January 2013 Civil War Book Notes

Those that can’t write, Review!

January 2013

James W. Durney


New in the stores

James M. Schmidt newest from History Press Galveston and the Civil War: An Island City in the Maelstrom is the only book I can find on the battle in January 1863.

Lincoln and McClellan at War by Chester G. Hearn seems to follow the standard story.  LSU is the publisher and their books always rate a “look see”.

The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War by Stephen Puleo is an in-depth look at Preston S. Brooks’ beating of Charles Sumner.  While often referenced, I do not know of a book that looks at it.

Civil War Dynasty: The Ewing Family of Ohio by Kenneth J. Heineman look at this important family is scheduled for Christmas Eve.  Maybe Santa will deliver them to a book store near you.

Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 by James Oakes looks at how Republicans pursued an antislavery agenda throughout the war.  While they may have been pragmatic in policy, they were steadfast on principle.

From Ten Roads Publishing is Gettysburg Glimpses 2: More True Stories from the Battlefield by Scott L. Mingus, Sr. This book is a companion to the first volume containing more than 150 additional human-interest stories.

DIVIDED LOYALTIES: Kentucky’s Struggle for Armed Neutrality in the Civil War by James Finck looks at Kentucky’s struggle with and the reasons for neutrality in 1861.

Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery by Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer covers freedom looked like for black Americans in the Civil War era.

The newest game from John Tiller Software is Campaign Overland covering the battles in Virginia starting in the fall of 1863 and the campaign between Grant and Lee in the summer of 1864.  The 105 scenarios start with the Mine Run Campaign continuing through the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor.

Scenarios range from small cavalry actions to a monster 1390 turn scenario covering the entire campaign on a single map spanning over 1 million hexes. (980 x 1088)  The game includes five campaigns from a cavalry only campaign to a deep multi-branch campaign covering all the major actions and some side ones, such as Gordonsville, Louisa Court House & Drewry’s Bluff.

Due any day

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.  Is listed as January fifth.  Amazon has a five-star review of 21 words.

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.

Due in January

Scott L. Mingus Sr.’s Confederate General: Gov. William “Extra Billy” Smith: From Virginia’s Statehouse to Gettysburg Scapegoat  tells us about the oldest and one of the most controversial Confederate generals on the field at Gettysburg.

Interpreting Sacred Ground: The Rhetoric of National Civil War Parks and Battlefields by J. Christian Spielvogel “studies and analyzes how” the National Parks Service presents our battlefield parks.  This could be a love it or hate it book but should be interesting.

Standing Firmly by the Flag: Nebraska Territory and the Civil War, 1861-1867 by James E. Potter i9s the first book to look at Nebraska’s contributions during the Civil War.  Bison Books, the publisher, has an excellent reputation for books on the American West.

February 2013

Look for Alex Mendoza’s Chickamauga 1863: Rebel BreakthroughThis is one of the “Bright Lights” of the western ACW historians and authors.

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

Searching for George Gordon Meade: The Forgotten Victor of Gettysburg by Tom Huntington is an overdue biography.

Captives in Blue: The Civil War Prisons of the Confederacy completes Roger Pickenpaugh’s earlier groundbreaking book Captives in Gray: The Civil War Prisons of the Union, rounding out his examination of Civil War prisoner of war facilities.

March 2013

The LAST BATTLE OF WINCHESTER: 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.  This book is in the final proofing stage and on schedule.

ROBERT E. LEE IN WAR AND PEACE: Photographs of a Confederate and American Icon by Donald Hopkins uses the 61 known images of Lee to provide a sweeping history of Lee’s life and a compelling discussion of antique photography.

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.

April 2013

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.

Earl J. Hess turns his considerable talents to Kennesaw Mountain: Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign from The University of North Carolina Press.

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.

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.

GENERAL GRANT AND THE REWRITING OF HISTORY: How a Great General (and Others) Helped Destroy General William S. Rosecrans and Influence our Understanding of the Civil War by Frank Varney could be subtitled “Revenge of Rosy”.  This book should set the pot to boil causing heated discussions between partisan groups.

May 2013

Shiloh: Confederate High Tide in the Heartland Steven E. Woodworth presents his look at this important battle.

THE CIVIL WAR LOVER’S GUIDE TO NEW YORK CITY by Bill Morgan tours Civil War New York, places, buildings and monuments that grace the city.  This looks to be great fun for everyone and a new Civil War tour.

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.

June 2013

Black Slaves, Indian Masters: Slavery, Emancipation, and Citizenship in the Native American South by Barbara Krauthamer is going to surprise a number of people.

The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On by John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis look at one of America’s most enduring songs.

Why the Civil War Was Not about Slavery (and Why Americans Need to Believe It Was) by Donald Livingston is going to be a hot button.

Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation by Caroline E. Janney looks at the people who live during the war and how they felt after it.

July 2013

Lincoln and Reconstruction by John C Rodrigue is only a title, author and publication date.

Do not dismiss as “another Gettysburg guide book” A Field Guide to Gettysburg Experiencing the Battlefield through Its History, Places, and People by Carol Reardon and Tom Vossler.  The authors have excellent credentials.  Carol Reardon is the author of several unique books, while Tom Vossler is an excellent guide.

While not exactly “Civil War”, Shot All to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West’s Greatest Escape covers one of the most violent bank robbery of the post war era.  I have had a “thing” about the James Gang ever since my Grandmother told me she remembered the adults talking about being in town when they robbed the local bank.

August 2013

Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, DC by Kenneth J. Winkle is not the type of book we often see.

Unavailable Dates

Buckeyes Forward: Ohio Troops in the 1862 Maryland Campaign is Eric Wittenberg’s current project.  The book covers the Ohio units at South Mountain, Harpers Ferry, and Antietam.  A second major section covers the actions of two future presidents of the United States, Hayes and McKinley.  Followed by a series of profiles for other prominent Ohio officers including George Crook, Hugh Ewing. Rufus Dawes, Ohio-born Confederate brigade commander Brig. Gen. Roswell S. Ripley and the Ohio regimental commanders.  Last is a look at the three Ohio soldiers who won the Medal of Honor valor during the 1862 Maryland Campaign.

The book will have a large number of photos and maps.  Savas Beatie is the expected publisher.  Eric hopes to submit the manuscript, about 75% written, this spring.

History Press expects to publish Robert Redd’s St. Augustine: America’s Oldest City in the Civil War in the Spring of 2014.

Steve Stanley and J. David Petruzzi are hard at work on The Complete Antietam Campaign Guide.  Antietam Chief Historian Ted Alexander is penning 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.

Yankee Dutchmen under Fire by Joseph Reinhart is with the Copy Editor and expected this Fall.

Savas Beatie will be publishing the upcoming book by Sam Hood entitled John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General in spring 2013.  This is a detailed point-by-point defense of General Hood’s career.

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.

Brass Cannon Books is bringing out an audio book edition of The Queen of Washington, narrated by Judith Cullen, no date other than “soon”.  Running time will be about ten hours.


Upcoming Events


January 24, Dan Van Haften will speak and sign his book Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason at the South Suburban Civil War Roundtable, Ed & Joe’s Pizza 17332 South Oak Park Avenue Tinley Park, IL.

January 24, Christian McWhirter author of Battle Hymns:  The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War is at Filson Historical Society in Louisville, KY

On January 26, the authors of The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Gallowy and the Slave’s Civil War and Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery will be at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh.


In memorium


Dr. Nathaniel Cheairs “Nat” Hughes Jr., author, historian and headmaster of Girls Preparatory

Hughes, a Chattanooga native, began his educational career in 1959, teaching history and English and coaching at the Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tenn.

When he retired in 1987, Hughes put his energy into history and writing, authoring, editing or compiling 35 fiction and nonfiction books.

His expertise in Civil War history was the Western theater, from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River, said Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park historian Jim Ogden.

Of “a number of very important and valuable books”, his early biography of Confederate Gen. William Joseph Hardee has stood as a solitary resource on the subject, Ogden said.

“Even in 2012, as we celebrate [the war’s] sesquicentennial,” said Ogden, interested readers “need to pick up Nat’s biography [that was] published during the centennial. For half a century, Nat’s contribution on Hardee has been the thing.”

In 2000, Hughes received the Charles L. Defour Award for a lifetime of achievement in the historiography of the American Civil War.

The educator and author held degrees from Yale University and the University of North Carolina and had been a Marine.

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.

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.

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.


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


Maryland’s Civil War Photographs: The Sesquicentennial Collection by Ross J. Kellaugh presents the largest collection of original Maryland-related Civil War photographs ever published.


Happy New Year,

may God bless us,

one and all.


3 responses to “January 2013 Civil War Book Notes”

  1. John Bell Avatar
    John Bell

    Regarding the Battle of Galveston, “Battle on the Bay” by Edward Cotham covers the battle, as well as “Cottonclads!:The Battle of Galveston and the Defense of the Texas Coast” by Donald Frazier.

    1. Brett Schulte Avatar

      Thanks for the additions John. Both Jim and I have read a lot of books, but the Battle of Galveston is one I’m admittedly very unfamiliar with.

  2. Donald Hallstrom Avatar
    Donald Hallstrom

    Hello James

    I always look forward to your posts on upcoming books. Looking forward to many of these. Thanks also for mention Nat Hughes. His work was very important and his focus on the western theater was very helpful for anyone interested in that theater. I agree with Jim Ogden, concerning his biography of Hardee. It has been and may be the final word on that important player in the confederacy.

    Don Hallstrom

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