Thursday, July 3, 2014

To Retain Command of the Mississippi

My list of most anticipated June - August releases is so far shaping up to be pretty thin. September, on the other hand, has a number of seheduled titles I am looking forward to with relish. Edward McCaul's To Retain Command of the Mississippi: The Civil War Naval Campaign for Memphis (UT Press, 9/28) is one of these. The author did fine work with his earlier technical treatise on artillery fuses and this one is similarly out of the mainstream. It will be the first book length treatment of the Battle of Memphis, in which the Union's brown water navy learned quickly from its rough handling at Plum Point Bend to inflict a severe defeat upon the Confederate River Defense Fleet at Memphis. I was hoping to see the second Trans-Mississippi volume from the Confederate Generals in the West Theater series in the same catalog but its time is yet to come.


  1. Drew,

    I see this upcoming selection from UT Press is in excess of $50.00. The first volume of the CGTMD essays was also in excess of $50.00. Is this the new trend in academic presses, charge $50.00 for anything Civil War related, or is this peculiar to UT Press? It certainly seems like a sure fire way not to sell a lot of books.

    1. I think it's fair to say their list prices are a bit above average for comparable UP books. UTP also doesn't seem to offer the kind of wholesale discounts that lead to steep price reductions upon release on the online book venues (like those we always see for UNC and LSU titles). This tends to keep the price propped up. Like other UPs, they do have good deals during special sales.

  2. Hello Drew

    Thanks for the information about this title. I agree with your other reader regarding the prices. UT Press if certainly on the high end. I also agree with you. I tend to do my purchasing from this press during their sales.

    It doesn't appear that this new title is in the series Western Theater of The Civil War? Although I've enjoyed the confederate general essay titles and look forward to others, I was hoping there would be other subjects in the series. There has been one biography published on Hood, but I thought there would be others.

    Look forward to more updates from you.


    1. Hi Don,
      Yes, it hasn't turned out to be the major series that I was hoping for either.

  3. I agree, I wish UT Press would be kinder on prices. Recent LSU Western Theater titles like Larry Daniels "Stones River" and Wiley Sword's "Gateway to the Confederacy" are very reasonably priced, but the same venues keep almost all of UT's Western Theater books prohibitively expensive, which means, I fear, they won't carry the same impact as cheaper reads.


When commenting, PLEASE SIGN YOUR NAME. In order to maintain civil discourse and ease moderating duties anonymous comments will be deleted. Comments containing outside promotions and/or product links will also be deleted. Thank you.