Friday, June 14, 2024

Booknotes: "Tell Mother Not to Worry"

New Arrival:

"Tell Mother Not to Worry": Soldier Stories From Gettysburg’s George Spangler Farm by Ronald D. Kirkwood (Savas Beatie, 2024).

The Battle of Antietam and the rest of the 1862 Maryland Campaign are on quite the roll of late, but the fact remains that Gettysburg is the undisputed king of Civil War publishing. While there's obviously no other cumulative body of operational and tactical coverage to match it, the published history of the Battle of Gettysburg's civilian experience and other off the battlefield matters is similarly rich in depth and range. Ronald Kirkwood's first contribution to that literature, "Too Much for Human Endurance": The George Spangler Farm Hospitals and the Battle of Gettysburg, was published in 2019. That book "established the military and medical importance of the Spangler farm and hospitals." Also from Savas Beatie is that volume's new companion work, "Tell Mother Not to Worry": Soldier Stories From Gettysburg’s George Spangler Farm.

From the description: Author Ronald Kirkwood "researched thousands of pensions and military records, hospital files, letters, newspapers, and diaries of those present at the hospitals on Spangler land during and after the battle. The result is a deeper and richer understanding of what these men and women endured—suffering that often lingered for the rest of their lives. Their injuries and deaths, Yankee and Rebel alike, carried with it not only tragedy and sadness for parents, spouses, and children, but often financial devastation as well."

More: This sequel to 2019's“Too Much for Human Endurance" "profiles scores of additional soldiers and offers new information on events and experiences at the farm, including the mortally wounded Confederate Brig. Gen. Lewis Armistead." It also "includes another chapter on the often-overlooked First Division, II Corps hospital at Granite Schoolhouse, a wounded list for that division, and a chapter on Col. Edward E. Cross, who died at Granite Schoolhouse in the middle of Spangler land." Supplementing the text and helping readers find specific locations are numerous maps along with period and modern photographs.

Post publication, authors often discover, or are presented with, information they wish could have been included. This sequel project provided Kirkwood with the opportunity to put such material on the page. More from the description: the volume "concludes by continuing the story of George and Elizabeth Spangler and their four children after the war and ends with an uplifting chapter on their modern-day descendants and how they were found after the release of “Too Much for Human Endurance.”"

"Tell Mother Not to Worry" "increases the understanding of the lives of the soldiers and their families and adds depth to the story of George and Elizabeth Spangler’s farm."

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this mention Drew. This is an exceptionally interesting and profoundly sad study that fits right in nicely with all the Greg Coco accounts. Those who loved the first book will enjoy this one just as much.


***PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING***: You must SIGN YOUR NAME when submitting your comment. In order to maintain civil discourse and ease moderating duties, anonymous comments will be deleted. Comments containing outside promotions and/or product links will also be removed. Thank you for your cooperation.