Friday, July 31, 2015

Booknotes III (July '15)

New Arrivals:

1. Teacher of Civil War Generals: Major General Charles Ferguson Smith, Soldier and West Point Commandant by Allen H. Mesch (McFarland, 2015).

I am not aware of any C.F. Smith biographies so the publication of Mesch's book is a welcome event for those that like to study the early war in the West. The bibliography size and breadth won't blow anyone away but then again I have no idea what source material regarding Smith is available. The notes for several chapters do refer heavily to Smith's papers, which support the "(d)rawing on never before published letters and journals" part of the book description.

2. Slavery and Secession in Arkansas: A Documentary History edited by James J. Gigantino II (Univ of Ark Pr, 2015).

"Drawn from contemporary pamphlets, broadsides, legislative debates, public addresses, newspapers, and private correspondence, these accounts show the intricate twists and turns of the political drama in Arkansas between early 1859 and the summer of 1861." One of the goals of the project is to highlight the primacy slavery held in the secession debates.

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