Friday, April 27, 2012

Book Review--The Battle of Pea Ridge

Knight, James R. The Battle of Pea Ridge: The Civil War Fight for the Ozarks. The History Press, Charleston, SC. 2012. 159 pages, 136 pages of text. Index, maps, b/w photos, notes, order of battle. ISBN 9781609494476, $19.99.

The majority of those interested in the Civil War seem to read about the battles in the east. This is a shame because there are interesting stories that took place in the western theater as well. Pea Ridge is a prime example.

Author James M. Knight makes another quality contribution to The History Press Civil War Sesquicentennial Series with his new book The Battle of Pea Ridge: The Civil War Fight for the Ozarks. This is a highly readable account of this often overlooked battle. The major areas of battle are well covered without bogging down in minutiae that will tax most readers. Battles at Bentonville, Oberson's Field, Morgan's Woods, Elkhorn Tavern, Clemen's Farm, and Ruddick's Field all receive coverage. As for sources author Knight admits to relying heavily on the work of Earl Hess and William Shea; Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West. "Without their work, this book would never have happened" (page 7). Unfortunately however there is no bibliography included. Readers are left to reference the notes or possibly refer to Hess and Shea.

In addition to a readable text the book includes 14 beautiful maps created by Hal Jespersen, many vintage and contemporary photos, and an order of battle. These help make this book an indispensable read for those not wanting the massive treatment given by Hess and Shea. This is a worthy addition to the History Press line and is highly recommended!

*Thanks to The History Press for sending a complimentary review copy.

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