It's that time of the year again to go back and review the reviews, and make some picks for favorite books read by me over the past twelve months (or so). I'm not going to comment too much, as my thoughts about most can be easily found through the links provided.
Clash of Extremes: The Economic Origins of the Civil War by Marc Egnal (Hill and Wang, 2009).
I think one can have disagreements with Egnal over points of emphasis and the strength of his overall argument, and still have a healthy respect for his thoroughly fascinating and important book.
The Battle of the Crater: A Complete History by John F. Schmutz (McFarland, 2009).
I am seeing fewer and fewer books of this type published in recent years. Unfortunate.
Fields of Blood: The Prairie Grove Campaign by William L. Shea (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2009).
I just finished Shea's book. A review and interview with the author (hopefully) will be posted in the near future.
Army Life: From a Soldier’s Journal, Incidents, Sketches, and Record of Union Soldier's Army Life, in Camp and Field, 1861-1864 edited by Robert G. Schultz (Univ. of Arkansas Press, 2009).
In the Trenches at Petersburg: Field Fortifications and Confederate Defeat by Earl J. Hess (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2009).
I would be greatly remiss if I didn't mention the volume above, the conclusion to Earl Hess's impressive three volume study of field fortifications in the eastern theater [my reviews of volumes one and two]. I look forward to his study of earthworks in the Atlanta Campaign (as well as the Knoxville campaign study).
The Seventh Star of the Confederacy: Texas During the Civil War edited by Kenneth W. Howell (Univ. of North Texas Press, 2009).
A much deserving winner of the A.M. Pate Award.
South Carolina Military Organizations During the War Between the States (4 Vols.) by Robert S. Seigler (The History Press, 2008).
* Statewide Units, Militia & Reserves
* The Midlands
* The Lowcountry & Pee Dee
* The Upstate
Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington, New Edition by Benjamin Franklin Cooling III and Walton H. Owen II (Scarecrow Press, 2009).
The Complete Gettysburg Guide: Walking and Driving Tours of the Battlefield, Town, Cemeteries, Field Hospital Sites, and other Topics of Historical Interest by J. David Petruzzi and Steven Stanley (Savas Beatie, 2009).
The Civil War in the Big Sandy Valley of Kentucky, Second Edition by John David Preston (Gateway Press, 2008).
Preston's self-published [Gateway is a subsidy press] book could qualify as a reprint, but there is so much revision and added material that it is almost an entirely new (and far better) book.
Defending South Carolina's Coast: The Civil War from Georgetown to Little River by Rick Simmons (The History Press, 2009).