Monday, March 27, 2023

Booknotes: Nashville 1864

New Arrival:
Nashville 1864: From the Tennessee to the Cumberland by Mark Lardas (Osprey Pub, 2017).

A bundle of backlist titles from UK publisher Osprey that stretch back to 2017 just arrived. Going in chronological order, the first is Mark Lardas's Nashville 1864: From the Tennessee to the Cumberland, which is #314 in their Campaign series.

The text follows the prolific publisher's tried and true series formula, with sections covering campaign origins, an event chronology, discussions of opposing high commands and armies (with detailed orders of battle), and opposing plans. Those are followed by a campaign/battle narrative, a look at the aftermath's retreat and pursuit movements, and a brief summary of various battlefield and campaign-related preservation topics.

Of course, the full-color original artworks and maps are the biggest draw of Osprey titles, which are always densely illustrated. Maps of all scales are included. Angled grid-pattern maps (these show aerial photo-style terrain with troop movement overlays) address the battles of Allatoona and Spring Hill along with the Murfreesboro Raid. More conventional line drawing cartography is applied to Forrest's West Tennessee Raid, the action at Columbia, the Battle of Franklin, and the climax at Nashville. The color plates (composed of scenes from Forrest's withdrawal from Johnsonville, the 14th USCT's attack on a Confederate battery at Decatur, and Opdycke's counterattack at the Carter House during the Battle of Franklin) originated in actual paintings that are sold privately. The last of the three stylistically mimics the Centennial-era American Heritage battle maps. In addition to those visuals, nearly every other page has a photograph or some other illustration.

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