Thursday, September 3, 2009

"Columbus, Georgia, 1865"

The mega battle history (by this I mean the intensely detailed, regimental scale or below, microtactical study of a single, reasonably large battle, often hundreds of pages in length accompanied by a full slate of maps) seems to be an increasingly rare bird in Civil War publishing. I am certain there are a variety of reasons for it, the scarcity of neglected subjects not one of them. Near the end of 2008, when I was compiling my favorite titles of that year in several categories, even with combining campaign and battle studies, my mental list of good nominees was really too small to make a choice from it stand apart.

It appears the situation will be little different this year. John Schmutz's The Battle of the Crater: A Complete History fits most of the above description, but there's not much else out there to be had in 2009. A possibility is Columbus, Georgia, 1865: The Last True Battle of the Civil War by Charles A. Misulia [(Univ. of Alabama Press, Nov. 2009). Hardcover, 489 pages]. It is odd that this title is not mentioned in the press's Fall-Winter catalog, and I have no information about it beyond the bare bones Amazon page. Perhaps it's a reprint. I don't know. [ed. it is a new study available in early 2010, see comments section] The beginnings and endings of wars have always been of greatest interest to me, so I am hoping this one is worthwhile.


  1. Musilia was online some months back looking for information on Confederate officers who fought at Columbus, so I don't think it's a reprint.

  2. Dear Sirs,
    The book Columbus, Georgia 1865: Last True Battle of the Civil War is set for release in early 2010 by the University of Alabama Press. I am pleased to know that there is some interest in the work. If I may answer any further questions, please let me know. Thanks.
    Charles Misulia

  3. Charles,
    Thanks for visiting. If you could give us a short sketch of your book's content, that would be great.


  4. Columbus, Georgia 1865: Last True Battle of the Civil War is the first ever comprehensive account of the Battle for Columbus and the two days of Union occupation that followed.

    Chapters 1-2 feature an introduction to Wilson’s Raid through April 15, 1865.
    Chapters 3-4 describe the importance of Columbus, Georgia to the Confederate war effort and the situation that prevailed in the city by April 1865.
    Chapters 5-6 focus on preparations undertaken by Confederate forces in southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia to meet Wilson’s Raid and save Columbus.
    Chapter 7 is a detailed account of the capture of the Uchee Creek Bridge and the skirmishing which took place during the march from Crawford to Girard (opposite Columbus).
    Chapters 8-14 contain an hour-by-hour account of the Battle for Columbus beginning with the failed charge to seize the City Bridge and ending with the capture of the city during the night assault.
    Chapters 15-17 relate the details of the two days of Union occupation and destruction which followed the battle.
    Chapter 18 details the impact that the battle had on the wind up of Wilson’s Raid and the early post-war recovery efforts in Columbus. Also included is an introduction to the controversy surrounding the claim that the Battle for Columbus was the last true battle of the Civil War.
    Appendix 1 is a detailed comparative analysis of Columbus’ claim to be the site of the war’s last battle.
    Appendix 2 is a diagram of the structure of Wilson’s Cavalry Corps, MDM.
    Appendix 3 is an Order of Battle.
    Appendix 4 is a list of all identified casualties from the battle.
    Appendix 5 contains a list of soldiers who were awarded the Medal of Honor for action taken during the battle.

    I hope this helps.
    Charles Misulia

  5. Charles,
    Thanks for the information. Sounds like it's just what I was hoping for.


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