Category Archives: Civil War Historians

Review of Smith’s Race and Recruitment

Here is my review of Race and Recruitment: Civil War History Readers, which was just published at The Civil War Monitor.

In recognition of Civil War History‘s 60th anniversary, the editors at Kent State University Press are releasing a series of books that feature some of the journal’s most important publications. The essays in the present volume, edited by John David Smith, cover a broad swath of the recent historiography of slavery, abolitionism, emancipation and memory. While the book is ideal for a graduate level course on the historiography of the Civil War era, given the narrow focus of many of the essays, it is unlikely that it will appeal to the general reader.

Click here for the rest of the review.

What the Yankees Did To Who?

While in Gettysburg I picked up Stephen Davis’s most recent book, What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta (Mercer University Press, 2012). The book has received mixed reviews, but I decided to give it a chance. While the book thus far lacks an analytical edge those of you looking for excruciatingly detailed descriptions of pre-war and wartime Atlanta will be rewarded. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the many anecdotes included in the book, it’s that I also expect a historian to provide a close analysis of these sources. Continue reading

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 06/26

On A Great BattlefieldCongratulations to my friend, Jennifer Murray, who just published her first book, On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013, (University of Tennessee Press). Jen worked for nine seasons at Gettysburg as a seasonal interpretive ranger. She knows the battlefield like the back of her hand and Jen brings a wide range of sources to bear in telling this story. Any Gettysburg enthusiast is going to want a copy. I purchased my copy at CWI and spent a couple hours reading it on the battlefield. Congratulations, Jen.

Brooks Simpson, The Civil War in the East: Struggle, Stalemate, and Victory, (Potomac Books, 2013).

Susannah J. Ural, Don’t Hurry Me Down to Hades: The Civil War In The Words of Those Who Lived It, (Osprey, 2013).

Richard B. Williams ed., Stonewall’s Prussian Mapmaker: The Journals of Captain Oscar Hinrichs, (University of North Carolina Press, 2014).

Bonus: I am happy to report that fellow historian, blogger, and all around badass, Keith Harris’s first book, Across the Bloody Chasm: The Culture of Commemoration among Civil War Veterans, is slated for publication in November.

Civil War Institute, 2014

Back in Boston after 5 days at Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute. I am exhausted and recharged. All of my presentations went well and I heard some wonderful talks, a few of which you can find on C-SPAN 3. Here are just a couple brief observations about the conference, which focused on the war in 1864. Continue reading