Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 - The CIVIL WAR BOOKS and AUTHORS Year in Review


Lincoln's Mercenaries: Economic Motivation Among Union Soldiers During the Civil War by William Marvel (LSU).


Battle/Campaign Histories (West):
The Real Horse Soldiers: Benjamin Grierson’s Epic 1863 Civil War Raid Through Mississippi by Timothy Smith (Savas Beatie).

Battle/Campaign Histories (East):
A Campaign of Giants - The Battle for Petersburg, Volume 1: From the Crossing of the James to the Crater by A. Wilson Greene (UNC).

General Military:
Fighting Means Killing: Civil War Soldiers and the Nature of Combat by Jonathan M. Steplyk (Kansas).

Naval History:
"Our Little Monitor": The Greatest Invention of the Civil War by Anna Gibson Holloway and Jonathan W. White (Kent St).

Home Front:
Contested Loyalty: Debates over Patriotism in the Civil War North edited by Robert M. Sandow (Fordham).

Society and Culture:
War Matters: Material Culture in the Civil War Era edited by Joan E. Cashin (UNC).

Culture and War:
At the Forefront of Lee's Invasion: Retribution, Plunder, and Clashing Cultures on Richard S. Ewell's Road to Gettysburg by Robert Wynstra (Kent St).

War and Society:
In the Wake of War: Military Occupation, Emancipation, and Civil War America by Andrew F. Lang (LSU).

Politics and Society:
Mountain Feds: Arkansas Unionists and the Peace Society by James J. Johnston (Butler Ctr).

Industry and Technology:
Engines of Rebellion: Confederate Ironclads and Steam Engineering in the American Civil War by Saxon T. Bisbee (Alabama).

Unit History:
On Duty in the Pacific Northwest during the Civil War: Correspondence and Reminiscences of the First Oregon Cavalry Regiment edited by James Robbins Jewell (Tennessee).

Essay Collection:
Upon the Fields of Battle: Essays on the Military History of America's Civil War edited by Andrew S. Bledsoe and Andrew F. Lang (LSU).

"An Arch Rebel Like Myself": Dan Showalter and the Civil War in California and Texas by Gene C. Armistead and Robert D. Arconti (McFarland).

Edited Letters/Memoir/Diary:
The Diaries of Reuben Smith, Kansas Settler and Civil War Soldier edited by Lana Wirt Myers (Kansas).

State/Regional History:
A Forgotten Front: Florida during the Civil War Era edited by Seth A. Weitz and Jonathan C. Sheppard (Alabama).

Local History:
Kirk's Civil War Raids Along the Blue Ridge by Michael C. Hardy (Arcadia & Hist Pr).

Reference Book:
Rethinking the Civil War Era: Directions for Research by Paul D. Escott (Kentucky).

The Battle of Ball's Bluff: All the Drowned Soldiers by Bill Howard (Arcadia & Hist Pr).

Attacked On All Sides: The Civil War Battle of Decatur, Georgia, the Untold Story of the Battle of Atlanta by David Allison (Author).

Map and Guidebook:
Decisions at Stones River: The Sixteen Critical Decisions That Defined the Battle by Matt Spruill & Lee Spruill (Tennessee).


  1. Drew:

    It's always fun to debate "best of" lists. I am sorry you did not have a separate "memoirs" category to include the wonderful diary of Leroy Wiley Gresham. The biography list for 2018 seems a little slim. I believe you list only books you reviewed. Otherwise David Blight's Frederick Douglass stands as one of the year's best. Finally, I am sorry you did not get a chance to review Volume 1 of Robertson's Chickamauga Campaign to see whether it might have made your list. Happy New Year.

    John Sinclair

    1. Hi John,
      There will always be good ones left out. I already have too many categories!

      Right, I haven't read let alone reviewed the Blight or Robertson books so they're not considered for the list. I wasn't offered a review copy of the Douglass bio.

      Another problem with coming up with these lists is the fact that the end of the year is one of the big release dump periods, a combination of already scheduled books and the many late summer/early fall ones that missed their original pub date.



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