Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Booknotes: Waul's Legion

New Arrival:
Waul's Legion: History of the Texas Legion by Michael Steinman (Author-Lulu, 2019).

Confederate legions were interesting military experiments that quickly proved unfit for integration into the army, and this short-lived status is probably one reason why unit histories beyond a few component studies (cavalry ones appear most frequently in the literature) are so scarce. This is certainly the case with Waul's Legion, perhaps the best known western example.

No attempt at a modern history of Waul's Texas Legion has been attempted since the 1985 publication of Robert and Leif Hasskarl's Waul's Texas Legion, 1862-1865 (I've also seen evidence of an earlier version dated 1976), which was self-published and from my understanding limited in value. Michael Steinman's Waul's Legion: History of the Texas Legion attempts to rectify this deficiency with a multi-purpose history and reference guide.

Steinman's book is a large, 81/2 x 11 inch softcover 346 pages in length. The organization and service history narrative is brief at around 50 pages. This is followed by a 20-page collection of organizational tables. Officer biographies fill the next 30 pages and roughly 200 pages are devoted to a rank and file roster of all individuals known to have served in the legion infantry, cavalry, and artillery.

4 comments:

  1. Drew, Do you have Hasskarl's 1985 publication? If so how would you compare to the newer version. Specifically does the newer version offer more details on the regiments actions and less on rosters or is it the other way around. Thanks Curt Thomasco

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    1. I only know what other people have said about it and that was before I even knew there were two editions (if that's indeed true).

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  2. Drew, Do you have Hasskarl's 1985 publication? If so how would you compare to the newer version. Specifically does the newer version offer more details on the regiments actions and less on rosters or is it the other way around. Thanks Curt Thomasco - Just back from an Ed Bearss & Terry Winschel tour of Vicksburg and it is fresh in my mind how central Waul's Legion was to not only the whole campaign of Vicksburg but stopping McClernand's assault on the 22nd of May

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    1. Hi Curtis,
      Yes, the unit is definitely synonymous with May 22 and the fighting at the Railroad Redoubt. I've never seen either edition of the book before. I intended to borrow a copy through ILL but never got around to it.

      It sounds like you own a copy of the first edition. What do you think of it?

      Delete

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