Monday, November 25, 2013

Booknotes III (Nov '13)

New Arrivals:

1. Confederate Slave Impressment in the Upper South by Jaime Amanda Martinez (Univ of NC Pr, 2013).

This is a social and political history of the Confederate policy of obtaining slaves for use as labor on fortifications. The book "challenges the assumption that the conduct of the program, and the resistance it engendered, was an indication of weakness and highlights instead how the strong governments of the states contributed to the war effort." Going further, Martinez "argues that the ability of local, state, and national governments to cooperate and enforce unpopular impressment laws indicates the overall strength of the Confederate government as it struggled to enforce its independence."

2. Theophilus Hunter Holmes: A North Carolina General in the Civil War by Walter C. Hilderman III (McFarland, 2013).

Hilderman, the author of a good study of Confederate conscription in North Carolina, here offers a military biography of one of the state's highest ranking sons. Holmes spent most of the war out west, so there's quite a bit of content devoted to his Trans-Mississippi commands, including a fairly lengthy chapter on Helena.

3. Brigadier General John Adams, CSA: A Biography by Leslie R. Tucker (McFarland, 2013).

According to Tucker, very little in the way of personal papers exist for Adams, who is probably best known as one of the Confederate generals killed at the Battle of Franklin. The result of this is that only around 1/4 of the book is devoted to the Civil War, the rest covering his wide ranging antebellum army career. McFarland also appears to have adopted an improved binding and wrapper material for their softcovers.

4. New Haven's Civil War Hospital: A History of Knight U.S. General Hospital, 1862-1865 by Ira Spar (McFarland, 2013).

"This history of the hospital's construction and operation during the war discusses the state of medicine at the time as well as the administrative side of providing care to sick and wounded soldiers."

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