1. Music Along the Rapidan: Civil War Soldiers, Music, and Community during Winter Quarters, Virginia by James A. Davis (Univ of Neb Press, 2014).
"In Music Along the Rapidan James A. Davis examines the role of music in defining the social communities that emerged during this winter encampment [1863-64]. Music was an essential part of each soldier’s personal identity, and Davis considers how music became a means of controlling the acoustic and social cacophony of war that surrounded every soldier nearby. Music also became a touchstone for colliding communities during the encampment—the communities of enlisted men and officers or Northerners and Southerners on the one hand and the shared communities occupied by both soldier and civilian on the other. The music enabled them to define their relationships and their environment, emotionally, socially, and audibly."
2. Busy in the Cause: Iowa, the Free-State Struggle in the West, and the Prelude to the Civil War by Lowell J. Soike (Univ of Neb Press, 2014).
Another new Nebraska title, Soike's book explores the underappreciated role Iowa and Iowans played in the Kansas troubles of the 1850s in arenas like national politics, aiding abolitionist emigrants, and helping runaway slaves.