Thursday, October 27, 2011

CIvil War Trust--Gaines' Mill

Read about the Civil War Trust's newest campaign to save ground at Gaines Mill. Gaines' Mill was part of the "Seven Days' Battles". The Confederate victory here helped push George McClellan and his troops across the Chickahominy River forcing them to abandon their Richmond campaign. The excerpt below is a good introduction to the goal of preserving nearly 300 acres. Click the link above for much more information including battle info, maps, photos, and a chance to donate to this most worthy cause!

"We Met Such a Perfect Storm of Lead"

That was the vivid description offered by an Alabamian who took part in the assault on the Federal left at the Battle of Gaines' Mill. Hit in the flank by heavy artillery fire coming from across the Chickahominy, then facing swampy Boatswain's Creek, and two tiers of well prepared Union defenders, Longstreet's Confederate brigades left thousands of dead and wounded on the battlefield.

Now we have the opportunity to save 285 acres of the Gaines' Mill battlefield - the very ground that Longstreet's men charged through on June 27, 1862.

Saving this ground will be one of the Civil War Trust's biggest accomplishments to date and this tract will expand the preserved section of the battlefield by more than 400%!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Press Release--Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War

I received the following recently on a new book title being published by Little Brown. The Library of Congress Illustrated Timeline of the Civil War looks like it will be an interesting book being released just in time for the holiday gift giving season.

With striking visuals from the Library of Congress' unparalleled archive, THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS ILLUSTRATED TIMELINE OF THE CIVIL WAR is an authoritative and engaging narrative of the domestic conflict that determined the course of American history. A detailed chronological timeline of the war captures the harrowing intensity of 19th-century warfare in first-hand accounts from soldiers, nurses, and front-line journalists. Readers will be enthralled by speech drafts in Lincoln's own hand, quotes from the likes of Frederick Douglass and Robert E. Lee, and portraits of key soldiers and politicians who are not covered in standard textbooks. The Illustrated Timeline's exciting new source material and lucid organization will give Civil War enthusiasts a fresh look at this defining period in our nation's history.

A senior writer-editor in the Publishing Office of the Library of Congress, Margaret E. Wagner is the coauthor and coeditor of The Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference and The Library of Congress World War II Desk Reference and author of The American Civil War: 365 Days, World War II: 365 Days, and Maxfield Parrish and the Illustrators of the Golden Age.

Gary W. Gallagher, the John L. Nau III Professor of History at the University of Virginia, is the author or editor of many books in the field of Civil War history, including The Confederate War; Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know about the Civil War; and The Union War.

Little, Brown, and Co. has been kind enough to make a preview of the book available to readers. Just click below for a sneak peak of this interesting looking book. I'm sure you'll agree this is one worth looking for when it is released.

Monday, October 10, 2011

War of 1812 on PBS

I received the following from Turner Publishing today. Might be worth checking out.

Just wanted to remind you that the PBS documentary on the War of 1812 premiers tonight on PBS.

It is scheduled for 9pm eastern time but local stations do have discretion, so please check your local listings.

Here is the website complete with clips from tonight's premier

This is the 200th anniversary of the war that saw: The Star Spangled Banner, the USS Constitution, and the Battle of New Orleans. All important parts of what made the United States what it is today.

We are publishing the official companion book and your purchase supports PBS and helps make the programming possible.

Available at Amazon.

The War of 1812: A Guide to Battlefields and Historic Sites

Todd Bottorff
President & Publisher

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Civil War Monitor

There's a new magazine on the block that looks to be raising the bar in Civil War scholarship. Welcome to The Civil War Monitor! This new quarterly magazine is the brainchild of Terry Johnson. Many may know Johnston from his stint at North & South magazine.

With an already crowded field a new magazine needs to be able to stand apart. The Civil War Monitor is doing just that. From the cleverly named cover article "It Begins" to the closing "Books and Authors" section this magazine has winner written all over it.

The issue starts strongly with an interesting section called Salvo: Facts, Figures, & Items of Interest. This issue contains a travel guide to Gettysburg, an interesting section from the Center for Civil War Photography titled In Focus, and a section called Primer. This issues Primer focuses on Civil War headgear. This is a great intro to learning the basics on the many types of hats worn during the war.

The lead article written by Russell McClintock is titled The Men & The Hour: Lincoln, Davis and the Struggle to Avert War. The odd pairing of the Army of Northern Virginia and a battalion of sailors is the subject of Derek Smith's Run Aground at Sailor's Creek. Sivlana R. Siddali presents us with Babylon is Fallen: The Northern Press Reports-With Shock and Awe-On Sherman's March to the Sea.

Three of the articles deal with death in one form or another and despite the depressing theme I found them to be some of the best of the issue. Captive Memories: Union Ex-Prisoners of War and the Work of Remembrance, written by Brian Matthew Jordan deals with the work done by former prisoners of war. Included is the changing attitude toward the war from the northern public as time went by. Also included is a chart on prison mortality rates during the war. The struggle of wives and loved ones to bring home the bodies of slain Confederate soldiers is the subject of Judith Giesberg's article The Work that Remains. In the "Casualties of War" department author Stephen Berry discusses Clara Harris Rathbone who sat in the Presidential Box at Ford's Theater on the night John Wilkes Booth shot and ultimately killed Abraham Lincoln. The psychological trauma inflicted on those in the box that night is summed up nicely in a line from the article: "...Booth's bullet had penetrated all their brains..."

With articles containing endnotes and excellent artwork and photos this magazine is showing great promise to be one that will lead other Civil War magazines to pick up  their game. Be sure to check out the excellent website associated with the magazine. With blogs, photo essays, and more this promises to become a "must go to" sight for those interested in the war. The magazine also has an excellent Facebook page which I recommend you check out.

Be sure to check your local newstand for the premiere issue!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New Interviews at Civil War Trust

There are a couple of new interviews posted on the Civil War Trust website that are worth checking out.

Jimmy Price discusses his new book The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword (VA). His book tells the story of the US Colored Troops 1864 battle against troops from the Army of Northern Virginia. 14 members of the USCT were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions here. In addition to discussing the book Price also talks about preservation efforts, or lack there of, at the battlefield.

Be sure to also check out Jimmy's blog, The Sable Arm, which is dedicated to the USCT.

Also on the CWT site is an interview with Adam Goodheart. Adam has written the book 1861: The Civil War Awakening. The book covers northern attitudes in the first year of the war with Goodheart making several interesting conclusions regarding northern views toward slavery/abolition, the crisis at Fort Sumter, the passion of northerners toward the war effort and more.