Friday, July 24, 2009

Booknotes II (July '09)

Acquisitions or review copies received this month:

1. Fort Wool: Star-Spangled Banner Rising by J. Michael Cobb (The History Press, 2009).

Beginning in the 1820s and through the two World Wars, what would become Ft. Wool faithfully stood watch over Chesapeake Bay. This complete overview of the installation's history devotes three chapters to the Civil War period. On another note, the publisher has a new website.

2. Bill Arp's Peace Papers: Columns on War and Reconstruction, 1861-1873 by Charles Henry Smith (Bill Arp), new introduction by David B. Parker (Univ. of South Carolina Press, 2009).

New paperback edition; part of the Southern Classics Series from USC Press.

3. The Missouri State Guard: A Selected, Annotated Unit Bibliography by Thomas Pearson (Author - Lulu, 2009).

While I welcome the appearance of any new publication dealing with the Missouri State Guard, this reference book is really too narrowly selective in the compilation of its source list to be of much use for researchers. The bibliography lists only 36 sources, nearly all published. Additionally, many from the list are reference books, which leads to a highly repetitive unit by unit source list. Readers wishing to learn more about what material is available for serious original inquiry into the MSG remain better served by consulting the excellent Sterling Price's Lieutenants, a classic work. The new edition's bibliography lists almost 200 source collections in the unpublished material section alone. If a future edition is in the offing, it is hoped that Pearson will broaden his net, as, in its present form, his book cannot be recommended.

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