Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Booknotes (November '09)

New additions this month:

1. Defending South Carolina's Coast: The Civil War from Georgetown to Little River by Rick Simmons (The History Press, 2009).

The comparatively little that is written about the Civil War along South Carolina's coast overwhelmingly focuses on the Charleston environs and the area to the south between that city and Savannah. What makes this book so interesting is that it shifts the attention in the opposite direction, up the coast. I admit I had to look up Georgetown and Little River on Google maps. If Georgetown's historical location is roughly the same as the current one, then the town was and is situated approximately halfway between Charleston and the South Carolina/North Carolina border (with the current Little River Inlet located just south of the state line) -- think Myrtle Beach and you're right in the middle of it. Can't wait to read it.

2. The Tygarts Valley Line June - July 1861 by Eva Margaret Carnes (McClain Publishing, 2003 3rd ed.).

This one was the subject of an earlier snapshot review, but I haven't held a copy of the newest edition until now. It's a softcover facsimile reprint of the staple bound 1961 original, with no new material. Focusing on June 3 battle at Philippi and the Belington skirmishes fought during the second week in July, this remains a very worthwhile study of the early stages of the 1861 western Virginia campaign.

3. The Battle of Franklin: When the Devil had Full Possession of the Earth by James R. Knight (The History Press, 2009).

This short battle history is also part of THP's Civil War Sesquicentennial series. I haven't cracked it open yet, so it's too early to tell if the Hoodites will flip out over it.

1 comment:

  1. Drew,
    I tend to think that it wasn't all Hood's fault, he was put in a impossible situation at Atlanta but the charge at Franklin was no more useful than Lee at Gettysburg on July 3rd or Burnside at Fredericksburg. I don't believe Hood was 'drugged up' as the legend goes but he had to be in much pain and the Tennessee campaign was not one of the greatest campaigns in military history. I know hindsight is 20/20 but I think Hood should have stayed in Georgia living off the land like Sherman did and sniping at the flanks of Sherman's armies. To get a army completely destroyed in front of Nashville did not benefit the Southern cause but Jefferson Davis was as much to blame. John Bell Hood was a very brave man but not the stuff army commanders are made of. He was truly one of the excellent division commanders of the war. He wanted to flank at Gettysburg but not Franklin. I have always thought that very strange.


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