Civil War Book Acquisitions: December 2012, Part 1

Editor’s Note: Civil War Book Acquisitions is an ongoing series which allows me to highlight new books I’ve recently acquired and give readers an idea of upcoming Civil War books.

The Letters of General Richard S. Ewell: Stonewall’s Successor
edited by Donald C. Pfanz

The University of Tennessee Press


480 pages $44.95 cloth

TOCWOC’s Take: I was very pleasantly surprised to see this one cross my desk.  Pfanz, Ewell’s modern day biographer, here has edited and annotated the most complete collection of Ewell’s letters ever published, surpassing a 1939 effort.  This collection contains 173 letters, 7 pieces of official correspondence, 4 “battle narratives”, and 2 “memoranda of incidents” which happened during the war.  Surprisingly, this is one of only two of Lee’s Lieutenant Generals who has had his personal correspondence published.  Stonewall Jackson is the other.

The Battles that Made Abraham Lincoln: How Lincoln Mastered his Enemies to Win the Civil War, Free the Slaves, and Preserve the Union
by Larry Tagg

Savas Beatie


6 x 9, 2 photos, 31 illustrations, paperback, 576 pages

TOCWOC’s Take: First, I need to make a quick admission.  I worked with Larry briefly on the Order of Battle for the Civil War wargame Scourge of War: Gettysburg in 2008.  Now, on to the book.  Tagg takes what looks to by early accounts an entertaining look at how Lincoln overcame the unfortunate circumstance of becoming the President of the United States at a time when that position was arguably held in the least esteem in its existence.  The book looks at Lincoln’s battles with Congress, his generals, largely Democratic newspaper editors, and more, all while trying to win a devastating war.

Command Conflicts in Grant’s Overland Campaign: Ambition and Animosity in the Army of the Potomac

by Diane M. Smith

McFarland and Company, Inc.


256 pages $39.95 softcover (7 x 10), 40 photos, 17 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index

TOCWOC’s Take: This one is of personal interest, given the Overland Campaign’s position as the lead-in to the Siege of Petersburg.  It looks like the author covers the Battle of Petersburg from June 15-18, 1864, to end the book.  I suspect George Meade is going to play a central role in this one, but haven’t confirmed.

The Battle of Carthage, Missouri: First Trans-Mississippi Conflict of the Civil War
by Kenneth E. Burchett

McFarland and Company, Inc.


240 pages $35 softcover (7 x 10), 38 photos, 2 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index

TOCWOC’s Take: This is, believe it or not, the second modern treatment of the Battle of Carthage.  Drew Wagenhoffer has a nice interview with the author where he explains exactly how his book differs from the earlier effort.

Ulysses S. Grant (Command 29)
by Mark Lardas

Osprey Publishing


illustrations, paperback, 64 pages

Avenging Angel: John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry 1859 (Raid 36)
by  Ron Field

Osprey Publishing


illustrations, paperback, 64 pages

TOCWOC’s Take: These two Osprey titles look useful for different reasons.  The short Grant military biography serves as a nice introduction to Grant’s Civil War campaigns.  The Raid series’ look at John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry is slightly different because it doesn’t actually occur during a war.  Regardless, it profiles the people, places, and events of the raid quite well, and provides a short bibliography for further reading on the subject.  Both books are typical of Osprey offerings, with plenty of illustrations, maps, and introductory explanations of events.


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