In The Review Queue: Three New Books in the South Carolina Regimental-Roster Set Series

by Brett Schulte on July 21, 2009 · 4 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.

I was delighted to receive in the mail yesterday the next three books in Tom Broadfoot’s ambitious new South Carolina Regimental-Roster Set series.  Veteran TOCWOC readers will recall that I reviewed the first four volumes in the set earlier this year.  In addition I interviewed Mac Wyckoff and Lee Sturkey, two of the inaugural authors in this series.

For those of you who do not recall, this series seeks to provide complete rosters and regimental sketches or hostories for every South Carolina unit which fought in the Civil War.  The rosters include prewar and postwar information along with as  much detail on each soldier’s activities during the conflict.

A very pleasant surprise in the literature packed with the three books was the announcement that Broadfoot Publishing now has enough pre-orders and commitments to ensure publication of the entire 50 book series!  This is excellent news, and when finished, the South Carolina Regimental-Roster Set will be one of the finest set of regimental histories for ANY state, North or South.

The next three volumes focus on the 3rd South Carolina Infantry Battalion (the James Battalion), the 11th South Carolina Infantry, and the 15th South Carolina Infantry.  The books were penned by Sam B. Davis, Neil Baxley, and James B. Clary, respectively.  Like their predecessors (and like many other Broadfoot books), these volumes are handsomely bound in blue cloth with gold stamping on the cover and spine.  For those of you who have volumes in the H.E. Howard Virginia Regimental History series, you will find these books to look very similar.  In almost every case, however, the addition of the large print rosters make the books in the South Carolina set universally heftier than their counterparts on Virginia regiments.

No Prouder Fate: The Story of the 11th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry by Neil Baxley is the smallest of the three new South Carolina regimentals and weighs in at 395 pages.  A quick glance through shows a medium length regimental history of 183 pages.  The roster is arranged in alphabetical order by the entire regiment.  It is not broken down into companies.  There a several illustrations but no maps.  the bibiliography and notes show a heavy reliance on the Official Records and primary sources surrounding the regiment.

Next in line is A History of the 3rd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Battalion (James Battalion): 1861-1865 by Sam B. Davis.  It runs a total of 549 pages.  The regimental history makes up a good portion of the book and comprises the first 324 pages.  Maps and illustrations appear to be liberally scattered throughout these pages.  The roster is arranged like the one in No Prouder Fate, being alphabetical by the entire regiment.  Several photos are included for various members of the James Battalion.  The bibliography and notes show a wide variety of primary and secondary sources.

Last but definitely not least is the largest book of the three at 602 pages, A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment: 1861-1865 by James B. Clary.  The thing that immediately leaps out is the presence of 94 maps(!) of varying sizes and detail.  Many of these go into extreme detail.  This is by far the most maps I’ve ever seen in a Civil War unit history.  The author ad publisher are to be commended for including this incredible number of maps.  There are copious numbers of illustrations scattered throughout as well.  The regimental history spans just over 300 pages, but that page count does not include the six appendices covering issues as varied as the sources for the numerous maps and illustrations to the number of African-Americans who received pensions for serving the 15th South Carolina.  The roster is arranged in the same pattern as the other two books in this portion of the series, alphabetical and not broken out into companies.  Clary’s notes and bibliography were also very well done, with numerous sources listed and even explanations or clarifications where needed in the endnotes.

Rather than review these over a short period of time as I did the last four books, I plan to stretch these reviews out over the next several months and throw in some author interviews.  If you have any questions about these three books or the series as a whole I’ll be more than happy to provide more information.  All you have to do is ask!

Information on the next three books in the South Carolina Regimental-Roster Set and the series as a whole is available on the Broadfoot Publishing web site.  The press release for the newest books is as follows:

SouthCarolinaRegimentalRosterSetBroadfootPublishing 300x193 In The Review Queue: Three New Books in the South Carolina Regimental Roster Set Series

NEWEST VOLUMES

Baxley, Neil No Prouder Fate: The Story of the 11th South Carolina
Volunteer Infantry. 395 pages, photos, maps, illustrations, index. The unit history is followed
by a roster of the troops in the 11th South Carolina Infantry, with detailed information on each
soldier, including a transcription of his service record. The roster is alphabetical for easy use. $40

♦ Clary, James B. A History of the 15th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry
1861-1865. 602 pages, photos, maps, illustrations, index. The unit history is followed by a
roster of the troops in the 15th South Carolina Infantry, with detailed information on each soldier,
including a transcription of his service record. The roster is alphabetical for easy use. $45

♦ Davis, Sam B. A History of the 3rd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry
Battalion (James Battalion): 1861-1865. 549 pages, photos, illustrations, index.
The unit sketch is followed by a roster of the troops in the 3rd South Carolina Battalion Infantry,
with detailed information on each soldier, including a transcription of his service record. The
roster is alphabetical for easy use. $40

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Drew W. July 21, 2009 at 10:13 am

Haven’t seen it myself, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about Clary’s ‘mega-regimental’ of the 15th, which was first published a couple years ago by the SC Dept of Archives and History.

Reply

admin July 21, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Drew,

Thanks! I hadn’t realized there was an earlier edition of Clary’s book. Broadfoot is going to do that for some books in the series, and I like that these detailed rosters are getting paired with some meaty unit histories. It beats short “sketches” of units any day. For anyone reading this, I can assure you that Clary’s book is worth $45 for the maps alone!

Brett

Reply

Fred Ray July 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm

I’m curious to see if Sam Davis says anything about the 3rd SC Bn’s status as a sharpshooter battalion. There are several primary sources that confirm this, (including the semi-official brigade history) but I’ve been rebuffed when I’ve mentioned it to several SC regimental mavens.

Reply

admin July 21, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Fred,

I’ll keep that in mind while reading it and include what I find in the review.

Brett

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