Tuesday, November 25, 2014

History Press New Release: Unionists in Virginia

The History Press is pleased to announce the publication of Unionists in Virginia: Politics, Secession and Their Plan to Prevent Civil War by Larry Denton.

Whether the Civil War was preventable is a debate that began shortly after Appomattox and continues today. But even earlier, in 1861, a group of Union-loyal Virginians—led by George Summers, John Brown Baldwin, John Janney and Jubal Early—felt war was avoidable. In the statewide election for delegates to the Secession Convention that same spring, the Unionists defeated the Southern Rights Democrats with a huge majority of the votes across the state. These heroic men unsuccessfully negotiated with Secretary of State William Henry Seward to prevent the national tragedy that would ensue. Author and historian Lawrence M. Denton traces this remarkable story of Virginians working against all odds in a failed attempt to save a nation from war.

Larry Denton, an authority on the secession crisis, is the author of "A Southern Star for Maryland: Maryland and the Secession Crisis," and "William Henry Seward and the Secession Crisis: The Effort to Prevent Civil War." He held several academic administrative posts at the university level from 1968 to 1978. In 1978 he accepted an appointment to serve as special assistant to the associate administrator of NOAA, a presidential appointee. He ended his career representing the Weather Channel in Washington and resides in Easton, Maryland.

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Releases from The History Press

Thanks going out to The History Press for sending along copies of a couple new releases.

First up is The St. Albans Raid: Confederate Attack on Vermont (Civil War Sesquicentennial) written by Michelle Arnosky Sherburne.  In October 1864, approximately twenty-one Rebel soldiers took over St. Albans, Vermont, proclaiming that it was now under Confederate government control. This northernmost land action of the Civil War ignited wartime fear and anger in every Northern state. The raiders fired on townspeople as they stole horses and robbed the local banks. St. Albans men organized under recently discharged Union captain George Conger, F. Stewart Stranahan and John W. Newton to chase the Rebels out of town. The complex network of the Confederate Secret Service was entangled with the raid and conspired to unravel the North throughout the war. The perpetrators later stood trial in Canada, causing international ramifications for years to come. Michelle Arnosky Sherburne leads readers through the drama, triumph and legacy of the Confederate raid on St. Albans.

The second book is The Coal River Valley in the Civil War: West Virginia Mountains, 1861 (Civil War Sesquicentennial) written by Michael B. Graham adjunct professor at American Military University. The three rivers that make up the Coal River Valley--Big, Little and Coal--were named by explorer John Peter Salling (or Salley) for the coal deposits found along its banks. More than one hundred years later, the picturesque valley was witness to a multitude of bloody skirmishes between Confederate and Union forces in the Civil War. Often-overlooked battles at Boone Court House, Coal River, Pond Fork and Kanawha Gap introduced the beginning of "total war" tactics years before General Sherman used them in his March to the Sea. Join author and historian Michael Graham as he expertly details the compelling human drama of West Virginia's bitterly contested Coal River Valley region during the War Between the States.

I hope to make time for both of these in the not too distant future.