Sunday, December 19, 2010

Booknotes II (December '10)

New Arrivals:

1. The Rashness of That Hour: Politics, Gettysburg, and the Downfall of Confederate Brigadier General Alfred Iverson by Robert J. Wynstra (Savas Beatie, 2010).

There is no shortage of Gettysburg titles from this publisher, but among other things they do a fine job with 'man and moment' studies, the moment here being the mismanaged July 1, 1863 assault on Oak Hill by Alfred Iverson's North Carolina brigade. Even if you are not a Gettysburg wonk, the mass killing in front of the stone wall remains on of the war's most memorable disasters, with Iverson popularly cast as the incompetent villain. Wynstra presents the attack itself and its personal and political fallout in great detail.

2. Massacre Along the Medicine Road: A Social History of the Indian War of 1864 in Nebraska Territory by Ronald Becher (Caxton Pr, 1999).

This is a great book and I thought I would finally grab a new personal copy before it goes out of print.

3. Brother of Mine: The Civil War Letters of Thomas and William Christie edited by Hampton Smith (Minnesota Hist Society Pr, 2010).

The Christie brothers were battery mates with 1st Minnesota Light Artillery (Munch's), fighting at Shiloh, Corinth, and in the Vicksburg, Atlanta, and Carolinas campaigns. This volume comprises their letters (which reside in the society archive) home. The editor, MHS reference librarian Hampton Smith, provides scholarly editing and an introduction to this very worthwhile looking collection.

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