Thursday, September 3, 2015

Booknotes (Sept '15)

New Arrivals:

1. Californio Lancers: The 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry in the Far West, 1863 - 1866 by Tom Prezelski (Arthur H. Clark, 2015).

The state of California's 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry was composed of four companies raised in the areas in and around San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara. It's Civil War service took it all over California before marching as a unit into Arizona and along the U.S.-Mexican border. In this time, they "pursued bandits, fought an Indian insurrection in northern California, garrisoned Confederate-leaning southern California, patrolled desert trails, guarded the border, and attempted to control the Chiricahua Apaches in southern Arizona." In addition to the unit narrative, the book also includes a roster of officers and men. This is the first full length history of this unique unit.

2. On This Day in West Virginia Civil War History by Michael B. Graham (The Hist Pr, 2015).

I liked Graham's earlier WV book about the Civil War in the Coal River Valley and this one, while a very different kind of study, exhibits the same degree of research depth. In a paragraph or two at most, Graham basically recounts a 1861-65 military event for every day of the year.

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