Thursday, July 3, 2014

Book Review--Remembering North Carolina's Confederates

Hardy, Michael C. Remembering North Carolina's Confederates (NC) (Images of America) . Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2006. 128 pages. 9780738542970, $21.99.

Books in the Images of America series follow a fairly standard formula. 128 pages, they are jammed with b/w photos and have little text other than the photo captions. The quality of the photo captions is what sets the excellent apart from the just interesting. In Michael Hardy's book Remembering North Carolina's Confederates we have what can be called an excellent book. Captions don't just tell what the photo is but instead there is real and solid research behind them. It is obvious that service records, local histories, official records and more were consulted for the writing process.

Mr. Hardy has mined an impressive 19 sources for the photos used in this book. OK, one of the sources were his personally taken or owned photos but that is to be expected. The sources used vary tremendously and do not include the Library of Congress. If you want to see rare North Carolina Confederate photos from libraries and historical societies from across the state in addition to some from personal collections this is the place.

The book is broken up geographically which can be a help if you are looking for an ancestor. There is no index (not due to Mr. Hardy but rather the publisher's format) so this breakdown can save the casual reader time. Chapters include: the Mountains, Southern Piedmont and Foothills, Northern Piedmont, Coastal Plain, North Carolina's Tribute to Jefferson Davis and Out of State.

I could list many favorites but will let it go with just a chosen few that are special in my mind. First is the headstone for Josh Waggoner of Ashe County that proudly announces his Confederate service. The problem is his service record lists him as a deserter. Next is the headstone of Egbert Ross, buried in Charlotte. He died during the Battle of Gettysburg. His headstone reads like a standard definition of "good death": "Thus the soldier died calmly and bravely amid the storm of battle that raged around him. One of the purest patriots of the war." The story of Colonel John Randolph Lane is one of bravery and medical marvel. He was shot in the back of the head while rallying troops at Gettysburg. He lived until 1908 despite this potentially fatal wound. Finally, upon his death in 1930 Charles Stedman was the last remaining Congressman to have served in the Civil War. There is a wonderful photo of Major Stedman shaking hands with Isaac Sherwood. General Sherwood was the last member of the Union forces to serve in Congress.  You will no doubt find many others that will be your favorites!

With quality photo choices, excellent research and writing and a reasonable cover price this is a book that anybody with an interest in North Carolina Civil War history should own. If you are interested in little known Confederate photos this is also for you. While there are large number of modern photos they are of excellent quality and fit right in with the theme.  Genealogists working on North Carolina relatives who served in the Civil War should also give this a close look. Highly recommended.

I have posted the link to Amazon through the bibliographical information and the photo above. You might also consider contacting Mr. Hardy directly and buying a signed copy direct from the author. Please visit his website here.

No comments:

Post a Comment