Friday, May 20, 2016

Booknotes: Hell Itself

New Arrival:
Hell Itself: The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-7, 1864 by Chris Mackowski (Savas Beatie, 2016).

Mackowski is a former Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park historian so he undoubtedly knows the Wilderness history and battlefield well. The latest volume from the Emerging Civil War series, Hell Itself tells the story of the battle from beginning to end using a series of tour stops. The narrative is supported by numerous photographs and drawings, as well as 11 detailed maps. As we've come to expect, the ECW collaborative appendix section is populated with interesting vignettes and mini-studies. They discuss federal cavalry during the battle, Burnside's poor performance, the high command of the Army of the Potomac, Longstreet's wounding, the battlefield's flora and fauna, and the Civilian Conservation Corps's relationship with the park. There's also an order of battle.

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