Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Booknotes II (April 08)

Regular rundown of book purchases or review copies received so far this April (part 2):

Guide to Missouri Confederate Units, 1861-1865 by James E. McGhee (Univ. of Arkansas Press, 2008). A review of this invaluable reference guide should be posted soon. Beyond its own intrinsic merits, it is a wonderful companion piece to Sterling Price's Lieutenants, the organizational history of the Missouri State Guard (from which so many Missouri Confederate units and individuals first served).

Three Days in the Shenandoah: Stonewall Jackson at Front Royal and Winchester by Gary Ecelbarger (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008). Ecelbarger once again revisits the 1862 Valley Campaign. His earlier Kernstown book "We Are In For It!" is a first-rate battle history, and the author's biographical study Frederick W. Lander: The Great Natural American Soldier is valley related, as well. On a different note, later on this year Ecelbarger will make his own contribution to the AL publishing onslaught with The Great Comeback: How Abraham Lincoln Beat the Odds to Win the 1860 Republican Nomination.

Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign by Peter Cozzens (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2008). UNC Press recently sent me an ARC. Although I will hold off on a review until I've examined the retail version [according to the mailer, it's scheduled for an Oct. 08 release], I'll post some thoughts about the book when I finish the galley.

The Encyclopedia of Civil War Medicine by Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein (M.E. Sharpe, 2008).

The Deadliest Indian War in the West: The Snake Conflict, 1864-1868 by Gregory Michno. It is somewhat surprising that many of the most visited pages on this blog are those dealing with the Indian conflicts of the Civil War period. The Snake War, fought for four years over portions of Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and California, is relatively obscure, but according to the author the conflict led to more deaths than any other Indian war in the west.

The Shoshoni Frontier and the Bear River Massacre by Brigham Madsen (Univ. of Utah Press, 1995 pb reprint). The Bear River battle took place on January 29, 1863 in what is now Franklin County, Idaho. This book is widely regarded as the best history to date of the Utah sojourn and Bear River Expedition of Col. Patrick Connor and his California volunteers.


  1. Drew,

    Thanks for the regular run-down of new books...I'm anxious to see your impression of the Encyclopedia/CW Medicine...Glenna gave a preview of the book in her talk at the 2007 Society of CW Surgeons conference in St Louis...I know she has done some very good work, esp. as a research/collections expert at the Lincoln Library...she billed the encyclopedia as the resource "she wished she would have had" in some of her previous research/writing; however, based on the index of entries she circulated at the conference, I'm not sure that it is as encompassing as it could be...in any event, I'm sure the suggested price will keep it in libraries and not in the avaerge enthusiast's library.

    All My Best,

    Jim Schmidt

  2. Hi Jim,
    Upon cursory examination, that's my impression as well. It doesn't appear to be a one-stop shop on the subject, and seems to be a bit too personality driven, while herding a wide range of material that might better deserve independent treatment into single headings [e.g. a single venereal disease entry instead of separate ones for syphilis, gonorrhea, etc.].


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