing more than 20 years ago and his career has included work as author, editor, and publisher. He founded the military history publishing company Sarpedon, and has written many books on 20th century military topics under his own name—most recently 2nd Armored Division: Hell on Wheels—and Civil War titles under a pseudonym. He is currently managing editor for a military history publishing company.

Immortal Captives: The Story of Six Hundred Confederate Officers and the United States Prisoner of War Policy

by Mauriel Phillips Joslyn

From the publisher:
“Some of the boys had no blankets, and we all slept on bare boards. It was so cold that the boys who had no blankets had to walk all night to keep from freezing . . . It seems to me that I can hear those poor fellows yet—walking, walking up and down on that brick floor.” — Maj. David B. Coulter, Twelfth Arkansas Infantry

Through the private letters, written testimonies, and journal entries of hundreds of Confederate officers, Mauriel Phillips Joslyn provides a moving and heartbreaking account of the six hundred Confederate soldiers who suffered in Union custody. After Lincoln and his war council dissolved the prisoner exchange program in 1864, the North used captured officers from all states in the seceded South to set an example to the remaining Confederacy.

Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies took a terrible toll, and the officers, who were denied medical care, slowly starved during the hard winter months. After a rumor that Yankee soldiers were shot by their own army, the Union deliberately placed fifty Confederate prisoners in a stockade at Charleston Harbor. Forced under the artillery fire of their own comrades, these Southern heroes suffered mercilessly and unjustly in Northern hands. The last of the surviving six hundred Confederate officers were not released until several months after the end of the Civil War.

Mauriel Phillips Joslyn was born in Manchester, Georgia, and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in history. While living in Virginia, Joslyn and her family participated in numerous Civil War reenactments. She also lectures and gives presentations on military history while dressed in full Confederate costume. Joslyn is the author of Confederate Women, published by Pelican, and has been published in Gettysburg Magazine, Military Heritage, Georgia Journal, and Irish Sword. She lives in Sparta, Georgia, where she and her family restored their 182-year-old home.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

John Washington's Civil War: A Slave Narrative

by Crandall Shifflett

From the publisher:
In 1872, just seven years after his emancipation, a thirty-four-year-old former slave named John Washington penned the story of his life, calling it "Memorys of the Past." One hundred and twenty years later, in the early 1990s, historian Crandall Shifflett stumbled upon Washington's forgotten manuscript at the Library of Congress while researching Civil War Fredericksburg. Over the ensuing decade, Shifflett sought to learn more about this Virginia slave and the people and events he so vividly portrays. John Washington's Civil War presents this remarkable slave narrative in its entirety, together with Shifflett's detailed annotations on the life-changing events Washington records.

While joining the canon of better-known slave narratives by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Solomon Northup, Washington's account illuminates a far different world. The son of a slave woman and an unknown white man, Washington never lived outside the seventy-five-mile radius that included Richmond and Fredericksburg, until his emancipation. His narrative spans his experiences as a household slave, a laborer in the Fredericksburg tobacco factory, and a hotel servant on the eve of the Civil War. He also tells of his bold venture across Union lines and his experiences as a slave under Union officers.

Washington's recollections allow for a singular look at the more personal aspects of slave life. Forced attendance at the slaveowner's church, much-anticipated gatherings of neighboring slaves at harvesttime, even a brief episode of courtship among slaves are among the events described in this remarkable narrative. On a broader scale, Washington was a witness to key moments of the Civil War, and his chronicle includes his thoughts about the wider political turmoil surrounding him, including his dramatic account of watching the Union Army mass around Fredericksburg as it prepared to invade the town. An excellent introduction and expert annotations by Shifflett reconstruct Washington's life through his death in 1918 and provide informative historical background and context to Washington's recollections.

An unprecedented window into the life of a Virginia bondsman, John Washington's Civil War communicates with real urgency what it meant to be a slave during a period of extreme crisis that sounded the notes of freedom for some and the end of a way of life for others.

Crandall Shifflett is a professor of history at Virginia Tech University. He is also the author of Patronage and Poverty in the Tobacco South: Louisa County, Virginia, 1860-1900, Coal Towns: Life, Work, and Culture in Company Towns of Southern Appalachia, 1880-1960, and Victorian America, 1876 to 1913.

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

Friday, April 4, 2008

A Confederate Legend: Berry Benson in War and Peace

by Edward J. Cashin

From the publisher:
If anyone can be said to have lived his life as a legend, it was Berry Benson. As a lad growing up in Hamburg, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia., he loved the nearby ponds and woods, and read stories of adventure. Part poet, part warrior, he viewed the Civil War as the supreme adventure. He measured himself against men who seemed to him to personify the chivalric ideals he had read about. His exploits became the stuff of legend.

On a night scout behind enemy lines, he stole a colonel’s horse from in front of the colonel’s tent. Captured twice on these scouting forays, he escaped twice, the second time by an impossibly long and meandering tunnel out of the infamous Elmira Prison. On his return through enemy lines, he climbed atop a cattle train and chatted companionably with a Union soldier. He declined to surrender at Appomattox,and brought his rifle home with him.

Because he lived up to his highest ideals during the war,he devoted his post-war career to worthy causes. He tried to save the besieged black militiamen from being killed by an angry white crowd. He sided with the textile strikers, even though he worked for the local mills as an accountant. He braved intense anti-Semitism in an attempt to save the life of Jewish Leo Frank.

When the Ladies Memorial Association needed a model for the Confederate soldier atop the lofty monument on Augusta’s main thoroughfare, they chose Berry Benson. His image, like those of the four Confederate generals below him, represent another legend, that of the Lost Cause.

EDWARD J. CASHIN†, a native of Augusta and a graduate of Fordham University, focused most of his research on topics relating to Georgia and the Southeast. His twenty-some books include The Kings Ranger: Thomas Brown and the American Revolution on the Southern Frontier, Lachlan McGillivray, Indian Trader, and the Shaping of the Southern Colonial Frontier, and William Bartram and the American Revolution on the SouthernFrontier. He retired as chairman of the History department at Augusta State University in 1996 to become director of the Center for the Study of Georgia History until his death in 2007.

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

The Class of 1861: Custer, Ames, and Their Classmates after West Point

by Ralph Kirshner

From the publisher:
Ralph Kirshner has provided a richly illustrated forum to enable the West Point class of 1861 to write its own autobiography. Through letters, journals, and published accounts, George Armstrong Custer, Adelbert Ames, and their classmates tell in their own words of their Civil War battles and varied careers after the war.

“Ralph Kirshner captures the exciting and thought-provoking stories of selected classmates as their character is tested in the fiery crucible of the Civil War. Equally important is the attention given to certain of the classmates’ postwar careers as politicians, soldiers, explorers, diplomats, and engineers.” — Edwin Bearss, Historian Emeritus, National Park Service

From CWBN:
This is the first paperback edition of a hardcover book. We were not aware of it in February when it was released.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fire in the Cane Field: The Federal Invasion of Louisiana and Texas, January 1861-January 1863

by Donald S. Frazer

From the publisher:
Helen Dupuy, a French-speaking teenager living at the Sleepy Hollow Plantation on Bayou Lafourche, Louisiana, noted with horror the coming of invaders. "The first Yankee gunboats passed Donaldsonville May 4 at 11 A.M.," she wrote in her diary. Her home lay just a few miles from the Mississippi River, and word quickly arrived that Union sailors were confiscating sugar, cotton, and other contraband of war. The realities of her new situation soon became apparent—and ominous: "Then began the most awful pillaging."

Award-winning author Donald S. Frazier returns to the field of Civil War history with keen turn of phrase and enthralling story-telling with the release of Fire in the Cane Field: The Federal Invasion of Louisiana and Texas, January 1861-January 1863. Beginning with the spasms of secession in the Pelican State, Frazier weaves a stirring tale of bravado, reaction, and war as he describes the consequences of disunion for the hapless citizens of Louisiana. The army and navy campaigns he portrays weave a tale of the Federal Government's determination to suppress the newborn Confederacy—and nearly succeeding—by putting ever-increasing pressure on its adherents from New Orleans to Galveston. The surprising triumph of Texan troops on their home soil in early 1863 proved to be a decisive reverse to Union ambitions and doomed the region to even bloodier destruction to come.

This bracing new work, ten years in the making, will usher in a chronological string of four books on the Civil War in Louisiana and Texas as Frazier presents fresh sources on new topics in a series of captivating narratives. Titles to follow in his innovative Louisiana quadrille include Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February 1863-May 1863; Blood on the Bayou: The Campaigns of Tom Green's Texans, June 1863-February 1864; and Death at the Landing: The Contest for the Red River and the Collapse of Confederate Louisiana, March 1864-June 1865.

Donald S. Frazier is Professor of History at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, and author of Blood and Treasure: Confederate Empire in the Southwest, published by Texas A&M University Press. His other works include Cottonclads: The Battle of Galveston and the Defense of the Texas Coast, an edited work, The U.S. and Mexico at War: Nineteenth Century Expansionism and Conflict, and as co-author Frontier Texas: History of a Borderland 1780–1880 and The Texas You Expect: The Story of the Buffalo Gap Historic Village.

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

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A note to readers

As you will have noticed, the last and first days of the month are crowded with releases. There is, however, an odd gap of 10 days before the next ACW title comes out. In that time, we will be posting information about books scheduled for April release with no day specified; we will also catch up with a few titles we missed in January and February.

The Disagreement: A Novel

by Nick Taylor

From the publisher:
It is April 17, 1861 -- the day that Virginia secedes from the Union and the sixteenth birthday of John Alan Muro. As the Commonwealth erupts in celebration, young Muro sees his dream of attending medical school in Philadelphia shattered by the sudden reality of war.

Muro's father, believing that the Disagreement will pass, sends his son instead to Charlottesville. Jefferson's forty-year-old University of Virginia has become a haven of rogues and dilettantes, among them Muro's roommate, Braxton Baucom III, a planter's son who attempts to strike a resemblance to General "Stonewall" Jackson. Though the pair toasts lightheartedly "To our studies!" with a local corn whiskey known as "The Bumbler," the war effort soon exerts a sobering influence. Medical students like Muro are pressed into service at the Charlottesville General Hospital, where the inexperienced Dr. Muro saves the life of a Northern lieutenant, earning the scorn of his peers.

As the war progresses, Muro takes up yet another cause -- winning the affections of the beguiling Miss Lorrie Wigfall. Here, too, Muro faces a cunning adversary. Just as the fighting is closing in, Muro is forced to make a choice that will shape the rest of his life. In this story of love, loyalty, and unimaginable sacrifice, a doctor struggles to balance the passions of youth with the weight of responsibility.

"Nick Taylor's vivid characters and powerful descriptions tell a compelling story that captures the voices, beauty, and tumult at the University of Virginia during the Civil War." -- John T. Casteen, III, president, University of Virginia

"I loved Nick Taylor's gutsy prose; even at its most lyrical, it never fails to offer a particularly evocative glimpse of a troubling time. Here is a story about our soul-destroying fratricidal war that uses the narrowest of prisms to offer a wider vision. A genuine accomplishment." -- Beverly Swerling, author of City of Dreams and City of Glory

"At its best, historical fiction reveals the truth or reality of the past. Nick Taylor has achieved this in his very fine book. Taylor has chosen to see the Civil War's human wreckage through the eyes of a young Confederate surgeon at a hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. The result is a compelling and moving novel." -- Jeffry D. Wert, Civil War historian

Guide to Missouri Confederate Units

by James E. McGh

From the publisher:
Tracing the origins and history of Missouri Confederate units that served during the Civil War is nearly as difficult as comprehending the diverse politics that produced them.

Deeply torn by the issues that caused the conflict, some Missourians chose sides enthusiastically, others reluctantly, while a number had to choose out of sheer necessity, for fence straddling held no sway in the state after the fighting began.

The several thousand that sided with the Confederacy formed a variety of military organizations, some earning reputations for hard fighting exceeded by few other states, North or South. Unfortunately, the records of Missouri's Confederate units have not been adequately preserved--officially or otherwise--until now.

James E. McGhee is a highly respected and widely published authority on the Civil War in Missouri; the scope of this book is startling, the depth of detail gratifying, its reliability undeniable, and the unit narratives highly readable.

McGhee presents accounts of the sixty-nine artillery, cavalry, and infantry units in the state, as well as their precedent units, and those that failed to complete their organization. Relying heavily on primary sources, such as rosters, official reports, order books, letters, diaries, and memoirs, he weaves diverse materials into concise narratives of each of Missouri's Confederate organizations. He lists the field-grade officers for battalions and regiments, companies and company commanders, and places of origin for each company when known.

In addition to listing all the commanding officers in each unit, he includes a bibliography germane to the unit, while a supplemental bibliography provides the other sources used in preparing this unique and comprehensive resource.

African-American Activism before the Civil War: A Reader on the Freedom Struggle in the Antebellum North

by Patrick Rael

From the publisher:
Historians have long understood that racial oppression in American history was about more than slavery. On the eve of the Civil War, over five per cent of the nation's 4.5 million African Americans lived outside of bondage in the nominally 'free' states of the Union. These African Americans exercised a power in national discussions over slavery that far outstripped their number in the population. Their efforts at community building and radical protest were one force that helped bring the nation to the brink of Civil War, and ultimately led to the extinction of slavery.

African-American Activism before the Civil War is the first to gather together scholarly essays published from 1965 to the present on the role of African Americans and race in the struggle for equality in the northern states before the Civil War. Many of these essays are already known as classics in the field, and others are well on their way to becoming definitive in a still evolving field. Here, in one place, anchored by a comprehensive, analytical introduction discussing the historiography of antebellum black activism, the best scholarship on this crucial minority of African American activists can now be studied together.

Devil's Game: The Civil War Intrigues of Charles A. Dunham

by Carman Cumming

From the publisher:
Devil's Game traces the amazing career of Charles A. Dunham, Civil War spy, forger, journalist, and master of dirty tricks. Writing for a variety of New York papers under alternate names, Dunham routinely faked stories, created new identities, and later boldly cast himself to play those roles. He achieved his greatest infamy when he was called to testify in Washington concerning Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Many parts of Dunham's career remain shadowy, but Cumming offers the first detailed tour of Dunham's convoluted, high-stakes, international deceits, including his effort to sell Lincoln on plans for a raid to capture Jefferson Davis.

Exhaustively researched and unprecedented in depth, this carefully crafted assessment of Dunham's motives, personality, and the complex effects of his schemes changes assumptions about covert operations during the Civil War.

Carman Cumming worked as a reporter and editor in Canada and the United States before becoming a journalism professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. His publications include Secret Craft: The Journalism of Edward Farrer and Sketches from a Young Country: The Images of Grip Magazine.

Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journals and Letters of the Henry Family

by Karen L. Clinard and Richard Russell (compilers)

From the publisher:
Cornelia Henry's three journals, written between 1860 and 1868, offer an excellent source for daily information on western North Carolina during the Civil War period.

Karen L. Clinard, a lifelong resident of southeastern Michigan, now concentrates her energies on genealogy research and historical studies. Richard Russell, a native of Watervliet, Michigan, now resides in Asheville, North Carolina. After 30 years in the pharmacy profession, Russell built on his passion for historical research and documentation when he established Reminiscing Books in 2006.

1858: Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and the War They Failed to See

by Bruce Chadwick

From the publisher:
1858 explores the events and personalities of the year that would send the Americas North and South on a collision course culminating in the slaughter of 630,000 of the nations young men, a greater number than died in any other American conflict. The record of that year is told in seven separate stories, each participant, though unaware, is linked to the oncoming tragedy by the central, though ineffective, figure of that time, the man in the White House, President James Buchanan.

The seven figures who suddenly leap onto historys stage and shape the great moments to come are: Jefferson Davis, who lived a life out of a Romantic novel, and who almost died from herpes simplex of the eye; the disgruntled Col. Robert E. Lee, who had to decide whether he would stay in the military or return to Virginia to run his familys plantation; William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the great Union generals, who had been reduced to running a roadside food stand in Kansas; the uprising of eight abolitionists in Oberlin, Ohio, who freed a slave apprehended by slave catchers, and set off a fiery debate across America; a dramatic speech by New York Senator William Seward in Rochester, which foreshadowed the civil war and which seemed to solidify his hold on the 1860 Republican Presidential nomination; John Browns raid on a plantation in Missouri, where he freed several slaves, and marched them eleven hundred miles to Canada, to be followed a year later by his catastrophic attack on Harpers Ferry; and finally, Illinois Senator Steven Douglas seven historic debates with little-known Abraham Lincoln in the Illinois Senate race, that would help bring the ambitious and determined Lincoln to the Presidency of the United States.

As these stories unfold, the reader learns how the country reluctantly stumbled towards that moment in April 1861 when the Southern army opened fire on Fort Sumter.

Former journalist Chadwick (The General and Mrs. Washington) deals with much more than the previously underappreciated year of 1858 in this engagingly written book. By focusing on the men who drove crucial historical events, Chadwick provides plenty of pre-1858 background to make his case that the events of that year changed the lives of dozens of important people and within a few short years, the history of the nation. - Publishers Weekly