Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Booknotes: Under the Crescent Moon with the XI Corps in the Civil War, Volume 2

New Arrival:
Under the Crescent Moon with the XI Corps in the Civil War, Volume 2: From Gettysburg to Victory, 1863-1865 by James S. Pula (Savas Beatie, 2018).

James Pula's Under the Crescent Moon with the XI Corps in the Civil War, Volume 1: From the Defenses of Washington to Chancellorsville, 1862-1863 was published last year and this book completes the most in-depth history to date of the Union's most star-crossed corps. The Under the Crescent Moon with the XI Corps in the Civil War set "draws extensively on primary sources and allows the participants to speak directly to readers. The result is a comprehensive personalized portrait of the men who fought in the “unlucky” XI Corps, from the difficulties it faced to the accomplishments it earned."

Obviously, the Eleventh Corps's biggest and most controversial moments occurred during the 1863 Chancellorsville and Gettysburg battles. The former was featured in Volume 1, and Gettysburg figures most prominently here. Slightly more than two-thirds of the Volume 2 narrative covers the period between July 1 and July 16, which should delight Gettysburg readers, especially those interested in a measured reassessment of the corps's performance during the first day of the battle. 

The Eleventh Corps was one of those selected to reinforce the Chattanooga defenders in the wake of Chickamauga, so the rest of the book recounts their contributions to the Chattanooga and Knoxville Campaigns in the West. Pula's study concludes with the consolidation of the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps into the new Twentieth Corps, which would go on to earn laurels during the Atlanta Campaign and beyond.

By all appearances, Pula's coverage of the July 1 fighting incorporates a multitude of first-person accounts and is heavy on small-unit detail. The July 2 chapter is similarly presented. The text is supported by numerous photographs and seven maps. In the appendix section, one can find the June 30 strength return for the Army of the Potomac, a Gettysburg casualty table, the Eleventh Corps OB at Chattanooga, and a list of Eleventh Corps Medal of Honor winners with brief commentary.

Readers might also be interested to learn that the publisher's website redesign went live earlier this month. Go to the link above and check it out.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for noting this book, Drew, and the new website. We appreciate it.


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