Saturday, January 16, 2016

Booknotes: Service with the Signal Corps

New Arrival:

Service with the Signal Corps: The Civil War Memoir of Captain Louis R. Fortescue edited by J. Gregory Acken (Univ of Tenn Pr, 2015).

According to the description, this is the first published memoir from a member of the Signal Corps of the Union army. "Fortescue’s memoir not only presents a unique look at the corps, but it also provides important insights into the war as a whole. Fortescue experienced the conflict from several perspectives—infantry subaltern, signal officer, aide-de-camp (briefly), and prisoner of war—and took an active role in a number of significant campaigns and battles [Upper Potomac 1861, Shenandoah 1862, Cedar Mountain, 2nd Bull Run, Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg]." Fortescue was captured by Confederate cavalry on July 5 and spent the rest of the war as a POW. Adding further value to the memoir, editor Gregory Acken provides an introduction, blocks of background and transitional narrative throughout, and extensive endnotes. Looks like a good one.

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