Friday, June 7, 2019

Booknotes: Confederate "Tales of the War" in the Trans-Mississippi, Part Five

New Arrival:
Confederate "Tales of the War" in the Trans-Mississippi, Part Five: 1864-1865 edited by Michael E. Banasik & Brenda F. Banasik (Camp Pope Publishing, 2019).

If I were to compile a list of my favorite Civil War book series (maybe I should do that), Camp Pope's Unwritten Chapters of the Civil War West of the River would be on it. Edited by Michael Banasik (later joined by Brenda Banasik), it is an essential collection of annotated and richly enhanced primary source material covering a great multitude of events spanning the entire war. The capstone to Vol. VII is Confederate "Tales of the War" in the Trans-Mississippi, Part Five: 1864-1865.

As mentioned before on the site, the five-book set transcribes in full and exhaustively annotates a series of St. Louis Missouri Republican newspaper articles that were first introduced in 1885 and released over a two-year period. Inside the books "a total of 89 pieces on the Trans-Mississippi Civil War by 52 different authors have been gathered together, which probably constitutes the greatest single collection of primary material ever assembled on the Trans-Mississippi to date."

Part Five "deals with operations on the Mississippi and White Rivers; the Confederate Exodus to Mexico and the murder of General M. M. Parsons; Sterling Price's 1864 Missouri Raid; and irregular operations during the war." As expected, the book continues the tradition of assembling incredibly valuable source and reference materials of all kinds in the appendix section. The forthcoming review will discuss those goodies at greater length, but suffice it to say for now that the section includes over 200 pages of documents, biographies, extended commentary, and extensive strength, loss, and order of battle information for the 1864 Missouri Expedition.

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