Monday, October 8, 2012

Booknotes II (October '12)

New Arrivals:

1. The Knoxville Campaign: Burnside and Longstreet in East Tennessee by Earl J. Hess (Univ of Tenn Pr, 2012).

It's safe to say that we can scratch Knoxville off the list of campaigns and battles lacking a good modern treatment. This one has all the appearances (deep research, tactical and operational detail, and lots of maps) of yet another winner by Hess.

2. The Untried Life: The Twenty-Ninth Ohio Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War by James T. Fritsch (Ohio UP/Swallow Pr, 2012).

A 500-page oversize volume making heavy use of diary sources, this regimental history covers in great detail the Civil War history of the 29th Ohio, from its time in the eastern (the Valley, Cedar Mountain, 2nd Bull Run, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg) and western (Chattanooga, Dug Gap, Atlanta, March to the Sea, and Carolinas) theaters.


  1. I just received the Hess book and look forward to your review. A quick skim shows some typical (and useful) "Hessisms" - an author who cares enough about maps to draft the base maps himself, and some author-drawn diagrams of the Knoxville fortifications.

  2. John and Drew,

    I'm reading this one for review as we speak. John's not kidding about the maps. 22 maps on the Knoxville Campaign, many of them drawn originally by the author? That's impressive. The other thing which sticks out immediately (I'm late in Chapter 1) is the incredible number of archival sources Hess used in compiling this book. I don't like to use the word definitive, but it looks like Hess has at the very least set the stage extremely well for any future studies of the campaign or its various parts.


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