Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Booknotes (Dec '13)

New Arrivals:

1. General Gordon Granger: The Savior of Chickamauga and the Man Behind "Juneteenth" by Robert C. Connor (Casemate, 2013).

Connor, a recent site interpreter at Grant Cottage, pens the first military biography of a man who was definitely not a Grant favorite. A glance through the introduction raises hope for a judicious assessment of the general's career.

2. Appomattox: Victory, Defeat, and Freedom at the End of the Civil War by Elizabeth Varon (Oxford UP, 2013).

3. The Vicksburg Campaign, March 29-May 18, 1863 edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear (SIUP, 2013).

With so many books, essays, and articles covering this phase of the Vicksburg Campaign, it will be interesting to see if any fresh ideas emerge in this volume.  Follow the link for the table of contents.  I like the series so far, though the presentation was a bit spare in the early entries.

4. The Little Rock Arsenal Crisis: On the Precipice of the American Civil War by David Sesser (The Hist Pr, 2013).

This is the first book length history of the Little Rock Arsenal stand off, a volatile situation that could have sparked bloodshed between secessionist militia and the U.S. army weeks before the firing on Fort Sumter.


  1. Wow. I've been waiting so long for some sort of bio on Granger. Also Canby, though I guess there's an older bio for him I haven't seen.

    scott s.

    1. Yeah, "Prudent Soldier" is over 60 years old now (I haven't read it either). Canby is certainly worthy of an updated bio. I am still hoping that a good Curtis biography will see the light of day sometime soon.

  2. Hello Drew

    I thought I heard somewhere that William Shea was working on Curtis? I noticed LSU press put their 2014 Spring catalog on the site. Not much Civil War material there. Still waiting on SIU and Tennessee

    Don H.

    1. Don,
      Yes, he mentioned that in the 2010 interview I did with him but I don't know how much or how little progress has been made.

      I've looked through the six available S/S '14 UP catalogs and listed the CW-related titles for an upcoming post. It's not terribly thrilling so far. Catalogs for SIU and Tenn are always among the latecomers. It wasn't too long ago that SIUP was an afterthought when it came to Civil War books not specifically Lincoln related. They've really stepped up.


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