Friday, October 4, 2019

Coming Soon (Oct '19 Edition)

*NEW RELEASES* Scheduled for October 2019:
Colonels in Blue - Missouri and the Western States and Territories: A Civil War Biographical Dictionary by Roger Hunt.
An Everlasting Circle: Letters of the Haskell Family of Abbeville, South Carolina, 1861-1865 edited by Karen Stokes.
Decisions at Gettysburg: The Twenty Critical Decisions That Defined the Battle by Matt Spruill.
Lincoln's Informer: Charles A. Dana and the Inside Story of the Union War by Carl Guarneri.
American Zouaves, 1859-1959: An Illustrated History by Daniel Miller.
Liberty and Slavery: European Separatists, Southern Secession, and the American Civil War by Neils Eichhorn.
Massacre in Minnesota: The Dakota War of 1862, the Most Violent Ethnic Conflict in American History by Gary Clayton Anderson.
Vicksburg: Grant's Campaign That Broke the Confederacy by Donald Miller.
Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War by S.C. Gwynne.
Mississippi Bishop William Henry Elder and the Civil War by Ryan Starratt.

Comments: Of the titles from this list that haven't been profiled already through past Book News postings, the Anderson book is the most highly anticipated. I am always up for reading another scholarly contribution to the 1862-65 Dakota War literature. The description reveals certain areas of focus, but I will be keen to discover how it sets itself apart from the host of other titles available. As far as I can tell, Vicksburg is Donald Miller's first Civil War title. I have no firsthand knowledge of his other military history works (all WW2 related it seems) that might help form any expectations about the nature of it, but the publisher does typically target a more popular audience with its history titles.

10 comments:

  1. The table of contents is viewable on Amazon. The list of maps only includes 2 statewide maps of Minnesota which is disappointing. I was hoping for something comparable to Michno's Dakota Dawn to fill in events between the first week of the uprising and the punitive expeditions into the Dakotas the following year. From the description of this and his book on Texas and number of maps, the focus seems to be on the topics of ethnic violence and cleansing.

    Chris Van Blargan

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    1. It does appear from a quick review of the bibliography that Anderson may have used a to of primary material. Michino's book is well done and this might supplement it from a different slant.

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  2. Drew: If you think about it (and if I recall correctly) the Vicksburg Campaign has only two legitimate modern campaign studies: the Bearss three-volume set from a defunct publisher, and Ballard. (Obviously, the SIU series as an essay collection is different). So there may be room for another approach.

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    1. John,
      Grabau's book "Ninety-Eight Days" is well worth adding to your collection if you can find it for a reasonable price anymore.

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  3. Drew,

    I would argue that Terry Winschel has also written and excellent modern (2003) history of the Vicksburg Campaign - Vicksburg is the Key co authored with Shea along with his essay collection - Triumph & Defeat the Vicksburg campaign. (2004) Winschel was park superintendent at VNMP for 30 years and Ed Bearss protege. Recently was on a tour with Mr. Bearss & Mr. Winschel. Terry knows the whold Vicksburg campaign backwards & forwards like no one else. Curt Thomasco

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    1. Yes, Winschel would be a good fit for authoring an updated campaign history. I don't know what his interest level in 'going big' might be.

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  4. I should have mentioned the two Winschel Triumph and Defeat volumes as an essay collection similar to the SIU project. Vicksburg is the Key is well-done but it's more an overview (like the others in that series). I still see Bearss and Ballard as the two modern campaign studies. Obviously I have no idea where the Miller book will fit.

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  5. Also there is the late Warren Grabau's massive meticulously detailed tome - 98 days (March 29 through July 4, 1863)- mainly from a logistical standpoint written in the 60s or 70s. So admittedly not modern. Grabau also wrote a book on Raymond - Confusion Compounded: The Pivotal Battle of Raymond, 12 May, 1863. Although again admittedly not a modern study (but besides another really subpar book on Raymond) the only real study I know of on Raymond. Graubau & Bearss also worked on The Battle of Jackson, May 14, 1863; The Siege of Jackson, July 10-17, 1863; Three Other Post-Vicksburg Actions (1981) again admitidely not modern but nice coverage of follow up Post-Vicksburg actions besides another book by Wincshel on the Civil War Siege of Jackson (2016). If I remember correctly Grabau found the USS Cairo along with Mr. Bearss. By the way Tim Smith is apparently authoring a detailed tactical book on the Vicksburg Assaults. Terry Winschel is supposedly reviewing the final draft of the manuscript. (Sort of like his Shiloh, Corinth and Champion Hill Books - not part of the SIU series.) Speaking of Corinth I known Smith devotes about 100 pages of his book to the May Siege of Corinth and from what I remember (could be wrong) Cozzens covers only the October battle of Corinth. Really would be nice if someone would do a detailed study of the Siege...Farmington, Russell's House, Widow Surratt Farm, Double Log House, Surratt's Hill and Bridge Creek. Curt Thomasco

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    1. Beyond the printer or publisher leaving many of the map labels blank, I like Grabau's book a lot. There are some that prefer it to Bearss.

      There is a Siege of Corinth project that has been in the works for many years now. I interviewed the author back in 2012: https://cwba.blogspot.com/2012/03/author-q-christopher-slocombe-on-siege.html He updates me every once in a while re: his progress. IIRC, it is still far from finished.

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    2. Tim's book on the assaults is due out some time "early" next year. Grabau's book is very good but I didn't mention it due to its idiosyncratic focus and more limited time span. I agree with Drew about the maps.

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