Friday, October 22, 2010

Booknotes II (October '10)

New Arrivals:

1. The 22nd Maine Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War: A History and Roster by Ned Smith (McFarland, 2010).

The 22nd spent its 1862-63 term of service in the Gulf Department, fighting in the Bayou Teche and Port Hudson campaigns under Banks. It looks like a good book, although I am not sure why the author skimped on his own bibliography, which lists only a couple dozen published sources, while the notes indicate a vastly greater numbers of sources used, including much in the way of unpublished material.

2. Union General John A. McClernand and the Politics of Command by Christopher C. Meyers (McFarland, 2010).

This one appears better researched than a number of the more recent Civil War military biographies from this publisher. I can't tell yet how favorable a view Meyers has of his subject's generalship, but that does not appear to be a major focus anyway. The author states in his introduction that the primary theme is McClernand's politicization of his military service and recommends Kiper for details on military matters. He'll also attempt to present more of McClernand's perspective on the Grant vs. McClernand relationship.


  1. Yes, Kiper's book on McClernand was truly excellent. I really liked the focus and detail on what part McClernand played in battles such as Shiloh. I think it is still a pretty underrated book.

  2. I've never gotten around to reading that one.


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