Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Booknotes: The Sacred Cause of Union

New Arrival:
The Sacred Cause of Union: Iowa in the Civil War
by Thomas R. Baker (Univ of Iowa Pr, 2016).

As a Cornhusker fan, I am reluctant to say anything positive about the state of Iowa, but it cannot be denied that the Hawkeyes punched far above their weight during the Civil War. The Sacred Cause of Union claims to be the first survey history of Iowa in the Civil War, and I certainly don't know of any prior modern publication that would fit the bill. Baker's study "interweaves economics, politics, army recruitment, battlefield performance, and government administration." The home front and the Iowa women's Civil War also feature prominently in the volume. From the description: "On their own initiative, the state’s women ventured south to the battlefields to tend to the sick and injured, and farm families produced mountains of food to feed hungry federal armies. In the absence of a coordinated military supply system, women’s volunteer organizations were instrumental in delivering food, clothing, medicines, and other supplies to those who needed them."

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