November 2009 Civil War Book Notes

Those that can’t write, Review!

November 2009

James Durney


New Releases

A Dangerous Stir: Fear, Paranoia, and the Making of Reconstruction by Mark Wahlgren Summers should be in the stores this month.  Reconstruction policy after the Civil War is shaped not simply by politics, principles, and prejudices. Also at work were fears–often-unreasonable fears of renewed civil war and a widespread sense that four years of war had thrown the normal constitutional process so dangerously out of kilter that the republic itself remained in peril.

Also in the stores is Punitive War Confederate Guerrillas and Union Reprisals by Clay Mountcastle.  This is a look at how guerrilla attacks and Union reaction drove a cycle of violence contributing to a punitive war.  The author is a member of the US Army, currently in Korea, who has taught military history at West Point.

This is a 96-page soft cover magazine available November 1, on newsstands.  Moorshead Magazines Ltd. is releasing of a special edition titled, Life During the Civil War. Written by author David A. Norris.  This looks beyond the major battles and famous generals of the Civil War to examine what American of the 1860s saw, heard and felt.  The publisher feels these articles highlight the large and small aspects of everyday life, giving the reader a better understanding of how average Americans experienced the Civil War.

Dave Powell’s The Maps of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22 – September 23, 1863 from Savas Beatie will be available for general sales in late November.  David Friedrichs did the cartography.  This is a 336-page book with 128 full color maps and is the third book in SB’s Military Atlas series.

They launched Years of Change and Suffering Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine edited by James M. Schmidt and Guy R. Hasegawa with a book signing on October 3 at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine Conference.  All of this book’s royalties are being donated to Civil War medical heritage preservation, if you need an additional reason to consider buying this book.  Lincoln’s Labels in paperback should be in the stores when you read this.

Ten Roads Publishing’s The Alexander Dobbin House in Gettysburg: A Short History by Dr. Walter Powell should be available.  They expect the book Gettysburg Bicentennial Album by William A Frassanito to be for sale in late October.  Look for Fight as long as possible: The Battle of Newport Barracks, February 2, 1864 by Eric Lindblade about now.

The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863 by Scott L. Mingus, Sr., made its’ October date.  I last listed this author for his excellent Flames beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition, June 1863 and Gettysburg Glimpses: True Stories from the Battlefield.

The University of North Carolina Press has scheduled Fields of Blood: The Prairie Grove Campaign by William Shea for November. Prairie Grove is one of the more important small battles in the Trans-Mississippi.  This will complement his excellent Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West. In late October, Amazon lists this book as available with a two to five week delivery.

On November 18, look for Edward Longacre’s Cavalry of the Heartland: The Mounted Forces of the Army of Tennessee.  The book is based on a wide array of research materials including the unpublished writings of more than 300 officers and enlisted men.  This is the only book-length study of the strategy and tactics of the Army of Tennessee’s mounted forces from its inception in the spring of 1861 to Bentonville, four years later.  Numerous campaigns and battles are described in full detail, including Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Perryville, Murfreesboro (Stones River), Tullahoma, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Nashville, and the Carolinas.

While not Civil War history, Slavery and the Supreme Court, 1825 – 1861 by Earl M. Maltz rates a look see.  The book covers eight major cases involving slavery that came before the Court in the years leading up to the war.  This is due in November from University Press of Kansas.

In December, look for Brooks D. Simpson’s Civil War In The East 1861-1865: A Strategic Assessment.  His The Reconstruction Presidents is available in paperback.

UNC Press scheduled Blue and Gray Diplomacy A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations by Howard Jones for January 2010. In this examination of Union and Confederate foreign relations during the Civil War from both European and American perspectives, Howard Jones demonstrates that the consequences of the conflict between North and South reached far beyond American soil.

Sam Davis Elliott’s newest book: Isham G. Harris of Tennessee: Confederate Governor and United States Senator is on Amazon with a January 2010 publication date.

In March 2010, Clint Johnson’s A VAST AND FIENDISH PLOT – The Confederate Attack on New York City should be in stores.

Scheduled for 2010 is Thunder Across the Swamps, the second book in the Louisiana Quadrille series, covering the war for the lower Mississippi from February to May 1863.

We can look forward to a complete history of the Iron Brigade from Lance J. Herdegen.  Those Damned Black Hats!, about the Iron Brigade during the Gettysburg Campaign won The Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award for Operational Battle History.

Eric Wittenberg reports The Battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863: North America’s Largest Cavalry Battle will be part of The History Press’s forthcoming sesquicentennial series on battles of the Civil War.  This is a 68,000-word manuscript with 50 maps and illustrations.  He feels that we have “a reasonable chance” of seeing this book in June 2010. The Civil War Preservation Trust and master cartographer Steve Stanley have given permission to use Steve’s excellent maps in the book.  Clark B. “Bud” Hall will work with Eric to put together a tour for the book.  A second project for The History Press entitled The Battle of Yellow Tavern: Jeb Stuart’s Last Battle. This will be a study of Phil Sheridan’s May 1864 raid on Richmond, with particular focus on the May 11, 1864 Battle of Yellow Tavern, where Jeb Stuart received his mortal wound.

Savas Beatie has published their Spring 2010 schedule.  In May, expect Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market by Charles R. Knight.  This is a 264-page book with eight maps covering the “complex prelude” and the battle.  In June The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Volume 1: South Mountain is due.  This is the Ezra Carman manuscript edited by Thomas G. Clemens.  This is a 694-page book with ten maps covering the action leading up to Antietam.

In April, we can look for a full-color hardcover edition of The Maps of Gettysburg by Bradley M. Gottfried.  Those Damned Black Hats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign by Lance J. Herdegen, Sickles at Gettysburg by James A. Hassler and Saratoga by John Luzader are being released as paperbacks.  Saratoga is American Revolution but it is outstanding military history and a great read.

Savas Beatie is working on a two-volume set on The Petersburg Campaign, taken from a series of unpublished battle studies written by Ed Bearss.  Bryce Suderow is the editor on this.  This will be a major event in the historiography of the Petersburg Campaign.


Rumor Mills

Edinborough Press had some serious distribution problem this summer.  Rumor says these problems are over; their distribution system is functioning normally.  We hope this is the case; this house has a number of interesting titles in the works.


Bringing on the War

Kansas became the test case of allowing residents to decided free or slave state.  The idea may have been a good one, if residents had not been encouraged to move into the area.  Breecher Bibles, emigrant aid societies, Jayhawkers and Red legs made sure Kansas was a prequel to the war.  This month, we are looking at books on Kansas during this time.  All of these books deal with events in Kansas prior to the Civil War.

Just on the shelves is Seeding Civil War: Kansas in the National News, 1854-1858 by Craig Miner, draws on newspapers and magazines articles from all parts of the country and of all political persuasions.

Bleeding Kansas: Contested Liberty in the Civil War Era by Nicole Etcheson, published in 2006, argues that participants on both sides of the Kansas conflict believed they fought to preserve the liberties secured by the American Revolution and that violence erupted because each side feared the loss of meaningful self-governance.

War to the Knife: Bleeding Kansas, 1854-1861 by Thomas Goodrich provides “”A violent tale of insurrection, rioting, drunkenness, principle, politics, and self-interest”.  First published in 1998, this is currently a paperback published in 2004.


The new kid on the block

In 2009 by Eric Lindblade and Jim Glessner formed Ten Roads Publishing with an aggressive publishing schedule of Gettysburg related books by experienced authors.  Located in Gettysburg, the publishing house’s name comes for the number of roads leading into the town in 1863.  Their mission statement says, “The mission of Ten Roads Publishing is to publish the highest quality contemporary works, in terms of the standard of product and scholarship, in addition to reprinting classic titles of historical significance.”  If you are on Facebook, become friends with Eric and follow his efforts to maintain an aggressive publishing schedule.


Introducing Scott Mingus Sr.

This name is constantly in this column lately.  My introduction to Scott was Flames Beyond Gettysburg: The Gordon Expedition, June 1863 from Ironclad Publishing.  LSU Press has just published his The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863. Ten Roads Publishing chose his Gettysburg Glimpses: True Stories from the Battlefield for their first book.

Paying the bills involves working as Global Director of New Product Development for P.H. Glatfelter in the paper and printing industry.   He is the author of six books, several magazine articles and several booklets on miniature war gaming for an impressive body of work.  Scott and his wife Debi publish Charge the leading international fanzine for ACW miniature war gaming.

He is a native of southeastern Ohio and a graduate of Miami (Ohio) University, class of ‘78.  He and his family live near York, Pennsylvania where he is very active in preserving the history of the area, giving talks, running war game conventions and writing.


Editor’s Note: Jim is a Top 500 reviewer.

Check out Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online!

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2 responses to “November 2009 Civil War Book Notes”

  1. Don Hallstrom Avatar
    Don Hallstrom


    I enjoy looking at your blog. Especially when you mention new publications. I was hoping you might have some insight into the new series that Univ. of Tennessee Press was going to publish. I believe Gary Joiner is going to edit the series. Have you heard anything about this series? It’s focus is going to be the western theater of the war.


    1. admin Avatar


      I haven’t heard anything about the new series, but it sounds interesting. Drew Wagenhoffer at Civil War Books and Authors might know more. I’ve been out of the loop a bit lately.


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