Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The unusual suspects

Everyone reading this knows about the quantity and quality of Civil War books coming out each season from academic presses like LSU and UNC, but, every once in a while, the ones we don't usually think of as "Civil War" publishers throw us a bone.

University of North Texas Press's War and the Southwest series has released a pair of worthwhile Civil War titles already (it probably helps that Richard Lowe is one of the editors), and another one is scheduled for early next year, Robert Lull's Civil War General and Indian Fighter James M. Williams: Leader of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry and the 8th U.S. Cavalry. This book promises to be significant on several levels. In addition to being the first biography of Williams, it will bring renewed (and hopefully detailed) attention to a pioneering black combat unit and will shed light on the neglected war in the Indian Territory.

Going all the way out west, Oregon State University Press will publish Lincoln and Oregon Country Politics in the Civil War Era (also in February). The author, Richard Etulain, is an authority on western frontier history, and he's delved into Lincoln before, editing a 2010 collection of essays for SIUP under the title Lincoln Looks West: From the Mississippi to the Pacific.

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