Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book Review--North Carolina in the Civil War

Hardy, Michael C. North Carolina in the Civil War. The History Press, Charleston, SC. 2011. 157 pages, selected bibliography, b/w photos. ISBN 9781609491062, $19.99

Michael C. Hardy is kind of the "Renaissance Man" when it comes to North Carolina history, in particular the Civil War. He has his own website, an active blog, posts regularly to Facebook, and keeps a speaking schedule that would wear most of us down. Oh yeah, he also finds to time to write some darn good history.

His most recent book is a brief introduction to the the state of North Carolina and it's contributions to the Civil War. In normal fashion for The History Press this is a brief book and on this subject I am sure that Mr. Hardy could write volumes. In fact he has. Check his website.

In a fast paced 151 pages of text we have nine chapters. The first five deal with the years 1861-1865 each year being a chapter to itself. Chapter six is titled "Tar Heels to the Front" and covers the actions of various regiments in different battles and theaters of the war. This chapter is really a brief gloss over and serves as an excellent introduction for those wishing to study the contributions of NC troops in the war. A chapter on Reconstruction follows. The final two chapters are my favorites, possibly because of my interest in the subjects covered. Chapter eight is titled "Remembrance" and deals with the formation and goals of organizations such as the Ladies Memorial Associations, the various veterans groups that eventually became the United Confederate Veterans and the Grand Army of the Republic, and also the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The concluding chapter deals with various historical locations in the state. As Mr. Hardy points out in his closing sentence: "We can learn much about the most tumultuous period of North Carolina's history by visiting the sites associated with the time period..." (page 151).

This is a book that is quick to read and that is helped along with many b/w photos and illustrations of the main participants. There is no map and the lack of foot or end notes was bothersome at times. I'm one of those who does occasionally check them. That said many of the titles from The History Press do not have these due to space constraints. There is however a nice selected bibliography for those wanting further reading or researching ideas.

Recommended highly for high schoolers and up who are interested in learning about the state of North Carolina and the contributions of it's citizens to the Confederacy. This is a great introductory work that anybody with an interest in the Civil War should consider reading!

* I strongly recommend going to Mr. Hardy's website if you are interested in purchasing this book. He has his other titles listed as well and will gladly sign your books plus he shipped mine quickly. It's also nice to directly support authors who work so hard to bring history to life!

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