Monday, June 2, 2008

Epic Stone's River/Murfreesboro project

I recently noticed a History-Sites banner (the owner Jim Martin helpfully provides ads for publications by frequent board contributors) for a Stone's River/Murfreesboro project from Lanny K. Smith titled The Stone's River Campaign: 26 December 1862 - 5 January 1863 [11.25 x 8.75 Blue Cloth Hardcover w/ Gold Lettering, 731 Pages, 46 maps, Self-Published, ISBN: 978-1-56837-407-9 (Vol. 2 will cover the Army of Tennessee)]. Mr. Smith graciously sent me a copy, and my first reaction upon seeing this massive tome and perusing the pages was to be instantly impressed (almost overwhelmed) with the scale of the undertaking. I don't believe I've seen anything quite like it, for any battle. It appears to be an encyclopedic tracing of each unit's role at given time increments, down to regimental scale during the battle period, in the Army of the Cumberland, from the initial advance from Nashville through the end of the Battle of Stone's River. Each page is densely packed with annotated text at a small font size. The hand-drawn regimental scale maps, with troop movements and positions placed upon small scale reproductions of the Michler battlefield terrain map, should allow readers to follow the action closely.

My own knowledge of this battle is largely limited to the Cozzens study and the occasional magazine article, but I think it would be safe to say that students of the battle will be seeking this one out. Ordering information can be found by following the link above, but if you'd understandably like to see it for yourself before purchasing it, the author mentioned to me by email that the book will be available this summer at the Stones River National Battlefield park bookstore. It's limited to 330 copies, though, so keep that in mind.

I'll be posting my own thoughts about the book. Interested readers can monitor the Upcoming Reviews section of the sidebar, where completed reviews are queued.


  1. Looks interesting Drew. I just ordered a copy for myself.

  2. Wow -- you've really piqued my interest. This is the first I've heard of this.


  3. This study is definitely very intriguing, and I have not heard of it elsewhere. Thanks for the review. I have ordered a copy.


  4. Hi, Drew, this one does look very interesting. I am doing something similar myself, with Chickamauga, so I will be curious to see how this is constructed.

    I applaud the effort, will have to rush out and get my copy...

    Dave Powell

  5. That sounds great, Dave. It'll be a while before I can get to this one. I rather get the feeling that this kind of book is the model that Dimitri R. looks for in battle studies, but doesn't find.


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