Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Booknotes III (Dec '14)

New Arrivals:

1. Corps Commanders in Blue: Union Major Generals in the Civil War edited by Ethan S. Rafuse (LSU Pr, 2014).

Rafuse assembled quite a collection of writers (with some regional balance to boot): Hennessy on Fitz John Porter, Clemens on JKF Mansfield at Antietam, Noe on Charles Gilbert at Perryville, Stowe on Meade, Woodworth on James McPherson during the Vicksburg Campaign, Snell on William Franklin in the Trans-Mississippi, Rafuse himself on Joe Hooker in North Georgia, and Simpson on Hancock and the Overland Campaign.

2. A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut's Civil War by Lesley J. Gordon (LSU Pr, 2014).

The 16th was one of many hard luck regiments, a Civil War career comprised mostly of tedious and inglorious garrison duty bookended by panicked rout at Antietam and wholesale surrender at Plymouth, the captives sent to Andersonville. Gordon's unit history is also concerned with the post-war decades, when members sought to rehabilitate the image of themselves and their unit.

3. The Enigmatic South: Toward Civil War and Its Legacies edited by Samuel C. Hyde, Jr. (LSU Pr, 2014).

This essay collection addresses a wide array of topics: states rights politics, education developments in the South, Louisiana's secessionist preachers, Clement Vallandigham, class privilege in Mississippi, conscription and biographical features on William L. Yancey, Pierre Champomier, and Edward McGehee, ending with an appreciation of the career of historian William Cooper.

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