Book reviews and other American Civil War related news. Despite being from a "Confederate" state reviews are as unbiased as possible.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Magazine Review--Civil War Times
Here are some quick overviews of recent Civil War Times issues. In the future I hope to discuss these individually and give them more attention. Issued bi-monthly by Weider History Group this magazine is always worth a read. It is filled with contemporary and vinatge photos/art and has maps included to help readers follow the action. Well worth picking up or subscribing to.
Civil War Times. June 2009.
The feature article in this issue is titled "Toward a Better Understanding of George McClellan" written by Ethan Rafuse. Ernest Furgurson tackles Abraham Lincoln's folksy ways in "Oh, that reminds me of a story" where he discusses the President's penchant for humor and colloquial language. What Civil War magazine is complete without a Gettysburg article? In this issue we have an article/letter discussing General John Gibbon and his commentary on the Gettysburg Cyclorama. Gerald Henig introduces us to William H. Carney who was the first black soldier to win the Medal of Honor in his article "Glory at Battery Wagner". Gary Gallagher discusses the film Glory, his favorite Civil War film. Included amongst other articles is a section of book reviews.
Civil War Times. August 2009.
Eric Campbell asks "What was Dan Sickles thinking when he practically destroyed his own corps' at Gettysburg" in his article "Death of the III Corps". Continuing with Gettysburg we have transcripts from letters written by Augustus Hesse of the 9th Massachusetts Battery. These make for interesting reading. This issue also features an interesting photo article titled "Tools of the Trade" which describes the equipment used by Union artillerymen. Ron Soodalter adapts his book by the same name to an article titled "Hanging Captain Gordon.". Gordon was the only American to be executed for transporting slaves under the Piracy Act of 1820. I own this book but have yet to read it. The story does look interesting enough to justify a further investigation. Included are also multiple book reviews including a look at three books dealing with the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. See my review of one of these titles here. Also included is a review of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, MD.
Civil War Times. October 2009.
Just about everybody knows that General Ulysses S. Grant was known to have a drinking problem. Peter Cozzens attempts to figure out who helped keep him sober in "General Grant's 'Living and Speaking Conscience' ". John Brown continues to be a controversial figure in Civil War studies and Robert E. McGlone attempts to pinpoint Brown's mental state in "The 'Madness' of John Brown". McGlone concludes that Brown showed few signs that modern psychiatrists would identify with a mental disorder. The story of one family's attempt to retrieve a loved one's remains from Gettysburg is detailed in "So Far From Home: The family of a Confederate colonel killed at Gettysburg learned that the dead must sometimes remain truly and forever lost." written by Glenn W. LaFantasie. Gary Gallagher discusses famed historians Bruce Catton and Douglass Southall Freeman in his Blue & Gray column. If you are travelling to Manassas National Battlefield you won't want to miss the field guide "The First Manassas You've Missed" put together by Harry Smeltzer, Craig Swain, and Jim Burgess. Also included are book reviews and the monthly last page column "Looking at Lincoln" where famed historian Harold Holzer takes a look at a photo of Lincoln.
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While I thanked Craig and Jim for their assistance in preparing the field guide (Craig walked the field with me as I took photos for the article), I am the sole author. Any mistake or general crapiness is my responsibility.