May 2010 Civil War Book Notes

Those that can’t write, Review!

May 2010

James Durney


Newly Published

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.

Steven Woodworth continues the excellent Civil War Campaigns in the Heartland series with The Chickamauga Campaign. This volume will have essays by Alexander Mendoza, Timothy B. Smith, Dave Powell, Ethan S. Rafuse, Lee White and William Glenn Robertson.

Release as paperbacks Those Damned Black Hats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign by Lance J. Herdegen, Sickles at Gettysburg by James A. Hessler and Years of Change and Suffering by Jim Schmidt.


New Releases

May 2010

Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market by Charles R. Knight is 336 pages, 50 photos and illustrations, 9 original maps, and 8 appendices, with traditional footnotes, covering the “complex prelude” and the battle.  The author is a former Historical Interpreter at New Market Battlefield State Historical Park.

Look for a full-color hardcover edition of The Maps of Gettysburg by Bradley M. Gottfried bringing this book on par with the other books in the series.  For those that own the black-and-white version of The Maps of Gettysburg: An Atlas of the Gettysburg Campaign, June 3 – July 13, 1863 by Bradley M. Gottfried, Savas Beatie’s coupon code MAPSCOLOR will give you $10.00 off the new edition and free shipping. Email with the coupon code and they will let you know when the book is available.

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.

The audio supplement to The Complete Gettysburg Guide: Walking and Driving Tours of the Battlefield, Town, Cemeteries, Field Hospital Sites, and other Topics of Historical Interest by J. David Petruzzi should be ready.  The author tells me this is much more than simply reading the book aloud.  The supplement covers some places, locales, and actions not in the printed Guide.  There will also be things in the Guide not covered in the audio tour.  The supplement will cover the June 26 actions, the main battlefield, the cavalry battlefields, etc., with many new and different spots along the way.  Savas Beatie is offering signed copies.

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 continues the story started in Britannia’s Fist: From Civil War to World War: —An Alternate History. The publisher moved this book from April to May a couple of days prior to the expected publication date.

June 2010

The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Volume 1: South Mountain is expected.  Thomas G. Clemens edited part of the Ezra Carman manuscript into a 576 pages, with 19 original maps, a photo gallery, and traditional footnotes covering the action leading up to Antietam.  Volume 2, covering the battle is not expected until the summer of 2011.

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.

My Old Confederate Home: A Respectable Place for Civil War Veterans by Rusty Williams is the story of the Kentucky Confederate Home, a luxurious refuge in Pewee Valley for their unfortunate comrades. Until it closed in 1934, the Home was a respectable if not always idyllic place for disabled and impoverished Confederate Veterans could spend their last days in comfort and free from want.

July 2010

The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War by Donald Stoker examines how Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis identified their political goals and worked with their generals to craft the military means to achieve them–or how they often failed to do so.

August 2010

A Long Way to Go Book Three of the Tattered Glory Series by Nancy Dane should be in the stores.  This book is a sequel to Where the Road Begins book one in the series.  While fiction, they are a very realistic portrayal of life in the Trans-Mississippi during the war.

Released as a paperback is two excellent books: Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859 by Elizabeth R. Varon and Russell McClintock’s Lincoln and the Decision for War: The Northern Response to Secession.

September 2010

Chris J. Hartley has Stoneman’s Raid, 1865 is due.  The product description states: “In the spring of 1865, Federal major general George Stoneman launched a cavalry raid deep into the heart of the Confederacy. Over the next two months, Stoneman’s cavalry rode across six Southern states, fighting fierce skirmishes and destroying supplies and facilities. When the raid finally ended, Stoneman’s troopers had brought the Civil War home to dozens of communities that had not seen it up close before. In the process, the cavalrymen pulled off one of the longest cavalry raids in U.S. military history.”

The New York Times The Complete Civil War 1861-1865 edited by Harold Holzer and Craig Symonds.  Whatever doubts I have about this is over ridden by the editors.  The book is listed as 480 pages from Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.

After the War: The Lives and Reputations of Great Civil War Figures After the Shooting Stopped by David Hardin is a 256-page book with a promising title.  I consider this a “buyer beware”.

October 2010

Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles by Brian K. Burton in paperback.  This is one of the best histories of The Seven Days Battles.

The award winning Lincoln and His Admirals by Craig Symonds in paperback.

November 2010

Manifest Destinies: America’s Westward Expansion and the Road to the Civil War by Steven E. Woodworth paints a vivid and panoramic portrait of 1840’s America at its most vibrant and expansive: the annexations of Texas, California, and the states of the Pacific Northwest; prospectors heading west in search of gold; the founding of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and the eventual migration of the Mormons; railroads and telegraph lines connecting populations as never before; William Henry Harrison waging the first modern populist campaign for president, focusing on entertaining voters rather than discussing issues.  Throughout these events, Woodworth traces the path of what had been the “local” issue of slavery as it grew into a central national issue that divided religions, political parties, and, ultimately, the nation itself.

Unavailable Dates

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.

Thunder Across the Swamps, the second book in the Louisiana Quadrille series, covering the war for the lower Mississippi from February to May 1863.  The first book in the series won the Laney Prize.

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

From Ten Roads Publishing we can expect:
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.

Gettysburg Glimpses 2: More True Stories from the Gettysburg Campaign by Scott L. Mingus Sr. This is the fourth in a series of very popular books about human interest stories from Gettysburg, this installment offers more than 200 of the best anecdotes, amusing incidents, and funny stories from the Gettysburg Campaign.
Human Interest Stories from the Civil War by Scott L. Mingus Jr. and Dr. Thomas M. Mingus.  Similar in style and variety as the Gettysburg series by Scott L. Mingus Sr., this inaugural work by two professionally trained historians/educators contains some of the very best stories from the Civil War. Many have not been retold since the 19th century. Balanced between Union and Confederate accounts, this upcoming new book covers the gamut of the war from 1861 through 1865 with many very amusing true tales.

Jim Schmidt announced his next book Notre Dame in the Civil War: Marching Onward to Victory from the History Press.  This book will be the first book to incorporate the Notre Dame story into a comprehensive and unified narrative.

Savas Beatie has a two-volume set on The Petersburg Campaign, taken from a series of unpublished battle studies written by Ed Bearss, edited by Bryce Suderow in the works.  This has no publication date.

Sometime in the Fall, Savas Beatie has a Dave Powell book tentatively titled Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign.

Eric Wittenberg announced a contract with The History Press for a history of Averell’s August 1863 Law Book Raid, which led to the August 26-27, 1863 Battle of White Sulphur Springs. Averell’s West Virginia and western Pennsylvania cavalry fought the infantry brigade of Col. George S. Patton in White Sulphur Springs, a couple of miles from The Greenbrier. This has never had any sort of a book-length study.  Terry Lowry, who has done some good work on the Civil War in West Virginia, has agreed to show Eric the battlefield, and lots of people will help him with this project.


The 2010 Laney Prize is awarded to

Fire in the Cane Field: The Federal Invasion of Louisiana and Texas January 1861 – January 1863

The Daniel M. & Marilyn W. Laney Prize is awarded each year to the author of the book that best advances the knowledge of the Civil War’s military or political events and the Americans who took part in those events. The prize amount is $2,000. Members of the Austin Civil War Round Table, and all other interested persons, are invited to contribute to the award fund.

The prize continues to honor Daniel M. & Marilyn W. Laney for their splendid efforts to protect the endangered battlefields of our Civil War. The prize money is directly attributable to the generosity of the Morse Foundation whose many labors on behalf of the Round Table and the preservation of our Civil War battlefields are gratefully acknowledged.

Each year a committee of Austin Civil War Round Table members publicizes the prize, solicits submissions, and selects the prizewinner.

2010 Lincoln Prize goes to Abraham Lincoln: A Life

A two-volume biography that was 30 years in the making, by one of the foremost living authorities on Abraham Lincoln, has won the 2010 Lincoln Prize.  Michael Burlingame will receive the $50,000 Lincoln Prize for his book, “Abraham Lincoln: A Life” (Johns Hopkins University Press), as well as a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens life-size bust, “Lincoln the Man.” Burlingame is the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield.



The Complete Gettysburg Guide by J.D. Petruzzi with cartography by Steve Stanley and The Maps of First Bull Run by Brad Gottfried join Sickles as finalists for the 2009 Army Historical Distinguished writing award. The winners are announced to the public at the Annual Meeting of the Army Historical Foundation this June.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *