Saturday, March 21, 2015

Booknotes VI - Savas Beatie edition (Mar '15)

New Arrivals (all from Savas Beatie):

1. Confederate Artillery Organizations: An Alphabetical Listing of the Officers and Batteries of the Confederacy, 1861-1865 by F. Ray Sibley, Jr. (2014).

Originally published in 1898, "(t)his new updated and easy-to-use reference work sets forth the lineage of the Confederate artillery. It lists, in alphabetical order, individual batteries to artillery regiments, the names and alternate names for the batteries and the names of the men who led them. Also included are the dates of acceptance into Confederate service for each unit. Most companies have an annotation that includes an alternate name (if there was one), and the date if a unit disbanded or was merged into another organization. The annotations for officers include date of appointment, date of promotion to a higher grade (if any), date of transfers (if any), date dropped from rolls (if any), and date relieved of command (if any).

Sibley spent ten years on this project, confirming and correcting the original material, adding new findings, and extensively footnoting all of it.

Confederate Artillery Organizations also contains four rare and hard-to-find lists of Confederate artillery officers: “Memorandum of Artillery Officers, C. S. A.,” “List of Officers Corps of Artillery, C. S. Army, on U.S. Register of 1861,” “Superintendents of Armories,” and “Military Store-Keeper of Ordnance.” These lists illustrate the ranking of each officer in his respective grade

2. The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood by Stephen M. Hood (2015).

Readers of Hood's John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General will recall frequent mention of the author's access to a significant cache of Hood papers never before seen by scholars. This new work is the edited publication of those documents, mostly letters to and from General Hood along with a few reports and affidavits. Brett's TOCWOC review gave the book high marks.

3. Richmond Redeemed: The Siege at Petersburg, The Battles of Chaffin's Bluff and Poplar Spring Church, September 29 - October 2, 1864 by Richard J. Sommers (2014).

A pleasant feature of Sesquicentennial publishing has been the reissue of so many works that I never expected to see reprinted at all let alone significantly revised for a new generation of readers. The epic classic Richmond Redeemed by Richard Sommers is one of the best examples of this phenomenon. There's also a uniquely designed enhanced e-book version.

4. The Siege of Petersburg: The Battles for the Weldon Railroad, August 1864 by John Horn (2015).

I never read the original edition (The Petersburg Campaign: The Destruction of the Weldon Railroad - Deep Bottom, Globe Tavern, and Reams Station August 14-25, 1864) but I understand it ranks among the respected works in the groundbreaking but notoriously uneven H.E. Howard series. Horn’s revised and updated Sesquicentennial edition of his study of Grant's Fourth Offensive has a new title along with 22 new maps and a host of other improvements.

5. Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville, March 1865 by Daniel T. Davis and Phillip S. Greenwalt (2015).

Another Emerging Civil War series title, Calamity in Carolina offers a brief overview of the final stages of the 1865 Carolinas Campaign. 8 maps and numerous photographs support the text as well as the pair of driving tours included (one each for Averasboro and Bentonville).

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