Book Reviews

Published 10/19/2022

CONNER: James Montgomery (2022)

By: Colin Edward Woodward Category: Book Reviews

"James Montgomery" is a much-needed correction to 'Glory' and historians who have dismissed the abolitionist as a barbarian.

Published 10/12/2022

BURROWS & KEATING (eds.): Yours Affectionately, Osgood (2022)

By: Keith Altavilla Category: Book Reviews

In "Yours Affectionately, Osgood," editors Sarah Burrows and Ryan Keating have done well to contextualize a New York soldier's wartime experiences.

Published 10/5/2022

DALY: The War after the War (2022)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

"The War after the War" examines the violence that took place in 1865-1867.

Published 9/28/2022

BERRY: Count the Dead (2022)

By: Mark S. Schantz Category: Book Reviews

Stephen Berry's "Count the Dead" is a little book that packs a huge punch.

Published 9/21/2022

PINHEIRO, JR: The Families' Civil War (2022)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Holly A. Pinheiro Jr.'s "The Families' Civil War" enhances our understanding of the war's lived consequences in general, and the African American military experience in particular.

Published 9/14/2022

COWIE: When Hell Came to Sharpsburg (2022)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Steven Cowie's "When Hell Came to Sharpsburg" offers the most comprehensive accounting to date of all that a Civil War battle did to an individual community.

Published 9/7/2022

KNUDSEN: James Longstreet and the American Civil War (2022)

By: A.J. Blaylock Category: Book Reviews

Harold M. Knudsen's "James Longstreet and the American Civil War" seeks to prove that the general possessed a strategic and tactical prowess exceeding the estimates of his postwar detractors.

Published 8/31/2022

BURTCH & BURTCH: W.G. (2022)

By: Brian Martin Category: Book Reviews

"W.G." presents a fascinating character whose life reflects the complex and often troubled nature of nineteenth century America.

Published 8/24/2022

EDWARDS: Only the Clothes on Her Back (2022)

By: Cecily N. Zander Category: Book Reviews

Laura F. Edwards' "Only the Clothes on Her Back" is a compelling work of legal history, written with clarity and verve.

Published 8/17/2022

LITWACK: Been in the Storm So Long (1979)

By: Evan C. Jones Category: Book Reviews

Leon F. Litwack's "Been in the Storm" tapped into the grapevine telegraph...and set a higher standard for all subsequent social history of the United States.

Published 8/10/2022

CHICK: Dreams of Victory (2022)

By: Wesley Moody Category: Book Reviews

Sean Michael Chick's "Dreams of Victory" asks some interesting questions and brings to life the old controversies.

Published 8/3/2022

DAVIS & BELL (eds.): The Whartons' War (2022)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

"The Whartons' War" is a voluminous collection covering over three years of the war with no significant gaps.

Published 7/27/2022

BURGE: A Failed Vision of Empire (2022)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Daniel J. Burge's "A Failed Vision of Empire" is a well-written, deeply researched, and provocative book.

Published 7/20/2022

SIMPSON: All for the Union (2022)

By: Eric Michael Burke Category: Book Reviews

John A. Simpson's "All for the Union" offers yet another lens through which to trace the timeworn trail of the embattled Army of the Potomac.

Published 7/13/2022

ALFORD: In The Houses of Their Dead (2022)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Terry Alford's spellbinding "In The Houses of Their Dead" makes important interventions in both Civil War scholarship and Lincoln studies.

Published 7/6/2022

EMBERTON: To Walk About in Freedom (2022)

By: Cooper H. Wingert Category: Book Reviews

Carole Emberton's "To Walk About in Freedom" is a remarkable microhistory centered around one formerly enslaved woman’s FWP interview.

Published 6/29/2022

NUSSBAUM (ed.): Gettysburg (2022)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

Ben Nussbaum's "Gettysburg" features an impressive collection of short essays by several scholars.

Published 6/15/2022

PURCELL: Spectacle of Grief (2022)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

"Spectacle of Grief" by Sarah J. Purcell is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the paradoxes of American nationalism, either in the Civil War era or today.

Published 6/8/2022

HARDING: Gettysburg's Lost Love Story (2022)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

"Gettysburg's Lost Love Story" by Jeffrey J. Harding is told with verve and a keen eye for descriptive detail.

Published 6/1/2022

ELDER: Love & Duty (2022)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

"Love & Duty" by Angela Esco Elder demonstrates that not all Confederate widows midwifed the Lost Cause.

Published 5/25/2022

STAHR: Salmon P. Chase (2022)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

"Salmon P. Chase" by Walter Stahr is an admirable treatment of an oft-forgotten nineteenth century politician.

Published 5/18/2022

REMSEN & UPP: Back From Battle (2021)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

"Back From Battle" documents the valuable role that Pennsylvania's Camp Discharge played in the war's final months.

Published 5/11/2022

JONUSAS: Hell's Half-Acre (2022)

By: Aaron David Hyams Category: Book Reviews

Susan Jonusas's "Hell's Half-Acre" spotlights the Benders as particularly monstrous actors on a stage covered in the blood of conquest and post-Civil War racial strife.

Published 5/4/2022

WALTERS: Harriet Tubman (2022)

By: Holly Pinheiro, Jr. Category: Book Reviews

In "Harriet Tubman" Kerry Walters adds historical depth to the well-known abolitionist's life.

Published 4/27/2022

WHITE: To Address You as My Friend (2021)

By: Brian R. Dirck Category: Book Reviews

"To Address You as My Friend" assembles a wonderfully rich and fascinating mosaic of the hopes, dreams, and frustrations of African Americans during the Civil War.

Published 4/20/2022

GROELING: First Fallen (2021)

By: Kevin McPartland Category: Book Reviews

"First Fallen" is a welcome addition to the literature that casts its gaze on the North and the men who rallied to the United States flag in 1861.

Published 4/13/2022

PETERS (ed.): Our Comfort in Dying (2021)

By: Jonathan M. Steplyk Category: Book Reviews

In "Our Comfort in Dying," Jonathan W. Peters brings together significant works by a Virginian who was notable not only as one of those who “rode with Stonewall,” but also as a major spiritual and intellectual thinker in the Civil War South.

Published 4/6/2022

WHITE: A House Built By Slaves (2022)

By: Cecily N. Zander Category: Book Reviews

In "A House Built By Slaves," Jonathan W. White offers a narrative of Black Americans pushing the president toward emancipation and Lincoln listening to their arguments....

Published 3/30/2022

KORNBLITH & LASSER: Elusive Utopia (2018)

By: Cassandra Jane Werking Category: Book Reviews

Gary J. Kornblith and Carol Lasser's "Elusive Utopia" merges social, gender, political, and economic history while foregrounding the voices of Black and white Oberlinians.

Published 3/23/2022

GALLGHER & CUSHMAN (eds.): Civil War Witnesses and Their Books (2021)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

"Civil War Witnesses" collects eight, carefully crafted and extensively researched essays.

Published 3/16/2022

JANNEY: Ends of War (2021)

By: Shae Smith Cox Category: Book Reviews

In "Ends of War," Caroline Janney examines the uncertainties surrounding Confederate surrender.

Published 3/9/2022

BAGLEY: The Horse at Gettysburg (2021)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

Chris Bagley's "The Horse at Gettysburg" is a solid study by a licensed battlefield guide.

Published 3/2/2022

NOE: Contesting Commemoration (2021)

By: Meredith Barber Category: Book Reviews

Jack Noe's "Contesting Commemoration" explores the complex realities of post-war reunion.

Published 2/23/2022

ROSSINO: Their Maryland (2021)

By: James J. Broomall Category: Book Reviews

Alexander B. Rossino's "Their Maryland" is a lively account that challenges prevailing orthodoxy.

Published 2/15/2022

FAIRCLOUGH: Bulldozed and Betrayed (2021)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

In "Bulldozed and Betrayed," Adam Fairclough skillfully guides readers through numerous twists and turns, outsized personalities, and charges and counter-charges of fraud, conspiracy and skullduggery.

Published 2/9/2022

WHITE & DAVIS (eds.): My Work Among the Freedmen (2021)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

"My Work Among the Freedmen" is simply worth reading to meet Harriet Buss and her students.

Published 2/2/2022

LIULEVICIUS: Rebel Salvation (2021)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Kathleen Liuleviciu's "Rebel Salvation" is an important contribution to our understanding of the contested notions of peace that developed across the South in the wake of the Civil War.

Published 1/26/2022

WHITE & GLENN (eds.): Untouched by the Conflict (2019)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

"Untouched By the Conflict" supplies a welcome peak into a still mostly hidden world.

Published 1/19/2022

GRASSO: Teacher, Preacher, Soldier, Spy (2021)

By: Aaron David Hyams Category: Book Reviews

Christopher Grasso's "Teacher, Preacher, Soldier, Spy" is a dazzling piece of historical detective work.

Published 1/5/2022

FOOTE: Rites of Retaliation (2021)

By: Burrus M. Carnahan Category: Book Reviews

"Rites of Retaliation" by Lorien Foote is an excellent study, written in a clear and graceful style.

Published 12/29/2021

RHEA: Stephen A. Swails (2021)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

In "Stephen A. Swails," Gordon C. Rhea captures the triumph and the tragedy of the Civil War era.

Published 12/22/2021

GUELZO: Robert E. Lee (2021)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

In "Robert E. Lee," Allen C. Guelzo writes with an eloquence unsurpassed by Civil War-era historians.

Published 12/15/2021

SIMIONE, SCHMIEL, & SCHNEIDER: Searching for Irvin McDowell (2021)

By: Frank Jastrzembski Category: Book Reviews

"Searching for Irvin McDowell" tells the general's story despite a dearth of primary source material.

Published 12/8/2021

PATCHAN (ed.): Worthy of a Higher Rank (2021)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

"Worthy of a Higher Rank," edited by Scott C. Patchan, illuminates the the life, military service, perspectives, and sacrifices of Colonel Joseph Thoburn.

Published 12/1/2021

PROCKO: Rebel Correspondent (2021)

By: Sarah Kay Bierle Category: Book Reviews

"Rebel Correspondent" by Steve Procko offers glimpses into a Confederate cavalryman's experience in the Western Theater.

Published 11/24/2021

MACKOWSKI & WELCH (eds.): The Summer of '63: Vicksburg & Tullahoma (2021)

By: Robert L. Glaze Category: Book Reviews

"The Summer of '63" is an informative, lively, and thought-provoking discussion of one of the Civil War's most pivotal seasons.

Published 11/17/2021

SWARTZ: Passing Through the Fire (2021)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

In "Passing Through the Fire," Brian Swartz reaches beyond the Chamberlain mythology.

Published 11/10/2021

MACKOWSKI & WELCH (eds.): The Summer of '63: Gettysburg (2021)

By: Summer Perritt Category: Book Reviews

"The Summer of '63" is an engaging and diverse set of works exploring the Battle of Gettysburg.

Published 11/3/2021

HEBERT: Cornerstone of the Confederacy (2021)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

The contents of the Cornerstone Speech are well known, but in "Cornerstone of the Confederacy," they take on new life and meaning.

Published 10/27/2021

HASEGAWA: Matchless Organization (2021)

By: Sarah Handley-Cousins Category: Book Reviews

Guy R. Hasegawa's "Matchless Organization" offers a clear, detailed, and thorough history of the Confederacy's military medical organization.

Published 10/20/2021

GERHARDT: Lincoln's Mentors (2021)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Michael J. Gerhardt's "Lincoln's Mentors" is an original and satisfying biography for readers who think there is nothing new to say about the sixteenth president.

Published 10/13/2021

ASHTON: William Barksdale, CSA (2021)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

William Barksdale's life is often reduced to a single episode...the charge his brigade made at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.

Published 10/6/2021

MARTEN & JANNEY (eds.): Buying & Selling Civil War Memory in Gilded Age America (2021)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

"Buying & Selling Civil War Memory in Gilded Age America" reveals how the war, in ways big and small, continued to annex ordinary lives at century's end.

Published 9/29/2021

OVIES: The Boy Generals (2021)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

A dual biography of George Custer and Wesley Merritt, Adolfo Ovies' "The Boy Generals" is based on an extensive array of primary sources.

Published 9/22/2021

HOLDEN: Surviving Southampton (2021)

By: Benjamin E. Park Category: Book Reviews

Vanessa M. Holden's "Surviving Southampton" moves our attention from Nat Turner to his community at a time when the appeal for uncovering societies of resistance has never been more apparent.

Published 9/15/2021

STEINER: Lincoln and Citizenship (2021)

By: Paul Quigley Category: Book Reviews

"Lincoln and Citizenship" is a terrific addition to the Concise Lincoln Library series from Southern Illinois University Press.

Published 9/8/2021

REEVES: A Fire in the Wilderness (2021)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

John Reeves' "A Fire in the Wilderness" captures well the horrors of the combat.

Published 9/1/2021

BYRD: A Holy Baptism of Fire & Blood (2021)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

James P. Byrd's "A Holy Baptism of Fire & Blood" raises important questions about the Bible's place in the Civil War era.

Published 8/25/2021

HUGHES: Unlike Anything That Ever Floated (2021)

By: J. Ross Dancy Category: Book Reviews

Dwight Hughes' "Unlike Anything That Ever Floated" supplies an engaging narrative that is not short on technical detail.

Published 8/18/2021

GOSSE: The First Reconstruction (2021)

By: Lucien Holness Category: Book Reviews

Van Gosse's "The First Reconstruction" is an important work that provides a new interpretation of the politics of the early republic.

Published 8/11/2021

STANLEY: Grand Army of Labor (2021)

By: David A. Zonderman Category: Book Reviews

Matthew E. Stanley's "Grand Army of Labor" explores how the war's echoes both strengthened and constrained the labor movement.

Published 8/4/2021

DRETSKE: The Bonds of War (2021)

By: Damian Shiels Category: Book Reviews

"The Bonds of War" represents a significant addition to the literature on immigrants in United States service....

Published 7/28/2021

WYNSTRA: No Place for Glory (2021)

By: Robert L. Glaze Category: Book Reviews

With "No Place for Glory," Robert Wynstra has established himself as one of the Gettysburg Campaign's most capable modern scholars.

Published 7/21/2021

WAITE: West of Slavery (2021)

By: Cecily N. Zander Category: Book Reviews

"West of Slavery" by Kevin Waite weaves together the stories of the South and the West to tell a continental narrative of political ambition, economic striving, and social transformation in the Civil War era.

Published 7/14/2021

TRAMMELL & TERRELL: Civil War Richmond (2021)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

Jack Trammell and Guy Terrell's "Civil War Richmond" is the latest in a recent spate of monographs, essay collections, and guidebooks pertaining to the city.

Published 7/7/2021

STAHL & BORDERS: Faces of Union Soldiers at South Mountain & Harpers Ferry (2021)

By: Eugene D. Schmiel Category: Book Reviews

Joseph Stahl and Matthew Borders' "Faces of Union Soldiers at South Mountain & Harpers Ferry" achieves very well its objective of personalizing and picturing, literally, the reality of the Civil War for the common soldier during the critical Maryland campaign of 1862.

Published 6/30/2021

BIELSKI: A Mortal Blow to the Confederacy (2021)

By: Riley Sullivan Category: Book Reviews

Mark F. Bielksi's "A Mortal Blow to the Confederacy" engages debates about where the Civil War was won and lost.

Published 6/23/2021

KENNING: Abandoned Coastal Defenses of Alabama (2021)

By: William Bailey Category: Book Reviews

"Abandoned Coastal Defenses of Alabama" suggests the historical and military importance of Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan.

Published 6/16/2021

HESS: Civil War Supply and Strategy (2020)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

In "Civil War Supply and Strategy," Earl Hess contends that victory rode on the work of quartermasters and commissaries.

Published 6/9/2021

DUNKERLY & CRENSHAW: Embattled Capital (2021)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

Robert M. Dunkerly and Doug Crenshaw's "Embattled Capital" provides proper context and reasoned interpretation to readers, rising above the realm of a 'you are here' guidebook...

Published 6/2/2021

HUNT: Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station (2021)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

Jeffrey William Hunt's "Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station" is a deftly written, exhaustively researched, and profusely illustrated history of a neglected period.

Published 5/26/2021

NOE: The Howling Storm (2020)

By: Lindsay R.S. Privette Category: Book Reviews

Kenneth W. Noe's "The Howling Storm" is a magnum opus that successfully challenges historians to rethink all they have ever known of the war.

Published 5/19/2021

ASHDOWN & CAUDILL: Imagining Wild Bill (2020)

By: Aaron David Hyams Category: Book Reviews

Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown's "Imagining Wild Bill" is a well-written and accessible study of historical memory.

Published 5/12/2021

JEMISON: Christian Citizens (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Elizabeth L. Jemison's "Christian Citizens" is an important work about the intersection of religion, race, gender, and nineteenth century Southern politics.

Published 5/5/2021

TEMPLE: Whisperwood (2020)

By: Aaron David Hyams Category: Book Reviews

Van Temple's novel "Whisperwood" presents an illuminating exploration of Southern memory about the Civil War.

Published 4/28/2021

BUNN: The Assault on Fort Blakeley (2021)

By: John C. Waugh Category: Book Reviews

Mike Bunn's "The Assault on Fort Blakeley" is a fact-packed, authoritative, and amply illustrated book.

Published 4/21/2021

HARRIS: The Last Slave Ships (2020)

By: Jonathan W. White Category: Book Reviews

John Harris' "The Last Slave Ships" is a model for scholars who wish to place the U.S. Civil War within a broader international context.

Published 4/14/2021

KEMPF: What Though the Field Be Lost (2021)

By: Kent Gramm Category: Book Reviews

"What Though the Field Be Lost" sees the past and present together in their deadly, alien, sometimes ironic and sometimes enlightening embrace.

Published 4/7/2021

STOKES (ed.): Incidents in the Life of Cecilia Lawton (2021)

By: Ashley Towle Category: Book Reviews

"Incidents in the Life of Cecilia Lawton" brims with nostalgia for the antebellum South, teems with malice for Sherman, and articulate the fear and loath white Southerners harbored for freepeople...

Published 3/31/2021

JEFFREY: First Chaplain of the Confederacy (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Katherine Bentley Jeffrey's "First Chaplain of the Confederacy" reminds us of the nuanced role Catholics played in the Confederate and Reconstruction South.

Published 3/24/2021

SMITH: In the Shadow of Gold (2020)

By: Sarah Kay Bierle Category: Book Reviews

Michael Smith's "In The Shadow of Gold" is a historical novel for our own challenging times.

Published 3/17/2021

WILLIS: The Black Civil War Soldier (2021)

By: Cecily N. Zander Category: Book Reviews

Deborah Willis' "The Black Civil War Soldier" is a reminder of one of the most compelling stories of the conflict: the efforts of more than 180,000 African American soldiers to fight for freedom.

Published 3/10/2021

LEVINE: Thaddeus Stevens (2021)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Bruce Levine's "Thaddeus Stevens" is the first major biography of The Great Commoner in nearly a quarter century.

Published 3/3/2021

PALENCIA: 'On Rising Ground' (2021)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

"On Rising Ground" is a well-researched, well-written, and always empathetic account of a very ordinary soldier and his family.

Published 2/24/2021

SEIDULE: Robert E. Lee and Me (2021)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

An effective antidote to the Lost Cause, Ty Seidule's "Robert E. Lee and Me" deserves both a wide readership and a place on undergraduate syllabi.

Published 2/17/2021

MUELLER: Ambitious Honor (2020)

By: Aaron David Hyams Category: Book Reviews

In "Ambitious Honor," James Mueller has managed to find something new to say about George Armstrong Custer.

Published 2/10/2021

WRIGHT: Bonds of Salvation (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

With "Bonds of Salvation," Ben Wright has convincingly demonstrated the importance of religious denominations to the lives of early Americans and the nation as a whole.

Published 2/3/2021

ARRINGTON: The Last Lincoln Republican (2020)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Benjamin T. Arrington's "The Last Lincoln Republican" is a superb new study of Garfield's dark horse race for the Executive Mansion.

Published 1/27/2021

HOOD: Patriots Twice (2020)

By: Ryan Bixby Category: Book Reviews

Stephen M. Hood's "Patriots Twice" seeks to highlight the postwar lives and accomplishments of 220 Confederate veterans.

Published 1/20/2021

POWELL & WITTENBERG: Tullahoma (2020)

By: Fred L. Johnson III Category: Book Reviews

The diligent, robust scholarship found on the pages of David A. Powell and Eric J. Wittenberg's "Tullahoma" has expanded the historiography and helped to further balance perspectives on the relative importance of the Western Theater.

Published 1/13/2021

SMITH: The Thin Gray Line (2019)

By: Sarah Kay Bierle Category: Book Reviews

Michael Smith's "The Thin Gray Line" offers a new look at the darker side of the war.

Published 1/6/2021

CURRAN: Women Making War (2020)

By: Heather Carlquist Walser Category: Book Reviews

Readers and scholars with wide-ranging interests will find Thomas F. Curran's "Women Making War" useful and fascinating.

Published 12/30/2020

SADLER: Absalom Hazlett (2020)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

In "Absalom Hazlett," Spencer Sadler has unearthed and conveyed a valuable story about a captivating and overlooked subject.

Published 12/23/2020

CHATELAIN: Defending the Arteries of Rebellion (2020)

By: J. Ross Dancy Category: Book Reviews

Comprehensive is perhaps the best adjective to describe Neil P. Chatelain's "Defending the Arteries of Rebellion."

Published 12/16/2020

McDONOUGH: William Tecumseh Sherman (2016)

By: Mitchell G. Klingenberg Category: Book Reviews

James Lee McDonough's "William Tecumseh Sherman" is a capable and often moving biography of a worthy subject.

Published 12/9/2020

ZVENGROWSKI: Jefferson Davis, Napoleonic France, and the Nature of Confederate Ideology (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Internal division within the Confederacy, Jeffrey Zvengrowski claims, had less to do with class and more to do with politics...

Published 12/2/2020

HESS: Storming Vicksburg (2020)

By: Robert Glaze Category: Book Reviews

Earl Hess' "Storming Vicksburg" is an effective battle history that moves beyond strategy and tactics to embrace the broader mosaic of the Civil War military experience.

Published 11/25/2020

GOTTFRIED: The Maps of the Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign (2020)

By: Jonathan Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

"The Maps of the Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign" makes excellent use of primary accounts penned by Union and Confederate cavalrymen....

Published 11/18/2020

FUOSS: Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg (2020)

By: Rory Cornish Category: Book Reviews

Jarrad Fuoss has made a useful contribution to understanding the symbolism of the "Soldiers National Cemetery at Gettysburg" and its place in American memory.

Published 11/11/2020

TAYLOR: Fighting for Citizenship (2020)

By: Robert Colby Category: Book Reviews

Brian Taylor's "Fighting for Citizenship" gives nuance to a debate that is all too often limited to an invocation of the famous 'Men of Color! To Arms' poster...

Published 11/4/2020

TAYLOR (ed.): My Dear Nelly (2020)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

"My Dear Nelly" reveals Orlando Poe to be a man of both ability and no little ego, but one who struggled for distinction in the field and for control over affairs at home.

Published 10/28/2020

BUTLER: Unforgiven (2021)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

"Unforgiven" presents a unique, tense, and absorbing twist on an unprecedented moment in U.S. Civil War and judicial history.

Published 10/21/2020

DUNBAR: She Came to Slay (2019)

By: Benjamin E. Park Category: Book Reviews

"She Came to Slay" is a model of how to write an engaging text for a younger, general audience.

Published 10/14/2020

DeCREDICO: Confederate Citadel (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Mary A. DeCredico's "Confederate Citadel" reminds us of the importance of place and space to national sovereignty.

Published 10/7/2020

MAGUIRE (ed.): My Remembrance of the War (2019)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

"My Remembrance of the War" is a well-told and wonderfully curated firsthand engrossing coming-of-age narrative.

Published 9/30/2020

MOREL: Lincoln and the American Founding (2020)

By: Anne E. Moseley Category: Book Reviews

Lucas E. Morel's "Lincoln and the American Founding" shows how the sixteenth president used his knowledge of the nation’s founders to oppose slavery.

Published 9/23/2020

FRAZIER: Tempest Over Texas (2020)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Donald Frazier's "Tempest Over Texas" offers a fine-grained account of a six-month period in a theater that most people do not know very much about.

Published 9/16/2020

CRIBB: Old Abe (2020)

By: Sarah Kay Bierle Category: Book Reviews

John Cribb's "Old Abe" presents a fictionalized account of Lincoln’s final, momentous years that history buffs and general readers alike can enjoy.

Published 9/9/2020

BRETTLE: Colossal Ambitions (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Adrian Brettle's "Colossal Ambitions" is the most unique work on the Confederacy to appear in many years.

Published 9/2/2020

GLYMPH: The Women's Fight (2020)

By: Misti Harper Category: Book Reviews

In "The Women's Fight," Thavolia Glymph recounts the stories of women who were compelled by men to make sacrifices during wartime, but who have rarely been "acknowledged as political."

Published 8/26/2020

WITTENBERG, SARGUS, AND BARRICK: Seceding from Secession (2020)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

"Seceding from Secession" is an exemplary study, prodigiously researched, profusely illustrated, and masterfully crafted...

Published 8/19/2020

MAXFIELD: Hellmira (2020)

By: Angela Riotto Category: Book Reviews

Through a combination of official prison records, prisoners’ writings, and photographs, Derek Maxfield's "Hellmira" resurrects Elmira Prison in history and memory.

Published 8/12/2020

WEST: Christopher H. Tebault, Surgeon to the Confederacy (2020)

By: Guy Hasegawa Category: Book Reviews

In "Surgeon to the Confederacy," Confederate surgeon Christopher H. Tebault led a life worth examining.

Published 8/5/2020

TUCKER: Newest Born of Nations (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

"Newest Born of Nations" by Ann L. Tucker makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of how white southerners conceptualized themselves before and during the Civil War.

Published 7/29/2020

LUNDBERG: Horace Greeley (2019)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Most students of nineteenth century America regard Horace Greeley as a political chameleon.

Published 7/22/2020

LANCE: In The Waves (2020)

By: J. Ross Dancy Category: Book Reviews

Rachel Lances's "In The Waves" is wholly convincing ... a compelling narrative that is easily accessible to a general audience.

Published 7/15/2020

WOODS: Arguing Until Doomsday (2020)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

Michael E. Woods' "Arguing Until Doomsday" is one of the most engaging and accessible histories of the pre-Civil War Democratic Party to date.

Published 7/8/2020

WOODWORTH & GREAR (eds.): Vicksburg Besieged (2020)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

The contributors to "Vicksburg Besieged" supply welcome new perspectives on a pivotal moment in Civil War history.

Published 7/1/2020

NELSON: The Three-Cornered War (2020)

By: Benjamin E. Park Category: Book Reviews

In "The Three-Cornered War," Megan Kate Nelson accomplishes the rare feat of providing a new perspective on the Civil War...

Published 6/24/2020

WOLZ: Grand Army Women (2020)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Robert J. Wolz recalls the work of postwar northern women’s organizations in "Grand Army Women."

Published 6/17/2020

MINGUS & WINGERT: Targeted Tracks (2019)

By: Jason Tercha Category: Book Reviews

"Targeted Tracks" tells the Civil War story of the Cumberland Valley Railroad....

Published 6/10/2020

RICHARDSON: How the South Won the Civil War (2020)

By: Ashleigh Lawrence-Sanders Category: Book Reviews

Heather Cox Richardson's "How the South Won the War" advances the field of Civil War studies and Civil War memory beyond the history of commemoration....

Published 6/3/2020

BARNEY: Rebels in the Making (2020)

By: Melissa DeVelvis Category: Book Reviews

"Rebels in the Making" by William A. Barney is a recommended, in-depth primer to secession for academics and classrooms alike.

Published 5/27/2020

HANNA: Abraham Among the Yankees (2020)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

In September 1848, a virtually unknown, thirty-nine-year-old Illinois congressman named Abraham Lincoln lurched north on an urgent political errand.

Published 5/20/2020

STEWART: Pinkertons, Prostitutes, and Spies (2019)

By: Thomas J. Ryan Category: Book Reviews

John Stewart did a yeoman job of searching the archives for "Pinkertons, Prostitutes, and Spies."

Published 5/13/2020

RYAN & SCHAUS: "Lee Is Trapped, and Must Be Taken" (2019)

By: Dan Welch Category: Book Reviews

Exhaustive research, keen analysis, and lively narrative marks "Lee Is Trapped, and Must Be Taken" as a definitive contribution to the field.

Published 5/6/2020

CONNON: Iowa Confederates in the Civil War (2019)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

David Connon's is an intimate and thought-provoking work which challenges notions of Northern hegemony...

Published 4/29/2020

HUGHES: Confederate Soldiers in the American Civil War (2019)

By: Frank Jastrzembski Category: Book Reviews

Mark Hughes' "Confederate Soldiers in the American Civil War" is a short but comprehensive guide on the Confederate should be added to every Civil War enthusiast's bookshelf.

Published 4/22/2020

DOMBY: The False Cause (2020)

By: Amy Laurel Fluker Category: Book Reviews

A thoroughly engaging read, Adam Domby's "The False Cause" exposes the outrageous falsehoods that underpinned the Lost Cause.

Published 4/15/2020

FLOTOW: In Their Letters, In Their Words (2019)

By: Kathleen Thompson Category: Book Reviews

Editor Mark Flotow’s "In Their Letters, In Their Words" is a valuable read for those interested an the on-the-ground perspective of the war.

Published 4/8/2020

BARREYRE: Gold and Freedom (2015)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

In "Gold and Freedom," Nicolas Barreyre seeks to broaden the scope, geographic as well as temporal, of Reconstruction.

Published 4/1/2020

STARRETT: Mississippi Bishop William Henry Elder (2019)

By: Caleb W. Southern Category: Book Reviews

In "Mississippi Bishop William Henry Elder and the Civil War," Ryan Starrett has produced an excellent, if limited local history...

Published 3/25/2020

CROWE: Caught in the Maelstrom (2019)

By: Carrie Fudickar Category: Book Reviews

Clint Crowe's "Caught in the Maelstrom" shows that the Indian Territory is a fertile field for future research....

Published 3/18/2020

INSKEEP: Imperfect Union (2020)

By: Shae Smith Cox Category: Book Reviews

In "Imperfect Union," Steve Inskeep focuses his attention on telling an enticing story...

Published 3/11/2020

GERARD: The Last Battleground (2019)

By: Steven E. Nash Category: Book Reviews

In "The Last Battleground," Philip Gerard tries to bring the reader along on his learn about some of the lives touched by the Civil War in North Carolina.

Published 3/4/2020

MILLER: Vicksburg (2019)

By: Robert Glaze Category: Book Reviews

Donald L. Miller's "Vicksburg: Grant's Campaign That Broke the Confederacy" is marked by impeccable prose anchored by a staggering amount of archival research and an impressive grasp of relevant historiography line every page.

Published 2/26/2020

BORDEWICH: Congress at War (2020)

By: Nicole Etcheson Category: Book Reviews

Fergus M. Bordewich's "Congress at War" is engagingly written and will be welcomed by a popular audience as well as scholars.

Published 2/19/2020

WILLIAMS: Rebel Guerrillas (2018)

By: Scott Thompson Category: Book Reviews

In "Rebel Guerrillas," Paul Williams studies three of the Confederate Army's most prominent irregular warriors.

Published 2/12/2020

VARON: Armies of Deliverance (2019)

By: Glenn David Brasher Category: Book Reviews

A review of Elizabeth R. Varon's "Armies of Deliverance," the Lincoln Prize–winning work that largely presents the war from the viewpoint of contemporaries experiencing the conflict as it unfolded before them.

Published 2/5/2020

McKENNA: British Blockade Runners in the American Civil War (2019)

By: J. Ross Dancy Category: Book Reviews

As Joseph McKenna shows in "British Blockade Runners in the American Civil War, the Union attempt to blockade over 3,500 miles of Confederate coastline was an immense undertaking that spread the U.S. Navy thinly.

Published 1/29/2020

KEITH: When It Was Grand (2020)

By: Allen C. Guelzo Category: Book Reviews

Radical Republicans have always been the most colorful of the party’s factions to chronicle, as evidenced in LeeAnna Keith's "When It Was Grand" ...

Published 1/22/2020

BROWN: Civil War Monuments and the Militarization of America (2019)

By: Thomas R. Flagel Category: Book Reviews

"Civil War Monuments and the Militarization of America" by Thomas J. Brown is one of the most comprehensive explorations on Civil War monuments to date.

Published 1/15/2020

KUTZLER: Living By Inches (2019)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Evan Kutzler's "Living By Inches" shows that Robert Penn Warren was right; the Civil War is our 'felt' history.

Published 1/8/2020

HOLLOWAY & WHITE: 'Our Little Monitor' (2018)

By: Dwight Hughes Category: Book Reviews

Anna Gibson Holloway and Jonathan W. White's "Our Little Monitor" offers cutting-edge maritime archaeology and thorough historical research....

Published 1/1/2020

SCHAFF: Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy (2019)

By: Thomas A. Horrocks Category: Book Reviews

As Jon D. Schaff's "Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy" shows, there is no discernible slowdown in the publication of books on the sixteenth president.

Published 12/25/2019

THIBODEAU: Bicycling Gettysburg (2019)

By: Codie Eash Category: Book Reviews

Sue Thibodeau's "Bicycling Gettysburg" encourages sightseers to temporarily ditch modern means of viewing the field in favor of traversing the south-central Pennsylvania countryside on a bike.

Published 12/18/2019

STOTELMYER: Too Useful to Sacrifice (2019)

By: Zachery Fry Category: Book Reviews

In Steven R. Stotelmyer's "Too Useful to Sacrifice," George B. McClellan has now received his day in court.

Published 12/11/2019

BEILEIN: William Gregg's Civil War (2019)

By: Keith Altavilla Category: Book Reviews

"William Gregg’s Civil War" is brisk and lively as the guerrilla moves through his many experiences serving under William Quantrill.

Published 12/4/2019

McILWAIN: The Million-Dollar Man Who Helped Kill a President (2018)

By: Todd Arrington Category: Book Reviews

Christopher Lyle McIlwain Sr.'s "The Million-Dollar Man Who Helped Kill a President" does an admirable job ...

Published 11/27/2019

PETERS: Darkness at Chancellorsville (2019)

By: Chris Mackowski Category: Book Reviews

"The narrative comes to life" in Ralph Peters' "Darkness at Chancellorsville," one "of the best-written battle sequences I've ever read."

Published 11/20/2019

GWYNNE: Hymns of the Republic (2019)

By: Cecily Zander Category: Book Reviews

S.C. Gwynne's "Hymns of the Republic" is "a readable narrative that carries readers from Ulysses S. Grant’s arrival in the Eastern Theater to the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House."

Published 11/13/2019

DANIEL: Conquered (2019)

By: Robert L. Glaze Category: Book Reviews

Larry J. Daniel's "Conquered: Why the Confederacy Failed" is a convincing original argument, a comprehensive historiographical essay, and a compelling narrative.

Published 11/6/2019

WALLER: Lincoln's Spies (2019)

By: Lawrence Kreiser, Jr. Category: Book Reviews

In "Lincoln's Spies," Douglas Waller provides colorful detail on the lives and careers of Civil War spies...there is much material with which to work.

Published 10/30/2019

DIRCK: The Black Heavens (2019)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Brian R. Dirck's "The Black Heavens" is the first book-length treatment of the sixteenth president's long relationship with death.

Published 10/23/2019

BLEVINS: The Conflicted Ozarks (2019)

By: Roy Wisecarver Category: Book Reviews

Brooks Blevins' "The Conflicted Ozarks" is superb study of a fascinating region during a tumultuous period of destruction and rebuilding.

Published 10/16/2019

SPARKS: Africans in the Old South (2016)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

In "Africans in the Old South," Randy J. Sparks offers new perspectives about the slave trade, the Old South, and the Atlantic World.

Published 10/9/2019

HARROLD: American Abolitionism (2019)

By: Ashley Towle Category: Book Reviews

To what extent did the abolitionist movement bring about the end of slavery in the United States?

Published 10/2/2019

ENDRES & KURTZ (eds.): Soldiers of the Cross (2019)

By: Adam Tate Category: Book Reviews

Conyngham observed many chaplains at important historical artifact.

Published 9/25/2019

HUNT: Meade and Lee at Bristoe Station (2019)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

"Meade and Lee at Bristoe Station" is a very detailed account of this often-overlooked campaign.

Published 9/18/2019

DAVIS: The Most Desperate Acts of Gallantry (2019)

By: Alexandre F. Calliot Category: Book Reviews

George Armstrong Custer is a heroic yet tragic figure in the pantheon of America's military past...

Published 9/11/2019

MERTZ: Attack at Daylight and Whip Them (2019)

By: John Daley Category: Book Reviews

"Attack at Daylight and Whip Them" is an excellent history in guidebook format.

Published 9/4/2019

POWELL: Union Command Failure in the Shenandoah (2019)

By: Jonathan M. Berkey Category: Book Reviews

In "Union Command Failure in the Shenandoah," David Powell adds nuance and depth to a well-studied campaign.

Published 8/28/2019

GALLAGHER & GALLMAN (eds.): Civil War Places (2019)

By: Rebecca Howard Category: Book Reviews

"Civil War Places" offers a broad selection of scholars ... and challenges readers to expand their own perspective on the conflict.

Published 8/21/2019

TACKACH: Lincoln and the Natural Environment (2019)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

When Lincoln spoke about 'binding up the nation's wounds,' he almost certainly counted the landscape among them.

Published 8/14/2019

SILKENAT: Raising the White Flag (2019)

By: Eric Michael Burke Category: Book Reviews

If surrender never quite 'defined' the war, this book makes clear that it unquestionably suffused it.

Published 8/7/2019

BIERLE: Call Out the Cadets (2019)

By: Jonathan Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

Bierle never loses sight of the fact that the battle did not occur in some remote hinterland, but rather in a larger community.

Published 7/31/2019

ELDER: That Bloody Hill (2017)

By: William Lee White Category: Book Reviews

Chickamauga was a grim first outing for the Alabamians.

Published 7/24/2019

REIDY: Illusions of Emancipation (2019)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Reidy does not see a single point, a single event, or a single historical figure as responsible for emancipation.

Published 7/17/2019

WHITE: Let Us Die Like Men (2019)

By: Thomas Mack Category: Book Reviews

Unable to compel Sherman to attack, Hood trundled west into Alabama and changed his objective.

Published 7/10/2019

TSOURAS: Major General George H. Sharpe and the Creation of American Military Intelligence in the Civil War (2018)

By: Zachery Fry Category: Book Reviews

The author shows how a superior general staff...helped wrest the initiative away from Lee's army as the war in the Eastern Theater dragged on.

Published 7/3/2019

BROOMALL: Private Confederacies (2019)

By: Cecily N. Zander Category: Book Reviews

[S]tands at the edge of a field of historical inquiry that is sure to gain greater currency among historians...

Published 6/26/2019

SEIPLE: Louisa on the Front Lines (2019)

By: Paige Gibbons Backus Category: Book Reviews

Much like Alcott's work, Seiple's narrative leaps off the page.

Published 6/19/2019

SAINLAUDE: France and the American Civil War (2019)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

...a marvelous book that contains fascinating analysis about French diplomacy...demonstrates how historians have too long made France into a junior partner of Great Britain.

Published 6/12/2019

SCHLOTTERBECK (et al., eds.): James Riley Weaver's Civil War (2019)

By: Carolyn Levy Category: Book Reviews

Weaver's writings provide rare insight into the complexities of the prisoner of war experience.

Published 6/5/2019

HORWITZ: Spying on the South (2019)

By: Christopher Gwinn Category: Book Reviews

In the passing of author Tony Horwitz, we have lost a singular voice in the field of popular history.

Published 5/29/2019

MILLER: North Carolina Unionists and the Fight Over Secession (2019)

By: Stephen Edwards Category: Book Reviews

Reveals a new perspective on pro-Union southerners....draws sensible conclusions from the evidence it uses.

Published 5/22/2019

HOOD: The Army of Tennessee in Retreat (2018)

By: Robert Glaze Category: Book Reviews

On December 16, 1864, Union General George Thomas accomplished a goal that Civil War field commanders found to be unobtainable: the climactic destruction of an enemy army.

Published 5/15/2019

LONGACRE: Custer (2018)

By: Daniel Davis Category: Book Reviews

Longacre has breathed new life into Custer's career...

Published 5/8/2019

HESS: Fighting for Atlanta (2018)

By: Andrew S. Bledsoe Category: Book Reviews

Hess' insightful and fascinating study will remain the standard work on the subject for the foreseeable future.

Published 5/1/2019

MARTIN: A Fierce Glory (2018)

By: Kevin Pawlak Category: Book Reviews

...a fast-flowing narrative that will keep the attention of seasoned Civil War readers and the general public alike.

Published 4/24/2019

ROBERTSON: River of Death (2018)

By: Zachery Fry Category: Book Reviews

An authoritative analysis of how the rigors of campaigning affected command decisions and the experiences of common soldiers alike.

Published 4/17/2019

SELBY: Meade: The Price of Command, 1863-1865 (2018)

By: Jennifer M. Murray Category: Book Reviews

An important account of Meade's tenure as commander of the Army of the Potomac.

Published 4/10/2019

SOMMERVILLE: Aberration of Mind (2018)

By: Elias J. Baker Category: Book Reviews

Sommerville argues that a complete understanding of the New South depends on a deeper investigation of the emotional and psychological damage wrought by the war...

Published 4/3/2019

WITTENBERG: Holding the Line on the River of Death (2018)

By: Keith Altavilla Category: Book Reviews

Wittenberg spares little detail for one day of action...a compelling case that Chickamauga was a three day battle.

Published 3/27/2019

SILBER: This War Ain't Over (2018)

By: Amy Fluker Category: Book Reviews

Civil War memory is complex, defying neat regional, racial, and political categorization.

Published 3/20/2019

MACKOWSKI: The Great Battle Never Fought (2018)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

...a valuable companion to a visit along Mine Run.

Published 3/13/2019

WARD: The 96th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the Civil War (2018)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

Those seeking a deeper understanding of the common soldier of the Army of the Potomac...will find Ward's regimental history...exceedingly beneficial.

Published 3/6/2019

RUBIN & MURPHY (eds.): The Perfect Scout (2018)

By: Thomas J. Ryan Category: Book Reviews

Provide[s] the Civil War community with a better understanding of the complexities and dangers faced by scouts, guides, couriers, and escorts throughout the conflict

Published 2/27/2019

POWELL: The Chickamauga Campaign: Glory or the Grave (2017)

By: Alexandre Caillot Category: Book Reviews

...offers much or those looking to master the narrative of the second costliest Civil War clash.

Published 2/20/2019

ARMISTEAD & ARCONTI: "An Arch Rebel Like Myself" (2018)

By: Evan Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Showalter's "was the name that became most associated in California with treason after the outbreak of the American Civil War."

Published 2/13/2019

WYNSTRA: At The Forefront of Lee's Invasion (2018)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

Destined to become a staple for anyone seeking a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the Gettysburg Campaign's opening weeks.

Published 2/6/2019

BARNARD (ed.): An Aide to Custer (2018)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Singelyn and Barnard have produced a useful volume of letters that detail an officer's perspective about military life and Custer.

Published 1/30/2019

BLOUNT: Wilson's Raid (2018)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

Blount's dynamic prose moves with the celerity of Wilson's mounted columns.

Published 1/23/2019

SCHMIDT & BARKLEY: September Mourn (2018)

By: Stephen Edwards Category: Book Reviews

The Dunker Church on the Antietam battlefield is one of the most iconic and distinctive buildings of the American Civil War.

Published 1/16/2019

BURLINGAME (ed.): Sixteenth President-in-Waiting (2018)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Villard's newspaper dispatches are a rich resource for students of the Secession Winter.

Published 1/9/2019

GOTTFRIED: The Maps of Fredericksburg (2018)

By: Zachery A. Fry Category: Book Reviews

A top-notch operational study that benefits from Gottfried's judicious insights and experience as a military historian.

Published 1/2/2019

TETERS: Practical Liberators (2018)

By: Clayton Butler Category: Book Reviews

Teters parses and explains well the complexity of how emancipation played out on the ground, making his book a valuable contribution to the literature.

Published 12/26/2018

SAUERS: The National Tribune Civil War Index (2018)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

...immediately takes its place on the short shelf of indispensable Civl War reference works.

Published 12/19/2018

WILLIAMS & KUTZLER (eds.): Prison Pens (2018)

By: Angela M. Riotto Category: Book Reviews

[R]eveals how two members of the Civil War generation struggled with imprisonment...including that which did not take place behind prison walls.

Published 12/12/2018

ROBERTS (ed.): 'This Infernal War' (2018)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

Editor Timothy Roberts deserves high marks...makes for good reading, and researchers will find it equally rewarding.

Published 12/5/2018

MITCHAM: Vicksburg (2018)

By: Keith Altavilla Category: Book Reviews

Vicksburg ... is a book for popular audiences ... particularly those seeking a perspective more sympathetic to the Confederates.

Published 11/28/2018

SOMMERS: Challenges of Command in the Civil War (2018)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

...a welcome introduction to the work of a distinguished historian.

Published 11/21/2018

STEWART & MARKS (eds.): Race and Nation in the Age of Emancipations (2018)

By: Bennett Parten Category: Book Reviews

With selections ranging from revolutionary-era South Carolina to mid-century Liberia to 1880s Brazil, the assembled essays provide a rich pastiche of the nineteenth century Atlantic.

Published 11/14/2018

WERT: Civil War Barons (2018)

By: Cecily Zander Category: Book Reviews

Wert's skill in weaving together historical argument and satisfying narrative are on full display...

Published 11/7/2018

ULLRICH & CRAIG: General E.A. Paine in Western Kentucky (2018)

By: Jacob A. Glover Category: Book Reviews

...a notable effort to raise the eponymous Union officer from [the] realm of 'folklore and myth.'

Published 10/31/2018

LANG: In The Wake of War (2017)

By: Justin Behrend Category: Book Reviews

Lang's deeply researched relevant for understanding not just the Civil War, but war in our own time.

Published 10/24/2018

WHITE: New Bern and the Civil War (2018)

By: Stephen Edwards Category: Book Reviews

The Union occupation of New Bern began in early 1862, when Major General Ambrose Burnside captured the river port.

Published 10/17/2018

BLIGHT: Frederick Douglass (2018)

By: Hilary Green Category: Book Reviews

This biography is an essential text that will shape academic scholarship...and perhaps even inspire a Broadway musical.

Published 10/10/2018

CROON (ed.): The War Outside My Window (2018)

By: Anya Jabour Category: Book Reviews

LeRoy's diary charts both his own painful physical disintegration and death and the Confederacy's equally tortuous path to destruction and defeat.

Published 10/3/2018

EMERSON (ed.): "Don't tell father I have been shot at" (2018)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

The publication of the letters and diaries of Civil War officers and men appears to continue unabated.

Published 9/26/2018

THOMAS: Wade Hampton's Iron Scouts (2018)

By: Dan Welch Category: Book Reviews

...a look at Confederate unit that has commanded precious little attention from historians and scholars.

Published 9/19/2018

GURA: Man's Better Angels (2017)

By: Benjamin E. Park Category: Book Reviews

Americans could be convinced to address their national sin through systematic action: the deaths of hundreds of thousands of citizens on the battlefield.

Published 9/12/2018

HARDY: Kirk's Civil War Raids Along the Blue Ridge (2018)

By: Aaron Astor Category: Book Reviews

Hardy lays out the complex politics of loyalty along the East Tennessee-Western North Carolina state line...

Published 9/5/2018

NASH: Reconstruction's Ragged Edge (2016)

By: Adam H. Domby Category: Book Reviews central to understanding North Carolina's Reconstruction.

Published 8/29/2018

HARDY: General Lee's Immortals (2018)

By: Jonathan M. Steplyk Category: Book Reviews

Combining rigorous research an an innovative organization...demonstrates what an exceptional unit history can teach us about the Civil War.

Published 8/22/2018

PFANZ: Where Valor Proudly Sleeps (2018)

By: Rebecca Capobianco Category: Book Reviews

Graves crest Marye's Heights, and Union soldiers now occupy the land they could not reach in December 1862.

Published 8/15/2018

LLOYD: Harbor of Spies (2018)

By: Thomas J. Ryan Category: Book Reviews

Lloyd weaves a story of the political intricacies of Spanish Cuba, which served as a base for shipping munitions...through the federal blockade of southern ports during the Civil War.

Published 8/8/2018

LOPERFIDO (ed.): Death, Disease, and Life at War (2018)

By: Kevin R. Pawlak Category: Book Reviews

Loperfido has done the study of Civil War medicine a valuable service....

Published 8/1/2018

COLLINS: A Crooked River (2018)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Collins pays particular attention to the U.S. Civil War, the French Intervention in Mexico, Reconstruction, and cattle rustling.

Published 7/25/2018

TAGG: The Generals of Shiloh (2017)

By: Gregory A. Mertz Category: Book Reviews

Tagg has not written a stand-alone book on the Battle of Shiloh, but rather a superb supplement that also reads well from cover to cover.

Published 7/18/2018

MALAVASIC: The F Street Mess (2017)

By: Michael Woods Category: Book Reviews

Since Congress began debating the Kansas-Nebraska Act, it has inspired torrents of words, from polemics and conspiracy theories to insider exposés and scholarly studies.

Published 7/11/2018

HESS: The Battle of Peach Tree Creek (2017)

By: Ryan Quint Category: Book Reviews

The Battle of Peach Tree Creek by Earl Hess is a solid work that fits neatly into the growing historiography of the Atlanta Campaign.

Published 7/4/2018

GREENE: A Campaign of Giants (2018)

By: Steven E. Sodergren Category: Book Reviews

To say that Greene's research is exhaustive does not quite do it justice...this first volume certainly establishes itself as essential reading for future scholars of the Petersburg Campaign.

Published 6/27/2018

FRENCH: Phantoms of the South Fork (2017)

By: Scott Thompson Category: Book Reviews

Steve French sheds light on an understudied Confederate partisan ranger unit: John and Jesse McNeill's Rangers.

Published 6/20/2018

CUTRER: Theater of a Separate War (2017)

By: Donald S. Frazier Category: Book Reviews

A comprehensive history of the most complicated, diverse, and misunderstood part of the American Civil War.

Published 6/13/2018

BALLARD: William Edmondson "Grumble" Jones (2017)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

...a balanced and solid biography of one of the Civil War's more obscure figures.

Published 6/6/2018

WILLIAMS: Georgia's Civil War (2017)

By: John C. Kennedy Category: Book Reviews

Women, enslaved African Americans, and upper-class planters determined the parameters within which the Confederate military effort would succeed or fail on the battlefield.

Published 5/30/2018

CONNOLE: The Civil War and the Subversion of American Indian Sovereignty (2017)

By: Aaron David Hyams Category: Book Reviews

The end of the Civil War ultimately brought no peace to the Indian Territory....

Published 5/23/2018

WILLS: Inglorious Passages (2017)

By: Clayton Butler Category: Book Reviews

Wills' study...underscores the sheer ubiquity of death that descended upon the nation between 1861 and 1865.

Published 5/16/2018

COOK: Civil War Memories (2017)

By: Matthew Christopher Hulbert Category: Book Reviews

The massacre at Mother Emanuel simultaneously underscores the endurance of Civil War memory in the contemporary United States and the extent to which Americans still struggle, often violently, to control the fundamental meanings of those memories.

Published 5/9/2018

MACKOWSKI & WHITE (eds.): Turning Points of the American Civil War (2017)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

Historic turning points can hinge on the stroke of a pen or a turn in the road.

Published 5/2/2018

JORDAN (ed.): The Slave-Trader's Letter-Book (2018)

By: Jonathan W. White Category: Book Reviews

[Charles Lamar's] correspondence is a particular boon for historians of the slave trade...

Published 4/25/2018

RHEA: On to Petersburg (2017)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

Fortunately, this classic campaign has a chronicler worthy of its singular importance to the Union's ultimate victory.

Published 4/18/2018

POWELL: Battle Above the Clouds (2017)

By: Jonathan M. Steplyk Category: Book Reviews

Ulysses Grant famously described the Battle of Lookout Mountain as "all poetry."

Published 4/11/2018

BELCHER: The Cavalries at Stones River (2017)

By: David A. Powell Category: Book Reviews excellent addition to both western theater cavalry studies and the specifics of the battle of Stones River.

Published 4/4/2018

FRAKER: Looking for Lincoln in Illinois (2017)

By: Frank J. Williams Category: Book Reviews

This is a delightful journey along the highways and byways of the circuit traveled by lawyer Lincoln...

Published 3/28/2018

CHERNOW: Grant (2017)

By: Todd Arrington Category: Book Reviews

...[I]f [Grant's] presidential ranking continues to rise, there is little question that Ron Chernow's exhaustive research and accessible writing style will be part of the reason.

Published 3/21/2018

KEATING: The Greatest Trials I Ever Had (2017)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

Students of the war looking for insights into the connections between camp and home front will find the Cahills' letters to be quite rewarding.

Published 3/14/2018

AYERS: The Thin Light of Freedom (2017)

By: Douglas R. Egerton Category: Book Reviews

Hindsight, Ayers understands, is often the enemy of understanding.

Published 3/7/2018

QUINT: Determined to Stand and Fight (2017)

By: Jared Frederick Category: Book Reviews

Early's daring raid is a colorful tale of retribution, diversion, anxiety, and shrewd political calculation.

Published 2/28/2018

SODERGREN: The Army of the Potomac in the Overland and Petersburg Campaigns (2017)

By: Briana Weaver Category: Book Reviews

Sodergren finds that the soldiers in the Army of the Potomac welcomed the change of pace afforded by the Petersburg trenches.

Published 2/21/2018

SCALES: The Battles and Campaigns of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest (2017)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

Forrest might say that Scales, while not getting there first, certainly got there with the most....

Published 2/14/2018

PERRY: Bluff, Bluster, Lies and Spies (2016)

By: Don Doyle Category: Book Reviews

Often, the fate of separatist movements is decided not on the field of battle, but in the marble courts of diplomacy.

Published 2/7/2018

McKNIGHT & MYERS (eds.): The Guerrilla Hunters (2017)

By: John H. Matsui Category: Book Reviews

New studies of guerrilla conflict during the conflict only reinforce the indivisible relationship between slavery and the Civil War.

Published 1/31/2018

BICKNELL: Lincoln's Pathfinder (2017)

By: Aaron Hyams Category: Book Reviews

While Fremont's fame up to 1856 outsized his actual exploits, he emerged in the tremors of Bleeding Kansas as a novel figure in American politics.

Published 1/24/2018

POWELL: Barren Victory (2017)

By: Cecily Zander Category: Book Reviews

Powell's efforts to dig below the surface of Chickamauga have produced a thorough and readable examination of the aftermath of a critical Civil War battle.

Published 1/17/2018

HESS: Civil War Logistics (2017)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

Hess' latest foray plunges the reader into the critical but woefully under appreciated world of Civil War logistics....

Published 1/10/2018

HUNT: Meade and Lee After Gettysburg (2017)

By: Jennifer M. Murray Category: Book Reviews

Hunt...offers an important, welcomed addition to the Gettysburg scholarship.

Published 1/3/2018

PECK: Making An Antislavery Nation (2017)

By: Daniel W. Crofts Category: Book Reviews

Graham Peck's first book tackles big issues and delves into contested terrain....

Published 12/27/2017

BERRY & ELDER (eds.): Practical Strangers (2017)

By: Jean H. Baker Category: Book Reviews

The letters between Elodie and Nathaniel tell us much about courtship in the South.

Published 12/20/2017

ECELBARGER: Slaughter at the Chapel (2016)

By: Robert Glaze Category: Book Reviews excellent tactical study of one of the Atlanta Campaign's most significant engagements.

Published 12/13/2017

FREY: Failure to Pursue (2016)

By: Michael Burns Category: Book Reviews

...why did the war last for four years, in the process costing more than 700,000 American lives?

Published 12/6/2017

TUCKER: Pickett's Charge (2016)

By: Adam Pratt Category: Book Reviews

It is often said that the victors write history, but in the case of the Civil War, that assumption is often called into question.

Published 11/29/2017

LEPA: The Union Sixth Corps in the Shenandoah Valley (2016)

By: Jonathan Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

...a succinct synthesis of the Sixth Corps' important role in Sheridan's 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign.

Published 11/22/2017

CODDINGTON: Faces of the Civil War Navies (2016)

By: Briana Weaver Category: Book Reviews

Coddington brings to life these men aboard the battleships, be they closer to home, anchored along a river bank, or farther away in the seas, prowling for enemy ships.

Published 11/15/2017

DIRCK: Lincoln in Indiana (2017)

By: John C. Kennedy Category: Book Reviews

...a clearly and succinctly argued study of the early years of Abraham Lincoln with rich descriptions of Indiana.

Published 11/8/2017

HURLEY: California and the Civil War (2017)

By: Aaron Hyams Category: Book Reviews

Hurley's strongest contributions lie within his treatment of the Civil War's impact upon Indigenous peoples throughout California and the West....

Published 11/1/2017

FITZGERALD: Reconstruction in Alabama (2017)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

The product of many decades of archival spadework...[this is] the definitive account of Reconstruction in Alabama.

Published 10/25/2017

QUIGLEY: Pure Heart (2016)

By: Andrew Davis Category: Book Reviews

An invaluable addition to scholarship examining the Civil War...highlights the ways in which religion played a central role in both uniting and dividing the American people.

Published 10/18/2017

DAVIS: All the Fighting They Want (2017)

By: Alexandre Caillot Category: Book Reviews

...this book is a strong choice for those wishing to learn more about the Atlanta campaign.

Published 10/11/2017

GREEN: McClellan and the Union High Command (2017)

By: Keith Altavilla Category: Book Reviews

Green...examines the development and creation of the Union high command.

Published 10/4/2017

HETTLE: The Confederate Homefront (2017)

By: Madeleine Forrest Category: Book Reviews

Hettle's book is a wonderful resource for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the Civil War era and those who lived it.

Published 9/27/2017

CRAIG & ULLRICH: Unconditional Unionist (2016)

By: Patrick Lewis Category: Book Reviews

Kentucky is the sphinx on the landscape of the American Civil War...

Published 9/20/2017

FOUGHT: Women in the World of Frederick Douglass (2017)

By: Jonathan Lande Category: Book Reviews

...essential reading for those seeking to better know Douglass.

Published 9/13/2017

WALDSTREICHER & MASON: John Quincy Adams and the Politics of Slavery (2016)

By: Thomas H. Cox Category: Book Reviews

...this collection of primary sources provides important insight into John Quincy Adams's views on the most divisive issue of his generation.

Published 9/6/2017

PITTMAN: Rebels in the Rockies (2014)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

...illustrates irregular activity in a region that has long been understudied in the scholarly literature.

Published 8/30/2017

MEZUREK: For Their Own Cause (2016)

By: Jacob Glover Category: Book Reviews

...a well-written, engaging treatment of the 27th USCT that does far more than most regimental histories.

Published 8/30/2017

EGERTON: Thunder at the Gates (2016)

By: Kelly D. Mezurek Category: Book Reviews

....a valuable contribution to the study of black Civil War regiments.

Published 8/23/2017

EMBERTON & BAKER (eds.): Remembering Reconstruction (2017)

By: Matthew Christopher Hulbert Category: Book Reviews

Reconstruction was much, much more than the political restoration of the ex-Confederacy to the Union; rather, it involved fundamental issues of race, citizenship, colonialism, and American identity.

Published 8/16/2017

FRAZIER: Blood on the Bayou (2015)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

By placing the Vicksburg and Port Hudson campaigns into a broader context, Frazier offers something for both military and social historians.

Published 8/16/2017

BETIT: War's Cost (2016)

By: Reagan Lyons Category: Book Reviews

A slender but useful study of a Shenandoah Valley family at war...

Published 8/9/2017

EPPS: Slavery on the Periphery (2016)

By: James M. Shinn, Jr. Category: Book Reviews

Slavery's roots in the Kansas-Missouri borderland ran deep.

Published 8/2/2017

CAMPI: Civil War Battlefields (2016)

By: Jared Frederick Category: Book Reviews

Many of the period's photographers considered themselves artists conveying a story, not objective journalists reporting a news piece.

Published 7/26/2017

FILIPOWSKI & HARRINGTON: The Boy Soldier (2016)

By: Nick Sacco Category: Book Reviews

...a sympathetic portrait of one soldier's Civil War experience that is readable and educational...worth reading by experts and beginnings alike.

Published 7/19/2017

KASTENBERG: A Confederate in Congress (2016)

By: Keith Altavilla Category: Book Reviews

In the weeks following the chaos of two major Confederate surrenders...military authorities arrested Benjamin Gwinn Harris, a Democrat congressman from Maryland, for committing treason.

Published 7/12/2017

ADAMS & HUDSON (eds.): Democracy and the American Civil War (2016)

By: Christopher H. Hayashida-Knight Category: Book Reviews

...the volume engages new perspectives suggestive of important critiques to well-established conventions.

Published 7/5/2017

JOHANSSON (ed.): Albert C. Ellithorpe, the First Indian Home Guards, and the Civil War on the Trans-Mississippi Frontier (2016)

By: Bradley R. Clampitt Category: Book Reviews

Johansson's fine book is an excellent source for scholars interested in guerrilla warfare, mixed-race units, federal military policy toward southern civilians, and the Trans-Mississippi Theater in general.

Published 6/28/2017

MACKOWSKI: Hell Itself (2016)

By: Michael Burns Category: Book Reviews

...the reader truly gets a sense of the horror that resulted from fighting in such close confines.

Published 6/28/2017

MACKOWSKI: Grant's Last Battle (2015)

By: Aaron Scott Crawford Category: Book Reviews

Mackowski...has crafted a crisp narrative that captures the urgency of Grant's struggle to complete his work, and the public spectacle surrounding that struggle.

Published 6/21/2017

RASBACH: Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the Petersburg Campaign (2016)

By: Jonathan M. Steplyk Category: Book Reviews

...a skillfully argued, thoroughly researched examination of a critical episode in a Civil War hero's military career.

Published 6/14/2017

LAUSE: Free Spirits (2016)

By: Benjamin E. Park Category: Book Reviews

Historians still need to grapple with the intellectual, political, and religious disruptions that took place in the Civil War era....

Published 6/7/2017

CLEMENS (ed.): The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 (2017)

By: Jonathan Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

Clemens' thoughtfully edited volume, enhanced by excellent maps, is an essential published primary source for anyone interested in the 1862 Maryland Campaign....

Published 5/31/2017

DOYLE (ed.): American Civil Wars (2017)

By: Claire Wolnisty Category: Book Reviews

...this commendable contribution to understandings of the transnational and global contexts of the U.S. Civil War encourages scholars, students, and general readers to research, inquire, and collaborate too.

Published 5/24/2017

LANDE: Psychological Consequences of the American Civil War (2016)

By: Bradford Pelletier Category: Book Reviews

Lande delivers a succinct, introductory volume on the emotional toll wrought by the Civil War on civilians and soldiers alike.

Published 5/17/2017

GRZYB: The Last Civil War Veterans (2016)

By: Jonathan S. Jones Category: Book Reviews

...readers seeking a concise history of the final Civil War veterans will enjoy this book.

Published 5/10/2017

STANLEY: The Loyal West (2016)

By: Cecily Zander Category: Book Reviews

Stanley's book is a perceptive study...provides an admirable model for future studies of regional identity in the Civil War era...

Published 5/10/2017

TRUDEAU: Lincoln's Greatest Journey (2016)

By: John McKee Barr Category: Book Reviews

....a delightful narrative of the president's sojourn with the Union army at City Point, Virginia, in the spring of 1865. Trudeau is a skilled writer and researcher...

Published 5/3/2017

FOOTE: The Yankee Plague (2016)

By: Adam H. Petty Category: Book Reviews

...makes for an important addition to the literature on Civil War prisoners and the collapse of the Confederacy. It integrates the individual stories of escaped prisoners with larger events...

Published 4/26/2017

MACKOWSKI: Grant's Last Battle (2015)

By: Aaron Scott Crawford Category: Book Reviews

Mackowski...has crafted a crisp narrative that captures the urgency of Grant's struggle to complete his work, and the public spectacle surrounding that struggle.

Published 4/19/2017

DAVIS: Inventing Loreta Velasquez (2016)

By: Evan Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Loreta Velasquez was a woman of mystery and secrecy....quite a cagey operator, her decisions were not always particularly wise.

Published 4/12/2017

ENGLE: Gathering to Save a Nation (2016)

By: James G. Kopaczewski Category: Book Reviews

Engle shows that governors were tendrils of the state and enabled Union victory....governors administered mobilization efforts, promoted Unionism, and acted as a bulwark for federalism.

Published 4/5/2017

BARR: A Civil War Captain and His Lady (2016)

By: Michael Johnson Category: Book Reviews interesting glimpse into the wartime courtship between a soldier at war and a woman on the home front.

Published 3/29/2017

WHITE: Midnight in America (2017)

By: Lesley J. Gordon Category: Book Reviews

Jonathan White's new book claims that historians have overlooked the significance of sleep and dreams to Civil War era Americans.

Published 3/22/2017

SNEE: Lincoln Before Lincoln (2016)

By: Allen C. Guelzo Category: Book Reviews

Abraham Lincoln surely holds the record for presidential movie roles, having been inserted into more than 200 movies, television programs, and documentaries.

Published 3/15/2017

SNELL: My Gettysburg (2016)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

This book treats eclectic topics on America's most famous and most visited battlefield.

Published 3/8/2017

DAVIS: A Long and Bloody Task (2016)

By: Nick Sacco Category: Book Reviews

Davis's overarching thesis is that Sherman's successful movements toward Atlanta...were largely the fault of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's inept generalship.

Published 3/1/2017

LaBARRE: The Fifth Massachusetts Colored Cavalry in the Civil War (2016)

By: C. Wood Newhall Category: Book Reviews

Little work has been done on the black cavalries that served during the Civil War, and LaBarre's book is a useful and welcome contribution to that historiography.

Published 2/22/2017

SCYTHES: This Will Make a Man of Me (2016)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

An idealistic and at times priggish young man, Howell complained about officers and enlisted men who swore, drank, and ignored the Sabbath...

Published 2/15/2017

PRYOR: Six Encounters with Lincoln (2017)

By: Matthew Norman Category: Book Reviews

Elizabeth Brown Pryor seeks to get at the real Abraham Lincoln by peeling away the layers of mythology and exposing a flesh and blood human being.

Published 2/8/2017

PENN: Kentucky Rebel Town (2016)

By: Jacob A. Glover Category: Book Reviews

Penn's efforts to recreate the military struggle in Harrison County are a resounding success.

Published 2/1/2017

LEIGH: The Confederacy at Flood Tide (2016)

By: Robert L. Glaze Category: Book Reviews

...the author is able to avid the talismanic allure of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, thus eschewing the oft-repeated contention that the Confederacy's best chance at independence came and went in July 1863.

Published 1/25/2017

CONNER & MACKOWSKI: Seizing Destiny (2016)

By: Ryan Bixby Category: Book Reviews

Those interested in studying the Army of the Potomac's command structure and implementation of military policies will find value within the detailed and well-researched discussion of these topics.

Published 1/18/2017

BEILEIN: Bushwhackers (2016)

By: Brian D. McKnight Category: Book Reviews

Beilein's book should be read by everyone interested in Missouri's turbulent Civil War experience, and it will certainly become a staple on the reading lists that help train the next generation...

Published 1/11/2017

O'HARROW: The Quartermaster (2016)

By: Jonathan Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

O'Harrow's thorough, masterfully crafted, and impeccably researched biography is destined to become the authoritative volume on Meigs.

Published 1/4/2017

BEAN: Too Great a Burden to Bear (2016)

By: Hilary Green Category: Book Reviews

...a timely reassessment of one of the most misunderstood agencies at the center of the debate over the meaning of the Civil War...

Published 1/4/2017

SMITH: Scarred (2016)

By: Angela Riotto Category: Book Reviews

...illustrates how the violence of war is not just limited to the battlefront (and how it continued to affect those involved long after the guns fell silent).

Published 12/28/2016

CARPENTER: Gaston County, North Carolina, in the Civil War (2016)

By: Joshua Shiver Category: Book Reviews

Shockingly, even as the Confederate economy collapsed and Union soldiers marched through the South liberating slaves, the war effort actually promoted the institution of slavery in Gaston County.

Published 12/21/2016

RAY (ed.): Sharpshooter (2016)

By: Jared Frederick Category: Book Reviews

[Blackford's] letters strip away the romanticized veneer of the Lost Cause...a revealing testament about life and death in the Army of Northern Virginia.

Published 12/14/2016

MACKOWSKI, WHITE & DAVIS: Don't Give an Inch (2016)

By: Jared Peatman Category: Book Reviews

Heading to Gettysburg sometime soon, and looking for a book to help guide you through the fighting on the second day of the battle?

Published 12/14/2016

UNGER: Henry Clay (2015)

By: Songho Ha Category: Book Reviews

The two main themes in the book are Clay's nationalism and his influence on a young Abraham Lincoln.

Published 12/7/2016

BACKUS & ORRISON: A Want of Vigilance (2015)

By: Tommy Brown Category: Book Reviews

Orrison and Backus have produced a readable and entertaining look into one of the war's lesser known campaigns.

Published 11/30/2016

DIXON & KWAPISZ: Civil War Adventure (2015)

By: Alexandre Caillot Category: Book Reviews

....this tome deftly balances the sobering and the sentimental in its range of short stories and longer dramas.

Published 11/23/2016

ROBERTSON: The Red River Campaign and Its Toll (2016)

By: Christopher Gwinn Category: Book Reviews

Not unlike the winding waterway upon which it unfolded, the history of the Red River Campaign has remained as murky as the water of the river itself.

Published 11/23/2016

BIGGS: They Fought For the Union (2016)

By: Thomas J. Ryan Category: Book Reviews

It appears that no stone was left unturned in the author's quest to portray the individual and collective performance of the men of this regiment.

Published 11/16/2016

RABLE: Damn Yankees! (2015)

By: Lorien Foote Category: Book Reviews

Dehumanizing an enemy during wartime helps participants to kill, provides a justification for why the war is worth fighting, and helps create a national identity.

Published 11/9/2016

WONGSRICHANALAI: Northern Character (2016)

By: James G. Kopaczewski Category: Book Reviews

Wongsrichanalai traces the intellectual lineage of elite white New Englanders before, during, and after the American Civil War.

Published 11/2/2016

WITTENBERG & DAVIS: Out Flew the Sabres (2016)

By: Robert Grandchamp Category: Book Reviews

Through a combination of detailed maps and photographs, this book will serve as a fantastic introduction to a decisive Civil War battle that established the Union cavalry in the eastern theater as masters of the field.

Published 11/2/2016

WITTENBERG & MINGUS: The Second Battle of Winchester (2016)

By: Cecily Zander Category: Book Reviews

Wittenberg and Mingus offer a new look at the engagement that eliminated the Union military presence in the Shenandoah Valley and cleared the way for Lee's second invasion of the North.

Published 10/26/2016

BYRD: Confederate Sharpshooter Major William E. Simmons (2016)

By: David Schieffler Category: Book Reviews

...a well-written book that recounts the operational details of an accomplished Confederate battalion and the exploits of one of its leaders.

Published 10/19/2016

PETERSON: Confederate Cabinet Departments and Secretaries (2016)

By: C. Michael Harrington Category: Book Reviews

This is the first book in more than 70 years to provide an overview of the six departments of the executive branch of the Confederate government, as well as sketches of the men who headed each department.

Published 10/12/2016

MORGANS: Grenville Mellen Dodge in the Civil War (2016)

By: Robert Grandchamp Category: Book Reviews

Morgans...presents a brief biography of one of the all but forgotten players who made victory for the Union possible.

Published 10/5/2016

BRENNEMAN, BOARDMAN & DOWLING: The Gettysburg Cyclorama (2015)

By: Tyler Sperrazza Category: Book Reviews

This book serves as a "myth-buster," a historical reference, and a key to the newly restored Cyclorama at the Gettysburg National Military Park.

Published 9/28/2016

GALLAGHER & WAUGH: The American War (2015)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

While individuals with a general interest in the Civil War era would certainly benefit from reading this book, those who teach Civil War era history will find this book a useful foundation upon which to build a course.

Published 9/21/2016

BARRINGER: Fighting for General Lee (2016)

By: Jonathan M. Steplyk Category: Book Reviews

Rufus Barringer's fighting took place on the fringes of the armies, in often unsung skirmishes and campaigns.

Published 9/14/2016

GRAMM: Sharpsburg (2015)

By: Chris Mackowski Category: Book Reviews

Creative writers can comment on history in ways that historians never can; they can reveal truths about history that historians can never expose.

Published 9/7/2016

HESS: Braxton Bragg (2016)

By: Nate Buman Category: Book Reviews

Hess asserts that Bragg did the best that he could with what he had at his disposal. He argues successfully that no other southern commander could have done better due to the overwhelming territory that Bragg had to defend...and the lack of reliable generals under his command.

Published 8/31/2016

BRETZGER: Observing Hancock at Gettysburg (2016)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

Gettysburg has defined Hancock's career more than any other engagement.

Published 8/24/2016

SOKOLOSKY & SMITH: "To Prepare for Sherman's Coming" (2015)

By: Thomas M. Grace Category: Book Reviews

The authors display a mastery of the battlefield's swampy terrain...their study offers more than yet another drums and bugles account of a Civil War battle.

Published 8/17/2016

GALLAGHER & JANNEY (eds.): Cold Harbor to the Crater (2015)

By: Nate Buman Category: Book Reviews

...offers a concise, approachable view of the end of the Overland Campaign, introducing several thoughtful examples of just how uncertain the war's outcome remained in 1864.

Published 8/10/2016

McCARDLE: A Just and Holy Cause? (2016)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

Marcus Bethune Ely was a dutiful soldier, but no diehard Confederate.

Published 8/3/2016

WOODWORTH & GREAR (eds.): The Tennessee Campaign of 1864 (2016)

By: Ben H. Severance Category: Book Reviews

In the dying days of the Confederacy, the ill-fated Army of Tennessee embarked on a great forlorn hope to destroy a numerically superior foe, capture a heavily fortified city, and turn the war around.

Published 7/27/2016

CONLIN: One Nation Divided by Slavery (2015)

By: Kristen Epps Category: Book Reviews

This well-written, timely monograph enriches our understanding of the sectional conflict, the fluctuating nature of nationalism, and slavery's role in the memory of the American Revolution.

Published 7/20/2016

KURTZ: Excommunicated from the Union (2015)

By: William S. Cossen Category: Book Reviews

This slim, well-written volume offers a straightforward argument that should move the historiographical debate in a number of subjects: from the role of religion in the war and the significance of ethnic identity among soldiers, to the place of Catholics in the wider American society...

Published 7/20/2016

EGAN: The Immortal Irishman (2016)

By: Thomas J. Ryan Category: Book Reviews

Egan relates Meagher's steadfastness as commander of the Irish Brigade—steadfastness in the face of the mass slaughter of his men in battle after battle.

Published 7/13/2016

BLUMENTHAL: A Self-Made Man (2016)

By: Robert O. Faith Category: Book Reviews

"Ultimately," Blumenthal argues, "Lincoln became the master of events because he was the master of politics."

Published 7/6/2016

HODES: Mourning Lincoln (2015)

By: Bruce W. Eelman Category: Book Reviews

[D]eft use of personal papers, diaries, letters, and a host of other primary sources reveals how the president's death both unified and further divided the country in the wake of war...

Published 6/29/2016

SHULTZ & MINGUS: The Second Day at Gettysburg (2015)

By: Thomas J. Ryan Category: Book Reviews

Shultz and Mingus have set a new standard for the July 2 action at Gettysburg, especially with regard to the critical engagements that took place toward the center of the line on Cemetery Ridge.

Published 6/29/2016

ROSS: Free State of Jones (2016)

By: Matthew C. Hulbert Category: Book Reviews Lost Cause trope after another is shattered against the gritty counter-narrative of men and women who temporarily erased the color line in defiance of everything the architects of the Confederate Experiment hoped to achieve.

Published 6/22/2016

HOOPER: Lincoln's Generals' Wives (2016)

By: Antoinette G. van Zelm Category: Book Reviews

Candice Shy Hooper explores how Jessie Benton Fremont, Mary Ellen March McClellan, Eleanor Ewing Sherman, and Julia Dent Grant motivated, guided, encouraged and occasionally clashed with their famous husbands during the Civil War.

Published 6/15/2016

PHILLIPS: The Rivers Ran Backward (2016)

By: James G. Kopaczewski Category: Book Reviews

By focusing on the Middle Border, Phillips expands our understandings of the West and forces historians to reconsider the North-South sectional binary.

Published 6/8/2016

PANHORST: The Memorial Art and Architecture of Vicksburg National Military Park (2015)

By: John D. Fowler Category: Book Reviews

By the end of the 1920s, the park was covered in statues, busts, and reliefs of Vicksburg's Confederate defenders and Union conquerors, all lining a circuitous route around the massive earthworks...

Published 6/1/2016

MEDFORD: Lincoln and Emancipation (2015)

By: Glenn David Brasher Category: Book Reviews

Scholars will find...a useful synthesis with interesting vignettes involving a wide cast of characters, but this concise book will prove particularly effective in undergraduate courses.

Published 5/25/2016

HUBBARD (ed.): Lincoln, the Law, and Presidential Leadership (2015)

By: Robert O. Faith Category: Book Reviews

Is there anything new to be written about Abraham Lincoln's relationship to the law during his careers as lawyer and president?

Published 5/18/2016

WILSON: Private John S. Mosby, First Virginia Cavalry (2015)

By: Robert Grandchamp Category: Book Reviews

Before he rode to glory at the head of his Rangers, John S. Mosby was a lowly private in the First Virginia Cavalry, serving in northern Virginia...

Published 5/11/2016

NOYALAS: Civil War Legacy in the Shenandoah (2015)

By: Kelly Mielke Category: Book Reviews

The extent of conflict in the Shenandoah Valley and its role as a thoroughfare between the Union and Confederacy makes the region a particularly interesting place to study post-war reconciliation.

Published 5/4/2016

PERO: Gettysburg 1863 (2015)

By: Scott L. Mingus, Sr. Category: Book Reviews

As a source of unvarnished primary information on the battle from the hearts and minds of those who were there, this is an exceptional addition to the vast historiography of the Gettysburg Campaign.

Published 4/27/2016

CROFTS: Lincoln & the Politics of Slavery (2016)

By: Thomas A. Horrocks Category: Book Reviews

Despite the thousands of books written about Lincoln...scholars have virtually ignored the original thirteenth amendment fight and Lincoln's role in it...Crofts fills this void with his compelling book...

Published 4/20/2016

IZECKSOHN: Slavery and War in the Americas (2014)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Historians have called, at least twice, for comparison of the Civil War with the War of the Triple historian has subjected the two wars to a sustained comparison until Vitor Izecksohn...

Published 4/13/2016

LOWRY: Galvanized Virginians in the Indian Wars (2015)

By: Angela M. Riotto Category: Book Reviews

Lowry's book inspires an important conversation about loyalty, cowardice, and suffering...

Published 4/13/2016

GUNNIN (ed.): Letters to Virtue (2014)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

While Sherman's letters offer insight into a variety of aspects which dominated a soldier's life and are typical among published anything but a typical collection.

Published 4/6/2016

ACKEN (ed.): Service with the Signal Corps (2015)

By: Thomas J. Ryan Category: Book Reviews

Acken merits our appreciation for unearthing these important documents...Civil War specialists will gain knowledge about the vital but little known field of signal operations.

Published 3/30/2016

DIXON: The Lost Gettysburg Address (2015)

By: Scott L. Mingus, Sr. Category: Book Reviews

Now, for the first time, we can read Edward Everett's well-crafted speech and Charles Anderson's lost Gettysburg remarks, which bookended Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

Published 3/23/2016

HUFFSTODT: Lincoln's Bold Lion (2015)

By: Thomas J. Rowland Category: Book Reviews

James T. Huffstodt attempts to nudge Brigadier General Martin Davis Hardin out of the shadows of obscurity into the light of recognition.

Published 3/16/2016

MESCH: Teacher of Civil War Generals (2015)

By: Robert Grandchamp Category: Book Reviews

Smith was a brave and brilliant tactician who earned brevets in Mexico and displayed great courage in his action at Fort Donelson.

Published 3/9/2016

CANAVAN: Lincoln's Final Hours (2015)

By: Thomas A. Horrocks Category: Book Reviews

Rather than offering the usual, minute-by-minute movements of Booth and his fellow conspirators before and after the assassination, Canavan offers the reader a different story....

Published 3/2/2016

CHAMBERS: No God But Gain (2015)

By: Thomas H. Cox Category: Book Reviews

Capitalism and slavery were not only compatible but presented a dynamic, thriving alternative to free labor that would not be eradicated until Union victory in the Civil War.

Published 2/24/2016

SILVERMAN: Lincoln and the Immigrant (2015)

By: Alison Clark Efford Category: Book Reviews

Beginning during Lincoln's congressional term in the late 1840s and stretching through the Civil War, immigration was a live issue closely related to his hallmark concerns.

Published 2/17/2016

ENGLE (ed.): The War Worth Fighting (2015)

By: Krista Kinslow Category: Book Reviews

Focused on the ways in which Lincoln actively shaped events both at home and abroad, the collection covers a wide spectrum of topics...

Published 2/10/2016

DOWNS & MASUR (eds.): The World the Civil War Made (2015)

By: Andrew F. Lang Category: Book Reviews

This volume will radically change how historians approach the post-Civil War period.

Published 2/3/2016

ALEXANDER: Dawn of Victory (2015)

By: Kelly Mielke Category: Book Reviews

...provides an engaging look at the Union breakthrough at Petersburg that casual buffs and more serious readers alike can enjoy.

Published 1/27/2016

THOMPSON: The National Joker (2015)

By: Chris Mackowski Category: Book Reviews

Abraham Lincoln's facility with words allowed him to craft some of American literature's loftiest rhetoric; it also allowed him to connect to the most homespun of backcountry constituents.

Published 1/20/2016

MILLER: Empty Sleeves (2015)

By: Sarah Handley-Cousins Category: Book Reviews

Miller has crafted a beautifully written and extensively researched book on a topic we must give greater attention: the bodily ramifications of the Civil War.

Published 1/13/2016

BEILEIN & HULBERT (eds.): The Civil War Guerrilla (2015)

By: Brian D. McKnight Category: Book Reviews

This anthology is the first book from both Hulbert and Beilein, and the field eagerly awaits their future works.

Published 1/6/2016

CHICK: The Battle of Petersburg (2015)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

The combat east of Petersburg, Virginia, between June 15 and 18, 1864, "shows two titanic commanders of war, Grant and Lee, at their absolute worst."

Published 12/30/2015

LEWIS: For Slavery and Union (2015)

By: Tommy Brown Category: Book Reviews

Ben Buckner was the embodiment of what it meant to be a proslavery unionist who joined the Union cause....

Published 12/23/2015

CAUDILL & ASHDOWN: Inventing Custer (2015)

By: Jonathan Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

In America's popular consciousness, the name George Armstrong Custer often evokes images of a daring, charismatic, golden-haired cavalry commander, in a fringed, buckskin coat, trying to fend off attacking warriors in a futile effort at the Little Big Horn.

Published 12/16/2015

GALLMAN: Defining Duty (2015)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Although people needed advice on how to behave during an unprecedented crisis, the war culture seemingly abdicated responsibility for telling people how to behave...

Published 12/9/2015

FETTER-VORM & KELMAN: Battle Lines (2015)

By: David Schieffler Category: Book Reviews

Fetter-Vorm, an award-winning artist, and Kelman, a Bancroft Prize-winning historian, tell the story of the Civil War and Reconstruction through fifteen independent vignettes.

Published 12/2/2015

KELLER: The Story of Camp Douglas (2015)

By: Angela Riotto Category: Book Reviews

Keller's use of historical and archaeological evidence provides a useful base upon which future historians of Civil War POW camps can build.

Published 12/2/2015

BERENSON: Boston and the Civil War (2014)

By: John Patrick Riley Category: Book Reviews

As a general survey of Boston at mid-century, this book serves well enough for casual readers or those devoted Bostonians who seek to consume all things related to their city.

Published 11/25/2015

RYAN: Spies, Scouts, and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign (2015)

By: Nate Buman Category: Book Reviews

Ryan has provided a template that historians may use to examine the role of intelligence during other campaigns.

Published 11/18/2015

HARDY: The Capitals of the Confederacy (2015)

By: Cathy Wright Category: Book Reviews

Serving as a nation's capital city is generally a rare honor...but not in the case of the Confederate States of America, which bestowed it upon five cities in just over four years.

Published 11/18/2015

HESS: The Battle of Ezra Church and the Struggle for Atlanta (2015)

By: Wayne Hsieh Category: Book Reviews

Hess' new volume is now the standard scholarly account of the crucial engagement that saw Atlanta's Confederate defenders lose their final chance to regain the initiative from Sherman through aggressive counter-offensives.

Published 11/11/2015

RAPAPORT: Tobacco and Smoking Among the Blue and Gray (2014)

By: Sean Trainor Category: Book Reviews

Never again will I overlook the omnipresent pipes and tobacco paraphernalia in Civil War-era imagery...or forget soldiers' loving, compulsive, perverse devotion to the murky enemy in their midst.

Published 11/11/2015

SMITH: Home Again (2014)

By: Kathleen Thompson Category: Book Reviews

It is in the novel's finale that Smith really breaks away from the "expected" homecoming of the war-worn veteran, and it has tremendous effect on the reader.

Published 11/4/2015

MARTELLE: The Madman and the Assassin (2015)

By: Michael P. Gray Category: Book Reviews

This timely biography...delves into the psyche of this enigmatic figure.

Published 10/28/2015

HESTER (ed.): A Yankee Scholar in Coastal South Carolina (2015)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

Makes for fascinating reading...immediately becomes an important new primary source for studying the Civil War era.

Published 10/21/2015

COOK (ed.): A Quiet Corner of the War (2014)

By: Lisa Tendrich Frank Category: Book Reviews

This volume is a welcome addition to the growing literature on families and households in the Civil War.

Published 10/14/2015

MAY: Slavery, Race, and Conquest in the Tropics (2013)

By: Matthew Norman Category: Book Reviews

[A] new lens through which to view the Lincoln-Douglas contest...demonstrates that the topic has not yet been exhausted.

Published 10/7/2015

CHANDLER: The Last Days of the Confederacy in Northeast Georgia (2015)

By: Chris Mackowski Category: Book Reviews

Chandler is eager to do justice to a subject and a region he loves, and his worthy effort makes a nice addition to the literature.

Published 9/30/2015

DOWNS: After Appomattox (2015)

By: Justin Behrend Category: Book Reviews

Downs reminds us that the cessation of battlefield fighting or the dissolving of the Confederate army did not mean peace. Rather, a state of war continued for another six years.

Published 9/23/2015

MYERS: Rebels Against the Confederacy (2014)

By: Margaret M. Storey Category: Book Reviews

Studies of unionism have brought together the many facets of the Civil War...Myers' study is a particularly welcome addition to this field.

Published 9/16/2015

HUSTON: The British Gentry, The Southern Planter, and the Northern Family Farmer (2015)

By: Daniel W. Crofts Category: Book Reviews

Huston's bracing, wide-angled overview of North-South economic differences deserves respectful consideration, but the ground on which he attempts to stand will remain contested.

Published 9/9/2015

HESS: Civil War Infantry Tactics (2015)

By: Zachery A. Fry Category: Book Reviews

Standing on a Civil War battlefield today, it is often difficult to imagine what the frenzy looked like....thanks to Earl Hess' mastery of Civil War tactics, that imagining is now a little bit easier.

Published 9/2/2015

SOLONICK: Engineering Victory (2015)

By: John D. Fowler Category: Book Reviews

Solonick challenges traditional views of the siege by asserting that instead of being starved out, the rebels were finally dug out.

Published 8/26/2015

SZASZ: Lincoln and Religion (2014)

By: Lucas E. Morel Category: Book Reviews

A perennial question about Abraham Lincoln is the nature of his religious faith: was he or wasn't he a Christian?

Published 8/26/2015

CONANT (ed.): The Gettysburg Address (2015)

By: Jared Peatman Category: Book Reviews

A broad contextual examination of the influences upon and impacts of the Gettysburg Address.

Published 8/19/2015

DEAN: An Agrarian Republic (2015)

By: Brian Allen Drake Category: Book Reviews

Dean's exploration of antislavery's roots in the soil is precisely the sort of direction in which Civil War environmental history needs to travel.

Published 8/12/2015

DAVIS: Crucible of Command (2015)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

This comparative study of Lee and Grant, written by a master storyteller, is the best of its kind.

Published 8/5/2015

HOOD (ed.): The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood (2015)

By: Jonathan M. Steplyk Category: Book Reviews

...this collection provides more grist for the mill in ongoing efforts to better understand the life and times of one of the Civil War's most controversial generals.

Published 7/29/2015

MASUR: Lincoln's Last Speech (2015)

By: John C. Rodrigue Category: Book Reviews

Masur has provided an engaging, accessible, and cogent overview of an endlessly fascinating, complicated, and important topic.

Published 7/22/2015

SUDEROW & HOUSE: The Battle of Pilot Knob (2014)

By: Mark Lause Category: Book Reviews

The lovely Arcadia valley in Iron County, Missouri, provided the setting for some of the most dramatic fighting of the Civil War on September 26-27, 1864.

Published 7/15/2015

RAFUSE (ed.): Corps Commanders in Blue (2014)

By: Zachery A. Fry Category: Book Reviews

Rafuse's team, a who's who of scholars on the Union Army, tackles the problem of corps leadership both east and west, from 1862 to 1864.

Published 7/8/2015

DRAKE (ed.): The Blue, the Gray, and the Green (2015)

By: Evan Kutzler Category: Book Reviews

If Civil War historians want to discover how participants in the past perceived a war fought outdoors, it is past time to immerse Civil War history in nature.

Published 7/1/2015

HAGLER: Georgia's Confederate Monuments (2014)

By: Jennifer M. Murray Category: Book Reviews

Gould Hagler, Jr., offers an encyclopedic volume covering approximately 140 monuments erected to honor Georgia's Confederate men and women.

Published 6/24/2015

GALLMAN & GALLAGHER (eds.): Lens of War (2015)

By: Matthew C. Hulbert Category: Book Reviews

Editors J. Matthew Gallman and Gary Gallagher began with a simple equation: one photograph + one historian = one essay.

Published 6/17/2015

BREWSTER: Lincoln's Gamble (2014)

By: Jared Peatman Category: Book Reviews

The book unfolds in narrative fashion, moving Lincoln from his first discussions of emancipation with cabinet members on July 13, 1862, through the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

Published 6/10/2015

CUSHMAN: Belligerent Muse (2014)

By: Sarah E. Gardner Category: Book Reviews

In the hands of the accomplished writers considered, language shapes the past's meanings and its perceptions.

Published 6/3/2015

DOYLE: The Cause of All Nations (2014)

By: Nimrod Tal Category: Book Reviews

The book makes a convincing case for the importance of public diplomacy in the Civil War....casts new light on questions that have long preoccupied historians.

Published 5/27/2015

GORDON: A Broken Regiment (2014)

By: Peter C. Vermilyea Category: Book Reviews

Gordon depicts the regiment as a projection of its community, establishing the connection between the home front and the front lines through the use of a wide array of soldier and civilian letters and diaries, newspapers, and military service records.

Published 5/20/2015

ROBISON: Confederates in Montana Territory (2014)

By: David C. Williard Category: Book Reviews

Historians and general audiences have minimized the immense appeal of the American West to former Confederate soldiers, for whom a familiar language, easily obtainable land, and the opportunity to reclaim masculine respect by braving the frontier's rugged conditions had much to offer.

Published 5/20/2015

HARRIS: Across the Bloody Chasm (2014)

By: Krista Kinslow Category: Book Reviews

Reunion was possible, as the nation was re-forged, but the men who fought the war did not forget the conflict and its meanings.

Published 5/13/2015

HORN: The Man Who Would Not Be Washington (2015)

By: Allen C. Guelzo Category: Book Reviews

Horn provides us with a palpable sense of having met the man who, for all his delicate charm, remained by his own admission "not very accessible."

Published 5/6/2015

GIESBERG (ed.): Emilie Davis's Civil War (2014)

By: Tyler Sperrazza Category: Book Reviews

The most important contribution of this project is its potential to enrich our understanding of free black communities in the North during the Civil War. Davis' writings provide a unique perspective on the activities of teachers and students at the Institute for Colored Youth, the proceedings of various African American organizations like the Ladies Union Association, and the complex racial issues...

Published 4/29/2015

McKENNA: From Vicksburg to Cedar Creek (2014)

By: Ryan Keating Category: Book Reviews

Regimental histories can provide important insight to the nuanced and multifaceted experiences of Civil War soldiers.

Published 4/22/2015

LONGACRE: The Early Morning of War (2014)

By: Thaddeus Romansky Category: Book Reviews

....a detailed chronicle and analysis not only of the events at Manassas Junction, but of those in the Shenandoah Valley as well.

Published 4/22/2015

OLLER: American Queen (2014)

By: Catherine Clinton Category: Book Reviews

John Oller has delivered a book full of engaging detail and captivating characters to illuminate the career of Kate Chase Sprague.

Published 4/22/2015

LEES & GASKE: Recalling Deeds Immortal (2014)

By: Irvin D.S. Winsboro Category: Book Reviews

For well over a century, Floridians have debated the role and memory of their state's local and national significance in the American Civil War.

Published 4/15/2015

STEERS: Lincoln's Assassination (2014)

By: Leonne M. Hudson Category: Book Reviews

Although this is a concise volume, Steers' coverage of the activities of the conspirators before, during, and after the assassination of the chief occupant of the White House is thorough.

Published 4/15/2015

ALFORD: Fortune's Fool (2015)

By: Thomas R. Turner Category: Book Reviews

[This book] its place as the essential Booth biography, which is indispensable reading for anyone wanting to fully understand the assassination and the actor who committed it.

Published 4/8/2015

GRAHAM: The Coal River Valley in the Civil War (2014)

By: Luke Manget Category: Book Reviews

Graham has written a detailed account of an often overlooked episode in the war.

Published 4/1/2015

MORIARTY: A Fine Body of Men (2014)

By: David A. Powell Category: Book Reviews

Writing the regimental history of a Civil War unit can be a challenge. Writing a company history, however, takes that challenge to a new level.

Published 4/1/2015

PARSON: Work for Giants (2014)

By: Jonathan M. Steplyk Category: Book Reviews

The book stands out as a model work of well-written, well-researched military history. Parson takes readers through the Tupelo Campaign's inception, conduct, and execution with a thorough study of the battles and skirmishes, and concludes with an authoritative analysis of the results and how participants and historians have remembered and argued over it.

Published 3/25/2015

MACKOWSKI & WHITE: That Furious Struggle (2014)

By: Joseph J. Cook Category: Book Reviews

Mackowski and White have produced an invaluable resource for the tourist of one of the Civil War's largest and most critical battles.

Published 3/18/2015

RUEF: Between Slavery and Capitalism (2014)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Ruef has an interesting idea, but the question immediately suggests itself: what does this model of uncertainty add to analysis and understanding of Reconstruction and its aftermath?

Published 3/11/2015

UFFELMAN, KANERVO, SMITH, WILLIAMS (eds.): The Diary of Nannie Haskins Williams (2014)

By: Katherine Brackett Fialka Category: Book Reviews

The diary's editors have truly brought this valuable source to life with an excellent introduction and conclusion, nearly one hundred pages of endnotes, two appendices addressing military officers and installations mentioned in the diary, and a number of photographs and diagrams.

Published 3/4/2015

McPHERSON: Embattled Rebel (2014)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

McPherson examines the controversies that plague history's judgments of Davis as commander-in-chief, presents a well-drawn portrait of the Confederate leader, and offers his own assessments on Davis's decisions and relationships with key individuals.

Published 2/25/2015

SHERBURNE: The St. Albans Raid (2014)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

Despite the fact that the St. Albans Raid was the northernmost attack by Confederates during the conflict and threatened relations between the United States, Canada, and Great Britain in the midst of our republic's most trying period, it has been largely ignored by historians.

Published 2/25/2015

PRIEST: "Stand to It and Give Them Hell" (2014)

By: Benjamin Neely Category: Book Reviews

The soldiers' stories are pulled together so that the reader can get a sense of what the common soldier saw and felt in a specific time and place, hour-by-hour, on the battlefield over the course of July 2, 1863.

Published 2/18/2015

DOHREN (ed.): Letters from a Shoebox (2013)

By: Zachery A. Fry Category: Book Reviews

In a field where authors thrive on emphasizing novelty in their subject matter, these letters are valuable precisely because the men and women who wrote them were so ordinary.

Published 2/11/2015

KING: To Raise Up a Nation (2013)

By: William D. Hickox Category: Book Reviews

This work is an intriguing read and an often-persuasive argument for the primacy of black men's deeds over white men's legislation.

Published 2/11/2015

ESCOTT: Lincoln's Dilemma (2014)

By: Martin J. Hardeman Category: Book Reviews

Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War destroyed slavery in the United States, but racial prejudice was only a little discomforted.

Published 2/4/2015

SPENCER (ed.): A Connecticut Yankee in Lincoln's Cabinet (2014)

By: Peter C. Vermilyea Category: Book Reviews

J. Ronald Spencer provides a manageable way to glean the best from Gideon Welles's famous diary, and allows for a better understanding of how Lincoln and his administration dealt with the vital issues of the period.

Published 1/28/2015

COOLING: Jubal Early (2014)

By: Scott L. Mingus, Sr. Category: Book Reviews

Benjamin Cooling's new book is a worthwhile read for anyone seeking an overview of the famed Confederate general and postwar apologist. Entertaining, well written, and fast-paced, it will leave inquisitive readers wanting to explore the many primary and secondary sources the author presents in his extensive bibliography.

Published 1/21/2015

SUMMERS: The Ordeal of the Reunion (2014)

By: Allen C. Guelzo Category: Book Reviews

Summers has produced a compelling and forcefully-drawn overview of Reconstruction. [He] is not blind to Reconstruction's failures, but he is kinder to them than the Marxists without lapsing into the fevered distaste of the Dunning school.

Published 1/14/2015

MURRAY: On a Great Battlefield (2014)

By: Joan M. Zenzen Category: Book Reviews

[T]he history of Gettysburg National Military Park shines through as a telling example of why visitors need to pay heed to a park's preservation history, not just its military battles.

Published 1/7/2015

GWYNNE: Rebel Yell (2014)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

Stonewall Jackson emerges as the aggressive, quirky, beloved officer that we have come to know from most previous biographies.

Published 1/7/2015

RAFUSE: Manassas (2014)

By: Timothy J. Orr Category: Book Reviews

The book's format is a model of perfection. Directions are clear and precise, the orientation is understandable, and the narrative and analysis sections are accessible, illuminating, and cleverly written.

Published 12/31/2014

WARSHAUER (ed.): Inside Connecticut and the Civil War (2014)

By: Allison Jordan Category: Book Reviews

The project of a handful of talented graduate students at Central Connecticut State University, [this book] touches upon topics ranging from the state's little-known role in financing the war to its early efforts at commemoration; from the crucial war ships sailing south out of Mystic Seaport to the psychological trauma of the battlefield that followed veterans home to the Nutmeg State.

Published 12/31/2014

WILLIAMS: Prudence Crandall's Legacy (2014)

By: Jill Ogline Titus Category: Book Reviews

Seemingly geared toward general readers, the book's vivid depiction of the violence and hostility that greeted calls for immediate emancipation (particularly the mob violence in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia) should effectively challenge too-rosy popular notions of the antebellum north as "friendly territory" for antislavery advocates.

Published 12/24/2014

DAVIS: Music Along the Rapidan (2014)

By: Kathryn Shively Meier Category: Book Reviews

Without hearing the music of soldiers, nearby civilians, and the interplay between the two, scholars miss an important locus of community and insight into the transformation from citizen to takes a well-researched monograph like Davis' to convince Civil War historians that we really should be listening to our subjects as well as reading them.

Published 12/24/2014

WHITE: Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale (2013)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

The Battle of Chickamauga ranks as the second bloodiest engagement of the Civil War. It also stands as the only major victory by Confederate arms in the western theater during the conflict.

Published 12/17/2014

MOORE & MOORE: Collaborators for Emancipation (2014)

By: Louis P. Masur Category: Book Reviews

The Moores argue that during the war Lincoln became more radical, and that he and Lovejoy were "collaborators for emancipation."

Published 12/10/2014

GLEESON & LEWIS (eds.): The Civil War as Global Conflict (2014)

By: Nimrod Tal Category: Book Reviews

Without conceding its high academic standards, the book remains accessible to a wider educated audience, and the richness of subjects discussed in the essays...provides an array of access points into the field. With the bulk of existing scholarship directed primarily to and consumed largely by professionals, this is a noteworthy and timely achievement.

Published 12/3/2014

LEIGH: Trading with the Enemy (2014)

By: Brian K. Fennessy Category: Book Reviews

This study should encourage wider scholarly attention to wartime economic behavior that supplemented, contradicted, or rejected ideological motivations. It will also disabuse many readers of romantic misconceptions about the capacity of either side for selfless virtue.

Published 12/3/2014

MALANOWSKI: Commander Will Cushing (2014)

By: Craig L. Symonds Category: Book Reviews

Cushing was no accidental hero. Young, brash, touchy, fearless, and vain, he eagerly sought heroism; the Civil War provided him with ample opportunities.

Published 11/26/2014

DONOHOE (ed.): The Printer's Kiss (2014)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

As a tale of family turmoil in the middle of the nineteenth century, this book succeeds admirably. Readers will not develop any particular affection for the Tomlinsons, but their letters (along with Donohoe's indispensable narrative sections that explicate their story within the wider context of the Civil War) presents a quite good and often complicated history.

Published 11/26/2014

LONGENECKER: Gettysburg Religion (2014)

By: John M. Rudy Category: Book Reviews

Religion is a human endeavor. A church is not a building or an organization, but a collection of people who care about each other, pray with each other, bicker with each other, and love each other. And this is the promise of studying religion in the nineteenth century, particularly in a town like Gettysburg.

Published 11/26/2014

GRANT: The Louisville, Cincinnati & Charleston Rail Road (2014)

By: Roger Pickenpaugh Category: Book Reviews

Could a lengthy ribbon of steel have overcome the divisiveness of Kansas-Nebraska, Dred Scott, John Brown, and the election of 1860?

Published 11/19/2014

SCAFIDI: To the Bramble and the Briar (2014)

By: Jean Huets Category: Book Reviews

Scafidi's poetry voices those elusive truths that we reach for when standing alone on a monument-strewn battlefield, wandering a sleepy National Cemetery, coming face to face with the photograph of an unnamed soldier...

Published 11/19/2014

KREISER & ALLRED (eds.): The Civil War in Popular Culture (2013)

By: Caroline E. Janney Category: Book Reviews

This incredibly diverse volume is composed of essays from academic historians, literary scholars, and public offers an array of insights into how the war continues to pervade modern American culture, both shaping our understanding of this pivotal moment in history and informing how we perceive ourselves in relation to the past.

Published 11/12/2014

ZOLA: We Called Him Rabbi Abraham (2014)

By: Howard B. Rock Category: Book Reviews

This timely, well researched, and immensely thorough book will give readers valuable insight and understanding into the role that Lincoln played within the various Jewish communities both before and during his presidency. Most importantly, it shows just how deeply Lincoln became embedded into the saga of American Jewry, despite the fact that most Jews and their families immigrated long after his...

Published 11/12/2014

HUBBELL (ed.): On Lincoln (2014)

By: Jonathan W. White Category: Book Reviews

This book represents some of the best scholarship on Lincoln's personal life and political career. Several of these essays are classics in the field of Lincoln studies.

Published 11/5/2014

WHITE: Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln (2014)

By: Allen C. Guelzo Category: Book Reviews

Jonathan W. White has a healthy propensity for looking where others don't, and questioning received wisdom when others don't, and this new book on the 1864 reelection of Abraham Lincoln shares both qualities equally.

Published 10/29/2014

WILLIAMS (ed.): Stonewall's Prussian Mapmaker (2014)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

Editor Richard Brady Williams has skillfully patched together the Hinrichs manuscripts (some written in German) into this fine volume that immediately becomes an indispensable source for studying the Army of Northern Virginia from the Peninsula campaign until the end of the war.

Published 10/29/2014

SCHMIEL: Citizen-General (2014)

By: Allan Peskin Category: Book Reviews

Cox's military career, which ranged from West Virginia through Antietam to Nashville, Franklin and Atlanta, is meticulously chronicled, as are the various feuds and turf wars he waged with fellow generals.

Published 10/22/2014

DEVINE: Learning from the Wounded (2014)

By: Robert D. Hicks, Ph.D. Category: Book Reviews

Devine observes that the doctors of the late nineteenth century who formed and led new medical associations and pioneered specialty fields shared the common experience of Civil War, a circumstance frequently ignored in histories of the rise of American medical science.

Published 10/22/2014

HOLZER: Lincoln and the Power of the Press (2014)

By: John David Smith Category: Book Reviews

Lincoln, better than any nineteenth century politician, understood the mutual dependence between newspapermen and politicians.

Published 10/15/2014

ESCOTT: Uncommonly Savage (2014)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Paul D. Escott, an accomplished historian of the United States South, has written a monograph that is not only provocative and stimulating, but also points out a new direction for comparative histories.

Published 10/8/2014

DAVIS & GREENWALT: Hurricane from the Heavens (2014)

By: Peter C. Vermilyea Category: Book Reviews

One hundred and fifty years later, [Cold Harbor] remains largely misunderstood, thought by many to be simply a foolhardy, headlong Union dash against impenetrable Confederate earthworks.

Published 10/8/2014

ABBOTT: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy (2014)

By: Ashley Whitehead Luskey Category: Book Reviews

By appealing emotionally and intellectually to her readers, Karen Abbott has produced an impressive, first-rate work of historical non-fiction that is certain to captivate the general public and academics alike.

Published 10/1/2014

ZEITZ: Lincoln's Boys (2014)

By: Brian Dirck Category: Book Reviews

Astounding as it may seem to modern Americans, Abraham Lincoln administered a sprawling civil war for four years with an administrative staff that consisted largely of two assistants: John Hay and John Nicolay.

Published 10/1/2014

NESTER: The Age of Lincoln and the Art of American Power (2014)

By: Frank J. Williams Category: Book Reviews

William Nester's insightful book demonstrates the brilliance of Abraham Lincoln and his use of power.

Published 9/24/2014

LEIGH (ed.): Co. Aytch (2014)

By: David Schieffler Category: Book Reviews

Undergraduate Civil War instructors looking for a Civil War memoir that captures "the real war" with a grace and humor that even Mark Twain could appreciate would be wise to consider this new edition of Sam Watkins' classic.

Published 9/24/2014

BINNINGTON: Confederate Visions (2013)

By: Paul Quigley Category: Book Reviews

Binnington's principal contribution is to draw our attention to the symbols from which Confederate nationalism was made....[This book] is bursting with valuable insights and possibilities for further study that will intrigue anyone interested in the American South's brief experiment in nation making.

Published 9/17/2014

JONES & SWORD (eds.): Gateway to the Confederacy (2014)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

Whether they address traditional controversies, explore neglected aspects of the campaigns, or delve with innovation into historiography and memory, these essays unfailingly present new material and challenge conventional wisdom.

Published 9/17/2014

RUBIN: Through the Heart of Dixie (2014)

By: Matthew C. Hulbert Category: Book Reviews

Relatively few historians have examined the trek from Georgia to the Carolinas with a specific emphasis on social memory. This lack of attention is surprising when we consider, as Rubin correctly notes, how clearly the March reflected the broader war in miniature: the army, total war, larger than life commanders, violence on the homefront, and issues of emancipation all rolled into one saga.

Published 9/10/2014

MEIER: Nature's Civil War (2013)

By: Kathleen Logothetis Thompson Category: Book Reviews

Battle, camp life, and long-term exposure each took their toll on soldiers and produced physical and mental ailments that threatened combat effectiveness.

Published 9/10/2014

HAMLER: Civil War Woodworking (2014)

By: Ralph Jordan Category: Book Reviews

In this well written, prolifically illustrated book, master carpenter and re-enactor A.J. Hamler presents detailed and easy to follow instructions for assembling fourteen unique projects that replicate Civil War furnishings.

Published 9/3/2014

KREYLING: A Late Encounter with the Civil War (2014)

By: Edward L. Ayers Category: Book Reviews

As the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War draws to a close, people are certain to reflect on the successes and failures of the last four years. We are fortunate that one of the first reflections comes from a leading literary scholar who brings fresh energy to topics that have become worn and familiar from frequent handling.

Published 8/27/2014

VENET: A Changing Wind (2014)

By: Brian P. Luskey Category: Book Reviews

Grounded in a variety of compelling primary sources...this book encourages us to focus on how the southern middle class, urban development, and the war influenced and shaped each other.

Published 8/27/2014

JENKINS: The Battle of Peach Tree Creek (2014)

By: Keith S. Bohannon Category: Book Reviews

The author's intimate familiarity with the terrain of the Peach Tree Creek battlefield allows him to note the exact positions of units down to the brigade and regimental levels...a significant contribution to understanding one of the major battles of the 1864 Atlanta Campaign.

Published 8/20/2014

FRESE: Concord and the Civil War (2014)

By: Tyler Sperrazza Category: Book Reviews

Frese pays particular attention to the close connections between Concord and Boston, effectively illustrating the complex web of social relationships in the North during the Civil War.

Published 8/20/2014

MACKOWSKI & WHITE: Simply Murder (2013)

By: Catherine M. Wright Category: Book Reviews

This engaging volume, part of the "Emerging Civil War Series," is a useful resource for anyone seeking to expand their knowledge of the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Published 8/13/2014

PRINCE: Stories of the South (2014)

By: Nina Silber Category: Book Reviews

K. Stephen Prince dissects the tremendous power of stories and narratives that offered Americans new ways to imagine the South in the post-Civil War era....[they] exerted a commanding political influence that ultimately dissuaded northerners from intervening in Southern racial practices.

Published 8/6/2014

KORDA: Clouds of Glory (2014)

By: Allen C. Guelzo Category: Book Reviews

In an age of aspirations to cosmopolitan attitudes and global interdependence, the concept of treason seems almost offensively medieval. It is, however, the central act and fact of the life of Robert E. Lee.

Published 8/6/2014

O'CONNELL: Fierce Patriot (2014)

By: Thomas J. Rowland Category: Book Reviews

O'Connell eschews a strictly biographical or analytical study of Sherman's military career and instead focuses on three specific aspects of this complex and idiosyncratic man. The author seeks to determine what made Sherman tick as a strategist, as a leader, and as a family man.

Published 7/30/2014

DIOUF: Slavery's Exiles (2014)

By: Christopher James Bonner Category: Book Reviews

Diouf broadens our understanding of the varieties of enslaved experience, as well as the many ways that black peoples' actions destabilized the peculiar institution.

Published 7/30/2014

SMITH (ed.): Race and Recruitment (2013)

By: Kevin M. Levin Category: Book Reviews

These essays....provide the reader with a sense of how the field has evolved over the past few decades and where we might be headed in our understanding of the Civil War era

Published 7/23/2014

GOTTFRIED: The Maps of the Bristoe Station and Mine Run Campaigns (2013)

By: Zachery A. Fry Category: Book Reviews

Students of the war's Eastern Theater should purchase this unique book while they can because it offers the best and most coherent narrative of the actions in northern Virginia between Gettysburg and the Wilderness.

Published 7/16/2014

SMITH & LOWERY (eds.): The Dunning School (2013)

By: John C. Rodrigue Category: Book Reviews

How could otherwise honorable and decent men and women, who ostensibly dedicated themselves to rationale, scholarly discourse, have been so utterly blinded by the racism that was pervasive in their society?

Published 7/16/2014

EMBERTON: Beyond Redemption (2013)

By: Christian McWhirter Category: Book Reviews

Carole Emberton challenges the period's prevailing narratives and forces readers to consider how violence permeated America's political culture.

Published 7/9/2014

DUNKERLY, PFANZ & RUTH: No Turning Back (2014)

By: Alfred C. Young III Category: Book Reviews

The authors infuse their narratives of the Overland Campaign with interesting, humorous, and tragic anecdotes.

Published 7/9/2014

LONG: Doctoring Freedom (2012)

By: Jonathan Lande Category: Book Reviews

Long identifies the war as a pivotal moment in the transformation of medical culture for African-Americans. Black military service and battlefield wounds prompted nothing short of a revolution in meaning and self-understanding.

Published 7/9/2014

CASTEL (with SIMPSON): Victors in Blue (2011)

By: Jonathan M. Steplyk Category: Book Reviews

Albert Castel offers concise and accessible narratives of the major battles and campaigns of the Union war effort, engaging examinations of the feuds and rivalries within the Union high command, and bold arguments with the potential to foster spirited debate among scholars and buffs.

Published 7/2/2014

PLUMB (ed.): Your Brother in Arms (2011)

By: Robert Wooster Category: Book Reviews

George McClelland left his home a boy, but returned from the war a man.

Published 7/2/2014

MORGAN: The Civil War Lover's Guide to New York City (2013)

By: John Patrick Riley Category: Book Reviews

Bill Morgan has written a wonderful guidebook to the Civil War in New York City.

Published 6/25/2014

HAGER: Word by Word (2013)

By: Julie Saville Category: Book Reviews

Hager challenges an ideology of literacy that has linked mastery of writing to the achievement of personal self-determination, economic mobility, and social recognition.

Published 6/25/2014

SPARKS: Where the Negroes Are Masters (2013)

By: Caree A. Banton Category: Book Reviews

Sparks demystifies the dynamics of the slave trade to show colossal, interconnected, and unseen dimensions of the Atlantic world system.

Published 6/18/2014

VARNEY: General Grant and the Rewriting of History (2013)

By: Jason M. Frawley Category: Book Reviews

Historians have at times given Grant's version of events a pass.

Published 6/11/2014

COBB, HICKS & HOLT: Battle of Big Bethel (2013)

By: Jeffry D. Wert Category: Book Reviews

Big Bethel ultimately became a minor footnote in the history of the Civil War, its casualty list nothing like those generated by the slaughterhouses of Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg.

Published 6/11/2014

QUARSTEIN: Big Bethel (2011)

By: Clay Mountcastle Category: Book Reviews

Quarstein's book raises a useful question for Civil War scholars. What metric should be used when determining the significance of a battle or event?

Published 6/4/2014

RACINE: Living a Big War in a Small Place (2013)

By: Jacqueline Glass Campbell Category: Book Reviews

While Spartanburg, South Carolina, may have been distant from the battlefield, it nevertheless reeled from the larger social, cultural, and economic impacts of the conflagration.

Published 5/28/2014

MINGUS: Confederate General William "Extra Billy" Smith (2013)

By: Brian Steel Wills Category: Book Reviews

What emerges most clearly in this volume is the portrait of a cantankerous but conscientious political figure in the South during the turbulent years of the Civil War era. Smith's was a voice that rarely surpassed those of his contemporaries, but it deserves to be heard.

Published 5/21/2014

REINHART (ed.): Yankee Dutchmen under Fire (2013)

By: Sarah Handley-Cousins Category: Book Reviews

This collection of letters, and Reinhart's contextual analysis, constitute an important addition to the scholarship on the experience of immigrants during the American Civil War.

Published 5/21/2014

COHEN: Reconstructing the Campus (2012)

By: Julie A. Mujic Category: Book Reviews

Cohen's study investigates how the war propelled southern universities and colleges toward wholesale changes.

Published 5/14/2014

MARTEN: America's Corporal (2014)

By: Guy R. Hasegawa Category: Book Reviews

A recipient of a pair of army-supplied artificial limbs, but little else in terms of government assistance, Tanner quickly began to show the resilience, drive, and ambition that would characterize the remainder of his life.

Published 5/7/2014

DAVIS & GREENWALT: Bloody Autumn (2014)

By: Jonathan A. Noyalas Category: Book Reviews

Davis and Greenwalt's study serves as a nice introduction for those completely unfamiliar with Sheridan's 1864 Shenandoah Campaign: a campaign which finally wrested the Shenandoah Valley from a once firm Confederate grip, aided President Abraham Lincoln in his bid for reelection in November 1864, and added to the pressure which ultimately forced the Confederacy's surrender.

Published 5/7/2014

MACKOWSKI & WHITE: Chancellorsville's Forgotten Front (2013)

By: Joshua Lynn Category: Book Reviews

Civil War armies were unwieldy things, and their size often outpaced communications, logistics, and command. Union failings at Chancellorsville stemmed not merely from Hooker's braggadocio or from Sedgwick's plodding, but from the fact that efficient communication was not possible between the army commander and his subordinate.

Published 4/30/2014

WOODWARD: Marching Masters (2014)

By: Kenneth W. Noe Category: Book Reviews

Woodward thoroughly delineates the multifaceted relationship between Johnny Reb and slavery. Although few read very deeply in proslavery ideology, Confederate soldiers had thoroughly absorbed the wider anti-abolition currents of antebellum Southern life.

Published 4/23/2014

LUEBKE (ed.): The Story of a Thousand (2011)

By: Carolyn L. Karcher Category: Book Reviews

Civil War buffs, scholars, and teachers searching for engaging primary texts to assign in Civil War courses will all welcome this facsimile reprint edition of Albion W. Tourgee's classic regimental history, enhanced by Peter C. Luebke's superb introduction.

Published 4/23/2014

BLIGHT (ed.): My Bondage and My Freedom (2014)

By: John M. Rudy Category: Book Reviews

Blight's ample notes and observations will offer imaginative professors innumerable ways to discuss with students how we read texts, what we can observe as historians, and when we should doubt the people of the past.

Published 4/16/2014

DORN: Challenges on the Emmaus Road (2013)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

Like many devout Americans, northern and southern Episcopalians seldom examined the cultural assumptions of their day with a critical eye. And though they did not exactly embrace civil religion, their often gentle faith failed to test the sectional pieties of the war years.

Published 4/9/2014

VARON: Appomattox (2013)

By: Sarah Bowman Category: Book Reviews

Rather than emphasizing the finality of military defeat, Varon stresses the uncertainty of the days, weeks, and months after Appomattox. Following Lee's surrender, various groups mobilized memories in a bid to legitimize their visions of postwar Reconstruction.

Published 4/2/2014

DAL LAGO: William Lloyd Garrison and Giuseppe Mazzini (2013)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

Dal Lago offers a thoughtful discussion of the parallel lives of radical abolitionist Garrison and Italian activist Mazzini.

Published 3/26/2014

KREISER: Defeating Lee (2011)

By: John Hoptak Category: Book Reviews

From the slaughter in the West Woods to the murderous slugfest at Spotsylvania's Mule Shoe, the Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac witnessed some of the most horrific combat of the Civil War.

Published 3/19/2014

ADAMS: Living Hell (2014)

By: Ian Isherwood Category: Book Reviews

In Adams' hands, the Civil War's legacy is unmitigated personal horror, societal suffering, and political factionalism. No triumphalism or romance here. War is hardship.

Published 3/12/2014

GLEESON: The Green and the Gray (2013)

By: Brian P. Luskey Category: Book Reviews

This interesting new book answers an important question: how did Irish immigrants to the American South during the Civil War era determine their national identity?

Published 3/12/2014

LIVELY: Calamity at Chancellorsville (2013)

By: Thaddeus M. Romansky Category: Book Reviews

The author's microhistorical approach suggests that the success of Jackson's battle plan contributed directly to his death.

Published 3/5/2014

ROBERTSON (ed.): Diary of a Southern Refugee During the War (2013)

By: Ashley Whitehead Luskey Category: Book Reviews

Robertson has brought impressive clarity to one of the richest and most enlightening diaries of the Civil War era. His detailed research and annotations provide an important new window into critical elements of the female refugee experience in Richmond.

Published 2/26/2014

ASH: The Black Experience in the Civil War South (2013)

By: Rachel A. Shelden Category: Book Reviews

Ash provides a brief but comprehensive look at the southern black experience during the war years.

Published 2/19/2014

EARLE & BURKE (eds.): Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri (2013)

By: Kenneth W. Noe Category: Book Reviews

The contributors again and again establish that the counties along the Kansas-Missouri border comprised a single region with both a common past and cultural similarities that residents became increasingly loath to admit.

Published 2/12/2014

SIMPSON: The Civil War in the East (2013)

By: Elizabeth R. Varon Category: Book Reviews

Simpson aims to provide a holistic analysis of military operations, taking into account politics, public opinion, geography, and logistics.

Published 2/5/2014

McDANIEL: The Problem of Democracy in the Age of Slavery (2013)

By: Ian Delahanty Category: Book Reviews

Readers of McDaniel's deeply researched and elegantly crafted book will gain not only a new perspective on Garrisonian abolitionists, but more importantly a clear understanding of how the antislavery struggle altered the trajectory of democratic thought in America and abroad.

Published 1/29/2014

LAUSE: Price's Lost Campaign (2011)

By: Gordon Berg Category: Book Reviews

When he is not regaling the reader with his erudition, Lause tells a compelling story and dispels many of the myths that have grown up surrounding this marginalized campaign.

Published 1/22/2014

CONROY: Our One Common Country (2014)

By: Harold Holzer Category: Book Reviews

Historians take note: Conroy shows that it is possible to write exciting prose with scholarly integrity intact.

Published 1/15/2014

THOMSON (ed.): We Are in His Hands Whether We Live or Die (2013)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

The selected antebellum and Civil War letters of Charles Henry Howard -- younger brother of General Oliver Otis Howard -- are a valuable addition to the University of Tennessee Press's excellent "Voices of the Civil War" series.

Published 1/8/2014

HOLZER & GABBARD (eds.): 1863: Lincoln's Pivotal Year (2013)

By: Keith Altavilla Category: Book Reviews

1863: Lincoln's Pivotal Year sees eleven prominent historians of Lincoln and the war examine the tumultuous twelve months that transformed American history...

Published 1/8/2014

BORCHARD: Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley (2011)

By: Matthew Isham Category: Book Reviews

While this book amply demonstrates the political ideals that Greeley and Lincoln and shared, it is not quite as convincing in portraying the two men as firm political allies...

Published 1/1/2014

WITTENBERG: Protecting the Flank at Gettysburg (2013)

By: Scott Manning Category: Book Reviews

Wittenberg wrote this book for people who want to understand the battle and its participants, as well as visit and interpret the battlefield. Anyone interested in Gettysburg will benefit from this deeper dive into one of the countless duels that make up this battle...

Published 1/1/2014

HESS: The Knoxville Campaign (2012)

By: Lawrence Kreiser, Jr. Category: Book Reviews

For readers wanting a deeper insight into either the Knoxville Campaign or the workings of Civil War armies in general, this is an excellent starting point...

Published 12/25/2013

FINSETH (ed.):The American Civil War (2013)

By: James Hill Welborn III Category: Book Reviews

This second edition of Ian Finseth's literary and historical anthology of that conflict surveys the forest as a complex ecosystem comprised of many individual and inter-related trees...

Published 12/25/2013

HORTON & KLEINTOP (eds.): Race, Slavery, and the Civil War (2011)

By: Elsabe Dixon Category: Book Reviews

The historians did not say anything radically new about African Americans or race or slavery, but they did point to personal narratives and stories from that period that emphasized a shared humanity and history among blacks and whites. Their stories pointed to the need for the American public to desegregate their memories as well as their public life...

Published 12/18/2013

Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War (2013)

By: Gregg Andrews Category: Book Reviews

Divided & United likely will fail to achieve its noble goal of healing and political reconciliation, but it treats us to brilliant musical renditions of songs from the era of the Civil War...

Published 12/11/2013

MCQUEEN: 12 Years a Slave (2013)

By: Jason Phillips Category: Book Reviews

12 Years a Slave takes us inside the slave ship, market, and cabin, while keeping us in our place... we can empathize and remember the slaves, but we cannot free them or be them...

Published 12/4/2013

CLEMENS (ed.): The Maryland Campaign Vol. II (2012)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

In this often Sisyphean project, Clemens has succeeded magnificently, and we now eagerly await the appearance of the third volume...

Published 12/4/2013

WHITE: Confederate General Leonidas Polk (2013)

By: Brian S. Wills Category: Book Reviews

Cheryl White has produced a sincere and sympathetic treatment of Polk. Her work points once more to the role this enigmatic figure played in peace and war, which is no inconsequential achievement of its own...

Published 11/27/2013

NATHANS: To Free a Family (2012)

By: James L. Roark Category: Book Reviews

This is an exceedingly well-told tale. Nathans braids hundreds of disparate strands of evidence into an eloquent narrative...

Published 11/20/2013

PATCHAN: The Last Battle of Winchester (2013)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

The Last Battle of Winchester fills a gap in the military history of the Civil War and does so well. Those who enjoy good old fashioned "bugles and sabres" history will revel in this book, which should stand as the premier treatment of its subject for the foreseeable future.

Published 11/13/2013

BARNICKEL: Milliken's Bend (2013)

By: Kevin M. Levin Category: Book Reviews

Remembering the men who served in the African brigade and other units as well as what their stories tell us about the broader war in the summer of 1863 is not only appropriate, but essential. With the publication of this book, Linda Barnickel has helped us to take a giant leap forward toward achieving that goal.

Published 11/6/2013

HOOD: John Bell Hood (2013)

By: Carole Emberton Category: Book Reviews

Ironically, in his efforts to prove that John Bell Hood was not the man some historians have made him out to be, the author flattens his personality and motivations, thereby making him a far less interesting man than he might have been...

Published 10/30/2013

LINK: Atlanta, Cradle of the New South (2013)

By: John J. Langdale III Category: Book Reviews

Link's book effectively reminds the reader of a time when the Civil War war was not a distant abstraction, but a lived reality in the southern and American imagination...

Published 10/23/2013

SERRANO: Last of the Blue and Gray (2013)

By: Leah Richier Category: Book Reviews

Last of the Blue and Gray provides readers with the fascinating story of the last Civil War veterans' final days and a much-needed dose of skepticism regarding Americans' blinding love of times before...

Published 10/15/2013

REVIEW ESSAY: Mosby's Raids (2013) and Morgan's Great Raid (2013)

By: Matthew E. Stanley Category: Book Reviews

Although neither work is footnoted, thus limiting their scholarly value, both Morgan's Great Raid and Mosby's Raids are solid introductions to an important and captivating Civil War topic...

Published 10/9/2013

WESLEY: The Politics of Faith (2013)

By: D. H. Dilbeck Category: Book Reviews

Despite first-rate works on religion and politics in the antebellum era by Richard Carwardine, Daniel Walker Howe, C.C. Goen, and Mitchell Snay, among many others, no literature of comparable size and quality exists for the Civil War era. Timothy L. Wesley has gone a long way toward remedying this odd omission...

Published 10/2/2013

KEEHN: Knights of the Golden Circle (2013)

By: Frank J. Cirillo Category: Book Reviews

Despite its flaws, however, Keehn's extensively researched book makes a strong contribution to the historiography of secession. No other scholar has offered as detailed and informative an account of the Knights as Keehn...

Published 9/25/2013

BEARSS: The Petersburg Campaign (2012)

By: Brooks D. Simpson Category: Book Reviews

For those readers looking for accounts of the individual actions during the first three months of combat along the Petersburg front, this volume fits the bill. Each action is rendered in straightforward prose with an occasional flash of characteristic Bearss humor...

Published 9/18/2013

DERDEN: The World's Largest Prison (2012)

By: Angela M. Zombek Category: Book Reviews

A military prison need not have operated for long to warrant remembrance. That is the primary premise from which John K. Derden begins to record the short history of Camp Lawton Prison...

Published 9/11/2013

The New York Times: Disunion (2013)

By: Christopher Morris Category: Book Reviews

There are essays on the profoundly consequential, the great battles, the momentous decisions, and the accidents that changed everything. And it is all here in easy to digest chunks - perfect for bedtime reading - that will engage readers from scholars well versed in the subject to first-timers...

Published 9/4/2013

JANNEY: Remembering the Civil War (2013)

By: Bruce E. Baker Category: Book Reviews

With a book like this, it is impossible to say that Janney's interpretation has decisively defeated Blight's, but she has produced a very thorough and carefully researched study to challenge what had been the conventional wisdom in the field...

Published 8/28/2013

TAGG: The Battles That Made Abraham Lincoln (2012)

By: Brian Dirck Category: Book Reviews

The basic premise of Battles is sound - Lincoln was indeed highly unpopular in some quarters - and its research is solid enough. But its tone and approach has a rather overwrought quality...

Published 8/21/2013

BOYKO: Blood and Daring (2013)

By: Kenneth W. Noe Category: Book Reviews

The author's apparent lack of familiarity with American history and uneven research ultimately result in a deeply flawed volume when it comes to the American Civil War...

Published 8/14/2013

ERWIN: Guerrilla Hunters in Civil War Missouri (2013)

By: Amy L. Fluker Category: Book Reviews

James Erwin's Guerrilla Hunters in Civil War Missouri introduces a number of militia units, almost entirely overlooked by historians and Civil War enthusiasts alike, who helped defend Missourians against guerrilla attacks...

Published 8/7/2013

HESS: Kennesaw Mountain (2013)

By: William A. Link Category: Book Reviews

Kennesaw Mountain is unabashedly a battlefield story in all of its complexity and confusion... Mostly a narrative, Hess is at his best when he steps backs and explains and interprets...

Published 7/31/2013

MILLER (ed.): A Punishment on the Nation (2012)

By: Barton A. Myers Category: Book Reviews

As Civil War historians move toward rebuilding the inner world of soldiers, exploring how they thought as opposed to simply surveying what they thought, Haven's letters present another valuable window...

Published 7/24/2013

MAXWELL: Copperhead (2013)

By: Megan Kate Nelson Category: Book Reviews

The press for Ron Maxwell's new film Copperhead promises a "story of the violent passions and burning feuds that set ablaze the homefront during the Civil War." What it delivers is a yawner, from its first moments to its last...

Published 7/17/2013

LEVINE: The Fall of the House of Dixie (2013)

By: Yael Sternhell Category: Book Reviews

The Fall of the House of Dixie succeeds in retelling the story of the Civil War with slavery as its organizing theme, thus serving as a useful bridge between the scholarly community and a broader readership...

Published 7/17/2013

DANIEL: Battle of Stones River (2012)

By: William D. Hickox Category: Book Reviews

The author melds a detailed narrative of the battle with an appreciation for its strategic and political implications, arguing that this Union victory in the winter of 1863 set the stage for the final triumph two years later...

Published 7/10/2013

JOHNSON: River of Dark Dreams (2013)

By: Christine E. Sears Category: Book Reviews

Johnson's thought-provoking, wide-ranging work will appeal to historians as well as those interested in slavery, Southern history, and nineteenth century history...

Published 7/10/2013

LOPERFIDO (ed.): A Surgeon's Tale (2011)

By: Dillon Carroll Category: Book Reviews

A Surgeon's Tale is very interesting and would intrigue anyone interested in the Civil War experience. James Benton's letters raise several important issues for scholars of Civil War medicine to pursue...

Published 7/3/2013

PETRUZZI & STANLEY: The Gettysburg Campaign in Numbers and Losses (2013)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

This is one of those rare books that will be equally useful to both amateur historians, who will find it an accessible guide, and seasoned scholars, who will wrestle with its implications for decades...

Published 7/3/2013

REARDON & VOSSLER: A Field Guide to Gettysburg (2013)

By: Thom Bassett Category: Book Reviews

This unique book enables all readers to better comprehend the places, events, and memories that make up the battle of Gettysburg. As such, no matter how limited or extensive one's Civil War library, it deserves a special place on the shelf...

Published 6/26/2013

FULLER (ed.): The Election of 1860 Reconsidered (2013)

By: Elizabeth R. Varon Category: Book Reviews

This volume is just the sort of reassessment that one hoped the sesquicentennial would occasion. The essays work as stand-alone primers, accessible to non-specialists, and as keen analyses offering new insights for specialists...

Published 6/19/2013

BALLARD: Grant at Vicksburg (2013)

By: Samuel Watson Category: Book Reviews

Grant at Vicksburg is much more than a biography or campaign study. The depth of Michael Ballard's research into Grant's correspondence and routine make it a study in command, control, communications, and intelligence (what Grant knew and when he knew it)...

Published 6/12/2013

DAVIS: What the Yankees Did to Us (2012)

By: Frank Towers Category: Book Reviews

General William Tecumseh Sherman was a very bad man. This is the main point of Stephen Davis' exhaustive history of the Union capture of Atlanta in 1864...

Published 6/5/2013

KELMAN: A Misplaced Massacre (2013)

By: Andrew H. Fisher Category: Book Reviews

Kelman deserves praise for bringing it to our attention at this moment, lest we forget that many Native Americans gave the last full measure of devotion to their own nations in the midst of the American Civil War...

Published 5/29/2013

FINCK: Divided Loyalties (2012)

By: Anne Marshall Category: Book Reviews

This volume will be a valuable resource to anyone interested in how and why Kentucky navigated such a singular political and military course during the first year of the Civil War...

Published 5/29/2013

JORDAN: Unholy Sabbath (2012)

By: Kaylynn L. Washnock Category: Book Reviews

This newly crafted view of South Mountain and how veterans have chosen to remember - or in the case of many Confederates forget this battle - restores the men who fought there to a prominent place in memory...

Published 5/29/2013

ROBINS (ed.): They Have Left Us Here To Die (2011)

By: Lauren K. Thompson Category: Book Reviews

In They Have Left Us Here to Die, Robins uses Sgt. Adair's experience as a lens to investigate the broader framework of the Confederate prison camp network during the last year of the war...

Published 5/22/2013

HASEGAWA: Mending Broken Soldiers (2012)

By: Brian Craig Miller Category: Book Reviews

In his newest study, Guy Hasegawa examines efforts on behalf of the Union and Confederacy to supply prosthetic limbs during the Civil War...

Published 5/22/2013

BERGERON: Andrew Johnson's Civil War (2011)

By: Andrew Prymak Category: Book Reviews

While not denying Johnson's more sinister traits, Bergeron contends that historians need to evaluate the man and his career through other lenses in addition to those centering upon his racism and stubbornness...

Published 5/22/2013

AYERS & MARTIN (eds.): America on the Eve of the Civil War (2010)

By: Katherine Brackett Category: Book Reviews

America on the Eve of the Civil War is a fairly quick read and one that is good for both the general public and trained historians. The depth of information about Richmond compliments the breadth available on national concerns in the 1850s, which allows the book to seem broad and specific at the same time...

Published 5/15/2013

GUELZO: Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (2013)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

With the appearance of Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, Allen Guelzo takes his place among the very elite chroniclers of the Civil War's most enduring military drama. Can anyone win a third Lincoln Prize?...

Published 5/8/2013

GALLAGHER: Becoming Confederates (2013)

By: Matt Gallman Category: Book Reviews

With Becoming Confederates, Gallagher presents a more nuanced approach for understanding what drove individual behavior... [and] proposes a template for assessing the behavior of the Civil War participants, both military and civilian...

Published 5/1/2013

OAKES: Freedom National (2012)

By: Glenn D. Brasher Category: Book Reviews

When an eminent nineteenth-century historian tackles this topic we must pay attention, especially when he promises radically new interpretations. Oakes indeed argues much that challenges previous historiography, although not always successfully...

Published 4/24/2013

GOURLEY: Diverging Loyalties (2011)

By: Christopher Tucker Category: Book Reviews

Bruce T. Gourley's Diverging Loyalties: Baptists in Middle Georgia During the Civil War is an engrossing, enlightening exploration of our nation?s greatest trauma, as seen through the eyes of a unique source: that is, the Baptist community of one southern state...

Published 4/17/2013

TEWELL: A Self-Evident Lie (2013)

By: Barbara Gannon Category: Book Reviews

Ironically, the falsehood discussed in Jeremy J. Tewell's important study, A Self-Evident Lie: Southern Slavery and the Threat to American Freedom would not be considered a lie today...

Published 4/10/2013

ERWIN: Guerrillas in Civil War Missouri (2012)

By: Joseph M. Beilein Jr. Category: Book Reviews

While this book is not a work of professional history per se, it provides a well-organized, concise, and synthetic overview of the guerrilla war in Missouri that serves as a helpful guide through the history of the conflict for those who are not well-versed in the existing literature...

Published 4/3/2013

QUARSTEIN: The CSS Virginia (2012)

By: Craig Swain Category: Book Reviews

This most complete study of the CSS Virginia is a welcome addition to any bookshelf and complements a similar work done by the author on the USS Monitor.

Published 3/27/2013

SCOTT & HEBRARD: Freedom Papers (2012)

By: Wilma King Category: Book Reviews

Readers who embark on the Atlantic Odyssey with the Tinchants (and the authors) will agree that it is a memorable journey well worth the taking...

Published 3/20/2013

DIRCK: Abraham Lincoln and White America (2012)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

Abraham Lincoln and White America offers new insights without the jargon and theoretical huffing and puffing that often accompany such works. Here is a fine Lincoln scholar at the top of his game, and the result is a stimulating book that will be of great value to scholars and students alike...

Published 3/20/2013

LUBET: John Brown's Spy (2012)

By: Miles Smith Category: Book Reviews

Lubet's work will no doubt fascinate Civil War buffs and historians alike and contribute a much-needed work of legal history to a crowded Civil War Era historiography. The courtroom drama is an excellent one...

Published 3/13/2013

DAVIS (ed.): Bully for the Band! (2012)

By: David Schieffler Category: Book Reviews

Although Bully for the Band does not tread any new interpretative ground, it is a nice addition to the voluminous collection of published primary sources from the Civil War era...

Published 3/6/2013

BOMAN: Lincoln and Citizens' Rights in Civil War Missouri (2011)

By: Zach Garrison Category: Book Reviews

As a wartime president tasked with holding together a country ripping at the seams, Abraham Lincoln sought and utilized every means of maintaining the Union... Boman argues for Lincoln's overall success as a moderator and "reluctant warrior," as he led the troubled state back to civilian and local control...

Published 2/27/2013

SIMPSON, SEARS, SHEEHAN-DEAN (eds.): The Civil War: The First Year (2011)

By: Brian Matthew Jordan Category: Book Reviews

With the first of a four-volume series chronicling the Civil War from The Library of America, editors Brooks D. Simpson, Stephen W. Sears, and Aaron Sheehan-Dean have expertly selected, arranged, and introduced primary documents in a way that allows students to experience the "deep contingencies" of the war's opening year...

Published 2/27/2013

CODDINGTON: African American Faces of the Civil War (2012)

By: Glenn David Brasher Category: Book Reviews

Coddington's African American Faces of the Civil War is a fascinating work that captures the soldiers at a moment when they proudly served a country that was only just then beginning to reassess their citizenship rights...

Published 2/20/2013

MOAT: Killing Lincoln (2013)

By: Megan Kate Nelson Category: Book Reviews

The music is ominous. The man climbs up the stairs. He pauses outside a door, puts on a hat, and runs his finger across the brim. He opens the door, presses his back against the wall, raises a gun and levels it at the head of a president...

Published 2/20/2013

LAFANTASIE (ed.): The Union Forever (2012)

By: Matthew Norman Category: Book Reviews

The essays in The Union Forever provide ample evidence that in addition to being a great editor, Simon also produced some very perceptive pieces on Abraham Lincoln, Grant, and their partnership during the war...

Published 2/13/2013

WILLIAMS: My Old Confederate Home (2010)

By: Samuel B. McGuire Category: Book Reviews

Freelance writer and amateur historian Rusty Williams's study augments the works of R. B. Rosenburg, Jeffrey McClurken, and Patrick Kelly, by tracing the institutional life of a single veterans? institution, the Kentucky Confederate Home...

Published 2/6/2013

DESJARDIN (ed.): Joshua L. Chamberlain: The Life in Letters (2012)

By: Thom Bassett Category: Book Reviews

This collection of documents relating to the life and career of famed Union general Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is both richly rewarding as well as enormously disappointing...

Published 1/30/2013

MASUR: Lincoln's Hundred Days (2012)

By: Stephen Berry Category: Book Reviews

In Louis Masur's excellent new book, the Emancipation Proclamation may have been grittily won in a dirty privy, but it accomplished nothing less than the "melioration of our planet."

Published 1/23/2013

FOOTE: The Gentlemen and the Roughs (2010)

By: James Hill Welborn III Category: Book Reviews

Consulting an impressive and largely untapped reservoir of Union Army court martial records and regimental order books, Foote reveals previously untold complexities within northern manhood and illuminates the vital role honor played in making this contested manhood manifest to all within Union ranks...

Published 1/23/2013

HESS: The Civil War in the West (2012)

By: Jim Downs Category: Book Reviews

The Civil War in the West is truly a rich work of historical scholarship and academic analysis. As historians continue to probe the impact of the war farther into the West, Hess's book will certainly be an important starting place...

Published 1/16/2013

How We Need to Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Lincoln and Django Unchained (2013)

By: Christian McWhirter Category: Book Reviews

Alright . . . historians, history buffs, and anyone who cares about history - take a deep breath and repeat after me: "It's OK to love Lincoln and Django Unchained."

Published 1/9/2013

CECELSKI: The Fire of Freedom (2012)

By: Donald R. Shaffer Category: Book Reviews

A difficult scholarly challenge is rescuing from the dustbin of the past persons of historical importance, who for whatever reason have fallen into obscurity. This task is ably handled by David S. Cecelski in his book, The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway & The Slaves' Civil War...

Published 1/2/2013

TARANTINO: Django Unchained (2012)

By: Megan Kate Nelson Category: Book Reviews

That Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained is the most effective depiction of American slavery in the recent history of feature films is somewhat surprising and deeply disturbing...

Published 12/26/2012

DAVIS: A Taste For War (2011)

By: William Kurtz Category: Book Reviews

More general studies of soldiers have touched on the subject of what soldiers ate, of course, but none in quite so much detail as William C. Davis's A Taste for War (2011), which was originally published in 2003. In this task, Davis follows in the footsteps of John B. Billing's Hardtack and Coffee (1887), but greatly exceeds that Union veteran in the scope of this culinary work...

Published 12/18/2012

HERDEGEN: The Iron Brigade in Civil War and Memory (2012)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

Lance Herdegen offers an expanded chronicle of this famous outfit justified, he asserts, by the volume of new source material available since Nolan's work half-a-century ago. The product is a 618-page narrative that yields in equal parts laudable and lamentable results...

Published 12/12/2012

ARENSON: The Great Heart of the Republic (2011)

By: Megan L. Bever Category: Book Reviews

Adam Arenson's engaging study of mid-nineteenth-century St. Louis is a story of national potential and national failure. Located at the intersection of North, South, and West, St. Louis requires us to re-frame the parameters of civil war...

Published 12/10/2012

Holiday Civil War Trivia Contest: Winner

By: Matthew Hulbert Category: Book Reviews

We are pleased to announce the correct answer and the winner of the Holiday Civil War Trivia Contest...

Published 12/7/2012

Holiday Civil War Trivia Contest #2

By: Matthew Hulbert Category: Book Reviews

The first person to provide the correct answer via email to will receive a signed set of Ronald Coddington's acclaimed Faces of the Civil War series...

Published 12/5/2012

CODDINGTON: Faces of the Civil War (2012)

By: Allen C. Guelzo Category: Book Reviews

Strictly speaking, the men depicted here represent only .0003% of all those who wore the United State uniform in the Civil War, which makes the word represent seem an overreach. But in their own ordinary way, they have a story to tell about the ordinariness of the Civil War...

Published 12/3/2012

Holiday Civil War Trivia Contest

By: Matthew Hulbert Category: Book Reviews

In conjunction with The Johns Hopkins University Press, we are pleased to announce a Holiday Trivia Contest hosted by The Bookshelf. The winner will receive a signed set of Ron Coddington's acclaimed Civil War Albums.

Published 11/28/2012

SPIELBERG: Lincoln (2012) [Take 2]

By: Glenn David Brasher Category: Book Reviews

Lincoln is highly entertaining and extraordinarily well acted by the entire cast, and is now debatably the finest Civil War movie we have (audiences have been applauding it as the end credits begin to scroll). Unlike many other big budget historical epics, viewers will see a largely accurate account of events...

Published 11/21/2012

GREEN: Lincoln and the Election of 1860 (2011)

By: Daniel W. Crofts Category: Book Reviews

This volume, part of a series entitled "The Concise Lincoln Library," focuses on Abraham Lincoln's role in the momentous events of 1860--the Republican presidential nomination in May, and his subsequent election in November...

Published 11/12/2012

SPIELBERG: Lincoln (2012) [Take 1]

By: Megan Kate Nelson Category: Book Reviews

The challenges of shaping an entertaining and visually gripping film about a complex moment in American history are quite evident in Steven Spielberg's new film "Lincoln."

Published 11/7/2012

HEWITT & SCHOTT (eds.): Lee and His Generals (2012)

By: Cathy M. Wright Category: Book Reviews

Editors Lawrence Lee Hewitt and Thomas E. Schott have crafted Lee and His Generals: Essays in Honor of T. Harry Williams into a volume that is a notable tribute to one professor's career and continuing influence, and also provides insights into Confederate generalship...

Published 10/31/2012

DANIELSON: War's Desolating Scourge (2012)

By: Ryan Keating Category: Book Reviews

War's Desolating Scourge is a fascinating study of the Federal occupation of North Alabama, and the continued defiance of loyal Confederates in the face of shifting political and military aims...

Published 10/24/2012

BRASHER: The Peninsula Campaign (2012)

By: Gerald J. Prokopowicz Category: Book Reviews

This book does what history does at its best. It starts with an argument that has hardened into fixed positions ("Were there any black Confederates?") and revisits the evidence in order to move beyond the original issue and redirect our attention to a larger, equally polarized, and more important historical question...

Published 10/17/2012

FRYE: September Suspense (2012)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

There is much to like and little to criticize with September Suspense. In some ways, this book mirrors popular histories of Civil War-era topics written by celebrities or those professional historians who frequent the morning talk shows?absent plagiarism and egregious factual errors...

Published 10/10/2012

STAUFFER & TRODD (eds.): The Tribunal (2012)

By: Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz Category: Book Reviews

The Tribunal: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid is a welcome addition to a small collection of Brown readers, including another by editors John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd, Meteor of War: The John Brown Story...

Published 10/3/2012

JOHNSON: Decided on the Battlefield (2012)

By: Brian M. Jordan Category: Book Reviews

Author David Alan Johnson, a biographer of J. Edgar Hoover, makes his first foray into Civil War history with this vivid though ultimately flawed account of Lincoln's re-election campaign and the final year of the federal war effort. Aiming for a popular readership, Johnson's book opens in a cigar smoke-filled parlor of Cincinnati's Burnet House Hotel...

Published 9/26/2012

BENDER (ed.): Worthy of the Cause for Which They Fight (2011)

By: Colin Woodward Category: Book Reviews

Worthy of the Cause is well edited, with ample notes and a comprehensive index... Any historian interested in the Confederate soldier and the western Rebel armies in particular will want to consult this volume...

Published 9/19/2012

MEIER: Suite Harmonic (2011)

By: Carolyn Chesarino Category: Book Reviews

An historical novel, Meier's work synthesizes an impressive array of primary and secondary sources in such a way that hits on, though does not fully develop, greater themes such as national identity for Irish immigrants, abolitionism, and the dreariness of war...Suite Harmonic is an engaging read and heavily researched, but Meier's incredulous lack of historical relativity cannot be overlooked...

Published 9/16/2012

BURNS (director): Death and the Civil War

By: Megan Kate Nelson Category: Book Reviews

The camera pans across a photograph as voices you vaguely recognize speak the words of Americans long dead. Live action shots show rolling hills at dawn, shrouded in fog or drifting smoke; you hear birds calling, the murmurs of men, the sharp crack of rifle fire...

Published 9/12/2012

MCPHERSON: War on the Waters (2012)

By: Barbara Brooks Tomblin Category: Book Reviews

War on the Waters is an excellent introduction to the role of navies in the Civil War and a welcome addition to the literature of that conflict...

Published 9/5/2012

LEVIN: Remembering the Battle of the Crater (2012)

By: Caroline E. Janney Category: Book Reviews

Using the Battle of the Crater as his lens, Kevin M. Levin explores the complex and evolving relationship between race and Civil War memory...

Published 8/29/2012

WILLIAMS & BURKHIMER (eds.): The Mary Lincoln Enigma (2012)

By: Louis P. Masur Category: Book Reviews

On September 24, 2012, in Chicago, and on October 1 in Springfield, Mary Todd Lincoln will be retried on the charge of insanity. Perhaps she will fare better than at the first hearing, held in Chicago on May 19, 1875. Declared insane by a civil court jury after three hours of testimony, Mary was committed to Bellevue Place...

Published 8/22/2012

NELSON: Ruin Nation (2012)

By: Edward L. Ayers Category: Book Reviews

Nelson examines destruction squarely and without flinching. She has undertaken remarkable primary research and offers powerful stories as well as revealing interpretations of images...

Published 8/15/2012

DIRCK: Lincoln and the Constitution (2012)

By: Elizabeth D. Leonard Category: Book Reviews

In under 150 pages, Dirck delivers. Lincoln and the Constitution is a rich, creative, and utterly readable rendering of the development of Abraham Lincoln's constitutional theory from which scholars, too, can benefit...

Published 8/8/2012

SARNA & MENDELSOHN (eds.): Jews and the Civil War (2011)

By: Daniel Kotzin Category: Book Reviews

The Jewish experience during the Civil War has often been ignored or side-stepped by both Civil War historians and historians of American Jewish history. Thankfully, with the publication of Jews and the Civil War, editors Jonathan Sarna and Adam Mendelsohn have put together a collection of seminal previously published works on this topic...

Published 8/1/2012

CURRAN (ed.): John Dooley's Civil War (2011)

By: Evan C. Rothera Category: Book Reviews

For years, historians have found the diary of Second Lieutenant John Edward Dooley, of Company C of the First Virginia Infantry Regiment, a valuable resource...

Published 8/1/2012

NEWMAN & MUELLER (eds.): Antislavery and Abolition in Philadelphia (2011)

By: Kristen C. Brill Category: Book Reviews

Richard Newman and James Mueller's Antislavery and Abolition in Philadelphia assembles a collection of insightful scholarly essays pivoting Philadelphia as the ideological, legislative, and social activist epicenter of the national abolitionist movement from the revolutionary era to the outbreak of the Civil War...

Published 7/25/2012

WILLS: George Henry Thomas (2012)

By: Wayne Hsieh Category: Book Reviews

All in all, Wills has made a fine contribution to Civil War studies with this biography of a comparatively understudied but profoundly important Union general...

Published 7/18/2012

HUGHES & RUSHING (eds.): Refugitta of Richmond (2011)

By: Elizabeth H. Turner Category: Book Reviews

Constance Cary Harrison's accounts of Civil War Richmond have supplied many a historian with an insider?s view of life in the Confederate capital... her memoir reveals a young woman on the cusp of maturity recounting a life she never expected to endure...

Published 7/18/2012

ARDEN & POWELL: Letters From the Storm (2010)

By: Ivy Farr McIntyre Category: Book Reviews

While heavy on military details, The Intimate Civil War Letters of Lt. J.A.H. Foster will also be of interest to social, gender, family, and local historians, as well as genealogists. The collection offers uncommon insight into sexuality in the period as well...

Published 7/11/2012

EMERSON: Giant in the Shadows (2012)

By: Harold Holzer Category: Book Reviews

A simply terrific researcher, Emerson has unearthed a breathtaking array of unknown facts and quotes about Robert, and has crafted this avalanche of detail into a truly absorbing account of his long life and times...

Published 7/11/2012

HOLZER, SYMONDS, & WILLIAMS (eds.): The Lincoln Assassination (2010)

By: Angela M. Zombek Category: Book Reviews

This book, with its focus on the perpetuated Lincoln myth through the recounting of his death and the obsession with the trial of the assassination conspirators, tells not only about the man himself, but also how he defined the American character and how he continues to influence American political values.

Published 7/2/2012

BRADY: War Upon the Land (2012)

By: Jack E. Davis Category: Book Reviews

Brady's fine book, which launches readers into the Mississippi River campaign rather than one on the Atlantic or Gulf, looks at the role nature played in the Civil War. Her fundamental interest is not the impact war had on the land (although she offers observations in this area) but in nature as historical agent...

Published 6/27/2012

GILPIN: John Brown Still Lives! (2011)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

Brilliantly conceived and deeply researched, Gilpin provides an episodic journey through the literature and art that has considered Brown's place in illuminating the issues of violence, equality, and change in American life...

Published 6/20/2012

DUNKELMAN: Marching With Sherman (2012)

By: Thom Bassett Category: Book Reviews

Dunkleman's achievement is to show in detail just how incommensurately northerners and southerners experienced, interpreted, and remembered the time Sherman came marching through, as well as how these differences in understanding and recollection have shifted by time and place...

Published 6/20/2012

FLECHE: The Revolution of 1861 (2012)

By: Barbara Gannon Category: Book Reviews

In a highly readable and provocative new study, The Revolution of 1861: The American Civil War in the Age of Nationalist Conflict, Andre Fleche suggests that while Americans may not have been Marxists, or even Beardians, they recognized the relationship between their Civil War and other revolutionary struggles including the revolutions of 1848...

Published 6/13/2012

STERNHELL: Routes of War (2012)

By: Aaron Sheehan-Dean Category: Book Reviews

Sternhell evaluates the eastern theater of war (mostly Virginia) through the years of war and into the opening moments of Reconstruction, territory familiar to most students of the Civil War. The novelty in her approach is to consider the entire population - soldiers, civilians, blacks, whites, men, women, Confederates, Unionists, loyalists and deserters - and their experiences from the...

Published 6/6/2012

MCWHIRTER: Battle Hymns (2012)

By: Randy Finley Category: Book Reviews

In Battle Hymns: The Power and Popularity of Music in the Civil War, Christian McWhirter analyzes the role music played in dividing the nation in 1860-1861, in sustaining civilian and military morale in the bloody cataclysm of war, and in formulating meanings of the war after Appomattox...

Published 6/6/2012

FELLMAN: Views from the Dark Side of American History (2011)

By: Megan Kate Nelson Category: Book Reviews

There has always been political purpose to what Fellman has written during his long career and this text is no exception...

Published 5/30/2012

REARDON: With a Sword in One Hand (2012)

By: John R. Neff Category: Book Reviews

In helping us see Jomini and his place within a larger social and intellectual context, Reardon easily solidifies her position as one of our best, most thoughtful historians of the military experience...

Published 5/23/2012

PATCHAN: Second Manassas (2011)

By: Lawrence Kreiser, Jr. Category: Book Reviews

For those interested in learning more about one of the greatest Confederate battlefield successes of the war, a triumph that might even have ended the war had the Union defenders not fought as stubbornly as they did, this is a good book...

Published 5/16/2012

CARNEY: Ministers and Masters (2011)

By: John J. Langdale III Category: Book Reviews

In Ministers and Masters, Charity Carney furnishes a concise study of antebellum southern Methodist ministers and their often remarkable intersections with the culture of southern honor...

Published 5/16/2012

SCARBOROUGH: The Allstons of Chicora Wood (2011)

By: Alex Macaulay Category: Book Reviews

The Allstons of Chicora Wood is an interesting and frustrating book. What began as a standard biography of antebellum South Carolina governor and rice planter Robert F.W. Allston, evolved over the course of the author's research into a broader study of the Allston family...

Published 5/9/2012

LAUSE: A Secret Society History of the Civil War (2011)

By: Matt Gallman Category: Book Reviews

Reviewers are not supposed to take authors to task for "not writing a different book" (although we do it all the time), but it might be fair to critique a monograph for not having a different title. Reader beware. This is not a history of secret societies during the Civil War...

Published 5/2/2012

MILLER: John Bell Hood (2010)

By: James Marten Category: Book Reviews

Brian Craig Miller argues that considering Hood through the lenses of manhood and memory--he calls his book a "cultural biography"--offers a fresh perspective on a Confederate who could have starred in a Greek tragedy...

Published 5/2/2012


By: William Feis Category: Book Reviews

This book is an excellent, well-written analysis that will become the standard biography of Champ Ferguson and will also be essential reading for those seeking insights into the motivations of borderland guerrillas...

Published 4/25/2012

FOLLETT, FONER, JOHNSON (eds.): Slavery's Ghost (2011)

By: Joshua D. Rothman Category: Book Reviews

A brief but thought-provoking collection of essays that brings together lectures delivered at the University of Sussex's Marcus Cunliffe Centre for the Study of the American South, Slavery's Ghost is framed by several persistent and important considerations in the historiography of slavery and emancipation.

Published 4/25/2012

LOEWEN & SEBESTA (eds.): The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader (2010)

By: Jon D. Bohland Category: Book Reviews

The book provides teachers and researchers alike with an invaluable archive of speeches, images, political papers, and memoirs that graphically reveal what the Confederacy and its post-war nostalgists actually believed about slavery, secession, race relations, and the whitewashing of the southern past.

Published 4/18/2012

DELBLANCO: The Abolitionist Imagination (2012)

By: Michael Fellman Category: Book Reviews

Delbanco's stereotyping and judgmental essay strikes me as a demonstration of how old-fashioned liberalism can be turned into what amounts to morally-determined, preachy neo-conservatism, whether intentionally or not. I share Sinha's reaction that this is a condescending argument, written down from the Arcadian coolness of Morningside Heights...

Published 4/18/2012

BARNHART: Albert Taylor Bledsoe (2011)

By: Benjamin Cloyd Category: Book Reviews

Despite the limited material available, Barnhart has made a worthy and instructive effort to explore the significance of the man who became the architect of the Confederate interpretation of the conflict?...

Published 4/11/2012

LOWRY: Drinking Patterns in the Civil War (2011)

By: Sean Vanatta Category: Book Reviews

Lowry's short, idiosyncratic text is premised on a central question: Did ethnic German and Irish soldiers exhibit abnormal drinking patterns when compared to average "American" troops?

Published 4/4/2012

GALLMAN (ed.): A Tour of Reconstruction (2011)

By: Amy Murrell Taylor Category: Book Reviews

Gallman has made an important contribution by pulling Dickinson's letters out of the archives?deciphering her difficult handwriting in the process?and making them more widely accessible. Her writing about Reconstruction can now join the ranks of other published travel writers of the period, such as Sidney Andrews and J.T. Trowbridge, while inserting a powerful female voice among them...

Published 4/4/2012

STOKER: The Grand Design (2010)

By: Lorien Foote Category: Book Reviews

In The Grand Design: Strategy and the U.S. Civil War, Donald Stoker answers a question that few historians have asked: did the leaders on either side of the Civil War develop and implement an effective military strategy to achieve their respective political objectives? Rather than focusing on battles and campaigns, Stoker takes his readers on a fascinating tour of the big picture that offers...

Published 3/28/2012

INSCOE (ed.): The Civil War in Georgia

By: Keith Muchowski Category: Book Reviews

By definition a reference book such as this is not an exhaustive analysis of its subject, and The Civil War in Georgia does not try to be. Those looking for a sophisticated, concise overview of Georgia's role in the American Civil War, however, would do well to begin here.

Published 3/21/2012

FULTON: The Reconstruction of Mark Twain (2010)

By: John C. Inscoe Category: Book Reviews

This is not only a significant new take on Mark Twain and his significance as a public figure and political critic; it also provides new insights into the ambivalent legacy of the border state and western Civil War by viewing it through its impact on one of America's most celebrated and enduring writers...

Published 3/14/2012

HARRIS: Lincoln and the Border States (2011)

By: George C. Rable Category: Book Reviews

Hard as it might be to imagine, William C. Harris's new book fills a significant gap in the historical literature on Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln and the Border States is the first serious, comprehensive look at the President's policies in the slaveholding states that remained in the Union...

Published 3/14/2012

HIRSCH & VAN HAFTEN: Abraham Lincoln and the Structure of Reason (2010)

By: Brian Dirck Category: Book Reviews

Original ideas about Abraham Lincoln are uncommon. Given the ever-growing pile of Lincoln books and articles, not much remains unsaid or probably even unthought about the man. So on the rare occasion that somebody does think an original thought about him, the thinker (or in this case thinkers) deserve praise merely for the deed...

Published 3/7/2012

LUBRECHT: New Jersey Butterfly Boys in the Civil War (2011)

By: Scott Manning Category: Book Reviews

In New Jersey Butterfly Boys, Peter T. Lubrecht tells the story of the Third New Jersey Cavalry, a regiment that saw action during the latter half of the Civil War. The unit is an intriguing one that featured an ethnic mix of predominately German and Irish immigrants, as well as soldiers from more than a half dozen other European countries...

Published 3/7/2012

MAGNESS & PAGE: Colonization After Emancipation (2011)

By: Earl J. Hess Category: Book Reviews

Phillip W. Magness and Sebastian N. Page now show us that Lincoln's interest was hardly furtive after the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862. It was real, and the president pursued colonization schemes with quiet and unobtrusive fervor...

Published 2/29/2012

WITTENBERG: Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

Gettysburg's Forgotten Cavalry Actions is a revised edition of cavalry expert Eric Wittenberg's first book, published originally in 1998. As the full title suggests, Wittenberg focuses on three engagements that occurred on Gettysburg's final day. This is the kind of book that academic historians ridicule, general Civil War readers find too narrow, and Gettysburg junkies embrace...

Published 2/22/2012

MARTEN (ed.): Children and Youth During the Civil War Era (2012)

By: Catherine M. Wright Category: Book Reviews

By addressing so many fascinating topics in a regional or impressionistic manner, this anthology suggests as many new avenues for research as it satisfies. The authors and editor are to be commended for this valuable contribution to the field...

Published 2/21/2012

BLIGHT: American Oracle (2011)

By: David Silkenat Category: Book Reviews

In a sense, Blight's new book, American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era, is a continuation of the work he began in Race and Reunion. Rather than chronicle the myriad ways in which the Civil War Centennial intersected with the Civil Right Movement, Blight provides much more intimate portraits of four authors who wrestled with the legacy of the Civil War at the height of the Civil ...

Published 2/15/2012

FARMER-KAISER: Freedwomen and the Freedmen's Bureau (2010)

By: Carolyn Chesarino Category: Book Reviews

Mary Farmer-Kaiser's study, Freedwomen and the Freedmen's Bureau: Race, Gender, and Public Policy in the Age of Emancipation, analyzes interactions between bureau agents and freedpersons, and local authorities in order to examine freedwomen's active role in shaping both public policy and definitions of womanhood, manhood, and race...

Published 2/15/2012

DAVIS & ROBERTSON (eds.): Virginia at War, 1865

By: Michael B. Chesson Category: Book Reviews

The fifth and final volume of Virginia at War is the best of the series. This treatment of 1865 in the Old Dominion is crisply edited; focused mostly on a single year of the war, unlike some of the earlier volumes; and while only 242 pages including preface and index, it is a meaty contribution to Civil War studies...

Published 2/8/2012

ABRUZZO: Polemical Pain (2011)

By: James Hill Welborn III Category: Book Reviews

Long before Americans, North and South, commenced to shooting each other over slavery and the state of the nation, a related battle raged over the definition of humanitarianism; one that increasingly involved the burgeoning sectional crisis and its debate over slavery. Margaret Abruzzo centers this battle in her cross hairs as she outlines the origins, evolution, and disparate impacts of American...

Published 2/8/2012

MARSHALL: Creating a Confederate Kentucky (2010)

By: Anne Sarah Rubin Category: Book Reviews

Nowhere is the cliche that the North won the Civil War while the South won the peace more true than in Kentucky. Historian Anne E. Marshall's elegantly crafted Creating a Confederate Kentucky tells us exactly how that happened...

Published 2/1/2012

WILSON: The Business of Civil War (2010)

By: Brooks D. Simpson Category: Book Reviews

Readers will find Wilson's deeply-researched account well worth the investment as a study of wartime political economy. It explores areas hitherto mostly neglected and rarely explored...

Published 1/25/2012

GINGRICH (et al): The Battle of the Crater: A Novel

By: Craig A. Warren Category: Book Reviews

In recent months, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has sprinkled the campaign trail with promotional events for the books he published last year, including the Civil War novel The Battle of the Crater. Politics and marketing aside, how does the new book stand up within the genre of Civil War fiction? And what vision of the war emerges from its pages?

Published 1/18/2012

BROWN (ed.): Remixing the Civil War

By: Nina Silber Category: Book Reviews

Touching on such diverse subjects as Barack Obama's very recent deployment of the Lincoln image, current controversies over the Confederate battle flag, and contemporary black artists, interpretations of the war, most of the essays in Remixing the Civil War offer rich analytical insights on how and why the Civil War continues to provide a critical touchstone for so many Americans in so many...

Published 1/11/2012

DEMPSEY: Michigan and the Civil War (2011)

By: Brian Allen Drake Category: Book Reviews

In Michigan and the Civil War, Jack Dempsey examines his upper-Midwestern home state's contribution to the North's victory. If you are a native Wolverine and/or a Civil War buff with a keen interest in the state's history, you will find much to like in the book. For more serious scholars, though, it will be less satisfying...

Published 1/11/2012

RABLE: God's Almost Chosen Peoples (2010)

By: Abigail Cooper Category: Book Reviews

With its prodigious bibliography and its mandate to address the proliferation of faith in the primary sources, God's Almost Chosen People will be a resource for and an invitation to students of both religion and the Civil War...

Published 1/11/2012

KNIGHT: Confederate Invention (2011)

By: Charles B. Dew Category: Book Reviews

Almost all of the records of the Confederate States Patent Office burned with the evacuation of Richmond in 1865, but that did not prevent H. Jackson Knight from compiling this remarkable record of southern invention and inventors during the war. Confederate Invention stands as a testament to the dedication of this dogged researcher, who set out to write a history of Confederate patenting and,...

Published 1/11/2012

SMITH: The Enemy Within (2011)

By: Mark A. Lause Category: Book Reviews

Corruption in government and business remains a remarkably neglected aspect of the study of war. However, if the subject remains too elusive for serious discussion in the age of Haliburton, nailing it down in the Civil War years adds entire new layers...

Published 1/4/2012

GAUGHAN: The Last Battle of the Civil War (2011)

By: Kevin M. Levin Category: Book Reviews

Visitors who travel to pay their respects to the fallen and experience the beautiful monuments and closely manicured grounds of Arlington may be surprised to learn that the site itself was at the center of one of the most divisive political and legal battles of the post-Civil War period. The legal battle, which culminated in the Supreme Court case of U.S. v. Lee (1882) and the question of who...

Published 12/28/2011

MAURO: A Southern Spy in Northern Virginia (2009)

By: Angela Esco Elder Category: Book Reviews

During the Civil War, Confederate brigadier general J.E.B. Stuart gave a leather album to Laura Ratcliffe, a twenty-five year old resident of Fairfax County, Virginia. This deceptively simple album is the topic of Charles V. Mauro's most recent book, A Southern Spy in Northern Virginia: The Civil War Album of Laura Ratcliffe...

Published 12/21/2011

GEIGER: Financial Fraud and Guerrilla Violence in Missouri's Civil War (2010)

By: Joseph M. Beilein, Jr. Category: Book Reviews

Built on an impressive foundation of quantitative research, Financial Fraud makes major contributions to the fields of memory and guerrilla warfare in the Civil War. Though Geiger's documentation of the fraudulent lending used to arm Confederate forces is quite the accomplishment, his work is truly dynamic, powerful, and contentious in his analysis of the unintended consequences and fallout from...

Published 12/21/2011

PETERSEN: Quantrill at Lawrence (2011)

By: A. James Fuller Category: Book Reviews

Quantrill at Lawrence: The Untold Story is a well-written and provocative book... many will disagree with his conclusion that the Lawrence attack should be seen as a legitimate and successful cavalry raid...but readers will appreciate his storytelling and historians should give the contentions he makes in telling his untold story further consideration...

Published 12/14/2011

WACHTELL: War No More (2010)

By: Kenneth W. Noe Category: Book Reviews

Whitman's reluctance to reveal to his readers the totality of the "seething hell" of "the real war" he saw in the hospitals is at the heart of Cynthia Wachtell's War No More. Challenging modern authors such as Paul Fussell who view World War I as the watershed moment in the emergence of an antiwar tradition in American letters, Wachtell goes back to Whitman's "Secession war" to find its uncertain...

Published 12/7/2011

THOMPSON (ed.): Tejanos in Gray

By: William L. Shea Category: Book Reviews

Historians consistently underestimate the ethnic diversity of the Confederacy. Regimental muster rolls from Texas, Louisiana, and other western states abound in German, Irish, French, and Spanish surnames. Until recently, these individuals and the groups they represent have remained largely under the radar...

Published 11/30/2011

MCGINTY: The Body of John Merryman (2011)

By: Michael S. Green Category: Book Reviews

But the Supreme Court played a more significant role in the Civil War than many historians have acknowledged; a state of affairs that Brian McGinty has been trying to rectify. He has followed his study of Lincoln and the Court with this superb book that assesses the many angles of Ex Parte Merryman, perhaps the most important case that reached any member of that tribunal during the war...

Published 11/30/2011

URAL (ed.): Civil War Citizens (2010)

By: James J. Broomall Category: Book Reviews

Civil War Citizens: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity in America’s Bloodiest Conflict is the first effort to examine in one book the wartime experiences of Jewish, Irish, African, Native, and German Americans...

Published 11/23/2011

HARROLD: Border War (2010)

By: Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz Category: Book Reviews

In this well-researched and convincing work, distinguished historian Stanley Harrold departs from a traditional North-versus-South tale of sectional breakdown in the decades leading to the Civil War. Instead, he presents a narrative focused on violence and ideological clash in the borderlands...

Published 11/16/2011

MORSMAN: The Big House After Slavery (2010)

By: Felicity Turner Category: Book Reviews

Amy Feely Morsman’s The Big House After Slavery examines changing gender relations amongst married elites in postemancipation Virginia. Drawing from family papers, diaries, newspapers, and periodicals, Morsman argues that the dire economic straits of former slaveholding elites during Reconstruction prompted an important transition in the gender dynamics of planter households...

Published 11/2/2011

MARTIN: General Braxton Bragg, C.S.A. (2011)

By: Jeffry D Wert Category: Book Reviews

In this lengthy and well-researched new biography of Bragg, Samuel Martin attempts to rectify the Confederate general’s historical record and reputation. It is a commendable effort by the veteran author that will assuredly stir further debate and controversy...

Published 10/26/2011

THOMAS: The Iron Way (2011)

By: Elizabeth Varon Category: Book Reviews

William G. Thomas’s The Iron Way is a tour-de-force, and offers a series of bracing insights about the origins, shape and outcome of the Civil War. Thomas argues that the railroads were sites and symbols of contested modernity in antebellum America. They did not simply symbolize northern industrial might and progress, but also the South’s determination to have modernity on its own terms: to...

Published 10/26/2011

GLATTHAAR: Soldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia (2011)

By: Brian Craig Miller Category: Book Reviews

Designed as a companion to his superb 2008 work General Lee’s Army: From Victory to Collapse, the statistical volume breaks down the sample of six hundred soldiers that Glatthaar used to tell the story of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia...

Published 10/19/2011

BYNUM: The Long Shadow of the Civil War (2010)

By: Laura Hepp Bradshaw Category: Book Reviews

“Few histories,” Victoria Bynum laments, “are buried faster or deeper than those of political or social dissenters” (148). By resurrecting the histories of three anti-secessionist communities in the South, Bynum’s latest book about the Civil War home front and its checkered aftermath bring previously ignored strains of political and social dissent back to life through an intricate examination of...

Published 10/19/2011

WOOD: Near Andersonville (2010)

By: Robert Bonner Category: Book Reviews

Peter Wood’s incisive new book asks us to set aside imagery of battles and soldiers, and even “Honest Abe,” so that we might visualize the world captured by the painter Winslow Homer in his long-forgotten masterpiece “Near Andersonville.”

Published 10/12/2011

MARTEN: Sing Not War (2011)

By: Brian M. Jordan Category: Book Reviews

More so than any previous historian, Marten sheds light on several important questions: how did veterans live, and how were they perceived by society? Sing Not War has given admirable shape and definition to an anemic subfield of Civil War history, and as such it is a welcome addition to the literature. Future studies of the war’s consequences must contend with the important questions that James ...

Published 10/12/2011

MCCURRY: Confederate Reckoning (2010)

By: David K. Thomson Category: Book Reviews

Confederate Reckoning’s sharp narrative and fresh analysis of the odds faced by slaveholders in the Confederacy and their contributions to its internal collapse is both timely and justified as historians try to reassess key issues of race and gender, such as the roles of southern women and slaves, in relation to the war. McCurry has opened the door for future scholarship and has further cemented...

Published 10/5/2011

BERRY (ed.): Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War's Ragged Edges (2011)

By: W. Fitzhugh Brundage Category: Book Reviews

The essays themselves explore nooks and crevices of Civil War history that are always interesting, sometimes poignant, and often revelatory. Berry’s introduction is especially cogent about the thread that runs through the collection: the “littleness” of the war. Almost certainly this view of the conflict is rooted in the experience of contemporary Americans with war. We have a half century of...

Published 9/28/2011

GOODHEART: 1861: The Civil War Awakening (2011)

By: A. Wilson Greene Category: Book Reviews

Adam Goodheart's much heralded "1861: The Civil War Awakening" is an eloquent, innovative, and deeply researched collection of chapter-length vignettes that surveys a variety of events at the outset of our national bloodletting...

Published 9/28/2011

GALLAGHER: The Union War (2011)

By: Nicole Etcheson Category: Book Reviews

Ken Burns�s Civil War series made famous Rhode Island soldier Elisha Hunt Rhodes�s phrase, �All for the Union.� Gary W. Gallagher agrees with Rhodes. Gallagher emphasizes that, for northerners, the war was one for Union. Although he welcomes the flood of literature that has emphasized the importance of race, slavery, and emancipation to the Civil War, Gallagher believes that this focus has...

Published 9/16/2011

BERTERA & CRAWFORD: The 4th Michigan Infantry in the Civil War (2010)

By: Kevin Krause Category: Book Reviews

Since the turn towards social and cultural history in the 1960s and 1970s, many academic institutions have relegated military history to the virtual back burner of serious scholarly endeavors. Military histories have, however, remained popular with general readers, and have recently regained scholarly credibility within academia. One reason for this has been a shift of focus from strategies...

Published 9/16/2011

WARSCHAUER: Connecticut in the American Civil War: Slavery, Sacrifice, and Survival (2011)

By: Peter C. Luebke Category: Book Reviews

The Civil War Centennial saw the publication of histories of state participation in the Civil War. Now, with the approach of the sesquicentennial, it appears as if a new batch of histories building upon the last 50 years of scholarship is on the way. Matthew Warshauer's Connecticut in the American Civil War: Slavery, Sacrifice, and Survival serves as a model of what a state-level survey of the ...