In The Review Queue: Petersburg 1864-65: The longest siege

by Brett Schulte on April 11, 2009 · 6 comments

The “In the Review Queue” series provides TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog readers with a brief look at books Brett Schulte is planning to review here on the blog.  These will be very similar to Drew Wagenhoffer’s “Booknotes” series at Civil War Books and Authors.

Petersburg 1864-65: The longest siege is the second of what I hope will be many Osprey Civil War books to be reviewed here on TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog.  I own quite a few of these volumes already.  Brandy Station 1863 also recently made an appearance in the In “In the Review Queue” series.  In glancing through this one briefly, I noticed that it had a nice map of Mahone’s attack on the Union II Corps at the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road.  This absolutely floored me since I had never seen a good one before.  There are always limits to the amount of information Osprey can fit into a 96 page entry in the Campaign series, so I only expected the usual maps of the Crater and Five Forks which always seem to dominate books looking at the entire campaign.  In my opinion, the book is worth it for that one map alone.  My interest in Petersburg and the brevity of the book makes it lokely you will be reading a review of this one sooner rather than later.

Check out some more information on the book at Osprey’s web site:

Author: Ron Field

Illustrator: Peter Dennis
About this book

Contents

  • Origins of the campaign
  • Chronology
  • Opposing commanders
  • Opposing armies
  • Orders of battle
  • Opposing Plans
  • The campaign and siege
  • The battles
  • Aftermath
  • The battlefield today
  • Further reading
  • Index

Paperback; May 2009; 96 pages; ISBN: 9781846033551

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Will Hickox April 11, 2009 at 7:07 pm

Obviously as a Petersburg junkie you gobble up anything published on the campaign, but really how useful are Osprey-style books for the serious researcher? It seems like their products have improved greatly in the last few years, but I have yet to see any of them in a historian’s bibliography.

Reply

admin April 11, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Will,

They are not really useful for serious researchers, being mostly summaries. You can’t really pack any new conclusions or research into 96 pages. What the campaign series DOES do well, and did for me personally around 15-20 years ago, is to interest beginners in military history. With that said, I find it ironic that a 96 page synthesis of the entire 10 month long campaign includes a good map of Jerusalem Plank Road whereas almost all of the other stuff I have hasn’t been able to do so.

Reply

Will Hickox April 11, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Good point on the map. I should have made it clear, by the way, that I wasn’t implying you weren’t a serious researcher…d’oh!

Reply

admin April 12, 2009 at 8:06 am

Will,

I didn’t get that impression from your first comment at all! Honestly, though, I’m not as serious a researcher as I would like to be. Take something like Harry Smeltzer’s Bull Runnings or Brian Downey’s Antietam on the Web. I’d LOVE to do something like that for Petersburg some day but it will have to be quite some time from now. I doubt I could do this blog and something like that at the same time, but it would be fun to try!

Reply

Bryce A. Suderow July 9, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Brett,

Speaking of Petersburg maps.

Do you know of a decent online map that shows the area of Lee’s Mill, Va. where there was a skirmish on July 30, 1864?

Bryce

Reply

admin July 9, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Bryce,

I do not unfortunately.

Brett

Reply

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