June 2012 Civil War Book Notes

Those that can’t write, Review!

June 2012

James W. Durney


New books with June publication dates or in the stores

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.

The New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee just published New Jersey at Gettysburg Guidebook by David G. Martin. This is an outstanding look at New Jersey’s units at this battle both during and after the battle. The book is full of photos of monuments, men and woodcuts. A series of maps follows the battle and marks monuments. The 12th NJ plays a major role in the Battle for the Bliss Farm and that is well covered. The New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee is making a major effort to commemorate their state’s contributions.

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.

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.

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. You can view the book trailer here: http://tinyurl.com/bpj2fgu.

Released in paperback is Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America by David S. Reynolds.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

The Petersburg Campaign: The Eastern Front Battles, September 1864 – April 1865, Volume 2 by Edwin Bearss and Bryce Suderow is a “must have” book. This is 504 pages with original maps by Civil War cartographer Steven Stanley.

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 concentrates on navy life and the squadron’s place in wartime Savannah. The book reveals who the Confederate sailors were and what their material, social, and working lives were like.

The Iron Brigade in the Civil War: 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.

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 looks at the battle and the park.

September 2012

THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN OF SEPTEMBER 1862: Volume II, Antietam by Ezra Carman edited by Thomas Clemens will complete this excellent study of the Carman manuscript.

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

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 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.

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.

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

The Northern Home Front during the Civil War edited by Randall M. Miller and Paul A. Cimbala promises a great deal in 250 pages.

We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 by William J. Cooper captures the sense of contingency, showing Americans in these months as not knowing where decisions would lead and how events would unfold.

October 2012

Clash at Kennesaw: June and July 1864 by Russell W. Blount, Jr., looks at this important part of the Atlanta Campaign. You may have read the author’s The Battles of New Hope Church published in 2010.

The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H. W. Brands is a 736-page biography by this respected author.

The Battle of Big Bethel: Crucial Clash in Early Civil War Virginia by J. Michael Cobb, Ed Hicks, and Wythe Holt id the first full-length treatment of this small but consequential June 1861 battle.

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”.

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.

November 2012

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.

Scott L. Mingus, Sr.’s Confederate General: Gov. William “Extra Billy” Smith: From Virginia’s Statehouse to Gettysburg Scapegoat should be a good read.

Americans Remember Their Civil War by Barbara A. Gannon looks at remembrances from the immediate postwar era to the early 21st century.

Richmond Must Fall: The Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, October 1864 by Hampton Newsome begins with one of Lee’s last offensive operations of the war at the Darbytown Road on October 7, 1864, and ends with Grant’s major offensive on October 27 to seize the South Side Railroad, the last open rail line into the Confederate stronghold at Petersburg.

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.

Civil War Dynasty: The Ewing Family of Ohio by Kenneth J. Heineman looks at this important family.

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.

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.

Yankee Dutchmen under Fire by Joseph Reinhart should be in the 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.



Scott Mingus and Jim McClure are collaborating on another Civil War history of York County, Pennsylvania. They have unearthed dozens of previous unknown accounts, including several from the Gettysburg Campaign. From Colecraft Books, More Civil War Voices from York County, Pa. is scheduled for mid-2013. The authors are still soliciting old letters, stories, journals, etc. dealing with York County and its citizens and soldiers during the war years. Send all submissions to scottmingus@yahoo.com.

Nancy Dane will co-teach a 3-hour workshop at the 2012 Arkansas Curriculum Conference along with Mark Christ, a noted Civil War expert and author. The Conference administration will be giving each attendee a copy of one of her novels. The grand prize drawing for the conference will be a Kindle Fire with the Tattered Glory novels downloaded.


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.

Jackson’s Valley Campaign is winding down. Washington has panicked and is withholding troops. Lee launches a series of attacks that become known as The Seven Days. You can fill a library with books about it. I would like to suggest some books on the battles and locations.

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

Extraordinary Circumstances: The Seven Days Battles by Brian K. Burton is the best account of these battles.


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.

New Jersey at Gettysburg Guidebook by David G. Martin looks at the contributions made by units from that state.

All are available from www.njcivilwar150.org 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, scottmingus@yahoo.com.


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.


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