Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Booknotes III ( December '09 )

New additions this month:

1. The Civil War in Kentucky by Lowell H. Harrison (Univ. Press of Kentucky, 2009 PB reprint, 1st ed. 1975).

University presses seem to be on an unusually large run of paperback reissues of current and classic titles.

2. Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations by Howard Jones (UNC Press, 2009).

A number of good diplomatic studies have emerged in recent years, and I am looking forward to Jones's synthesis.

3. The Confederacy's Secret Weapon: The Civil War Illustrations of Frank Vizetelly by Douglas W. Bostick (The History Press, 2009).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Civil War Publishing in 2009: My Year in Review


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.

Social-Political-Economic History:

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.

Battle/Tactical History:

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.

Campaign History:

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.

Memoir:

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).

Series:

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).

Essay Collection:

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.

Reference Book(s):

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


Reprint:

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).

Guide/Tour/Maps:

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).

Self-Publishing Effort:

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.

Local/Regional History:

Defending South Carolina's Coast: The Civil War from Georgetown to Little River by Rick Simmons (The History Press, 2009).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Booknotes - "Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Missouri in the Civil War"

Still in print (in hardcover or reissued in paperback) and still releasing titles after 20+ years, University of Arkansas Press's Portraits of Conflict is one of the finest Civil War photo essay series ever published. Well conceived in content and presentation, the inaugural Arkansas volume won several design awards, and the succeeding years have seen the format carried over to most of the rest of the Confederate states [of the eleven, Virginia, Florida, and Alabama remain].

Just released this month, the series embarks on something of a new direction, taking the reader through a crucial border state. Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Missouri in the Civil War is authored by William Garrett Piston and Thomas P. Sweeney. The pair is well suited for the task, with historian Piston the co-author of the new standard work on the Battle of Wilson's Creek and retired radiologist Sweeney the prior owner of one of the finest Trans-Mississippi Civil War artifact collections in existence. For many years, General Sweeny's museum was a must-see stop for visitors to the Wilson's Creek NBP.

Other volumes in the series:

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Arkansas in the Civil War by Bobby Roberts and Carl Moneyhon (1987, also paper reprint)

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Louisiana in the Civil War by Carl Moneyhon and Bobby Roberts (1990, also paper reprint)

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Mississippi in the Civil War by Bobby Roberts and Carl Moneyhon (1993).

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of South Carolina in the Civil War by Richard B. McCaslin (1994).

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Georgia in the Civil War by Anne J. Bailey and Walter J. Fraser Jr. (1996).

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of North Carolina in the Civil War by Richard B. McCaslin (1997).

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Texas in the Civil War by Carl Moneyhon and Bobby Roberts (1998).

Portraits of Conflict: A Photographic History of Tennessee in the Civil War
by Richard B. McCaslin (2007).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Marker hunter on new "Mr. Lincoln's Forts" edition

It'll be a while before I get to the new edition of Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington, but "marker hunter" Craig Swain of To the Sound of the Guns blog has posted a quick comparison of the new and old editions. Check it out here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rating the various book packaging methods

'Tis the season to buy and receive books in the mail. As a frequent buyer of new & used titles, as well as receiver of review copies from the full range of publishers, I've seen it all when it comes to book packaging. Unfortunately, as a general rule, the situation is not pretty, and it's getting worse by the year.

Here is how I would grade the packaging methods currently in vogue, from best to worst:

1) Cardboard Book Fold: Grade A

The excellent Multi-D fits in this category, too. Properly fit and with use of a thick, rigid, multi-panel, corrugated cardboad, it is well-nigh impossible to damage a book shipped with this method, no matter the weight [at least, I haven't seen it yet] . The book itself, compressed inside multiple layers of cardboard, cannot move, and the thick corners extending far beyond the dimensions of the book preclude bumping. Unfortunately, the use of this method is fairly uncommon. Note: The book fold pictured here isn't an example of what I consider the best on the market (I couldn't find one), but just gives a general idea of what one looks like.

2) Cardboard Box: Grade A-

The mainstay of the traditional transaction between book buyer and seller, the use of a good old box has fallen to the wayside, especially with the influx of amateur selling on the internet. The only downside to this method (and thus my A- grade) is the internal packaging must be accorded the attention of a knowledgeable and experienced packager to avoid the book moving around internally and getting damaged.

3) The 'B' or 'C' Flute "Book Burrito": Grade B+

This is basically a single fold of cardboard of various flute grades cut to extra length (usually around twice the length of the book) and secured on both ends by heavy staples. I've had great experiences with this method when thick and rigid corrugated cardboard was used. The single thickness around most of the area contacting the book can cause problems when cheaper materials are used (I've seen that, too).

4) Jiffy Rigi Bag: Grade B-

In my mind, this is a far better compromise between max protection and economy than the execrable bubble mailer (see below). The Rigi Bag is thin and flexible enough to be lightweight, cheap, and accommodate a good range of sizes, but just rigid enough to give the book corners a good chance of not getting bumped. It also does a mostly acceptable job of fixing the book in place, minimizing cover rubbing. I have experienced good results in receiving books shipped using this method (actually, I am continually surprised at how well it works, given its non-inspiring appearance). A predicted vulnerability is compression damage from heavier objects during transport, but oddly enough I've never actually seen it, yet.

5) Bubble Mailer: Grade D

In my opinion, the worst thing to happen to book buying over the past ten years. It has replaced the box as the standard mode of book packaging (not surprising as it is very light and cheaply purchased in bulk). The bubble "protection" is an absolute joke, and the typical paper-covered types tear very easily. This packaging method is far too lightweight and has no internal stiffening, both of which lead almost invariably to hardcovers arriving damaged to some degree (commonly with the corners badly bumped). Softcovers fare no better. Books are not afforded even a reasonable chance of arriving at their destination in the original condition. Most of my review copies are shipped via this method.

6) Manila Envelope: Grade F

Yes, some people actually ship books using a plain old manila envelope. Need any more be said?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Booknotes (December '09)

New additions this month:

1. Marching With the First Nebraska: A Civil War Diary by August Schernekau, edited by James E. Potter and Edith Robbins (Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 2007).

I didn't pick up a copy of this diary when it first came out, as a cursory glance through it at the bookstore gave me the impression of a pretty mundane manuscript with uninspired editing. I've changed my mind since. A paperback edition is due out next February.

2. Counterfeit Gentlemen: Manhood and Humor in the Old South by John Mayfield (Univ. Press of Florida, 2009).

3. Fort Point: Gibraltar of the Pacific by J.G. Motheral (Fort Point Museum Assoc., 1971).

This is a 40-page general history pamphlet, similar to something one buys at the gift shop of various national parks, with a fair amount of Civil War focus. Motheral covers the construction and armament of the fort, as well as some of the pro-Confederate plots by land and sea hatched during the war in California.

4. Family Values in the Old South edited by Craig Thompson Friend and Anya Jabour (Univ. Press of Florida, 2009).

This is a collection of ten essays on family life in the antebellum South, with wide coverage of attendant issues (e.g. politics, economics, marriage, death, domestic roles, slavery, and other race relations).

Friday, December 11, 2009

More History Press titles

Eric Wittenberg recently posted news about his upcoming Brandy Station book, which will be part of The History Press's Civil War Sesquicentennial series. Two of the brand new releases interest me, Michael D. Coker's The Battle of Port Royal and The Battle of Okolona: Defending the Mississippi Prairie by Brandon H. Beck. Both cover battles that have never received adequate book length coverage before. From those that I've read, I like the series overall. The chosen format lends itself well to shorter subjects, and the series as a whole has a nice variety in its addressing of new and familiar material.

Simmons: "DEFENDING SOUTH CAROLINA'S COAST: The Civil War from Georgetown to Little River"

[ Defending South Carolina's Coast: The Civil War from Georgetown to Little River by Rick Simmons (The History Press, 2009). Softcover, maps, illustrations, photos, appendix, bibliography, index. 192 pages. ISBN:9781596297807 $21.99 ]

Not surprisingly given the city's real and symbolic importance, most book length military studies of the Civil War on South Carolina's coastline center on Charleston. Part of what makes Rick Simmons' new book Defending South Carolina's Coast so attractive and original is that it shifts the attention in the opposite direction, up the Atlantic coast from the Palmetto City. Why is the region between Winyah Bay in the south and Little River Inlet to the north worthy of study beyond local interest? Like many other areas, it's largely a question of economics and opportunity. Located up Winyah Bay, an inland waterway formed by the confluence of a number of rivers (Pee Dee, Waccamaw, Black, and Sampit), the deep water port of Georgetown, South Carolina was, according the Simmons, the center of the most lucrative rice producing region in the country. The Confederacy's Mars Bluff Naval Yard also was constructed nearby on the east bank of the Pee Dee River in Marion County. These facts were known to both sides (and the Confederates initially assigned 3,000 men for regional defense), but the attention paid to the area waxed and waned throughout the war, with Charleston and points elsewhere constantly drawing down the Confederate garrisons. However, with Charleston constantly under pressure by land and sea, the stretch of coastline to the north would become a significant haven for blockade runners. This in turn led to frequent Union coastal raids and naval attacks up the often vulnerable waterways.

Simmons's narrative does a fine job of covering these events in detail, from the construction of the Confederate earthwork fortifications on North, South, and Cat Islands near the entrance to Winyah Bay as well as those [Battery White, Fort Wool, Frazier's Point battery] guarding Georgetown itself, to the Union operations at Little River and Murrell's Inlet. Confederate troop movements in and out of the district are carefully monitored in the text. The author also devotes a chapter to the Mars Bluff gunboat C.S.S. Pee Dee, as well as the equally unfortunate U.S.S. Harvest Moon. At the end of each chapter is a site preservation summary. Numerous period and modern photographs, as well as some nice drawings, supplement the text. A bibliography and index were also included.

There are a few weaknesses. While the book's author is an academic [a professor at Louisiana Tech], he elected to take the popular history approach and dispense with footnotes. This will not bother most readers, but will disappoint those hoping to utilize the notes to learn more about the subject and the available source material. Although the archival maps sprinkled throughout help orient the reader to specific points mentioned in the text, one wishes Simmons had also included a large scale map of the region to bring it all together.

The above flaws aside, Defending South Carolina's Coast is my favorite entry to date from THP's burgeoning Civil War Sesquicentennial Series. Rick Simmons has crafted a useful, well written, and completely original contribution to the literature, one that will be valued by new and old students of the Civil War in South Carolina. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Spring/Summer 2010 UP Catalogs

I gleaned the following Civil War-related releases from the available Spring/Summer university press catalogs for the coming year:

ALABAMA:

Alabama has a wealth of titles coming out. We've all read innumerable anecdotes about a wounded or cornered soldier flashing the Masonic sign of distress (whatever that is), the immediate result of which is mercy at the hands of an enemy Mason. Now, we finally have a scholarly study of the phenomenon. The Columbus study sounds really good (the author provided a TOC in an earlier post). Lewis's book looks to do for Zachary Taylor's campaign what Timothy Johnson did for Scott's Mexico City campaign.

* The Better Angels of Our Nature: Freemasonry in the American Civil War
by Michael A. Halleran

* A Small but Spartan Band: The Florida Brigade in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia
by Zack C. Waters and James C. Edmonds

* Columbus, Georgia, 1865: The Last True Battle of the Civil War
by Charles A. Misulia

* Trailing Clouds of Glory: Zachary Taylor’s Mexican War Campaign and His Emerging Civil War Leaders
by Felice Flanery Lewis

* The Good Men Who Won the War: Army of the Cumberland Veterans and Emancipation
by Robert E. Hunt

* Recollections of War Times By An Old Veteran while under Stonewall Jackson and Lieutenant General James Longstreet
by William A. McClendon, edited by Keith S. Bohannon

SOUTH CAROLINA:

The Gamecocks will have a trio of edited letter collections available.

* Faith, Valor, and Devotion: The Civil War Letters of William Porcher DuBose
Edited by W. Eric Emerson and Karen Stokes

* A Palmetto Boy: Civil War–Era Diaries and Letters of James Adams Tillman
Edited by Bobbie Swearingen Smith

* Twilight on the South Carolina Rice Fields: Letters of the Heyward Family, 1862–1871
Edited by Margaret Belser Hollis and Allen H. Stokes

NEBRASKA:

They took the season off, just like the Cornhusker offense

KENT STATE:

Joe Reinhart, with his writing, editing, and translation work, has done as much as anyone to bring the experiences of northern German soldiers to Civil War scholars and readers.

* Northerners at War: Reflections on the Civil War Home Front
by J. Matthew Gallman

* A German Hurrah!: Civil War Letters of Friedrich Bertsch and Wilhelm Stängel, 9th Ohio Infantry
Translated and edited by Joseph R. Reinhart

KENTUCKY:

* My Old Confederate Home: A Respectable Place for Civil War Veterans
by Rusty Williams

* Lincoln on Trial: Southern Civilians and the Law of War
by Burrus M. Carnahan

NORTH CAROLINA:

I've been wondering what Kenneth Noe has been up to in terms of his next book project. Now I know. Other topics that have received a good amount of scholarly attention in recent years (see esp. Bowman and Bynum below) are also covered.

* At the Precipice: Americans North and South during the Secession Crisis
by Shearer Davis Bowman

* The Long Shadow of the Civil War: Southern Dissent and Its Legacies
by Victoria E. Bynum

* Reluctant Rebels: The Confederates Who Joined the Army after 1861
by Kenneth W. Noe

* Confederate Minds: The Struggle for Intellectual Independence in the Civil War South
by Michael T. Bernath

* The Bravest of the Brave: The Correspondence of Stephen Dodson Ramseur
Edited by George G. Kundahl

MISSOURI:

* Yankee Warhorse: A Biography of Major General Peter J. Osterhaus
by Mary Bobbitt Townsend

FLORIDA:

I am looking forward to Schafer's updating and expansion on his earlier work on the Civil War in Jacksonville.

* Thunder on the River: The Civil War in Northeast Florida
by Daniel L. Schafer

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS:

SIUP's essay compilation series dealing with western theater military campaigns gets its next entry.

* The Chickamauga Campaign
Edited by Steven Woodworth

FORDHAM:

No doubt inspired by the Reed classic, naval historian Craig Symonds's new book is a collection of ten essays. From the publisher's description: "Presented in chronological order, each essay illuminates an aspect of combined operations during a time of changing technology and doctrine."

* Union Combined Operations in the Civil War
Edited by Craig Symonds

* The Lincoln Assassination: Crime and Punishment, Myth and Memory
Edited by Harold Holzer, Craig L. Symonds, and Frank J. Williams

* The Great Task Remaining Before Us: Reconstruction as America's Continuing Civil War
Edited by Paul A. Cimbala, and Randall M. Miller

* Freedwomen and the Freedmen's Bureau: Race, Gender, and Public Policy in the Age of Emancipation
by Mary Farmer-Kaiser

OKLAHOMA:

If you are interested in the many Civil War battles that took place along the entire length of the Arkansas River Valley during 1863, then UOP has the book for you (and me).

* Civil War Arkansas 1863: The Battle for a State
by Mark K. Christ

Monday, December 07, 2009

Booknotes - "Tinclads in the Civil War"

Tusculum College library director and professor Myron J. Smith, Jr. has quietly put together a monumental naval series. Actually, it is not formally presented as a series but the trio of Le Roy Fitch: The Civil War Career of a Union River Gunboat Commander (McFarland, 2007), The Timberclads in the Civil War: The Lexington, Conestoga, and Tyler on the Western Waters (McFarland, 2008), and now Tinclads in the Civil War: Union Light-Draught Gunboat Operations on Western Waters, 1862-1865 (McFarland, 2009) together comprise an extraordinarily comprehensive yet minutely detailed look at the gunboat war on the western waterways. Fitch takes the reader along the Ohio, Cumberland, and Tennessee rivers, while Timberclads moves the action from the Tennessee River to the Mississippi, White, Arkansas, and Red rivers, among other tributaries. The new volume, Tinclads in the Civil War, is similarly broad. It is unfortunate that the costs of these books will likely keep them from the scale of personal library circulation that they abundantly deserve (the latest book is a paperback, priced at $55).

I wonder if the ironclads are next up. Back in 1982, the author published a history of the City-Class gunboat U.S.S. Carondelet so there's some interest there [ed. 12/8: looks like there's a reprint planned].

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Bragg: "GRISWOLDVILLE"

[ Griswoldville by William Harris Bragg (Mercer University Press, 2009). Softcover, maps, photos, drawings, notes, bibliography, index. Pages main/total:158/189. ISBN:9780881461688 $30 ]

First published back in 2000, William Harris Bragg's Griswoldville was reissued in September in a new paperback edition. Equal parts biography, town history, and military study, Bragg's book employs an unusual, but well executed, approach.

The book begins with the peacetime story of Samuel Griswold, a Connecticut-born landowner and industrialist, who later founded an industrial village approximately ten miles east of Macon, Georgia. Originally a successful designer and manufacturer of cotton gins, Griswold would eventually convert his business to the making of arms -- the Griswold & Gunnison revolver (patterned after the 36 caliber Colt "Navy") -- when war broke out.

Twice in 1864, first during General George Stoneman's disastrous raid and later amid Sherman's March, Griswoldville was threatened by Union forces. Eventually, the settlement was burned to the ground. Those background events are covered in brief by Bragg, but several chapters are devoted to the November 22, 1864 Battle of Griswoldville, a bloody defeat of a numerically superior force of Georgia militia at the hands of a veteran and well positioned Union infantry brigade. The author's tactical narrative does not treat the events of the battle in great detail (as opposed to the flawed, but worthwhile, Fields of Gray by Gary Livingston), but it will suffice for most readers.

The volume is very attractive, almost bursting with 97 full-page maps, photographs, and drawings, many of which are published for the first time. Although this leaves the reader with something over 60 pages of main text, this is not an overview study reliant on previously published works. Bragg's work is strongly based on a range of primary source materials and his notes are extensive.

An informative snapshot of the social, economic, and military history of a small but important Georgia town, Griswoldville should appeal to both dedicated Civil War students and local history enthusiasts. Recommended.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Rumley & Browning (ed.): "THE SOUTHERN MIND UNDER UNION RULE: The Diary of James Rumley, Beaufort, North Carolina, 1862-1865"

[ The Southern Mind Under Union Rule: The Diary of James Rumley, Beaufort, North Carolina, 1862-1865 by Judkin Browning (University Press of Florida, 2009). Cloth, 2 maps, illustrations, footnotes, bibliography, index. 216 Pages. ISBN:9780813034072 $34.95 ]

Published in book form for the first time under the title The Southern Mind Under Union Rule, and edited by historian Judkin Browning, The James Rumley diary provides much in the way of insight into the mindset of a strongly pro-Confederate resident of an occupied town. Given that the town of Beaufort, North Carolina was occupied continuously from March 1862 onward, readers also see a middle class white resident's view of the ongoing social changes wrought by the war in an area with a significant slave population. Suffice it to say he was none too pleased with the succession of Union occupying forces and their commanders, as well as the recruitment of black units, the members of which often clashed with the locals.

The diary itself has something of an interesting backstory. The original manuscript has disappeared (only the text published in newspaper serial form is extant), and the authorship was in doubt for a time, not helped by the fact that Rumley refers to himself in the third person throughout. The serialized copies remain in the Levi Woodbury Pigott Collection at the state archive, among the papers of the individual originally supposed to be the author.

Undoubtedly, Rumley, a Carteret County court clerk, used his diary as an outlet for his frustrations at a disappearing world. Vitriol and sarcasm abound, with much of it reserved for the newfound freedoms and power accorded to blacks by the Union occupation authorities. Rumley also paid close attention to military movements along the coast, making his diary a useful source for 1862-1865 army and navy operations in the Beaufort area and beyond.

Judkin's annotations, explanatory footnotes dealing primarily with persons and events mentioned or described in the diary, are very useful adjuncts to the text. A full bibliography and a good index were also included. The book itself, bound in yellow cloth, is a handsome volume.

The Southern Mind Under Union Rule is recommended on several fronts. As an articulate account of Union occupation it is superb, and it also carefully recounts the breaking down of the old social order maintained between blacks and whites in coastal North Carolina from a Confederate point of view. The diary also provides some insight into local military operations.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

2009 Pate Award announced today

The Civil War Round Table of Fort Worth has awarded its 2009 A.M. Pate Jr. Award to The Seventh Star of the Confederacy: Texas During the Civil War and its editor Kenneth W. Howell. The yearly book honor seeks to reward "outstanding original research on the Trans-Mississippi sector of the Civil War". Congratulations to Prof. Howell and the rest of the contributors.

This reminds me I need to start putting together my annual "best of" list. Of course, there is no prestige or monetary gain attached, but it offers me one last opportunity to highlight my favorite books of the year before the posts are finally relegated to the blog archives and search engine land.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Five 1863-1864 East Tennessee Campaign books

A frequent lament among western theater readers is the lack of a good modern history of the 1863-64 East Tennessee Campaign(s). I am not aware of any new projects in the works, but there are a few good pieces here and there.

In terms of book length studies, Ambrose Burnside's advance from Kentucky into East Tennessee that resulted in the capture of Knoxville has been completely neglected [ed. although Earl Hess has mentioned that he is working on a Knoxville book], while a pair of books cover Longstreet's campaign to recapture the city -- Digby Gordon Seymour's oft reprinted Divided Loyalties: Fort Sanders and the Civil War in East Tennessee [again, even though I have it pictured at left, I don't recommend the 3rd edition - see link for explanation] and Alexander Mendoza's more recent Confederate Struggle For Command: General James Longstreet and the First Corps in the West. Mixed bags in terms of detail, neither provides more than a general overview of select events.

The product of research into published sources as well as his own amateur archaeological studies, David C. "Cleve" Smith has published two very worthwhile books: Lilly in the Valley: Civil War at Mossy Creek (Author, 1986) and its full length expansion titled Campaign to Nowhere: The Results of General Longstreet's Move into Upper East Tennessee (Author - Strawberry Plains Press, 1999). If you can find a copy at a reasonable price, Campaign to Nowhere is a recommended acquisition. The text is heavily drawn from the O.R. and is supplemented by numerous photographs and maps, the latter being detailed hand-drawn terrain and troop movement renderings that are worth having on their own.

Another local history documents a pair of military events that occurred before (Oct. 10, 1863) and long after (Aug. 23, 1864) Longstreet's Knoxville "siege". Like Smith's Campaign to Nowhere, Blue Springs: A History of the Desperate Battles at Blue Springs for the Control of Upper East Tennessee During the Civil War by William A. Beard III (Town of Mosheim, 1997)* includes a lot of maps and photographs, as well as an archaeological discussion. I plan on posting a review of this book.


* - Special thanks to Jim Allen, Executive Director of the Battle of Blue Springs event (held in mid-October of each year, but with a 2009 hiatus) and Chairman of the Planning Committee.