Thursday, November 19, 2009

Booknotes III (November '09)

The flu has laid me low, and now my On The Shelf list is burgeoning. With reading giving me a headache, it's a good thing I always have a ready backlog of posts and reviews for just such an occasion.

New additions this month:

1. Mr. Lincoln's Forts: A Guide to the Civil War Defenses of Washington, New Edition by Benjamin Franklin Cooling III and Walton H. Owen II (The Scarecrow Press, 2010).

I first read this book back in the late 1990s and have been wanting a personal copy ever since. Originally published in 1988 by White Mane -- one of their good ones -- (with a subsequent paperback edition), prices for out-of-print copies were steep until the announcement of a new edition by The Scarecrow Press, a Rowman & Littlefield imprint. I was pleased to obtain a copy from them for review, and looking through it reminds me of how much I admired the 1st ed. Along with the descriptive text, it's a map lover's dream that's also packed with great old photographs. I wonder if the visible remains sections were updated ...

2. Orlando M. Poe: Civil War General and Great Lakes Engineer by Paul Taylor (Kent State Univ. Press, 2009).

One of the great engineering officers of the war finally gets his due.

3. Blue Springs: A History of the Desperate Battles at Blue Springs for the Control of Upper East Tennessee During the Civil War by William A. Beard III (Town of Mosheim and Strawberry Plains Press, 1997).

As we all know, much of the fighting in E. Tennessee has been neglected in the published literature. Commissioned by the Town of Mosheim, which puts on a Blue Springs reenactment, this study does a nice job of filling in some of the gaps. I'll write much more about Beard's book in a pair of future posts.


  1. I just received my copy of Mr. Lincoln's Forts today. One of my review points is indeed to check any updates to the "remains" section... and of course to the references to historical markers!

  2. Craig,
    Do you have the older edition for direct comparison?


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