Civil War Book Review: SIMPLY MURDER: The Battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862

SIMPLY MURDER: The Battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862 (Emerging Civil War)
by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher White

Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Savas Beatie (April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611211468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611211467


Raising the bar

Sometimes breaking the mold fails.  However, breaking the mold can yield a spectacular success producing something that works on multiple levels.  This book is a combination of guidebook and history that works both as a guidebook and as a history.

As a battlefield guide, the book takes the reader on a tour of the battlefield, visiting all the important places.  The organization of the tour is logical; the directions are clear and contain parking and safety instructions that are helpful.

As a battle history, the book follows the action in clear concise sentences.  The authors explain the options available and the logic behind the decisions.  They present Burnside in a fair, balanced and intelligent way.  The explanation of what went wrong, using the newest discoveries, is clear and fair.  They are careful in how they say some things that contradict popular history.  The history portion of this book is worth the purchase price without the guidebook.

It is the combination of the two that set this book apart from its peers.  The presentation of an intelligent readable original account at each location is wonderful.  Time after time, I wished this book was with me during my visit to the battlefield.  Having this book, would both guide me to all the important places and tell me why this place is important while explaining its’ influence on the battle.

The authors display an in-depth knowledge of the battle.  Additionally, they worked with experts to test their conclusions and expand their knowledge.  While this is a short book, it has a large amount of information and value.


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