Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Booknotes IV (Apr '13)

New Arrivals:

1. Lee's Army During the Overland Campaign: A Numerical Study by Alfred C. Young III (LSU Pr, 2013).

Few historians in the Civil War field embark on the type of serious number study that can convincingly confirm, revise, or even completely overturn accepted figures associated with significant military events. In this book, Young does so for the Army of Northern Virginia in the Overland Campaign. He claims that Lee's command "stood far larger in strength and size and suffered considerably higher casualties than previously believed". His is a thick study, divided evenly between (a) a narrative examination of the actions, and losses sustained, of each infantry and cavalry brigade (and artillery battalion) in the campaign, and (b) a series of supporting tables, maps, and notes.

2. Heaven's Soldiers: Free People of Color and the Spanish Legacy in Antebellum Florida by Frank Marroti, Jr. (Univ of Ala Press, 2013).

From the publisher description: "Heaven’s Soldiers chronicles the history of a community of free people of African descent who lived and thrived, while resisting the constraints of legal bondage, in East Florida in the four decades leading up to the Civil War" ... "Marotti surveys black opportunities and liabilities under the Spaniards; successful defenses of black rights in the 1820s as well as chilling statutory assaults on those rights; the black community’s complex involvement in the Patriot War and the Second Seminole War; black migration in the two decades leading up to the US Civil War; and African American efforts to preserve marriage and emancipation customs, and black land ownership."

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