Thursday, August 18, 2011

Booknotes VII ( August '11 )

New Arrivals:

1. The CSS Arkansas: A Confederate Ironclad on the Western Waters by Myron J. Smith, Jr. (McFarland, 2011).

Smith recounts in his typical level of detail the impressive highs and lows of the Arkansas's short career.

2. New Mexico and the Civil War by Walter E. Pittman (The History Press, 2011).

This work is primarily composed of a brief summary of Sibley's 1861-62 campaign, with an additional chapter covering the rest of the war years in the territory.

3. West Virginia and the Civil War: Mountaineers Are Always Free by Mark A. Snell (The History Press, 2011).

Snell's study is not a history of the war fought within the confines of the area that would become West Virginia in 1863 (though some of that certainly is in there), but rather a broader look at the contributions of West Virginia officers and men to the Union army's eastern theater campaigns and battles overall.

4. A Unionist in East Tennessee: Captain William K. Byrd and the Mysterious Raid of 1861 by Marvin Byrd (The History Press, 2011).

I can't say that I've ever heard of Byrd or his unauthorized 1861 raid, so the material presented in this one will be entirely new to me.  Looks very interesting.


  1. Joel ManuelAugust 24, 2011

    I'm hoping the State Library (across street from office bldg.)gets Smith's book on the Arkansas; $45 is a little steep for me unless I read some really good reviews on it. I can see the alleged final resting place of the Arkansas from my office window in downtown Baton Rouge.

    Joel Manuel
    Baton Rouge LA

  2. Hi Joel,
    It looks similar to his other books...exhaustive detail and unhelpful maps that are few and far between. The guy who penned the foreword is an engineer who has closely studied the Arkansas power plant. His shared research and conclusions should be interesting. Too bad they couldn't find a way to produce it in hardcover.


  3. Joel ManuelAugust 24, 2011

    His Timberclads book is in the library here; I'll look through it next time I'm in there to get an idea of his work.


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