January 2010 Civil War Book Notes

Those that can’t write, Review!

January 2010

James Durney


In the stores

Lincoln for President: An Unlikely Candidate, An Audacious Strategy, and the Victory No One Saw Coming by Bruce Chadwick is an interesting title.  The press release states “is the incredible story of how Lincoln overcame overwhelming odds to not only capture his party’s nomination but win the presidency.”  The author has written a number of books with varied success.

New Releases

January 2010

Expect Blue and Gray Diplomacy A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations by Howard Jones from UNC Press, early in the month. It is an examination of Union and Confederate foreign relations during the Civil War from both European and American perspective; 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.

It seems that every book published in 2009 will be released as a paperback this month.  If there are any books that you wanted but did not like the hard cover price, take a check.

February 2010

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

March 2010

Long out of print, Jeffry Werts’ first book From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign of 1864 is being released as a Paperback. If you were not lucky enough to get the hardback here is your chance.  This is an excellent book and a valuable addition to your library.

Yes, it is alternate history and most do not read this.  However, the first one was great fun and the second is A Rainbow of Blood: The Union in Peril An Alternate History by Peter G. Tsouras.  This continues the story started in Britannia’s Fist: From Civil War to World War: —An Alternate History.

I only have a title and know the author has a couple of Trans-Mississippi books in print.  Civil War Arkansas 1863: The Battle for a State by Mark K. Christ is scheduled this month.

A total unknown but a subject we have almost zero on is Thunder on the River: The Civil War in Northeast Florida by Daniel L. Schafer.

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 will be available toward the end of the month.

April 2010

Savas Beatie will release as paperbacks Those Damned Black Hats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign by Lance J. Herdegen and Sickles at Gettysburg by James A. Hassler.

Look for a full-color hardcover edition of The Maps of Gettysburg by Bradley M. Gottfried.

Steven Woodworth continues the excellent Civil War Campaigns in the Heartland series with The Chickamauga Campaign.

May 2010

Look for 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.  The author is a former Historical Interpreter at New Market Battlefield State Historical Park.

Michael T. Bernath’s Confederate Minds: The Struggle for Intellectual Independence in the Civil War South is due on May 15.  This is part of the Civil War America series by the author of Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee through His Private Letters.

Rusty Williams has written My Old Confederate Home: A Respectable Place for Civil War Veterans. This is the story of the Kentucky Confederate Home, a refuge in Pewee Valley for their unfortunate CSA veterans from 1902 until it closed in 1934.

Edwin Cole Bearss will publish Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg: The Battles That Changed the Civil War from National Geographic.

Lincoln and McClellan: The Troubled Partnership between a President and His General by John C. Waugh “is a tale of the hubris, paranoia, and eventual failure of George McClellan” that should reinforce the McClellan wrong Lincoln right school.

A new book by Kevin Dougherty STRANGLING THE CONFEDERACY: Coastal Operations in the American Civil War “examines the various naval actions and land incursions the Union waged from Virginia down the Atlantic Coast and through the Gulf of Mexico”.  This is not something we see a lot of and rates a look-see.

Reluctant Rebels The Confederates Who Joined the Army after 1861 by Kenneth W. Noe offers a nuanced view of men often cast as less patriotic and less committed to the cause.  He rekindles the debate over who these later enlistees were, why they joined, and why they stayed and fought.   Most of us know this author from his book Perryville: This Grand Havoc of Battle

June 2010

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 a 694-page book with ten maps covering the action leading up to Antietam.

William Marvel’s The Great Task Remaining: The Third Year of Lincoln’s War is scheduled for the 22nd.  The press release says “The Great Task Remaining is a striking, often poignant portrait of people balancing their own values—rather than ours—to determine whether the horrors attending Mr. Lincoln’s war were worth bearing in order to achieve his ultimate goals.”

At the Precipice Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis by Shearer Davis Bowman looks at how Americans, North and South, black and white, understood their interests, rights, and honor during the late antebellum years

Confederate Minds The Struggle for Intellectual Independence in the Civil War South by Michael T. Bernath looks at the fight to prove the distinctiveness of the Southern people and to legitimatize their desire for a separate national existence through the creation of a uniquely Southern literature and culture.

Scheduled for 2010 with an unavailable date

The History Press is publishing Notre Dame in the Civil War: Marching Onward to Victory by Jim Schmidt.  The author released Lincoln’s Labels and Years of Change & Suffering in 2009.

Joseph R. Reinhart expects German Hurrah!: Civil War Letters of Friedrich Bertsch and William Stängel, 9th Ohio Infantry to be out in the Spring.  The book contains 110 translated letters written by two fiery, highly opinionated German-born officers who fought in the Ninth Ohio Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War. Published in two German-American newspapers, the letters helped connect German Americans in the Ohio Valley to their native landsmen at the battlefront.

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

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.  This will be a major event in the historiography of the Petersburg Campaign.

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

J. David Petruzzi and Steve Stanley are working on an audio companion to The Complete Gettysburg Guide. Purchased as CD or a download, the companion will contain an eight-page map foldout.  Additional sites and events are included in this product, so this is more than just a reading of the book.  Spring is the expected release.

Eric Wittenberg is working on a project is 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.


Meet the Author Thomas G. Clemens

This month’s author enjoys an international reputation as one of the Maryland Campaign’s foremost historians.  In 2002, Dr. Clemens earned his doctoral degree at George Mason University studying under Maryland Campaign historian Joseph L. Harsh. He spent four years working with Professor Harsh as his assistant professor on the Touring Civil War battlefields class.  A time he refers to as “idyllic days”.

He is the author of numerous magazine articles and book reviews.  He often appears in documentary programs and is a licensed tour guide at Antietam National Battlefield.  A Professor of History and Political Science at Hagerstown Community College is his day job.  Dr. Clemens is a founder and current president of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, Inc., a preservation group dedicated to saving historic properties in the area.  In addition, he chairs the history committee for the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association Inc.


Here is to a happy and healthy 2010!


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

Check out Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online!

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