Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bleeding Borders: Race, Gender, and Violence in Pre-Civil War Kansas

by Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel

From the publisher:
In Bleeding Borders, Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel offers a fresh, multifaceted interpretation of the quintessential sectional conflict in pre-Civil War Kansas. Instead of focusing on the white, male politicians and settlers who vied for control of the Kansas territorial legislature, Oertel explores the crucial roles Native Americans, African Americans, and white women played in the literal and rhetorical battle between proslavery and antislavery settlers in the region. She brings attention to the local debates and the diverse peoples who participated in them during that contentious period.

Oertel begins by detailing the settlement of eastern Kansas by emigrant Indian tribes and explores their interaction with the growing number of white settlers in the region. She analyzes the attempts by southerners to plant slavery in Kansas and the ultimately successful resistance of slaves and abolitionists. Oertel then considers how crude frontier living conditions, Indian conflict, political upheaval, and sectional violence reshaped traditional Victorian gender roles in Kansas and explores women's participation in the political and physical conflicts between proslavery and antislavery settlers.

Oertel goes on to examine northern and southern definitions of "true manhood" and how competing ideas of masculinity infused political and sectional tensions. She concludes with an analysis of miscegenation--not only how racial mixing between Indians, slaves, and whites influenced events in territorial Kansas, but more importantly, how the fear of miscegenation fueled both proslavery and antislavery arguments about the need for civil war.

As Oertel demonstrates, the players in Bleeding Kansas used weapons other than their Sharpes rifles and Bowie knives to wage war over the extension of slavery: they attacked each other's cultural values and struggled to assert their own political wills. They jealously guarded ideals of manhood, womanhood, and whiteness even as the presence of Indians and blacks and the debate over slavery raised serious questions about the efficacy of these principles. Oertel argues that, ultimately, many Native Americans, blacks, and women shaped the political and cultural terrain in ways that ensured the destruction of slavery, but they, along with their white male counterparts, failed to defeat the resilient power of white supremacy.

Moving beyond a conventional political history of Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Borders breaks new ground by revealing how the struggles of this highly diverse region contributed to the national move toward disunion and how the ideologies that governed race and gender relations were challenged as North, South, and West converged on the border between slavery and freedom.

A native of Kansas City, Kristen Tegtmeier Oertel is an associate professor of history at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.

This book's exact release date is unknown but falls within this month.

The Historical Atlas of the Civil War

by John MacDonald

From the publisher:
The social, political and military history of the American Civil War explored in colorful detail.

Over 100 stunning, full color maps and charts show the major battles of the conflict, supported by engaging text and beautiful illustrations and archive photographs.

Including the key events and battles of the war, from the initial conflict at Bull Run to the last major engagement at Five Forks.

Jayhawkers: The Civil War Brigade of James Henry Lane

by Bryce D. Benedict

From the publisher:
No person excited greater emotion in Kansas than James Henry Lane, the U.S. senator who led a volunteer brigade in 1861-62. In fighting numerous skirmishes, liberating hundreds of slaves, burning portions of four towns, and murdering half a dozen men, Lane and his brigade garnered national attention as the saviors of Kansas and the terror of Missouri.

This first book-length study of the "jayhawkers," as the men of Lane's brigade were known, takes a fresh look at their exploits and notoriety. Bryce Benedict draws on a wealth of previously unexploited sources, including letters by brigade members, to dramatically re-create the violence along the Kansas-Missouri border and challenge some of the time-honored depictions of Lane's unit as bloodthirsty and indiscriminately violent.

Bringing to life an era of guerillas, bushwhackers, and slave stealers, Jayhawkers also describes how Lane's brigade was organized and equipped and provides details regarding staff and casualties. Assessing the extent to which the jayhawkers followed accepted rules of warfare, Benedict argues that Lane set a precedent for the Union Army's eventual adoption of "hard" tactics toward civilians.

Bryce Benedict served for twenty-one years in the U.S. Army and Kansas National Guard and is now lead defense counsel for the Kansas State Self Insurance Fund. His historical articles have appeared in the Plains Guardian, the newspaper of the Kansas National Guard.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Great Things Are Expected of Us: The Letters of Colonel C. Irvine Walker, 10th South Carolina Infantry, C.S.A.

by William Lee White and Charles Denny Runion (Editors)

From the publisher:
Great Things Are Expected of Us is a fascinating collection of letters written by Lt. Col. Irvine Walker to his fiancé as he fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War's Western Theater from May 1862 until April 1865. This correspondence offers candid, revealing insights into the mind of a man whose devotion to the Southern cause was matched only by his desire to maintain the status befitting his high station in society.

A South Carolinian who fought in the Army of Tennessee, Walker was a quintessential representative of what historian Peter Carmichael has described as the "last generation of the Old South." Walker viewed his participation in the war as the perfect opportunity to live up to the idealized sense of manhood championed by the men of his class and to defend its way of life.

Not only do the letters provide firsthand accounts of the military campaigns in which Walker participated, they also show the war from a uniquely human perspective. Writing with passion and literary verve, the young officer was refreshingly open yet careful to present himself and his fellow soldiers in a positive way. He was quick to defend his friends, but he could be scathing in his criticism of others. Of particular interest is his defense of General Braxton Bragg, a commander whom many have maligned but whom Walker greatly admired.

Making these letters even more fascinating are the postwar corrections and commentary that Walker added when he had his letters transcribed decades after the conflict. Also included is an appendix containing Walker's accounts of his participation in the battles of Franklin and Nashville. These various elements, along with the editors' introduction and annotations, make Great Things Are Expected of Us a significant contribution to the Voices of the Civil War series and to our understanding of the Confederate elites and the war in the West.

William Lee White is a park ranger at Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. Charles Denny Runion is the owner of Better Insurance Schools in Atlanta.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

State of Rebellion

by Richard Zuczek

From the publisher:
This is a chronicle of postwar resistance in the Palmetto State. State of Rebellion recounts the volatile course of Reconstruction in the state that experienced the longest, largest, and most dynamic federal presence in the years immediately following the Civil War.

Richard Zuczek examines the opposition of conservative white South Carolinians to the Republican-led program and the federal and state governments' attempts to quell such resistance. Contending that the issues that had driven secession - the relationship of the states to the federal government and the status of African Americans - remained unresolved even after Northern victory, Zuczek describes the period from 1865 to 1877 as a continuation of the struggle that began in 1861. He argues that Republican efforts failed primarily because of an organized, coherent effort by white Southerners committed to white supremacy.

Zuczek details the tactics - from judicial and political fraud to economic coercion, terrorism, and guerrilla activity - employed by conservatives to nullify the African American vote, control African American labor, and oust northern Republicans from the state. He documents the federal government's attempt to quash the conservative challenge but shows that, by 1876, white opposition was so unified, widespread, and well armed that it passed beyond government control.

Richard Zuczek is an associate professor of government and history at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. He is editor of the two-volume Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era and coauthor of Andrew Johnson: A Biographical Companion.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Wild, Wicked, Wartime Wilmington

by Robert J. Cooke

From the publisher:
When America went to war with itself, Wilmington was North Carolina's largest city. From the imposing grandeur of the Bellamy Mansion that overlooked a busy harbor, to the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, which at the time boasted the longest rail line in the world, the port city was a bustling example of Southern industry. But when conflict came, the city became a pivotal player in the Confederate government's war efforts.

Paddy's Hollow boasted more than thirty saloons, while murders happened with alarming frequency. Prostitutes offered their services to the thousands of soldiers passing through town, while civilian and military authorities tried to keep a lid on it all. Local police were woefully inadequate to keep the peace against rioting troops who had witnessed the horrors of places like Chickamauga and Gettysburg. Doctors performed heroically to save lives, fighting disease, battlefield disfigurements, and death with too little of every kind of medicine and supplies. Civilians, railroads, and military officials all competed for too few resources, while offshore the Union blockade of what became the last open port of the Confederacy grew tighter with each passing day.

Robert J. Cooke's ten years of research has resulted in a picture of Wilmington that more closely resembles the Wild West's Dodge City than it does some genteel antebellum city.

Robert J. Cooke is a New Yorker by birth and an avid historian by nature. He relocated to Wilmington, N.C. after retirement. Cooke is a former tour guide at several Cape Fear area historical sites, while continuing with his interest in local Civil War history. Robert J. Cooke has also contributed articles and stories to several books, journals and magazines. The result of more than a decade of research, "Wild, Wicked Wartime Wilmington" is his first book.

Civil War Yacht: Chronicles of the Schooner America

by Thomas R. Neblett

From the publisher:
From the race of the 100 Guinea Cup 1851, to a personal yacht, to an espionage boat for the Confederacy, to a blockader for the Union Navy, the trodden decks of this black schooner carries many stories.

The yacht America transports the reader from a shipyard in New York City across the Atlantic to the famous race of the Royal Yacht Squadron Queens Cup of 1851, now known as the Americas Cup Race. She became known as the Yankee schooner, raced with European yachts for several years, and in 1861 mysteriously sailed into Savannah, Georgia, carrying British colors and the Royal Victoria Yacht Clubs burgee. The Civil war had just begun. As the fifth owner, Henry Decie, an Irishman, becomes acquainted with the Jefferson Davis Administration. The yacht was prostituted to transport two Confederate officers to England. One officer was to serve as a secret emissary for President Davis, while the other officer was to purchase/build abroad iron-clad warships.

Henry Decie and his yacht, re-named Camilla, are captained across the Atlantic, to react with the Confederate urgent fares. However, he took time to race at the Isle of Wight.

Decie left the Confederate officers unceremoniously and sailed to Dixie - stopping at the Cape de Verdes, maybe to avoid Mason and Slidell. The yacht disappeared between late 1861 and early 1862. She had been scuttled by the Confederates in a creek hideaway. She was found and rescued by the Union Navy vessels far upriver beyond Jacksonville, Florida. America's celebrated life doesnt terminate in England, soon she was flying the colors of the USN as a naval blockader. For a little schooner her activities are full of intrigue. She is a proven winner of the waves, and holds an extremely important place in American yachting history.

Duty And Honor (Novel)

by Michael J. Deeb

From the publisher:
In the summer of 1862, the United States is torn by Civil War, and what was supposed to be a short conflict has turned into a bloody campaign on both sides. Teenage farm boy Michael Drieborg lives with his family in Michigan and longs to join the cause, but he can't justify abandoning his parents or the farm.

But fate intercedes one Saturday morning on the family's weekly visit to town. Michael saves a young boy from being bullied. Unfortunately, he strikes the bully-the son of the town's banker-and is arrested and charged with assault. He was given two choices: go to jail or join a Union cavalry unit being formed in Grand Rapids. Against the wishes of his parents, Michael leaves home and marches to war.

Thus begins the story of a naïve farm boy's journey to becoming a seasoned Union cavalryman. From the harshness of training camp and the intrigues of Washington DC to falling in love with a congressman's daughter and the horrific reality of leading troops into battle, Duty and Honor reveals one man's dignity and sacrifice in the midst of tragic upheaval.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chancellorsville and Gettysburg: An Eyewitness Account of the Pivotal Battles of the Civil War

by Abner Doubleday

From the publisher:
Although best-known as the inventor of baseball, Abner Doubleday was also a Union General during the Civil War. This is General Doubleday's firsthand account of the pivotal battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.

With 40 pages of maps and original Civil War photos.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Shiloh Campaign

by Steven E. Woodworth (ed.)

From the publisher:
Some 100,000 soldiers fought in the April 1862 battle of Shiloh, and nearly 20,000 men were killed or wounded; more Americans died on that Tennessee battlefield than had died in all the nation’s previous wars combined. In the first book in his new series, Steven E. Woodworth has brought together a group of superb historians to reassess this significant battle and provide in-depth analyses of key aspects of the campaign and its aftermath.

The eight talented contributors dissect the campaign’s fundamental events, many of which have not received adequate attention before now. John R. Lundberg examines the role of Albert Sidney Johnston, the prized Confederate commander who recovered impressively after a less-than-stellar performance at forts Henry and Donelson only to die at Shiloh; Alexander Mendoza analyzes the crucial, and perhaps decisive, struggle to defend the Union’s left; Timothy B. Smith investigates the persistent legend that the Hornet’s Nest was the spot of the hottest fighting at Shiloh; Steven E. Woodworth follows Lew Wallace’s controversial march to the battlefield and shows why Ulysses S. Grant never forgave him; Gary D. Joiner provides the deepest analysis available of action by the Union gunboats; Grady McWhiney describes P. G. T. Beauregard’s decision to stop the first day’s attack and takes issue with his claim of victory; and Charles D. Grear shows the battle’s impact on Confederate soldiers, many of whom did not consider the battle a defeat for their side. In the final chapter, Brooks D. Simpson analyzes how command relationships—specifically the interactions among Grant, Henry Halleck, William T. Sherman, and Abraham Lincoln—affected the campaign and debunks commonly held beliefs about Grant’s reactions to Shiloh’s aftermath.

The Shiloh Campaign will enhance readers’ understanding of a pivotal battle that helped unlock the western theater to Union conquest. It is sure to inspire further study of and debate about one of the American Civil War’s momentous campaigns.

Winner of the Grady McWhiney Award of the Dallas Civil War Round Table for lifetime contribution to the study of Civil War History, Steven E. Woodworth is a professor of history at Texas Christian University. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of twenty-six books, including Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861–1865; Jefferson Davis and His Generals; and Davis and Lee at War.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Upcountry South Carolina Goes to War: Letters of the Anderson, Brockman, and Moore Families, 1853-1865

by Tom Moore Craig

From the publisher:
This title features Civil War letters to and from Spartanburg, South Carolina, rich with details on the battlefront and home front. Upcountry South Carolina Goes to War chronicles through correspondence the lives and concerns of prominent families in piedmont South Carolina during the late-antebellum and Civil War eras.

The 124 letters presented here were written by members of the Anderson, Brockman, and Moore families of Spartanburg County, neighboring planter-class families united by their shared Scots-Irish ancestry and their membership at Nazareth Presbyterian Church. Edited by Tom Moore Craig, a descendant of the volume's subjects, and augmented with an introduction by Southern historian Melissa Walker and Craig, these letters offer valuable firsthand accounts of evolving attitudes toward the war as conveyed between battlefronts and the home front.

The majority of the letters were written by or to John Crawford Anderson, Andrew Charles Moore, and Thomas John Moore - contemporaries drawn together by their common dedication to the Confederate cause. The earliest letters in this collection were written by these young men and their relatives from boarding schools, South Carolina College, the Citadel, Limestone College, and the University of Virginia Law School.

Andrew Charles Moore's letters describing his travels to Washington, D.C., and New York in the spring of 1860 give insight into the prevailing politics of the nation on the cusp of division. The wartime correspondence begins in 1861 as the men of service age from each family join the Confederate ranks and write from military camps in Virginia and the Carolinas. Letters describe combat in the battles of Five Forks, First and Second Manassas, the Wilderness, Secessionville, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, and Seven Pines. Though the surviving combatants remain staunch patriots to the Southern cause until the bitter end, their letters show the waning of initial enthusiasm in the face of the realities of combat, loss of lives, and supply shortages. The letters from the home front offer a more pragmatic assessment of the period and its hardships. Embedded in this dialogue are valuable elements of social and economic history, including references to popular music and literature, accounts of fundraising efforts to sustain the war, and laments on the fluctuating prices and availability of staple crops and commodities. Included as well are two letters by family slaves who accompanied their masters to war, rare finds as it was illegal in South Carolina to teach slaves to read and write.

The collection ends with John Crawford Anderson's letter home from Appomattox, Thomas John Moore's poignant story of his return from a prison camp on Johnson's Island on Lake Erie, and a letter from cousin John Cunningham outlining his plan to implement a sharecropping system on his plantation. Emblematic of the fates of many Southern families, the experiences of these representative South Carolinians are dramatically illustrated in their letters from the eve of the Civil War through its conclusion.

Tom Moore Craig is a retired history teacher and school administrator, a former legislator, and an active community volunteer in his native Spartanburg County. He is the great-grandson of letter writers Mary Elizabeth Anderson Moore and Thomas John Moore, whose marriage united the Anderson and Moore families represented in this volume. Melissa Walker is the George Dean Johnson Jr. Professor of History at Converse College in Spartanburg. Her previous books include Country Women Cope with Hard Times: A Collection of Oral Histories and All We Knew Was to Farm: Rural Women in the Upcountry South, 1919-1941, winner of the Willie Lee Rose Prize of the Southern Association for Women Historians.

1865: From Ashes and Broken Dreams

by M.B. Shelton

From the publisher:
Shelton, a Confederate soldier, recounts life in post Civil War as told in his recently discovered writings. A former prisoner of war, he returned to his hometown in Alabama only to find a township in ruin and lost opportunities. America's second biggest gold rush was underway in the Rocky Mountains. Throwing care to the winds, he caught history's last mule train west in search of gold in this yet to be tamed and dangerous territory.

Crisis of the House Divided: An Interpretation of the Issues in the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, 50th Anniversary Edition

by Harry V. Jaffa

From the publisher:
Crisis of the House Divided is the standard historiography of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Harry Jaffa provides the definitive analysis of the political principles that guided Lincoln from his reentry into politics in 1854 through his Senate campaign against Douglas in 1858. To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the original publication, Jaffa has provided a new introduction.

"Crisis of the House Divided has shaped the thought of a generation of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War scholars."—Mark E. Neely, Jr., Civil War History

"An important book about one of the great episodes in the history of the sectional controversy. It breaks new ground and opens a new view of Lincoln's significance as a political thinker."—T. Harry Williams, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences

"A searching and provocative analysis of the issues confronted and the ideas expounded in the great debates. . . . A book which displays such learning and insight that it cannot fail to excite the admiration even of scholars who disagree with its major arguments and conclusions."—D. E. Fehrenbacher, American Historical Review

Harry Jaffa is Henry Salvatori Research Professor of Political Philosophy Emeritus at Claremont McKenna College.

Jaffa towers above the current generation of Civil War writers in his ability to manage complex ideas on the level of sophistication such ideas demand. Be prepared to do some of your hardest thinking as you read this deeply satisfying masterpiece. Highest recommendation.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Words of Abraham Lincoln

by Larry Shapiro

From the publisher:
The Words of Abraham Lincoln highlights the remarkable, wise, and inspiring words and writings of our sixteenth president, who saw us through the Civil War and championed the Emancipation Proclamation. Arranged chronologically, covering Lincoln's broad life experience, the book highlights quotes covering: the early years as a back country lawyer * his marriage and family * Lincoln as a humorist * the slavery controversy * the long Civil War period * the inspirational last years.

"We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain-that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom-and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." (Gettysburg Address)

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it."

The critically acclaimed Newmarket Press "Words Of" series began in 1982 with the publication of The Words of Gandhi (now in its 14th printing) and The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. (now in its 19th printing), which have each sold more than 100,000 copies. The "Words Of" quotation collections are timeless and inspiring classics.

Larry Shapiro is the former editor in chief of the Book-of-the-Month Club and editorial director of the History Book Club. He is the author of A Book of Days in American History.

Stonewall Jackson

by Donald A. Davis

From the publisher:
The new installment of Wesley Clark's Great Generals Series portrays Stonewall Jackson, the man who pioneered mobile warfare.

This rapid read ably introduces the famous warrior - Booklist

Author Davis (Lightning Strike) dutifully relates Jackson's unlegendary generalship on the Peninsula and at Fredericksburg, but like many Confederate hero biographers, his unrestrained admiration leads to purple prose - Publisher's Weekly

Monday, April 13, 2009

Deserter Country: Civil War Opposition in the Pennsylvania Appalachians

by Robert Sandow

From the publisher:
During the Civil War, there were throughout the Union explosions of resistance to the war-from the deadly Draft Riots in New York City to other, less well-known outbreaks. In Deserter Country, Robert Sandow explores one of these least-known "inner civil wars," the widespread, sometimes violent opposition in the Appalachian lumber country of Pennsylvania.

Sparsely settled, these mountains were home to divided communities that provided safe haven for opponents of the war. The dissent of mountain folk reflected their own marginality in the face of rapidly increasing exploitation of timber resources by big firms, as well as partisan debates over loyalty.

One of the few studies of the northern Appalachians, this book draws revealing parallels to the war in the southern mountains, exploring the roots of rural protest in frontier development, the market economy, military policy, partisan debate, and everyday resistance. Sandow also sheds new light on the party politics of rural resistance, rejecting easy depictions of war opponents as traitors and malcontents for a more nuanced and complicated study of class, economic upheaval, and localism.

Robert M. Sandow is Associate Professor of History at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

William Francis Bartlett: Biography of a Union General in the Civil War

by Richard A. Sauers

From the publisher:
Frank Bartlett, the subject of this biography, was an indifferent student at Harvard when the Civil War began in 1861 but after he joined the Union army he quickly found that he had an aptitude for leadership and rose from captain to brevet major general by 1865. Over the course of the war he was wounded three times (one injury resulted in the loss of a leg), but he remained on active duty until he was captured in 1864. His political stance gained him some national fame after the war, but he struggled with repeated business stress until tuberculosis and other illnesses led to his early death at age 36.

Richard A. Sauers is the executive director of the Packwood House Museum in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He has written more than twenty books about the Civil War period. Martin H. Sable, a retired professor from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, lives in Mequon, Wisconsin.

General George H. Thomas: A Biography of the Union's "Rock of Chickamauga"

by Robert P. Broadwater

From the publisher:
One of the Civil War's most successful generals is heralded by military historians but never achieved the lasting fame of Grant, Lee, Jackson or Sherman. George Thomas's Southern birth, the ambition of fellow officers, and his action in the less-publicized Western Theater combined to keep him from attaining recognition. This comprehensive biography focuses on the military career that covered such battlegrounds as Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and Nashville, as well as the political maneuvers that kept Thomas out of the spotlight.

Robert P. Broadwater has written more than 25 books of military history and more than 100 magazine articles dealing with the American Civil War and the Revolutionary War. He lives in Bellwood, Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Standard Catalog of Civil War Firearms

by John F. Graf

From the publisher:
The only guide you’ll need when it comes to Civil War firearms. Educating yourself on the many fakes and knowing current values will allow you to make an informed firearm purchase every time. With over 700 photographs and a rarity scale for each gun, this comprehensive guide to the thousands of weapons used by Billy Yank and Johnny Reb will be indispensable for historians and collectors.

John F. Graf is editor of Military Trader magazine and author of "Warman's" Civil War Collectibles: Identification & Price Guide.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Vicksburg, 1863

by Winston Groom

From the publisher:
A riveting history of the battle that permanently turned the tide of the Civil War.

While Gettysburg is better known, Winston Groom makes clear in this engrossing narrative that Vicksburg was the more important battle from a strategic point of view. Re-creating the epic campaign that culminated at Vicksburg, Groom details the arduous struggle by the Union to gain control of the Mississippi River valley and to divide the Confederacy in two. He takes us back to 1861, when Lincoln chooses Ulysses S. Grant—seen at the time as a mediocre general with a drinking problem—to lead the Union army south from Illinois.

We follow Grant and his troops as they fight one campaign after another, including the famous engagements at Forts Henry and Donelson and the bloodbath at Shiloh, until, after almost a year, they close in on Vicksburg. We witness Grant’s seven long months of battle against the determined Confederate army, and the many failed Union attempts to take Vicksburg, during which thousands of soldiers on both sides would be buried and, ultimately, the fate of the Confederacy would be sealed. As Groom recounts this landmark confrontation, he brings the participants to life. We see Grant in all his grim determination, the feistiness of William Tecumseh Sherman, and the pride and intransigence of Confederate leaders from Jefferson Davis and General Joseph E. Johnston to General John C. Pemberton, the Philadelphia-born Rebel who commanded at Vicksburg and took the blame for losing.

A first-rate work of military history and an essential contribution to our understanding of the Civil War.

Groom's book is full of…authentically rendered excitement. Until now, his best-known work has been the novel that became the blockbuster movie Forrest Gump. But with Vicksburg 1863 he has fully arrived as a narrative historian, who proves again that facts skillfully woven can be more moving than the products of the busiest imagination. Rarely has the story of such a lengthy and complicated campaign been told with such clarity and grace. - The Washington Post - Ernest B. Furgurson

A Blue Bellied Yankee: A Runaway 17 - Year- Old Boy Joins the Union Army

by Robert M. Miller

From the publisher:
On the morning of July 24, 1863 William Lucas, a seventeen year old boy, the youngest of four brothers, all of whom served in the Union Army, tied his shoe strings together, draped the shoes over his shoulder and set off barefoot for the Putnam (now part of Zanesville), Ohio post office to enlist in the Union Army’s 86th Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Portions of this unit were currently involved in the pursuit and subsequent capture of the Confederate raider, John Hunt Morgan at Salineville two days later.

The 86th moved by train and march to join in the bloodless capture of Cumberland Gap, September 9, 1863 and garrisoned the post until mustered out at Cleveland, Ohio, February 10, 1864. Three days later William Lucas enlisted in the 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry and joined the regiment March 8, 1864 at Warrenton, Virginia.

He crossed the Rapidan into the Wilderness the night of May3, 1864 and took part in the actions at Todd’s Tavern, subsequently joined Sheridan’s Richmond Raid, and eventually participated in more than two dozen engagements including Meadow Bridge, Cold Harbor, Haw’s Shop, Trevilian Station, Dinwiddie Court House, Saylor’s Creek and Appomattox Court House where the 6th Ohio blocked Lee’s escape route—the Appomattox-Lynchburg Road.

Subsequent to the surrender at Appomattox, the 6th Ohio served as an escort for Grant and as military police in Virginia before disbanding in Cleveland August 9, 1865.

Friday, April 3, 2009

No Holier Spot of Ground: Confederate Monuments and Cemeteries of South Carolina

by Kristina Dunn Johnson

From the publisher:
The monuments of South Carolina bear on their weathered faces and cracked tablets a history of honor and of memory embodied in stone. Whether revealing the lost graves of Southern sons, unveiling the history of the only national cemetery to inter Confederate soldiers alongside the Union fallen during wartime or recording the simple obelisks that reach for heaven throughout the Palmetto State, this volume is a story of remembrance and of mourning. Kristina Dunn Johnson, curator of history with the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, shares with us the powerful stories of memory and acceptance that are the legacy of the Confederacy, as varied as those who lie beneath the Southern soil.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln

by Anne E. Beidler

From the publisher:
Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the president we have immortalized, has always been difficult for us to understand. She could appear poised and brilliant one moment yet rude and ugly the next. Sometimes competent and strong, able to entertain dignitaries from around the world, at other times she appeared dependent and weak. At times she seemed utterly beside herself with sobbing and screaming. Historians have mostly avoided saying very much about Mary Todd Lincoln except in reference to her husband, Abraham. To many it would seem that Mary Todd Lincoln is still an embarrassment in the tragic story of her martyred husband.

But Mary Todd Lincoln lived her own tragic story even before Abraham was murdered. She was an addict, addicted to the opiates she needed for her migraine headaches. Seeing Mary Todd Lincoln as an addict helps us understand her and give her the compassion and admiration she deserves. In her time there had been no courageous First Lady like Betty Ford to help people understand the power of addiction. There was no treatment center. In Mary Todd Lincoln’s time there were many addicts at all levels of society, as there are now, but it was a more socially acceptable condition for men to have than for women. More importantly, addiction was not very well understood, and it was often mistreated.

Because Mary Todd Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert Lincoln, made a great effort to protect his mother and his family from journalists and historians, he intentionally destroyed most of Mary Todd Lincoln’s medical records and many of her letters. What he could not destroy, however, is the record of Mary Todd Lincoln’s pain and the record of how she behaved while living with this pain. In The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln, we can see clearly, for the first time, what Mary Todd Lincoln had to live with and the courage it took for her to carry on.

ANNE E. BEIDLER is a former director of Family House, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Philadelphia, PA. She holds a doctorate in educational research from Lehigh University. In addition to The Addiction of Mary Todd Lincoln, she is also author of Eating Owen, a historical novel.

Eastern Tennessee

by Comte De Paris

From the publisher:
The North had been victorious at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Casualties on both sides were heavy. The draft riots of 1863 had been put down and the armies are once again on the move. Generals Rosencrans and Burnside were able to outflank General Bragg and take Chattanooga. Bragg would stand and fight at Chickamauga and the battle will prove costly for the Union forces...all eyes are on Eastern Tennessee.

Digital Scanning has been republishing segments of the Comte de Paris' History of the Civil War in America as standalone books. This is one of several released this year; to see a complete list, the reader should search on Comte de Paris on Amazon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Official History, 73rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment

by the 73rd Regimental Association

From the publisher:
The men of the valiant 73rd Indiana Regiment were first to attack in the Battle of Stones River at Murphreesborough. They lost a third of their men in that fight, listed as one of the ten bloodiest battles of America's Civil War. Firing outdated 1842 smoothbore Springfield Muskets these hearty boys blasted their way far behind enemy lines for an entire week of running battles during the Raid of Streight's Brigade. A powerful story - it is not well known, but recorded by early historians as the most combative small-scale raid of the War. The 73rd was at the battle of Perryville, KY., and played a vital role in the last battles of Alabama forts at Athens and Decatur. They fought at Tuscumbia, Blountsville, Gadsden and Rome. And their officers knew famed Libby Prison at Richmond all too well. Their history is a fascinating cameo of the Civil War in it's western arena...a poignant description of individual soldiers, the incredible heroism they gave...and the suffering they lived through day by day...1862 to 1865.

Patriotic Treason: John Brown and the Soul of America

by Evan Carton

From the publisher:
John Brown is a lightning rod of history. Yet he is poorly understood and most commonly described in stereotypes--as a madman, martyr, or enigma. This illuminating biography brings him to life in scintillating prose and moving detail, making his life and legacy fascinatingly relevant to today's issues of social justice and to defining the line between activism and terrorism.

Evan Carton is the Joan Negley Kelleher Centennial Professor in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The Marble Faun: Hawthorne's Transformations and The Rhetoric of American Romance: Dialectic and Identity in Emerson, Dickinson, Poe, and Hawthorne.

Skirmisher: The Life, Times, and Political Career of James B. Weaver

by Robert B. Mitchell

From the publisher:
Outlining the career of a politician whose two campaigns for the White House helped change the course of American politics, this in-depth study explores the religious convictions of James B. Weaver and the role they played in his political contributions. Offering a panoramic view of some of the great events of the 19th century—the California Gold Rush, the Civil War, and presidential politics, from Abraham Lincoln to the rise of William Jennings Bryan—this insightful and detailed account also sheds new light on the influence of third parties in presidential elections and the federal government’s role in reducing economic hardship.

Robert B. Mitchell is an assistant editor with the Los Angeles Times–Washington Post News Service. He lives in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign

by Scott C. Patchan

From the publisher:
Jubal A. Early’s disastrous battles in the Shenandoah Valley ultimately resulted in his ignominious dismissal. But Early’s lesser-known summer campaign of 1864, between his raid on Washington and Phil Sheridan’s renowned fall campaign, had a significant impact on the political and military landscape of the time. By focusing on military tactics and battle history in uncovering the facts and events of these little-understood battles, Scott C. Patchan offers a new perspective on Early’s contributions to the Confederate war effort—and to Union battle plans and politicking.

Patchan details the previously unexplored battles at Rutherford’s Farm and Kernstown (a pinnacle of Confederate operations in the Shenandoah Valley) and examines the campaign’s influence on President Lincoln’s reelection efforts. He also provides insights into the personalities, careers, and roles in Shenandoah of Confederate general John C. Breckinridge, Union general George Crook, and Union colonel James A. Mulligan, with his “fighting Irish” brigade from Chicago. Finally, Patchan reconsiders the ever-colorful and controversial Early himself, whose importance in the Confederate military pantheon this book at last makes clear.

The Essential Lincoln

by Tim Davidson (ed.)

The Essential Lincoln: The Finest Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln collects the seminal speeches, letters, proclamations, debate performances, and miscellaneous other writings, spanning over thirty years of Lincoln's life. The entire text of each document or speech is included, rather than a short excerpt, to put into context the most commonly quoted Lincoln passages and to fully demonstrate the lawyerly elegance of his longer speeches and addresses. The book contains both the best-known (the Gettysburg address and the Emancipation Proclamation, the Second Inaugural, etc.) and some rarely-included pieces (a first draft of the Gettysburg address, the full text of a debate with Stephen Douglas, letters to Mary Todd Lincoln before and after his election as President, etc.) in simple chronological order.

Clash of Extremes: The Economic Origins of the Civil War

by Marc Egnal

From the publisher:
Clash of Extremes takes on the reigning orthodoxy that the American Civil War was waged over high moral principles. Marc Egnal contends that economics, more than any other factor, moved the country to war in 1861.

Drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, Egnal shows that between 1820 and 1850, patterns of trade and production drew the North and South together and allowed sectional leaders to broker a series of compromises. After midcentury, however, all that changed as the rise of the Great Lakes economy reoriented Northern trade along east-west lines.

Meanwhile, in the South, soil exhaustion, concerns about the country’s westward expansion, and growing ties between the Upper South and the free states led many cotton planters to contemplate secession.

The war that ensued was truly a “clash of extremes.” Sweeping from the 1820s through Reconstruction and filled with colorful portraits of leading individuals, Clash of Extremes emphasizes economics while giving careful consideration to social conflicts, ideology, and the rise of the antislavery movement. The result is a bold reinterpretation that will challenge the way we think about the Civil War.

"... this is a serious work that may well reignite a historical debate" - Booklist

"Egnal's perceptive, fine-grained analysis of fragmentation within the North and South around local patterns of trade, agriculture and manufacturing is especially revealing." - Publishers Weekly

Marc Egnal is a professor of history at York University and the author of several books, including A Mighty Empire: The Origins of the American Revolution and Divergent Paths: How Culture and Institutions Have Shaped North American Growth.

We are showing this book as published today because we missed its publication date in January.

The Battle of the Crater: A Complete History

by John F. Schmutz

From the publisher:
The Battle of the Crater is one of the lesser known yet most interesting battles of the Civil War. This book, detailing the onset of brutal trench warfare at Petersburg, Virginia, digs deeply into the military and political background of the battle. Beginning by tracing the rival armies through the bitter conflicts of the Overland Campaign and culminating with the siege of Petersburg and the battle intended to lift that siege, this book offers a candid look at the perception of the campaign by both sides.

Corporate attorney, Army veteran and longtime Civil War enthusiast John F. Schmutz resides in San Antonio, Texas.

We are showing this book as published today because we missed its publication date in February.