Monday, May 26, 2014

Booknotes IV (May '14)

New Arrivals:

1. Gray Days in Morgantown: The Story of the Great Confederate Civil War Raid of April 27 and 28, 1863, Morgantown, Virginia (West Virginia) by Clay Cale, Jr. (Monongalia Hist Society, 2014).

A full length treatment of the the Jones-Imboden Raid did not exist until 2007 with the publication of Darrell Collins's book. Little else has appeared before or since. Cale's short work is an interesting local history study of the raid's impact on Morgantown, (West) Virginia, when, on April 27, 1863 Confederate cavalry from Jones's command entered the town in search of supplies. It's both a narrative history and a collection of first-hand accounts.

2. Lincoln's Bishop: A President, A Priest, and the Fate of 300 Dakota Sioux Warriors by Gustav Niebuhr (HarperOne, 2014).

A number of recent books have examined the 1862 Sioux Uprising in Minnesota and the Mankato hangings of the worst perpetrators. Niebuhr, a former religion journalist, centers his narrative on Episcopal bishop Henry Whipple and the clergyman's attempts to counter the popular outcry for revenge against the offenders.

3. The Admiral and the Ambassador: One Man's Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones by Scott Martelle (Chicago Review Pr, 2014).

The Civil War connection lies with the ambassador of the title, Grant staff officer Horace Porter who was Ambassador to France at the turn of the century. The book documents Porter's lengthy and expensive search for naval hero John Paul Jones's body, which was originally encased in a lead lined coffin and buried in an unmarked French grave.

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