May 2012 Civil War Book Notes

Those that can’t write, Review!

May 2012

James W. Durney


Battle Hymns by Christian McWhirter looks at the uses and impact music had during the Civil War. This is not another listing of popular songs but a look at what people said and remembered about these songs.

Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation by Timothy B. Smith will fill the void between Shiloh and Vicksburg. Corinth, critical to the Confederacy’s survival, was a major objective in the West. Smith brings considerable knowledge and writing skill to this important campaign.

With a Sword in One Hand and Jomini in the Other The Problem of Military Thought in the Civil War North by Carol Reardon looks at the problems associated with development of an overall plan for victory.

Richard Taylor and the Red River Campaign of 1864 by Samuel Mitcham Jr. look at this campaign from the Confederate point of view.

Joshua Chamberlain: The Life in Letters of a Great Leader of the American Civil War by Thomas Desjardin brings to public light 300 never-before-seen letters.

DIVIDED LOYALTIES: Kentucky’s Struggle for Armed Neutrality in the Civil War by James Finck provides An in-depth study of the twelve months that decided Kentucky’s fate (November 1860 – November 1861). This book could be a June item.

Guide to the Battle of Gettysburg (U.S. Army War College Guide to Civil War Battles) edited by Jay Luvaas, Harold W. Nelson and Leonard J. Fullenkamp. This was the first book in this respected series of guides and is ready for a new edition. Changes in the park, the Cavalry battles on the Third coupled with rewritten and expanded background chapters make a new book not a reprint.

The Maps of Antietam: An Atlas of the Antietam (Sharpsburg) Campaign, including the Battle of South Mountain, September 2 – 20, 1862 by Bradley Gottfried is the newest full color entry into the fine Savas Beatie Military Atlas Series, is scheduled for the last week of May or the first week in June.

June 2012

The Petersburg Campaign: The Eastern Front Battles, June – August 1864, Volume 1 by Edwin Bearss and Bryce Suderow is a “must have” book. This is 488 pages with original maps by Civil War cartographer Steven Stanley.

Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America by David S. Reynolds is being released as a Paperback.

By the Noble Daring of Her Sons: The Florida Brigade of the Army of Tennessee by Jonathan C. Sheppard. It is almost impossible to find books about Floridians fighting in the war. This book should help fill the gap for the Army of Tennessee.

Eric Wittenberg’s Protecting the Flanks: The Battles for Brinkerhoff’s Ridge and East Cavalry Field, Battle of Gettysburg, July 2-3, 1863 is a new edition with a new map, additional illustrations, two new appendices, and other material.

IRON BRIGADE IN THE CIVIL WAR, THE: Bull Run to Appomattox, 1861-1865 by Lance Herdgen, is his fourth book on the Iron Brigade. His well received Those Damned Black Hats! The Iron Brigade in the Gettysburg Campaign published in 2008, is still in print.

The Civil War in Missouri: A Military History by Louis S. Gerteis explores the state’s conventional warfare and its effects on the unfolding of national history. Missouri controlled both the lower Mississippi valley and the Missouri River. St. Louis and mid-Missouri were vital for controlling the West, and rail lines leading across the state offered an important connection between eastern states and the communities out west. This combination makes the state a vital area for both sides.

The Union Forever Lincoln, Grant and the Civil War by John Y. Simon looks at their relationship, how they influenced each other and their individual struggles.

LAST BATTLE OF WINCHESTER, THE: Phil Sheridan, Jubal Early, and the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, August 7 – September 19, 1864 by Scott Patchan looks at the third Battle of Winchester the largest, longest, and bloodiest battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Petersburg Campaign: The Western Front Battles, June – August 1864, Volume 2 by Edwin Bearss and Bryce Suderow is a “must have” book. This is 488 pages with original maps by Civil War cartographer Steven Stanley.

July 2012

Remembering The Battle of the Crater: War as Murder by Kevin M. Levin looks at how we chose to remember or forget, using this one battle, the role of the USCT in the Civil War. This could be an important book in the development of the USCT’s role in the war.

The Long Road To Antietam: How the Civil War Became a Revolution by Richard Slotkin looks at the changes the Emancipation Proclamation had the public’s view of the war by re-creating the showdown between Lincoln and McClellan.

The Hammer and the Anvil: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the End of Slavery in America by Dwight Jon Zimmerman

August 2012

The Chattanooga Campaign edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear has a very impressive list of contributors. This is an excellent series on the Western Campaigns and there is every indication this book will maintain that standard. Contributors include Sam Davis Elliott, Alex Mendoza, Timothy B. Smith and Ethan S. Rafuse.

Daniel E. Sutherland continues his excellent work on Civil War Guerrillas with American Civil War Guerrillas: Changing the Rules of Warfare. His prior books A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War; Guerrillas, Unionists, and Violence on the Confederate Home Front; and Seasons of War: The Ordeal of a Confederate Community, 1861-1865 all deal with this subject.

By 1865, thousands of men were minus arms and legs. Guy R. Hasegawa details how society responded with support and government services in Mending Broken Soldiers: The Union and Confederate Programs to Supply Artificial Limbs. Medicine and veteran’s services have never received the ink they deserve. This is Mr. Hasegawa first independent book. He worked with James M. Schmidt on Years of Change and Suffering: Modern Perspectives on Civil War Medicine.

The Best Station of Them All: The Savannah Squadron, 1861-1865 by Maurice Melton.

More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889 by Stephen Kantrowitz looks at the epic struggle to establish African Americans as free citizens in Boston.

I always enjoy books about the development of the National Military Parks, Conflicting Memories on the “River of Death”: The Chickamauga Battlefield and the Spanish-American War, 1863-1933 by Bradley S. Keefer should extend our knowledge on this subject.

September 2012

Shiloh: Confederate High Tide in the Heartland by Steven E. Woodworth looks at the problems and impact of this battle.

We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 by William J. Cooper

The Northern Home Front during the Civil War edited by Randall M. Miller & Paul A. Cimbala is a look at a nation under the strain of war.

Brady’s Civil War Journal: Photographing the War, 1861-65 text by Theodore P. Savas, photographs by Mathew Brady.

October 2012

This Wicked Rebellion: Wisconsin Civil War Soldiers Write Home by John Zimm looks at Wisconsin’s participation through letters drawn from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s archives.

Clash at Kennesaw: June and July 1864 by Russell W. Blount, Jr., looks at this important part of the Atlanta Campaign.

The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H. W. Brands is a 700+ page biography by this respected author.

The Enemy Never Came: The Civil War in the Pacific Northwest by Scott McArthur looks at people “deeply affected by the war yet unable to do much about it”.

November 2012

Americans Remember Their Civil War by Lesley J. Gordon looks at remembrances from the immediate postwar era to the early 21st century. The conflicting tensions as people sought to commemorate “their” war. The epilogue examines current memories of the war, debates and controversies.

December 2012

Edifice of Freedom: The Civil War Amendments in Historical Perspective by James S. Hunphreys looks at the 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments in detail. The book looks at both the historical and contemporary significance of the Civil War Amendments.

38 Nooses: Lincoln, Little Crow, and The Beginning of the Frontier’s End by Scott W. Berg looks at the “Big Picture” of the 1862 Sioux war.

Unavailable Dates

Steve Stanley and J. David Petruzzi are hard at work on The Complete Antietam Campaign Guide. Antietam Chief Historian Ted Alexander is doing the Forward. This is a full color book styled on The Complete Gettysburg Guide. The book will feature Harpers Ferry, South Mountain, Antietam, and Shepherdstown plus many points in between.

The Gettysburg Campaign in Numbers and Losses: Synopses, Orders of Battle, Strengths, Casualties, and Maps, June 9 – July 14, 1863 by J. David Petruzzi and Steven Stanley looks at more than three dozen engagements both large and small waged during the five weeks of the Gettysburg Campaign. A synopsis of each engagement, over three dozen, includes photos of the commanders, an original full page map of the fighting, an order of battle with numbers and losses (including killed, wounded, captured, and missing), charts and graphs of relative strengths and losses, a conclusion of how the fighting affected each side and the course of the campaign. The author’s The Complete Gettysburg Guide: Walking and Driving Tours of the Battlefield, Town, Cemeteries, Field Hospital Sites, and other Topics of Historical Interest published by Savas Beatie in 2009 won the U.S. Army Historical Foundation’s 2009 Distinguished Writing Award, Reference Category.

The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Volume 2: Antietam edited by Thomas G. Clemens is the second part of the Ezra Carman manuscript, covering the battle is on the Savas-Beatie Fall 2012 schedule.

Another book on that schedule from this publisher is The Battle of Big Bethel: Crucial Clash in Early Civil War Virginia by J. Michael Cobb, Ed Hicks, and Wythe Holt. The first full-length treatment of this small but consequential June 1861 battle.

In the Fall look for SECOND DAY AT GETTYSBURG, THE: The Attack and Defense of the Union Center on Cemetery Ridge, July 2, 1863 by David Shultz and David Wieck. This expands on the critically acclaimed The Battle Between the Farm Lanes. The book is a completely revised and expanded study, with new photographs, original maps, and a self-guided tour of the fighting.

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 is mortally wounded.

James M. Schmidt is doing a book for The History Press, tentatively titled Galveston and the Civil War: An Island People in the Maelstrom scheduled for mid- to late 2012.

Savas Beatie has an option to publish Scott L. Mingus, Sr.’s next book titled Gettysburg’s Controversial Old Confederate General: Gov. William “Extra Billy” Smith of Virginia.

Nancy Dane reports she is waiting for An Enduring Union from her publisher, it seems to be “in the mail”. This book four of The Tattered Glory series looking at families caught in the war.

Yankee Dutchmen under Fire by Joseph Reinhart should be in stores in 2013.

From talking to Dave Powell, during his Chickamauga weekend, his history of this battle is growing. Savas Beatie publishing is talking about a multi-volume history of the Chickamauga Campaign. No publication date is available but Dave has the manuscript well in hand. Dave Powell is the author of The Maps of Chickamauga: An Atlas of the Chickamauga Campaign, Including the Tullahoma Operations, June 22 – September 23, 1863 and Failure in the Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joe Wheeler, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign.

Tom Desjardin’s biography of Joshua L. Chamberlain is due out in 2013.

Ethan Rafuse and Charles R. Bowery Jr. are working on a War College guide for Richmond-Petersburg expected in 2012.


Reading the War

The idea is to suggest books on events as they unfold which will give us a more detail understanding of the war.

For the Battle of Williamsburg look for A Pitiless Rain: the battle of Williamsburg, 1862 by Earl C., Jr. Hastings and David S. Hastings.

Jackson’s Valley Campaign is under way. You can fill a library with books about it. I would like to suggest some books on the battles and locations.

Three Days in the Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson at Front Royal and Winchester (Campaigns and Commanders) and We Are in for It!: The First Battle of Kernstown by Gary L. Ecelbarger covers some of the early battles.

Peter Cozzens has the most current book on the campaign in Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign.

While Russel Beatie’s Army of the Potomac: McClellan’s First Campaign, March – May 1862 covers much more than this month, it is an excellent and Detailed account.

Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation by Timothy B. Smith, due this month, is a look at Halleck’s “advance” after Shiloh and the capture of this vital railroad crossing.


Civil War Sesquicentennial Publications

In an effort to support, sesquicentennial publishing this will be part of this column through 2015. If you know of a book, please contact me so it can be included.

New Jersey

New Jersey Goes to War part of the New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial is in its’ second printing. It is so popular that New Jersey’s Odyssey using the same format is available. This book is “An Anthology of Civil War Tales from 1850 to 1961”; Joseph G. Bilby edits both books.

Discover Your Community’s Civil War Heritage, by Steven D. Glazer, is a comprehensive and up-to-date manual for those wishing to research the stories of their own community’s Civil War veterans.

Only available from 100% of the purchase price goes to support the New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial. All those involved contributed their time and contributions paid for printing.

York County, Pennsylvania

Civil War Voices from York County, Pennsylvania: Remembering the Rebellion and the Gettysburg Campaign by Scott L. Mingus Sr. and James McClure contains the rich oral tradition coupled with letters, diaries, photographs and newspaper accounts to tell the stories of York in those bleak days 150 years ago. They give a vibrant voice to those living, serving and dying in this most tumultuous period in America’s history.

Adams County-based Colecraft Industries is the publisher.

The authors coordinated the project with the Pennsylvania Civil War 150, the York County Heritage Trust and the York Daily Record/Sunday News.

Contact: Scott Mingus,


Lists the book America on the Eve of the Civil War edited by Edward L. Ayers and Carolyn R. Martin, as 160-page book with four black & white photos.



2 responses to “May 2012 Civil War Book Notes”

  1. Chuck Martin Avatar
    Chuck Martin

    Great information. I am a huge Civil War nut and I love reading books on the subject. This list, and future ones will be a great tool for me as I continue to build my Civil War Library. The summaries are useful and give me an idea of which books I want to look into. There are so many books on the topic, that having a concise overview is very beneficial. Thanks for making my job so much easier.

    1. Brett Schulte Avatar


      You’re welcome. Be sure to check out Drew Wagenhoffer’s Civil War Books and Authors blog for similar posts. He tends to find some pretty obscure books on the Trans-Mississippi which you might not see discussed here.


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