This list is part "best of" compilation and part desire to reward those works that, though imperfect, nevertheless address neglected topics in a manner useful and creative enough to be deserving of special recognition. As with all my previous lists, the current one also considers late date titles from the previous year.
Battle/Campaign Histories:Trans-Mississippi Theater:
The Battle of Carthage, Missouri: First Trans-Mississippi Conflict of the Civil War by Kenneth E. Burchett (McFarland).
Corinth 1862: Siege, Battle, Occupation by Timothy B. Smith (Univ Press of Kansas).
Holding the Line: The Battle of Allegheny Mountain and Confederate Defense of the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, 1861-62 by Joe Geiger (West Virginia Book Co.).
General Military:The Civil War in the West: Victory and Defeat from the Appalachians to the Mississippi by Earl J. Hess (Univ of N. Carolina Press).
Social-Cultural History:The Golden State in the Civil War: Thomas Starr King, the Republican Party, and the Birth of Modern California by Glenna Matthews (Cambridge Univ Press, 2012).
Political History:We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861 by William J. Cooper (Knopf).
Economics, Technology and Society:Misadventures of a Civil War Submarine: Iron, Guns, and Pearls by James P. Delgado (Texas A&M Univ Press).
Unit History:The Iron Brigade in Civil War and Memory: The Black Hats from Bull Run to Appomattox and Thereafter by Lance J. Herdegen. (Savas Beatie).
Essay Collection:The Chattanooga Campaign ed. by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear (So. Illinois Univ Pr, 2012).
Biography:George Henry Thomas: As True As Steel by Brian Steel Wills (Univ Pr of Kansas).
Naval History:The Best Station of Them All: The Savannah Squadron, 1861-1865 by Maurice Melton. (Univ of Alabama Press).
Edited Letters/Memoir/Diary:Confederate "Tales of the War" in the Trans-Mississippi, Part Three: 1863 edited by Michael Banasik (Camp Pope Publishing).
Edited Manuscript:The Maryland Campaign of September 1862, Volume II: Antietam edited by Thomas G. Clemens (Savas Beatie).
Guide Book/Map Study:The Battle of First Bull Run - Manassas Campaign July 16-22, 1861 - An Illustrated Atlas and Battlefield Guide by Blaikie Hines (American Patriot Pr).
Self-Published Effort:Kirksville: The True Story of Urban Warfare in America's Heartland by D. Craig Asbury (Author).