Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Booknotes III (Feb '15)

New Arrivals:

1. Civil War Biographies from the Western Waters: 956 Confederate and Union Naval and Military Personnel, Contractors, Politicians, Officials, Steamboat Pilots and Others by Myron J. Smith, Jr. (McFarland, 2015).

In researching his many books about Civil War naval operations along the inland waterways of the western theater, Smith has accumulated a vast amount of information on military and civilian figures both well known and obscure. Civil War Biographies from the Western Waters is a unique and valuable compilation of these profiles.

2. Year of Desperate Struggle: Jeb Stuart and His Cavalry, from Gettysburg to Yellow Tavern, 1863-1864 by Monte Akers (Casemate, 2015).

This is the sequel to Year of Glory: The Life and Battles of Jeb Stuart and His Cavalry, June 1862-June 1863 (2012). Along the complexity spectrum, my initial impressions put the Akers works closer to popular military histories than the deeper monographs from subject experts like Eric Wittenberg.

3. Heroes for All Time: Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories by Dione Longley and Buck Zaidel (Wesleyan Univ Pr, 2015).

From the publisher: "This book presents the war straight from the minds and pens of its participants; rich passages from soldiers’ letters and diaries complement hundreds of outstanding period photographs, most previously unpublished. The soldiers’ moving experiences, thoughts, and images animate each chapter. Written accounts by nurses and doctors, soldiers’ families, and volunteers on the home front add intriguing details to our picture of the struggle, which claimed roughly 6,000 Connecticut lives."

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