Thursday, January 17, 2019

Booknotes: Thomas W. Knox

New Arrival:
Thomas W. Knox: Civil War Correspondent in Missouri edited by Robert G. Schultz
  (Camp Pope Publishing, 2018).

Thomas W. Knox: Civil War Correspondent in Missouri
Click image for more info
This recent release is an edited collection of the titular newspaper reporter's extensive early-war writings from Missouri and NW Arkansas, where he frequently accompanied Union forces on campaign. The period covered is roughly from the beginning of General Lyon's summer 1861 campaign in Missouri through the March 1862 Battle of Pea Ridge.

From 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."

In addition to compiling, annotating, and indexing the Knox material, editor Robert Schultz incorporates into the article collection his own introductory and bridging narrative. Maps, photos, and period artwork are sprinkled throughout, and the appendix section contains a number of supporting documents.

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