Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Booknotes: Civil War Richmond

New Arrival:
Civil War Richmond: The Last Citadel by Jack Trammell & Guy Terrell (Arcadia Pub and The Hist Press, 2021).

There's been a bit of a surge of interest in Civil War Richmond of late, with major works from Stephen Ash (Rebel Richmond, 2019) and Mary DeCredico (Confederate Citadel, 2020) published within the last two years, and we already have a pair of 2021 popular history releases in Jack Trammell & Guy Terrell's Civil War Richmond: The Last Citadel and another recent arrival that I will talk about in a later post.

From the description: "Few American cities have experienced the trauma of wartime destruction. As the capital of the new Confederate States of America, situated only ninety miles from the enemy capital at Washington, D.C., Richmond was under constant threat. The civilian population suffered not only shortage and hardship but also constant anxiety. During the war, the city more than doubled in population and became the industrial center of a prolonged and costly war effort. The city transformed with the creation of a massive hospital system, military training camps, new industries and shifting social roles for everyone, including women and African Americans."

Trammell and Terrell provide an overview of Richmond history from around 1840-1865, with roughly a quarter of the book's 200 pages discussing the antebellum period and the rest the Civil War years. As with most volumes from this publisher, the text is supported by an abundance of photos, maps, drawings, and tables. Chapters examine a diverse range of topics, among them Richmond industry, military prisons, hospitals, spy networks, Unionists, and newspapers. Additionally, brief biographies of notable individuals associated with the city's wartime history are scattered about its pages.

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