Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Booknotes III (October '11)

New Arrivals:

1. Stratagem 1861: Early Civil War Tactics and the Battle for the Potomac by Robert H.C. Alton (Walsworth Pub Co, 2011).

Chock full of photos, maps and drawings of all kinds, this is a smart looking new study of the Confederate attempt to block Potomac River traffic through the erection of batteries along its southern bank.

2. Ride Around Missouri: Shelby's Great Raid 1863 by Sean McLachlan (Osprey, 2011).

A new volume from Osprey's "Raid" series, this book is typical of the publisher's prolific run of military history titles in terms of length and depth. In addition to the many illustrations, there's a nice OB and pair of maps for the Battle of Marshall, the raid's most significant fight.

3. Worthy of the Cause for Which They Fight: The Civil War Diary of Brigadier General Daniel Harris Reynolds, 1861-1865 edited by Robert Patrick Bender (Univ of Ark Press, 2011).

Reynolds began the war a company commander in the First Arkansas Mounted Rifles, fighting at Wilson's Creek at Pea Ridge before crossing the Mississippi. This is his diary, richly annotated by Bender.


  1. Drew, this Osprey title has me interested. I have generally stayed away from their Civil War volumes because most cover battles for which I have both a detailed history and an illustrated history (in contrast, I own many of Osprey's 17th and 18th Century titles).

    However, I am not aware of any detailed/illustrated histories of Shelby's Raid, or at least any that are readily obtainable. Despite its abbreviated nature, does this volume fill a gap in the literature and/or provide illustrations that cannot be easily pulled up on Wikipedia?

    Chris Van Blargan

  2. It's too early to tell. I've already encountered a bizarre error in the intro (pg. 7) -- "After the St. Louis massacre, Governor Jackson easily passed a resolution to secede from the Union." I don't know if the author was confusing the Military Bill with a secession ordinance or what.


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