Saturday, May 31, 2008

Awaiting the Heavenly Country: The Civil War and America's Culture of Death

by Mark S. Schantz

From the publisher:
"Americans came to fight the Civil War in the midst of a wider cultural world that sent them messages about death that made it easier to kill and to be killed. They understood that death awaited all who were born and prized the ability to face death with a spirit of calm resignation. They believed that a heavenly eternity of transcendent beauty awaited them beyond the grave. They knew that their heroic achievements would be cherished forever by posterity. They grasped that death itself might be seen as artistically fascinating and even beautiful." -- from Awaiting the Heavenly Country

How much loss can a nation bear? An America in which 620,000 men die at each other's hands in a war at home is almost inconceivable to us now, yet in 1861 American mothers proudly watched their sons, husbands, and fathers go off to war, knowing they would likely be killed. Today, the death of a soldier in Iraq can become headline news; during the Civil War, sometimes families did not learn of their loved ones' deaths until long after the fact.

Did antebellum Americans hold their lives so lightly, or was death so familiar to them that it did not bear avoiding? In Awaiting the Heavenly Country, Mark S. Schantz argues that American attitudes and ideas about death helped facilitate the war's tremendous carnage. Asserting that nineteenth-century attitudes toward death were firmly in place before the war began rather than arising from a sense of resignation after the losses became apparent, Schantz has written a fascinating and chilling narrative of how a society understood death and reckoned the magnitude of destruction it was willing to tolerate.

Schantz addresses topics such as the pervasiveness of death in antebellum America; theological discourse and debate on the nature of heaven and the afterlife; the rural cemetery movement and the inheritance of the Greek revival; death as a major topic in American poetry; African American notions of death, slavery, and citizenship; and a treatment of the art of death--including memorial lithographs, postmortem photography and Rembrandt Peale's major exhibition painting The Court of Death.

Awaiting the Heavenly Country is essential reading for anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the Civil War and the ways in which antebellum Americans comprehended death and the unimaginable bloodshed on the horizon.

"The premise of this very interesting and very satisfying book is that an antebellum American culture of death contributed mightily, even decisively, to the destructive nature of the Civil War. Mark S. Schantz's excellent research melds with his deep knowledge of the war in making persuasive links between antebellum culture and Civil War behaviors--North and South, male and female, black and white, home front and battlefield."--David Waldstreicher, Temple University

"Awaiting the Heavenly Country is an eloquent and insightful analysis of the culture of death and dying in antebellum America. Mark S. Schantz argues that the carnage of the Civil War may perhaps best be explained by a culture that embraced several anesthetizing notions about death: the idea that death was ennobling, that it ushered the deceased into a materially and emotionally rich heavenly existence, that the body itself could be purified and restored in the act of death. Schantz is a generous and sympathetic guide to the mind-numbing bloodletting of the Civil War who manages to explain the inexplicable." -- Susan Juster, University of Michigan

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

Friday, May 30, 2008

Massacre At Bear River: First, Worst and Forgotten

by Rod Miller

From the publisher:
The Bear River Massacre, on January 29, 1863, claimed at least 250 Shoshoni lives. And it changed the culture of the natives who lived in the area along what later became the Utah-Idaho border.

Rod Miller provides a compelling narrative account of the Bear River Massacre and the events leading up to the bloody clash on a frozen riverbank in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. He gives historical context to three major players in the massacre—the Shoshoni, the military, the Mormon settlers and their leaders—and the interplay among those groups.

Miller also explains why the massacre has remained in the historical shadows for 145 years and details the fight by Shoshonis and a few dedicated researchers to move the event to its rightful place in Western history.

Two Boys in the Civil War: Confederate Brothers During and After the War Between the States

by William Houghton

From the publisher:
Two Boys in the Civil War recounts the war stories of William, an eighteen-year-old schoolteacher at Smith's Station, Alabama, and his brother Mitchell, a sixteen-year-old assistant newspaper editor in Newton, Alabama.

William enlisted in 1861 and was wounded seven times in battle. Mitchell, who also enlisted in 1861, was twice wounded, captured at Lookout Mountain, and imprisoned for sixteen months at Camp Morton, Indiana, where he nearly died from starvation and exposure.

Did Lincoln And The Republican Party Create The Civil War? An Argument

by Robert P. Broadwater

From the publisher:
The author seeks to challenge the long-held perceptions of the politics of the American Civil War. He presents the argument that the Civil War was fought, not to preserve the Union or free the slaves, but rather to establish the political power of the Republican Party within the federal government. The author argues further that Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party manipulated events to bring about the Civil War in the first place and used the war as a pretext for the establishment of the modern central government.

Robert P. Broadwater has written more than 20 books and more than 100 magazine articles dealing with the Civil War and the Revolution. He is the author of many works on military history including Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients (2007), American Generals of the Revolutionary War (2007), The Battle of Olustee, 1864 (2006), The Battle of Perryville, 1862 (2005) and Chickamauga, Andersonville, Fort Sumter and Guard Duty at Home (2005) and lives in Bellwood, Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Battle: The Nature and Consequences of Civil War

by Kent Gramm

From the publisher:
Romanticism is as rife in Civil War history as any other and may produce more than its share of drums and trumpets writing that glosses over the fear, pain, and death that are inevitable components of all warfare. The essays that make up this collection seek to act as corrective to such celebratory history by carefully examining some of the unpleasant realities that marked combat in the Civil War—when industrial and technological warfare came of age, at a time when medical care, sanitation, diet, and other modern adaptations to industry were still in their infancy.

In addition to an introduction, an afterword, and an essay on the "Numbers" by editor Gramm, Paul Fussell contributes a powerful essay on "The Culture of War"; D. Scott Hartwig examines the face of battle at Gettysburg; Bruce A. Evans discusses "Wounds, Death, and Medical Care in the Civil War"; Eric T. Dean rethinks the meaning and consequences of combat in "The Awful Shock and Rage of Battle"; and Alan T. Nolan looks at the national consequences of battle and the resultant myth of the Lost Cause.

Kent Gramm is Professor of English at Wheaton College, Illinois, and author of November: Lincoln's Elegy at Gettysburg and Somebody's Darling: Essays on the Civil War.


by Clint Johnson

From the publisher:
While much has been written about the hunt for John Wilkes Booth, much less has been written about the efforts to apprehend Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the days following the dissolution of the Confederacy, and the subsequent attempt to try him for treason. In the only book to tell the definitive story of Davis's chase, capture, imprisonment, and release, journalist and Civil War writer Clint Johnson brings this chapter in our nation's history to vivid life, and paints a fascinating portrait of one of American history's most complex and enduring figures.

In the vulnerable weeks following the end of the War and Abraham Lincoln's assassination, some in President Andrew Johnson's administration burned to exact revenge against Davis. Trumping up charges of conspiracy to murder Lincoln and treason against the Union, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton ordered cavalry after Davis. After a chase through North and South Carolina and Georgia, Davis was captured on May 10, 1865. The former United States Senator and Mexican War hero was imprisoned for two years in Fortress Monroe, Virginia, where he was subjected to torture and humiliation-but never brought to trial. Remarkably, the Johnson administration knew Davis was innocent of all crimes before he was even arrested.

With a keen eye for the period's detail, as well as a Southerner's insight, Johnson sheds new light on Davis's time on the run, his treatment while imprisoned, his surprising release from custody, and his eventual exoneration-exposing the powerful political forces involved, and their lasting impact. Johnson draws on extensive official historical documents as well as countless archived private materials such asdiaries, letters, and private papers. With the 200th anniversary of Davis's birth in 2008, the time has never been better for a compelling account of such a defining episode of the Civil War.

Fascinated by the American Civil War since the fourth grade, Clint Johnson has written eight books on the subject, including the acclaimed Civil War Blunders. Originally from Florida, he counts Confederate soldiers from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama among his ancestors. He is active as a Civil War re-enactor and has portrayed soldiers from both the South and the Union. In researching Pursuit, he spent months studying letters, diaries, and the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. A graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in journalism, he lives in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife, Barbara.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage

by Daniel Mark Epstein

From the publisher:
The first full-length portrait of the marriage of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln in more than fifty years, The Lincolns is a fascinating new work of American history by Daniel Mark Epstein, an award-winning biographer and poet known for his passionate understanding of the Civil War period.

Although the private lives of political couples have in our era become front-page news, the true story of this extraordinary and tragic first family has never been fully told. The Lincolns eclipses earlier accounts with riveting new information that makes husband and wife, president and first lady, come alive in all their proud accomplishments and earthy humanity.

Epstein gives a fresh close-up view of the couple’s life in Springfield, Illinois (of their twenty-two years of marriage, all but six were spent there). We witness the troubled courtship of an aristocratic and bewitching Southern belle and a struggling young lawyer who concealed his great ambition with self-deprecating humor; the excitement and confusion of the newlyweds as they begin their marriage in a small room above a tavern, and the early signs of Mary’s instability and Lincoln’s moodiness; their joyful creation of a home on the edge of town as Lincoln builds his law practice and makes his first forays into politics. We discover their consuming ambition as Lincoln achieves celebrity status during his famed debates with Stephen A. Douglas, which lead to Lincoln’s election to the presidency.

The Lincolns’ ascent to the White House brought both dazzling power and the slow, secret unraveling of the couple’s unique bond. The Lincolns dramatizes certain well-known events with stunning new immediacy: Mary’s shopping sprees, her defrauding of the public treasury to increase her budget, and her jealousy, which made enemies for her and problems for the president. Yet she was also a brilliant hostess who transformed the shabby White House into a social center crucial to the Union’s success. After the death of their little boy, not a year after Lincoln took office, Mary turned for solace to spirit mediums, but her grief drove her to the edge of madness. In the end, there was little left of the Lincolns’ relationship save their enduring devotion to each other and to their surviving children.

Written with enormous sweep and striking imagery, The Lincolns is an unforgettable epic set at the center of a crucial American administration. It is also a heartbreaking story of how time and adversity can change people, and of how power corrupts not only morals but affections. Daniel Mark Epstein’s The Lincolns makes two immortal American figures seem as real and human as the rest of us.

“With a novelist’s feel for detail and drama, Daniel Mark Epstein portrays the Lincoln marriage with sensitivity and insight, painting an intimate portrait of a complex and consequential marriage. This work is a splendid addition to the Lincoln literature.” - Doris Kearns Goodwin

“Daniel Epstein in 2004 gave us the best book yet written on Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman. Now he has given us the best book yet written on the marriage of Abraham and Mary Lincoln--a comprehensive, sensitive, elegantly wrought masterpiece that puts us up close and personal with one of the most interesting pairings in American history.” - John C. Waugh, author of One Man Great Enough: Abraham Lincoln's Road to Civil War

Lincoln's Assassins: Their Trial and Execution

by James L. Swanson and Daniel Weinberg

From the publisher:
Acclaimed as the definitive illustrated history of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, Lincoln's Assassins, by James L. Swanson and Daniel R. Weinberg, follows the shocking events from the tragic scene at Ford's Theatre to the trial and execution of Booth's co-conspirators. For twelve days after the president was shot, the nation waited breathlessly as manhunters tracked down John Wilkes Booth—the story that was brilliantly told in Swanson's New York Times bestseller, Manhunt. Then, during the spring and summer of 1865, a military commission tried eight people as conspirators in Booth's plot to murder Lincoln and other high officials, including the secretary of state and vice president. Few remember them today, but once the names Mary Surratt, Lewis Powell, David Herold, George Atzerodt, Edman Spangler, Samuel Arnold, Michael O'Laughlin, and Dr. Samuel Mudd were the most reviled and notorious in America.

In Lincoln's Assassins, Swanson and Weinberg resurrect these events by presenting an unprecedented visual record of almost 300 contemporary photographs, letters, documents, prints, woodcuts, newspapers, pamphlets, books, and artifacts, many hitherto unpublished. These rare materials, which took the authors decades to collect, evoke the popular culture of the time, record the origins of the Lincoln myth, take the reader into the courtroom and the cells of the accused, document the beginning of American photojournalism, and memorialize the fates of the eight conspirators.

Lincoln's Assassins is a unique work that will appeal to anyone interested in American history, Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, law, crime, assassination,nineteenth-century photographic portraiture, and the history of American photojournalism.

James L. Swanson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. He is an attorney who has written about history, the Constitution, popular culture, and other subjects for a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, American Heritage, Smithsonian, and the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Swanson serves on the advisory council of the Ford's Theatre Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Campaign and is a member of the advisory committee of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

The Confederate Army 1861-65: Missouri, Kentucky & Maryland (Men-at-Arms)

by Ron Field, Richard Hook

From the publisher:
Despite the overwhelming image of Confederate soldiers dressed in their drab butternut and gray, the Southern states which formed the Confederacy in 1861 fielded many units of volunteer troops wearing a remarkably wide variety of uniforms, often reflecting foreign influences. In a spirit of independence many states issued their own uniform regulations at the outbreak of the War Between the States and these non-standard uniforms were often retained deep into the war. The regulation patterns centrally prescribed by the Confederate Army were only ever followed unevenly, and state quartermasters continued to issue uniforms showing regional and state differences. This concluding book in a series of six titles studies the archival and pictorial evidence for the infantry, cavalry and artillery of the states that fought for the South even though they never officially seceded—Missouri, Kentucky and Maryland—and is illustrated with fascinating and poignant early photographic portraits.

Ron Field is Head of History at the Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1982 and taught history at Piedmont High School in California from 1982 to 1983. He was associate editor of the Confederate Historical Society of Great Britain, from 1983 to 1992. He is an internationally acknowledged expert on US military history, and was elected a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, based in Washington, DC, in 2005. The author lives in Gloucestershire, UK.

Richard Hook was born in 1938 and trained at Reigate College of Art. After national service with 1st Bn, Queen's Royal Regiment, he became art editor of the much-praised magazine Finding Out during the 1960s. He has worked as a freelance illustrator ever since, earning an international reputation particularly for his deep knowledge of Native American material culture; and has illustrated more than 50 Osprey titles. Richard Hook lives in Sussex, UK.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Abolitionists Remember: Antislavery Autobiographies and the Unfinished Work of Emancipation

by Julie Roy Jeffrey

From the publisher:
In Abolitionists Remember, Julie Roy Jeffrey illuminates a second, little-noted antislavery struggle as abolitionists in the postwar period attempted to counter the nation's growing inclination to forget why the war was fought, what slavery was really like, and why the abolitionist cause was so important.

In the rush to mend fences after the Civil War, the memory of the past faded and turned romantic—slaves became quaint, owners kindly, and the war itself a noble struggle for the Union. Jeffrey examines the autobiographical writings of former abolitionists such as Laura Haviland, Frederick Douglass, Parker Pillsbury, and Samuel J. May, revealing that they wrote not only to counter the popular image of themselves as fanatics, but also to remind readers of the harsh reality of slavery and to advocate equal rights for African Americans in an era of growing racism, Jim Crow, and the Ku Klux Klan. These abolitionists, who went to great lengths to get their accounts published, challenged every important point of the reconciliation narrative, trying to salvage the nobility of their work for emancipation and African Americans and defending their own participation in the great events of their day.

Julie Roy Jeffrey is professor of American history at Goucher College and author of The Great Silent Army of Abolitionism: Ordinary Women in the Abolitionist Movement (from the University of North Carolina Press).

Wade Hampton: Confederate Warrior to Southern Redeemer

by Rod, Jr. Andrew

From the publisher:
Few Southern elites gave more to the Confederate cause or suffered more in its defeat than General Wade Hampton III of South Carolina. One of the South's most illustrious military leaders, Hampton was for a time the commander of all Lee's cavalry and at the end of the war was the highest-ranking Confederate cavalry officer. Yet for all Hampton's military victories, he also suffered devastating losses. He lost a beloved son and a brother, his own home as well as his grandfather's ancestral mansion, and his vast personal fortune. He failed to deter Sherman's legions from capturing his hometown of Columbia and was blamed for the inferno that destroyed it. Previous studies of Hampton have leaned toward hero worship or taken a political approach that considered his personal history irrelevant. Rod Andrew's critical biography demonstrates that Hampton's life is essential to understanding his influence beyond the battlefield and his obsession with vindication for the South.

Andrew's analysis of Hampton sheds light on his critical role during Reconstruction as a conservative white leader, governor, U.S. senator, and Redeemer; his heroic image in the minds of white Southerners; and his positions and apparent contradictions on race and the role of African Americans in the New South. Andrew also shows that Hampton's tragic past explains how he emerged in his own day as a larger-than-life symbol—of national reconciliation as well as Southern defiance.

Rod Andrew Jr. is associate professor of history at Clemson University and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He is author of Long Gray Lines: The Southern Military School Tradition, 1839-1915 (from the University of North Carolina Press).

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Union vs. Dr. Mudd

by Hal Higdon

From the publisher:
For nearly 150 years, one question remains unanswered in the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln: was Samuel A. Mudd, the physician who set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth, guilty or innocent of participating in the conspiracy to murder the president?

Featuring a new introduction and epilogue, this well-researched and unbiased account of Mudd's testimony, trial, and imprisonment remains the gold standard on the topic more than forty years after it was first published.

So, did Dr. Mudd merely answer the call of duty when an injured man appeared on his doorstep, or was he a wily co-conspirator who avoided the death penalty? Hal Higdon takes an objective stance and allows the reader to decide.

Hal Higdon is an award-winning author of more than thirty-four books, including the best-seller Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide and Leopold & Loeb: The Crime of the Century.

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

Friday, May 16, 2008

Civil War Tales

by Gary C. Walker

From the publisher:
Stories passed down through the generations. Based on long-held family narratives and local folklore, the engaging legends and lore within these pages have not been available to the public before. Developed from hours of personal interviews and research, these accounts are presented in an easy-reading, conversational manner. Relating to the personal lives of many of the generals of the Civil War, this book melds fact with fiction and paints a picture of a time that saw a country divided. Read how Prof. Thomas Jackson became known as "Stonewall" Jackson and how Gen. David Hunter laid waste to the Shenandoah Valley in the spring of 1864, amongst other interesting tales of bravery and hardship during the war.

For over 30 years, Gary C. Walker has written, published, and promoted his books in southern Virginia. He has gathered the stories of the Civil War in that area and has been active in reenactments. Readers have used his books to research family genealogy, write plays, and produce Civil War art. The Virginia Defense Force used the materials to produce a recruitment film.

The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged

by D. W. Reed and Timothy B. Smith

From the publisher:
Originally published in 1902 by the Government Printing Office (and revised and reprinted in 1909 and 1913), The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged was the official park commission history of this important battle and remains a seminal work on the subject. Although the book is the cornerstone of Shiloh historiography and is extensively cited by serious historians, the original edition is not widely available today. Timothy B. Smith redresses this problem with this new reprint of the 1913 edition for which he has written an introduction that places the important work in historical context.

Written by D. W. Reed, a veteran of the battle and the first official historian of the Shiloh National Military Park, The Battle of Shiloh and the Organizations Engaged provides a succinct and authoritative overview of the battle. In addition to a narrative of the campaign, Reed describes the units engaged and the movements of every brigade. In addition, he includes numerous tables of strengths and losses for the armies as well as remarkably detailed maps and diagrams showing the action as it unfolded. These spectacular color maps are accessible in an enclosed CD in a PDF format. The net result is a compact yet detailed view of Shiloh unmatched anywhere else.

Even a century after its first publication, this book stands as one of the most dependable, concise, and important works on the Battle of Shiloh. This new edition makes this work accessible once again.

D. W. Reed was a veteran of the Battle of Shiloh and the first historian of the Shiloh National Military Park.

Timothy B. Smith is the author of This Great Battlefield of Shiloh: History, Memory, and the Establishment of a Civil War National Military Park and The Untold Story of Shiloh: The Battle and the Battlefield. He was a park ranger at the Shiloh National Military Park before accepting a teaching position at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Guardian of Savannah: Fort Mcallister, Georgia, in the Civil War and Beyond

by Roger S. Durham

From the publisher:
Built out of sand and mud and designed to serve as the southern anchor in the coastal defenses of Savannah, Georgia, Fort McAllister was constructed in June 1861 on the Great Ogeechee River, twelve miles south of the Savannah River. Roger S. Durham offers a comprehensive history of the fort's construction, strategic importance during the Civil War, and postwar restoration in this vivid account of how an earthen defense withstood not only devastating naval assaults but also the effects of time. Durham intertwines historical facts with human fates through frequent use of primary sources, letting the fort's defenders and attackers speak for themselves and bringing readers into the fiery heat of battle.

Two innovations in warfare wrought by the Civil War were the rifled cannon--which proved detrimental to the masonry construction of Fort Pulaski at the mouth of the Savannah River--and the ironclad warship, but neither could compromise the earthen parapets of Fort McAllister. Over the course of the war, McAllister's original four-battery design was augmented to include twenty-two guns, making the fort a much more difficult challenge to Union assaults. The monitor USS Montauk was twice summoned to take Fort McAllister and twice failed. In a third Union attempt, three ironclads and a supporting fleet of wooden gunboats bombarded the fort for seven hours, though the defenders suffered no casualties and the fort withstood the blasts. In all, seven unsuccessful naval attacks were made against the fort. McAllister's final threat did not come from the water but from the western reaches of the state. In December 1864 General William T. Sherman's famed March to the Sea negated the viability of coastal defenses, and Fort McAllister, like Savannah itself, fell at last.

Fort McAllister's story did not end with the war. In the 1930s the site was owned by the industrialist Henry Ford, who was instrumental in the initial preservation efforts to restore the fort as a historical monument. Ownership later passed to the International Paper Company, which in turn deeded the land to the State of Georgia. The historical site was opened to the public in 1963, on the centennial of the bombardments by the Union ironclads.

Durham's harrowing account of life and combat at Fort McAllister, and of the subsequent restoration, is augmented by twelve maps and sixty photographs--including rare images of Sherman's troops at the end of the March to the Sea and of early preservation initiatives.

Roger S. Durham is the director of the U.S. Army Heritage Museum in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Durham is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Georgia Southern University. His other books include High Seas and Yankee Gunboats: A Blockade-Running Adventure from the Diary of James Dickson and Fort McAllister.

From CWBN:
This well-written and interesting volume is one we can recommend to readers with interests in fortifications, seacoast defense, and naval artillery.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Surgeon in the Army of the Potomac

by Francis M. Wafer, Cheryl A. Wells editor

A fascinating glimpse into the world of Civil War America through the experience of a young Canadian surgeon.

Lured across the border by promises of opportunity and adventure, Francis M. Wafer - a young student from Queen's Medical College in Kingston - joined the Union's army of the Potomac as an assistant surgeon. From the battle of the Wilderness to the closing campaigns, Wafer was both participant and chronicler of the American Civil War.

Cheryl Wells provides an edited and fully annotated collection of Wafer's diary entries during the war, his letters home, and the memoirs he wrote after returning to Canada. Wafer's writings are a fascinating and deeply personal account of the actions, duties, feelings, and perceptions of a noncombatant who experienced the thick of battle and its grave consequences.

The only substantial account by a Canadian Civil War soldier who returned to Canada, A Surgeon in the Army of the Potomac fills a critical gap in American Civil War historiography and will have broad appeal among scholars and enthusiasts.

"The detail provided by Wafer in his travels and work is absolutely fascinating ... the flavour of melancholy, fear, and "gallows humour" among the troops in the camp, the sounds and spectacle of retreat, the terror of battle ..." Greg Marquis, University of New Brunswick, Saint John

Cheryl A. Wells is associate professor, history, University of Wyoming, and the author of Civil War Time: Identity and Experience in America, 1861-1865.

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

Monday, May 12, 2008

Caution and Cooperation: The American Civil War in British-American Relations

by Phillip E. Myers

From the publisher:
“Phillip E. Myers’s Caution and Cooperation places Anglo-American relations during the Civil War within the broader context of the whole nineteenth century, arguing convincingly for the lack of any real chance of British intervention on the side of the Confederacy and dating the end-of-the-century Anglo-American rapprochement back about three decades. Based on extensive research in the United States and Great Britain, this major reinterpretation of the transatlantic special relationship is ‘international history’ in its truest sense.” —Mary Ann Heiss, Editor, New Studies in U.S. Foreign Relations Series

It has long been a mainstay in historical literature that the Civil War had a deleterious effect on Anglo-American relations and that Britain came close to intervention in the conflict. Historians assert that it was only a combination of desperate diplomacy, the Confederacy’s military losses, and Lincoln’s timely issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation that kept the British on the sidelines. Phillip E. Myers seeks to revise this prevailing view by arguing instead that wartime relations between Britain and the United States were marked by caution rather than conflict.

Using a wide array of primary materials from both sides of the Atlantic, Myers traces the sources of potential Anglo-American wartime turmoil as well as the various reasons both sides had for avoiding war. And while he does note the disagreement between Washington and London, he convincingly demonstrates that transatlantic discord was ultimately minor and neither side seriously considered war against the other.

Myers further extends his study into the postwar period to see how that bond strengthened and grew, culminating with the Treaty of Washington in 1871. The Civil War was not, as many have believed for so long, an unpleasant interruption in British-American affairs; instead, it was an event that helped bring the two countries closer together to seal the friendship.

Soundly researched and cogently argued, Caution and Cooperation will surely prompt discussion among Civil War historians, foreign relations scholars, and readers of history.

Phillip E. Myers earned his B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. in modern history from the University of Iowa. He is the director of administration of the Western Kentucky University Research Foundation, which he helped found nearly a decade ago.

From CWBN:
This title was released in March; we missed listing it.

Dispatches from Bermuda: The Civil War Letters of Charles Maxwell Allen, U.S. Consul at Bermuda, 1861-1888

Edited by Glen N. Wiche

From the publisher:
In the summer of 1861, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Charles Maxwell Allen U.S. consul to Bermuda. During the Civil War, Allen’s post became one of vital importance to the United States as this British colony became a center for Confederate blockade-running activities. As the sole representative of Union interests in pro-Confederate Bermuda, Allen found himself involved in the shadowy world of intelligence gathering as he attempted to thwart these blockade-runners.

Allen’s dispatches shed new light on two important and often overlooked aspects of the war: the Union blockade of southern seaports and the effort to bring vital war supplies through the blockade to the Confederate states.

Author Glen N. Wiche has compiled all of Allen’s Civil War dispatches to the U.S. State Department and provides well-documented commentary to place Allen’s activities in the wider context of the “Atlantic campaign” of the Civil War. Dispatches from Bermuda paints a detailed picture of these activities and offers a rare account of this blockade-running traffic from a northern perspective.

Glen N. Wiche is a veteran antiquarian bookseller and historical consultant in Chicago. He is a freelance writer who lectures widely on historical and literary subjects.

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

Friday, May 9, 2008

Shades of Gray: A Novel of the Civil War in Virginia

by Jessica James

From the publisher:
Discover the fine line between friends and enemies in this epic love story that captures the emotions and fears of the country as war sweeps the land. This debut novel by Jessica James has received critical acclaim from Civil War authors and historians, as well as lovers of romance and historical fiction. Called “a sympathetic, loving portrait,” by the Historical Novel Society and “well written and expertly executed” by the Book Review Journal, Shades of Gray takes readers across the rolling hills of northern Virginia in a page-turning tale of courage as a Confederate cavalry commander and a Union spy defend their beliefs, their country and their honor.

“… Exciting, intense, romantic, and thrilling from start to finish. The most balanced book on the War Between the States I have ever read.” – Bob O’Connor, Author of The Virginian Who Might Have Saved Lincoln

“I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in years! Shades of Gray is an incredible achievement and a treasure.” – Virginia Morton, Historian/ Author of “Marching Through Culpeper”

“[James] has drawn a picture filled with conflict and love, loyalty and betrayal, history and romance, and a passion of lives lived in the moment.” – Jim Miller, Civil War Notebook

“…The Southern Confederacy exhibited extraordinary valor and devotion and high honor. This should never be forgotten by Americans. As long as there are writers like Jessica James, there is no danger of such forgetting.” - Clyde N. Wilson, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, University of South Carolina

“Well written and expertly executed… You cannot leave this book unchanged in your understanding of the souls of the Civil War.” – Heather Froeschl, Book Review Journal

“Re-enactors, historians, & followers of The War for Southern Independence will love this novel! It’s fast moving and holds the reader’s interest from cover to cover.” – David Wright, Past Commander Dearing-Beauregard Camp 1813, SCV

[James’] work stands out among the best of the historical novelists, and is a worthy addition to the Civil War fiction line-up. Huzzah! – Scott Mingus, Civil War Blogger

Jessica James is a former journalist and newspaper editor who resides in Gettysburg, Pa.

From CWBN:
We missed the release of this book when it originally appeared on January 19.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Camp William Penn

by Donald Scott Sr.

From the publisher:
Camp William Penn, established in 1863, was the largest federal facility to train black Northern-based soldiers during the Civil War and is steeped in Civil War history. Almost 11,000 troops and officers trained at the sprawling facility outside of Philadelphia and a special officers’ training school in the city.

The camp, backed by the Union League of Philadelphia, was located near the home of antislavery abolitionist Lucretia Mott. The area, today known as Cheltenham Township’s LaMott, was also instrumental in the Underground Railroad, with such great abolitionists as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass addressing the troops. The soldiers were a part of Abraham Lincoln’s Bureau of United States Colored Troops, and several earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroics during battle. The vintage photographs in Camp William Penn were obtained from government agencies, universities, historical organizations, and the personal collections of soldiers’ descendants.

Donald Scott Sr. is an assistant professor of English at the Community College of Philadelphia and history columnist for the Journal Register Company. He has written about Camp William Penn as a contributor to America’s Civil War magazine and other publications.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Last Flag Down: The Epic Journey of the Last Confederate Warship

by John Baldwin

From the publisher:
As the Confederacy felt itself slipping beneath the Union juggernaut in late 1864, the South launched a desperate counteroffensive to shatter the U.S. economy and force a standoff. Its secret weapon? A state-of-the-art raiding ship whose mission was to prowl the world’s oceans and sink the U.S. merchant fleet. The raider’s name was Shenandoah, and her executive officer was Conway Whittle, a twenty-four-year-old warrior who might have stepped from the pages of Arthurian legend. Whittle would share command with a dark and brooding veteran of the seas, Capt. James Waddell, and together with a crew of strays, misfits, and strangers, they would spend nearly a year sailing two-thirds of the way around the globe, destroying dozens of Union ships and taking more than a thousand prisoners, all while continually dodging the enemy.

Then, in August of 1865, a British ship revealed the shocking truth to the men of Shenandoah: The war had been over for months, and they were now being hunted as pirates.

What ensued was an incredible 15,000-mile journey to the one place the crew hoped to find sanctuary, only to discover that their fate would depend on how they answered a single question. Wondrously evocative and filled with drama and poignancy, Last Flag Down is a riveting story of courage, nobility, and rare comradeship forged in the quest to achieve the impossible.

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

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Crisis Of Command In The Army Of The Potomac: Sheridan's Search for an Effective General

by Jay W. Simson

From the publisher:
With the ascendancy of Ulysses S. Grant in late 1863, the command tone of the United States Army underwent a dramatic change. While Grant's predecessor George McClellan had been overly cautious and reluctant to commit his full range of troops and resources to fight the South, Grant was committed to the philosophy that a war fought for total ends required total means.

Phillip Sheridan set about reorganizing the command to reflect Grant's new style. During the last six months of the war, he relieved three generals of their commands due to their inability to follow his orders precisely. William Averell, Alfred Torbert and Gouverneur Warren found themselves and their careers casualties of Sheridan's intense determination to bring an end to hostilities.

This work shows that only Ranald S. Mackenzie managed to survive Sheridan's search, proving himself the ideal subordinate in Sheridan's estimation.

Journalist Jay W. Simson is a member of the Western Ohio Civil War Roundtable, and has previously written on naval strategies of the Civil War. He lives in Van Wert, Ohio.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Gale Library Of Daily Life: American Civil War

by Steven E. Woodworth

From the publisher:
History is best absorbed through the words of those who experienced it. This 2-volume set illuminates daily life in both the North and the South during the American Civil War.

Approximately 220 articles, organized thematically for easy browsability, provide a wealth of reference and historical information on the battlefield and homefront experience and the political, economic, social, and cultural life of the North and South during the War.

Primary source documents in the form of first-person accounts, letters, diaries, journals, newspapers, and literature bring to life the experiences of the Union and Confederate participants and the people they left behind. Photographs, drawings, political cartoons, and maps augment the text, while sidebars further explore people, primary sources, and specific topics. Additional features include a chronology, annotated bibliography, and index.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Insiders' Guide to Civil War Sites in the Eastern Theater (Third Edition)

by Rebecca Pawlowski and Eric Ethier

From the publisher:
The Civil War enthusiast will find much of interest in this guide to more than 20 tours to Civil War sites in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia. Suggestions for accommodations and restaurants are included, as well as history, trivia, and lore about the sites and personalities of the War between the States.

For more than twenty years, the Insiders’ Guide series has remained the essential source for in-depth travel information. Each guide is written by locals and true insiders and offers a personal, practical perspective that readers everywhere have come to know and love.

Enter the vast expanse of The Eastern Theater––the land east of the Appalachian Mountains from near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to the Atlantic Coast, and south to the Virginia-North Carolina border––and discover a world of Civil War history. Let this book be your guide as you set out to explore the region’s top Civil War attractions including the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park at the tri-state crossroads of West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland.

Inside you'll find:

• Excerpts from the diaries, letters, and memoirs of the men who fought in the
Civil War
• A glossary of Civil War terminology
• Special features on military and civic leaders
• Helpful listings of restaurants, accommodations, and special events in each area

The Quotable American Civil War

by Iain C. Martin

From the publisher:
The American Civil War was the most devastating event in our history—a country divided against itself, brother fighting brother in bloody conflict. From this torment emerged some of the greatest American leaders ever: Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Grant, Robert E. Lee. J.E.B Stuart. They and others emerge in this powerful and emotional collection that brings the Civil War to life.

Iain C. Martin is a freelance writer and historian, with an MA in history from Southern Connecticut State University. He lives with his family in Connecticut.

Brady's Civil War: A Collection of Memorable Civil War Images Photographed by Matthew Brady and His Assistants

by Webb Garrison

From the publisher:
This is one book that no Civil War buff should be without. It has 270 historical and fascinating photographs.

In the Civil War era, Matthew Brady and his staff became the country's foremost photographers of battle scenes and military life, traveling widely throughout the warring states with their cameras. Brady, who learned the rudiments of photography from Samuel Morse (the inventor of Morse code), had established his own daguerreotype studio in New York in 1844.

By the time of the war, however, Brady was suffering from extremely poor eyesight, so many of the photographs credited to him from this time were in fact taken by his staff. Nonetheless, he amassed a priceless archive of images of the war--some 6,000 of them--with subjects as diverse as politicians, military leaders, and soldiers in the field, as well as devastating scenes of carnage and destruction taken shortly after the battles, and portraits of home life during the war.

Brady's Civil War is, in many ways, the complete realization of Brady's dream of bringing his photographs to the world at large, as it not only offers 270 stunning Civil War photographs but also sets the record straight as to the authorship of the photographs, finally dispelling the questions and myths that have shrouded his legacy for more than a century.

The Civil War (The Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series)

by Paul A. Cimbala

From the publisher:
From the initial enlistment and recruitment of men for the opposing armies, through their demobilization during the spring, summer, and fall of 1865, Paul A. Cimbala always places the soldier at the center of the story. This book shows how the men who signed up with the Union and the Confederacy fought their way through the bloody U.S. fields, how they adjusted to peace (often badly wounded and scarred), and how they remembered their experiences.

How did they cope with wounds and disease in the 1860s? What was the role of black soldiers on both the Union and Confederate sides? In wartime politics, why and how did soldiers continue to participate in the electoral process and what did they think about their politicians? Relying on his primary research on such topics as invalid soldiers and postwar experiences, Cimbala presents a vivid picture of the Civil War soldier's life. Highlights include: Motivations for men to enlist, and why blacks and other ethnic groups joined up.
- The mental and physical consequences to soldier survivors
- Drug and alcohol addiction in the Civil War
- Women's contributions on both sides of the war
- Daily life in the camp: letter writing; crazes to newspapers, camp followers and sex
- Prisoners' and guards' lives
- The Freedmen's Bureau
- Veterans, including black veterans, and organizations, including the Ku Klux Klan

The book also includes a timeline to put dates and events in better perspective; a comprehensive, topically arranged bibliography of primary and secondary sources; and a comprehensive index.

PAUL A. CIMBALA is Professor of History, Fordham University, and author of a number of books, including Under the Guardianship of the Nation: The Freedmen's Bureau and the Reconstruction of Georgia, 1865-1870; An Uncommon Time: The Civil War and the Northern Home Front (with Randall M. Miller); and Historians and Race: Autobiography and the Writing of History (with Robert F. Himmelberg).

March Toward the Thunder

by Joseph Bruchac

From the publisher:
A unique perspective on the Civil War as only Joseph Bruchac could tell it.

Louis Nolette is a fifteen-year-old Abenaki Indian from Canada who is recruited to fight in the northern Irish Brigade in the war between the states. Even though he is too young, and not American or Irish, he finds the promise of good wages and the Union’s fight to end slavery persuasive reasons to join up. But war is never what you expect, and as Louis fights his way through battle after battle, he encounters prejudice and acceptance, courage and cowardice, and strong and weak leadership in the most unexpected places.

Master storyteller and acclaimed author Joseph Bruchac tells a Civil War story based on the experiences of his own great grandfather. Chock-full of historical facts and details, this carefully researched book will give readers new insight into some of the untold stories and unsung heroes of the American Civil War.

Reading the Old Man: John Brown in American Culture

by Bruce Ronda

From the publisher:
Liberator? Madman? Genius? Martyr? John Brown achieved immediate and lasting notoriety through his attempt to foment an armed insurrection among black slaves in 1859, an event that many believed hastened the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War. From the moment of his capture at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, there have been widely varying interpretations of the man and his motivations. Sometimes depicted as the grim conscience of a nation whose founding proclaimed the equality of all people, sometimes portrayed as a terrorist more devoted to his own martyrdom than to his cause, Brown has been a source of inspiration, fascination, and frustration for some of the country's greatest writers and artists.

In this absorbing book, Bruce Ronda examines the representations of Brown chronologically, ranging from Thoreau's “Plea for Captain John Brown”-with its ardent defense of Brown as a patriot, Transcendentalist, and true New Englander-through treatments by anonymous southern writers and well-known authors such as John Greenleaf Whittier, Herman Melville, Richard Henry Dana, Frederick Douglass, William Dean Howells, and Edwin Arlington Robinson. Ronda then considers the major treatments of Brown in the early to mid-twentieth century by W. E. B. DuBois, Stephen Vincent Benet, and Robert Penn Warren. Of particular interest are discussions of a 1930s poem by Muriel Rukeyser, Truman Nelson's 1960 novel The Surveyor, and artwork by Jacob Lawrence. He concludes with studies of novels by three contemporary authors: Russell Banks, Michelle Cliff, and Bruce Olds.

Reading the Old Man challenges the assumption that literature about Brown falls predictably into two camps-celebration or outrage-either defending Brown as liberator and martyr or vilifying him as a traitor, incendiary, and madman. Instead, Ronda discovers a variety of approaches and reveals subtler, more complex portraits, even comparing Brown's fervor to that of today's religious terrorists.

Bruce Ronda is professor and chair of the Department of English at Colorado State University. He is the author of Intellect and Spirit: The Life and Works of Robert Coles and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody: A Reformer on Her Own Terms. He is the editor of The Letters of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody: American Renaissance Woman.