Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Booknotes III (June '14)

New Arrivals:

1. Guide to the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign by Charles R. Bowery and Ethan S. Rafuse (UP of Kansas, 2014).

This is the thickest tome yet from the venerable U.S. Army War College Guides to Civil War Battles series, which isn't surprising given how many sites from the massive 1864-65 campaign it endeavors to cover. It has the series's familiar presentation framework but the maps are by Steven Stanley, which is a big upgrade from the others that I own.

2. The Irish in the American Civil War by Damian Shiels (Trafalgar Square Pub, 2014).

The time elapsed between Damian offering me a review copy of this book and its actual arrival is roughly the same as the period between when "No Irish Need Apply" placards apparently adorned New York shop windows and the election of President Kennedy. I didn't realize that the author is a conflict archaeologist (sounds like a fascinating career path). The book itself seems to be formatted as a collection of roughly two dozen human interest stories representative of the Irish experience of the Civil War.

3. Stonewall's Prussian Mapmaker: The Journals of Captain Oscar Hinrichs edited by Richard Brady Williams (UNC Pr, 2014).

The Hinrichs journals, annotated by Williams, are published here for the first time. A staff officer who worked closely with Jackson, Johnston, Early and Anderson, he experienced the entire war in the east, his writings presumably offering useful personality and campaign insights as well as glimpses into the life of a Confederate topographical engineer not named Jed Hotchkiss.


  1. Of course you know there were no "No Irish Need Apply," placards don't you? Fenian propaganda . The only documented "No Irish," signs were in London and directed at the Northern Irish.

    1. Thus the danger of the occasional cheeky mood post.

  2. Drew: I have the same observation about the Rafuse/Bowery guide. If it's a Stanley map, you're unlikely to go wrong. Unfortunately, it sounds as if this will be Ethan's last guidebook effort.

    1. After seeing the girth of this thing I can understand his 'guide fatigue'!


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