Friday, March 30, 2012

Center for Civil War Photography 2012 Image of War Seminar Announcement

Registration Now Open for 12th Annual Image of War Seminar

This year the Center for Civil War Photography's annual Image of War Seminar heads back to Antietam on October 5-7, 2012, for the broadest and most detailed program to date. Attendees will experience Antietam photography in all of its formats and learn about and exploit associated methodologies-indoors, outdoors, then, now, 2D, 3D, and even 4D experiences will bring the battlefield and its photographers to life like never before.

Hike the battlefield with Ed Bearss; see 3D presentations in black and white and in color by Bob Zeller, John Richter and David Richardson; with Garry Adelman and John Hoptak tour dozens of the sites where Alexander Gardner and his crew made pictures that shocked the world; see a special presentation by Tim Smith; see Robert Kalasky unveil his groundbreaking research on the study of shadows at Antietam; get a tour of historic Shepherdstown with Nicholas Redding; and see Rob Gibson record wet plate photos right where Gardner's crew did. Gain special access to restricted sites and get a free copy of the CCWP's forthcoming Antietam in 3D book, too.

CCWP's Daguerreotype, Folio, and Imperial members will be invited to a private overlook from near the site of the Elk Ridge Signal Station and climb the Pry House attic stairs and look through the roof access used by General McClellen's staff during the battle.

The seminar will be based at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in historic Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Registration is now open online at CCWP members receive a $35 discount off the registration price. Also, all registrations submitted before July 31, 2012, receive an additional $30 discount off the registration price.

Seminar Schedule

Friday, October 5:


The View from Headquarters: Special access to the Pry house roof access, used by Gen. McClellan's staff, for CCWP Daguerreotype, Folio, and Imperial members only!

Seminar check-in at Clarion Hotel

Optional Programs:
-Antietam battlefield hike with Ed Bearss
-Workshop: An Introduction to Digital Photos by John Richter

Preview of new Gardner photo exhibition at the Pry House

Hors d'oeuvres reception


An Introduction to Antietam Photography by Garry Adelman and Tim Smith

Shadows of Antietam slide show by Robert Kalasky

Saturday, October 6:

By 8:10am

Breakfast on your own

Battlefield tour: Antietam: Photos, fighting and more Photos by Garry Adelman and John D. Hoptak

Reception and banquet at Clarion Hotel

Slide show: Antietam in 3D by Bob Zeller and John Richter

Slide show: The Civil War in 3D and in Full Color by David Richardson

The Legendary CCWP Raffle and Auction

Sunday, October 7:
Breakfast and presentation TBA

Caravan and walking tour: Shepherdstown: Historic Town/Overlooked Battlefield by Nicholas Redding

Lunch on your own

Wet plate demonstration and photo opportunities on the Antietam Battlefield with Rob Gibson

This is itinerary is provisional as of March 15, 2012.

Lincoln Forum Cruise


The Forum is pleased to announce special amenities and early registration for a unique riverboat cruise aboard the historic "American Queen" August 30-September 7, 2012, where the Forum's Frank Williams, Harold Holzer, and George Buss will interpret Abraham Lincoln on a special Civil War sesquicentennial voyage dedicated to his life and times.

Details on this amazing opportunity are below.

The Lincoln Legacy aboard the Grande American Queen From Vicksburg to Louisville August 30 - September 7, 2012 With historians Frank Williams and Harold Holzer and George Buss as President Abraham Lincoln.

Please join Frank Williams and Harold Holzer on this Civil War sesquicentennial commemorative cruise in luxurious style as we cruise the great Mississippi and scenic Ohio Rivers.. After a four-year hiatus, steamboats are back on the river and what a fitting venue for us to reflect upon our 16th president and his presidency during these turbulent times. As you relax in luxury we will offer onboard talks, mixed with music and activities befitting a steamboat. The American Queen offers all of the modern amenities and conveniences with the ambiance of a by-gone era where time moved more slowly and people mingled together without the rush of modern society.

President Lincoln (George Buss) himself will be aboard to offer his own insights and answer your questions. And the talented 97th Regimental String Band will enthusiastically and professionally offer music of the time period, including an evening of "Music Lincoln Loved". At the end of the cruise a traditional period Cotillion will be hosted by the 9th and whether you choose to dance, or simply watch, it will be an event to remember.

The American Queen offers all meals and snacks, wine and beer with dinner, sumptuous dining prepared with regional foods by acclaimed southern Chef Regina Charbonneau. A complimentary shore excursion is offered in each port (Memphis, Helena and Henderson).

As a Lincoln Forum member you will be entitled to additional group benefits such as prepaid gratuities, a $100 onboard credit, and a private cocktail party. You will also have a choice to stay at a luxury hotel in either New Orleans, Jackson, MS or at the end of the cruise in Louisville. To receive these benefits you must join our special group arranged by Charlene Corris at Custom Travel Concepts. And, for each booking made in this group she will make a contribution to the Lincoln Forum.

To receive details, pricing, and to make your reservation please contact Charlene Corris at 866-956-4440 or email her at

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Upcoming Posts

Thanks to the kind folks at LSU Press for sending along a collection of their new releases. Please be sure to check their website for more information on these and many other Civil War titles.

For those interested in the western theater of the war John Lundberg's new book Granbury's Texas Brigade: Diehard Western Confederates looks to be a must read. Lundberg argues that mass desertion was not a signal of giving up but rather a desire to fight the enemy closer to home. The brigade itself fought until the final surrender. Even after the war members of the brigade continued to support the ideals of the Confederacy.

Editor Mark J. Stegmaier brings together twenty-one letters of Henry Adams in Henry Adams In the Secession Crisis: Dispatches to the Boston Daily Advertiser December 1860-March 1861. These letters prove to be strongly in favor of the moderate Republicans who are working to avoid the secession crisis while being highly critical of those calling for secession. These letters are also a glimpse into the early work of the soon to be famous writer.

Sherman's 1864 "March to the Sea" and 1865 "Carolina's Campaign" are the major focus of Mark H. Dunkelman's new book Marching with Sherman: Through Georgia and the Carolina's with the 154th New York. With over 40 pages of notes and a nearly 20 page bibliography  this looks to be a thoroughly researched volume that delves not just into the works of soldiers but also the post war writings of civilians, mostly women, who lived through this part of the war.

I have a weakness for books dealing with historical disasters and Meredith Henne Baker has written a book on one that I imagine most of us have never heard of. Her new book, The Richmond Theater Fire: Early America's First Great Disaster, tells the story of the December 1811 fire that took the lives of nearly 100 people including the governor of Virginia. In this first full length book dealing with the fire Baker shows how it led to a surge of anti theater backlash that stymied theatrical entertainment in Richmond for decades.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Confederate Battle Flag Returned

In this photo, a Confederate unit flag that belonged
 to the Emmett Rifles, a Georgia-based company during
 the Civil War, hangs at Fort McAllister state park in
 Richmond, Ga., 148 years after the fort fell to
 Gen. William T. Shermans army.
148 years later a Confederate battle flag belonging to the Emmett Rifles has been returned to Georgia and now hangs at Fort McAllister. A formal dedication ceremony will take place next month. You can read about the Second Battle of Fort McAllister here.

Read the full article here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recent Release from The History Press

The History Press is pleased to introduce the new title:

John V. Quarstein

W hen the CSS Virginia (Merrimack) slowly steamed down the Elizabeth River toward Hampton Roads on March 8, 1862, the tide of naval warfare turned from wooden sailing ships to armored, steam-powered vessels. Little did the ironclad’s crew realize that their makeshift warship would achieve the greatest Confederate naval victory. The trip was thought by most of the crew to be a trial cruise. Instead, the Virginia’s aggressive commander, Franklin Buchanan, transformed the voyage into a test by fire that forever proved the supreme power of iron over wood. The Virginia’s ability to beat the odds to become the first ironclad to enter Hampton Roads stands as a testament to her designers, builders, officers and crew. Virtually everything about the Virginia’s design was an improvisation or an adaptation, characteristic of the Confederacy’s efforts to wage a modern war with limited industrial resources. Noted historian John V. Quarstein recounts the compelling story of this ironclad underdog, providing detailed appendices, including crew member biographies and a complete chronology of the ship and crew.

 John V. Quarstein is an award-winning historian, preservationist, lecturer and author. He served as director of the Virginia War Museum for over thirty years and, after retirement, continues to work as a historian for the city of Newport News. He is in demand as a speaker throughout the nation. Quarstein is the author of fourteen books, including the companion volume to The CSS Virginia, The Monitor Boys. He has produced, narrated and written six PBS documentaries, including the Civil War in Hampton Roads series, which was awarded a 2007 Silver Telly. John Quarstein is the recipient of over twenty national and state awards, such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy’s Jefferson Davis Gold Medal in 1999. Besides his lifelong interest in Tidewater Virginia history, Quarstein is an avid duck hunter and decoy collector. He lives on Old Point Comfort in Hampton, Virginia, and on his family’s Eastern Shore farm near Chestertown, Maryland.
ISBN: 978-1-60949-580-0 • Paperback • 592 pages • $24.99 • March 2012
This new book is available at local stores & online at

Friday, March 16, 2012

LSU Press to Publish Collection of Civil War Essays in May 2012

LSU Press to Publish Collection of Civil War Essays in May 2012

Leading Civil War Historians Link Past and Present By Exploring the Military, Political, and Social Aspects of the Civil War

"[Offers] fresh insights, notably on the critical intersections of biography with social, military, and political history."-Eugene D. Genovese, author of "Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made"

Baton Rouge, LA-In "The Battlefield and Beyond: Essays on the American Civil War (Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War)" leading Civil War historians explore a tragic part of our nation's history though the lenses of race, gender, leadership, politics, and memory. The essays in this strong collection shed new light on the defining issues of the Civil War era.

Orville Vernon Burton, Leonne M. Hudson, and Daniel E. Sutherland delve into the master-slave relationship, the role of blacks in the army, and the nature of southern violence. Herman Hattaway, Paul D. Escott, and Judith F. Gentry offer innovative perspectives on the influential leadership of President Jefferson Davis, Lieutenant-General Stephen D. Lee, and General Edmund Kirby Smith.

Other contributors consider politicians and the public: Michael J. Connolly and Clayton E. Jewett investigate how despotism contributed to Confederate defeat; David E. Kyvig and Alan M. Kraut examine the war's impact on the Constitution and racial relationships with Jews; and Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Kenneth Nivison, and Emory M. Thomas discuss the critical function of memory in our understanding of Lincoln's assassination.

The essays in "The Battlefield and Beyond" consider the fundamental issue of the Confederacy's failure and military defeat but also expose our nation's continuing struggles with race, individual rights, terrorism, and the economy. Collectively, this distinguished group of historians reveals that 150 years after the nation's most defining conflict its consequences still resonate.

Clayton E. Jewett is lecturer in history at Baylor University and the author or editor of "Texas in the Confederacy: An Experiment in Nation Building," "Slavery in the South: A State-by-State History," and "Rise and Fall of the Confederacy: The Memoir of Texas Senator Williamson S. Oldham, CSA."

May 2012
352 pages, 6 x 9
ISBN 978-0-8071-4355-1
Cloth $47.50s, ebook available

Press Release--Simon & Schuster to Release America's Great Debate

Yesterday I received a press release from Simon and Schuster regarding a new book they will be releasing next month titled America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise that Preserved the Union. The author is Fergus Bordewich. The book has already received some favorable buzz and I am eager to see it myself.

Fergus Bordewich
I tried to post the release here but had all kinds of formatting problems. When I tried to include the PDF it would not open. Please feel free to click on the book photo. You will be taken to the Amazon page or click here to be taken to the Simon & Schuster page for further information.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Press Release--LSU Press to Publish In-Depth Study of Civil War Border Conflict

LSU Press to Publish In-Depth Study of Civil War Border Conflict

Aaron Astor Explores the Transformation of Politics in Kentucky and Missouri

"This volume stands to redefine Civil War and Border State studies."-Anne E. Marshall, author of "Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Civil War Memory in a Border State"

"Fast-paced, sharply written, and deeply researched."-Stanley Harrold, author of "Border War: Fighting over Slavery before the Civil War"

Baton Rouge, LA-"Rebels on the Border" offers a remarkably compelling and significant study of the Civil War South's highly contested and bloodiest border states: Kentucky and Missouri. By far the most complex examination to date, the book sharply focuses on the "borderland" between the free North and the Confederate South. As a result, "Rebels on the Border" deepens and enhances understanding of the sectional conflict, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.

Astor contends that after slaves in central Kentucky and Missouri gained their emancipation they transformed their communities. Informal kin and social networks of resistance against slavery became formalized processes of electoral participation and institution building. At the same time, white politics in Kentucky's Bluegrass and Missouri's Little Dixie underwent an electoral realignment in response to the racial and social revolution caused by the war and its aftermath. Black citizenship and voting rights provoked a violent white reaction and a cultural reinterpretation of white regional identity. After the war, the majority of wartime Unionists in the Bluegrass and Little Dixie joined former Confederate guerrillas in the Democratic Party in an effort to stifle the political ambitions of former slaves.

"Rebels on the Border" is not simply a story of bitter political struggles, partisan guerrilla warfare, and racial violence. Like no other scholarly account of Kentucky and Missouri during the Civil War, it places these two crucial heartland states within the broad context of local, southern, and national politics.

Aaron Astor is assistant professor of history at Maryville College.

May 2012
344 pages, 6 x 9, 3 maps
ISBN 978-0-8071-4298-1
Cloth $47.50

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The History Press March Contest

The History Press Commemorates Sesquicentennial with Sweepstakes

The History Press is sponsoring the “March Civil War Giveaway” Sweepstakes as part of its continuing efforts to honor the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Throughout the month of March, participants can enter the Sweepstakes on The History Press’s Facebook page for a chance to win a complete set of Sesquicentennial Series titles (40 books in total). A prize will also be given to the contestant who gets the most friends to enter the Sweepstakes. In addition to the Sweepstakes, The History Press will be featuring author interviews, sneak peeks, guest bloggers, additional giveaways and more during the month of March on its blog and Facebook page. Visit The History Press’s Facebook page for more information.

The History Press Civil War Sesquicentennial Series offers thoroughly researched, accessible accounts of the war rarely covered outside the academic realm. Books explore a range of topics from influential but lesser-known battles and campaigns to the local and regional impact of the war’s figures—whether celebrated generals or common soldiers. Each book is crafted in a way that Civil War enthusiasts and casual readers alike will enjoy.