Saturday, May 8, 2021

New 1864 Camden Expedition series project

As I've mentioned on several occasions, I very much welcome helpful notes from readers informing me about book news and rumors. If the topic interests me and I can get some sort of confirmation, I'm happy to pass it along here. Just such a thing happened this week when reader M.B. let me know about Joe Walker's upcoming multi-volume history of the Arkansas wing of the 1864 Red River Campaign. The topic has been covered pretty well in bits and pieces, and over the past decade Walker himself has self-published a pair of books along those lines in Harvest of Death: The Battle of Jenkins' Ferry, Arkansas and Hail & High Water: The Battle of Elkins' Ferry, Arkansas (the former of which in its third edition), but the only attempt at a standalone book covering the entire operation remains Michael Forsyth's The Camden Expedition of 1864 and the Opportunity Lost by the Confederacy to Change the Civil War, which was published in hardcover in 2003 and reissued in paperback four years later.

This now nearly year-old blog post on Walker's personal website offers the latest official word on the ambitious project's progress. While Forsyth's rather slim study is light on detail and focuses on higher level strategy and decision-making, Walker promises a "a three volume work, encompassing over 1,000 pages and +100,000 words." That would represent a huge step up in scale and depth from his previous work (which I have read), and I'm looking forward to checking it out when the time comes. Hopefully the website will be updated soon, but my informant tells me that Walker told him the trilogy is halfway through the final editing process and it is anticipated that the books will be released sometime in 2021-22.


  1. Did the informant say who the publisher might be?

    1. No. It sounds like Walker hired a professional editor, but it's not clear to me yet how it will be published. So far all of his books have been self-published. I don't know if this will be different.

    2. I hope there will be plentiful and accurate maps.

    3. Yes. One of the things I discovered visiting is that the state battlefield parks are marginally on the battlefield. Although the actual battlefield has been preserved at Mark's Mills and there is a decent map at the kiosk, the roads have changed so much it's nearly impossible to figure out where you are at on the battlefield. Here's hoping for a modern overlay.


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