Friday, May 25, 2018

Booknotes: That Field of Blood

New Arrival:
That Field of Blood: The Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862 by Daniel J. Vermilya (Savas Beatie, 2018).

It seems like the Emerging Civil War series has been catching its breath for a while after a near constant stream of output (perhaps due to getting the crew's new Revolutionary War series up and running). But they are back now. GNMP ranger Dan Vermilya's That Field of Blood: The Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862 (do you get ribbed by park service colleagues if you work at Gettysburg but write about Antietam?) provides an overview of the entire campaign, beginning with the Confederate decision to move north into Maryland and ending with Lincoln's issuing of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

The book has all the elements of the series' now familiar format. There are 150 photos and illustrations, including six historical maps and one tour map. The battlefield tour has eight stops, all located on park grounds. The volume covers a lot of ground so there are only two appendix offerings this time around. The first briefly explores presidential visits to the battlefield from Lincoln to Carter, and the second provides a short history of the battlefield park. As with most other volumes, there are also orders of battle and a suggested reading summary.

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