Monday, December 24, 2018

Book News: Thomas W. Knox

Back when most publishers expressed little interest in military and civilian letters, diaries, and memoirs exclusive to the Civil War west of the Mississippi, Camp Pope Publishing (formerly The Press of the Camp Pope Bookshop) was quietly building a reputation as the premier publisher and purveyor of such things. And the press (or rather talented jack of all trades owner-proprietor Clark Kenyon) is still going strong. The latest CPP release is the newly available Thomas W. Knox: Civil War Correspondent in Missouri, edited by Robert G. Schultz. See the link above for more information.

Thomas W. Knox: Civil War Correspondent in MissourFrom the description: "By the beginning of the Civil War, the New York Herald, founded in 1835, had become one of the largest and most influential newspapers in the country. The Herald sent correspondents throughout the North to report on the war. Among them, Thomas W. Knox was assigned to report on the war in Missouri, based in St. Louis. In the early days of the war, there was much action to report on in Missouri. Knox was an ideal choice for this assignment and had a particular talent and perception for his assignment. He was able to be close to the Union leaders as they struggled to build a war machine to cope with secessionists in their midst and, at the same time, he was able to tell human interest stories about ordinary people and the effect of the war on them. He accompanied many of the expeditions and filed first-hand reports on the scenery, movements, and actions. These are his reports as they appeared in the New York Herald. They offer a different, more extensive view than that usually seen in books on the early part of the war in Missouri."

Anyone with a deep interest in the early-war period in Missouri is familiar with Knox's valuable firsthand perspectives on people and events, but I'm sure many readers are also like me in not having read all of his articles and reports in full. At nearly 600 pages this is a huge collection of Knox war reportage, and I can't wait to jump right in when my copy of the book arrives. I'm curious to see what Schultz did with the material in terms of notes, editing, and commentary as well.

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